HowTo: Use lxbdplayer – the Open Source Blu-Ray Disc player for Linux

Tutorials
Yes, you read that right - there is finally an Open Source Blu-Ray Disc player GUI for Linux, albeit unofficial and certainly very grey in legality depending on which country you are in. lxbdplayer is the collaborative effort of four French Engineering students. What they have written is basically a frontend that combines the apps DumpHD and AACSKeys which I have used in previous Blu-Ray articles into one easy to use GUI. Decrypted BD streams are then piped into MPlayer for playback. The end result is that you can now watch your BD movies almost as simply as a regular video player without the need to go through the process of ripping them into an MKV file first, or chewing up loads of drive space. (more…)
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HowTo: Deal with BD+ copy protection when ripping Blu-ray titles using Ubuntu

Tutorials
A fair while back now, I wrote an article detailing how to decode Blu-ray titles using Ubuntu and an LG GGC-H20L Blu-ray optical drive. This article detailed how to decrypt just about every movie under the sun except for a newer type of protection called "BD+" which I never got around to supplementing my original article with. What is "BD+" protection? Well in short, it's the deliberate corruption of random parts of the video track of the movie (well, OK - that is a highly simplified definition as BD+ protection can do a lot more than that, but the end result is the same - to prevent unauthorised playback which includes ripping). The idea BD+ is that when you rip the title, you can still watch the movie, but with…
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HowTo: Encode a Blu-ray rip into a smaller format without losing quality

Tutorials
Those of you who archive or backup their Blu-ray movie media to hard-drive will already be aware that the average movie comes out at a good 25GB. Some of the bigger titles top out at around 40GB or more. This eats up an awful lot of disk space. Blu-ray titles are already compressed down using the MPEG2 codec, and quality pundits will abhor the idea of re-compressing the title again for fear of losing image and audio quality. Certainly if you go down the Xvid route, you will definitely lose image quality, but as per my previous DVD HowTo, you can do excellent rips with virtually indistinguishable quality to the original using the x264 codec, and have a significantly smaller footprint to go with it. The process of encoding a…
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HowTo: Rip a Blu-ray movie using an LG GGC-H20L Blu-ray drive with Ubuntu

Tutorials
The Blu-ray disc format has brought with it the ability to easily provide the next generation of High-Definition 1080p movie content. There's just one problem - Ubuntu and Linux in general has no official support for Blu-ray, and its encryption scheme is vastly different to that of DVD - it's not just a simple case of installing a library like the libdvdcss2 library for decrypting DVD's - the protection is done both at a software and hardware level. This article discusses how I used my recently purchased LG GGC-H20L Blu-ray ROM drive to successfully read and watch movies using Ubuntu Intrepid. (more…)
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Mini-review: LG GGC-H20L Super Multi Blue Blu-ray Disc & HD DVD-ROM Drive on Ubuntu

Review
Optical storage certainly has come a long way, and with each new advance brings new affordable hardware to help nudge it along. The HD-DVD and Blu-ray disc formats brought along with it the ability to store and distribute high-quality, full high-definition 1080p movies. Unlike when DVD first appeared, and probably thanks to the battle that was waged between the HD-DVD and Blu-ray formats, the provision of high-definition media and associated players has dropped in price rather dramatically to drive acceptance. I have a fairly large original DVD collection, but I am a quality freak and in light of high-definition releases, I loathed the idea of buying a DVD version of a given movie knowing that for about the same price I can buy a high-definition version. So I decided to…
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