The system build was to be a Blu-ray and HD-DVD capable system. No OS was included in the session. We opted for Windows Vista Ultimate x64 SP1.
- Intel DG45FC Mini-ITX
- Intel Core 2 Duo Desktop Processor E8500
- 4GB Kingston 800MHz DDR2 RAM
- 320GB Seagate Momentus 7200.3
- LG Super Multi Blue GGC-H20L
- In-Win BM-639 Mini-ITX Case
- USB based wireless (don't have yet).
For the LG optical drive, we were not going to run with any of the software on the accompanying CD because the OEM version of software products tend to be missing some key component or other that we would subsequently be directed to the software manufacturer's Web site to purchase.
Since Windows Vista does not support Blu-ray out of the box, we needed to run with third party. We decided to check out the included OEM PowerDVD product which is version 7 after all. Of course, this is a special edition for the OEM packaged product while CyberLink's site shows version 8 as current.
One of the installation options on the LG CD was a utility to check for any firmware updates applicable to the LG optical drive. Given the newness of the technologies in the optical drive, checking for firmware updates was a good idea.
Sure enough, there was one to bring the new drive's firmware up to 1.03:
LG Optical Firmware
The download was somewhere around 6MB in size and a reboot was not requested once installed. Just in case, we rebooted the box.
The CyberLink PowerDVD product required an update to 7.3 that was about 103MB in size.
Once we had the two updates in place, we ran a Blu-ray of Kung-Fu Panda and it looked astounding on our 22" shop wide LCD. It will look even better when tied into a wide screen LCD television via HDMI which is built into this motherboard.
Note that PowerDVD version 8 does not support HD-DVD decoding: Does PowerDVD 8 support HD DVD playback? From the link:
After Toshiba made their announcement that it will no longer develop, manufacture and market HD DVD format discs and the fact that there will be limited new title releases in HD DVD format, CyberLink has decided to remove HD DVD support from PowerDVD 8. However, CyberLink will continue to support and maintain HD DVD movie playback in PowerDVD Ultra (version 7.3).
Now, after a bit of research as a result of the above, we came up with this gem from the We Got Served blog: How To: Play Blu-ray and HD DVD Movies from Vista Media Center.
The suggested products are a software player that integrates with MCE which PowerDVD also does not do:
- Blu-ray/DVD Archiving to Disk: SlySoft’s AnyDVD HD
- Blu-ray/HD-DVD Payer: ArcSoft’s TotalMedia Theatre
We will be purchasing the above software to round out our new home theatre PC.
And, at some point in the near future we will put together a Windows Home Server to sit beside our home SBS 2003 R2 Premium server! :)
Microsoft Small Business Specialists
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