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Put my mind at rest (or otherwise)

Put my mind at rest (or otherwise)

Postby Digsy » Sun May 01, 2016 10:37 pm

Hi all,

I have been trialling different Blu-ray players for Windows for a few days and was just about to settle on WinDVD Pro11. I decided to read some customer reviews before buying. Normally I put a few bad reviews down to people who aren't especially computer literate, but in the case of WInDVD there seems to be an unsettling amount of unhappy users out there, all reporting similar things:

1) Programme works fine for about a year and then suddenly stops working for no apparent reason (even a complete wipe, rebuild, and re-install doesn't fix this, as if the license key itself has an expiry date).
2) Programme asks for constant updates, one of which will eventually render it useless.
3) Trial version works fine but upon upgrade to the full version, the programme fails.
4) Terrible after sales customer service from Corel.

I'm an HTPC user and hence a very late adopter with Blu-ray, although I have a large DVD collection. I've been pretty unimpressed with the alternative players for Windows and my trial version is working fine so far, but I don't want to buy WinDVD Pro if it will eventually turn out to be a lemon. I'd rather stick with DVD until something stable comes along.

Hopefully you guys can give me some perspective on this :)
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Re: Put my mind at rest (or otherwise)

Postby Ken Berry » Mon May 02, 2016 1:31 am

I have to say that I gave up on WinDVD many years ago. I also tried Cyberlink's PowerDirector for several versions but gave up on that too. Too many problems with both as new forms of DVD and then BD protection emerged and thus causing the need for updates to the software which were slow in coming and then often erratic in their effect.

Personally, I now use the freeware VLC player which will play virtually any format, and do it well. It can also do things that other software players can't, like play ISO files of videos.
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Re: Put my mind at rest (or otherwise)

Postby Digsy » Mon May 02, 2016 9:50 am

So what's the equivalent scenario for a stand alone hardware Blu-ray player? Obviously that cannot be updated unless the manufacturer releases a firmware update and you willfully apply it. If you choose not to then I would assume that you could continue to watch your older discs, but new content live BD-Live and J-BD would not be supported. Does WinDVD force you to update, or can you choose not to?
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Re: Put my mind at rest (or otherwise)

Postby Digsy » Thu May 05, 2016 10:01 pm

Tried to play a legitimate, store bought copy of The Force Awakens on both WinDVD and PowerDVD toinght. Neither would play it. What a farce! I'm sticking with DVD until something better comes along, or I'll just go back to a stand alone player which will be cheaper and less hassle.
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Re: Put my mind at rest (or otherwise)

Postby Ken Berry » Fri May 06, 2016 8:14 pm

Have you tried the VLC player (freeware) that I mentioned?
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Monitor/Display Make & Model: Kogan 32" 4K 3840 x 2160
Corel programs: VS 2019; PSP 2019; MS3D; ASP 3; DRAW 17

Re: Put my mind at rest (or otherwise)

Postby Digsy » Sat May 07, 2016 2:57 pm

Ken Berry wrote:Have you tried the VLC player (freeware) that I mentioned?


Judging by the thread here...
https://forum.videolan.org/viewtopic.php?f=14&t=96787
...it seems like a colossal load of faff which is less than 100% successful and still isn't a true replacement for a stand alone BD player.

Corel has replied to my (free) support ticket regarding my trial version of WinDVD refusing to perform, so will see if they can provide any useful pointers.
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Re: Put my mind at rest (or otherwise)

Postby Digsy » Sat May 07, 2016 9:16 pm

Did a fresh install of the trial version today on a whim (from the same download) and this time for some unknown reason it is working, at least as a test. I have not watched the full movie yet, so now I have to try to give it a workout using some recent titles while the trial is still active.
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Re: Put my mind at rest (or otherwise)

Postby sclgwhite2 » Mon May 23, 2016 4:52 am

I agree with Ken; this is worthless software. I have 11 Pro installed on my Windows 7 Pro PC, but only because I paid for it, not because it works satisfactorily. I have other players installed as well, but my absolute favorite, without reservation, is DVDFab Media Player 2. It is not free, but I got it free because I am on their mailing list and they ran a promotion during which they offered it as a lifetime free program. I suggest you go to the DVDFab website and investigate. Just now, for the purpose of responding to you, I put a 2-movie BD into my Pioneer BDR-208D writer/player and opened it with the DVDFab Media Player 2. The first movie began playing immediately, then I right-clicked on the display and selected "main menu" (from the long list of offerings), which took me to the main menu where I could select the second movie. This is a really great player, and it is built by a company that cracks all the encryptions as they emerge - that is their business.

Having said all that, if you have a TV with HDMI input, I highly recommend the Sony BDP-S6500 Blu-ray player (standalone unit). It will do everything, including upscaling to Ultra HD (4K) and will play SACDs (which is a dead format, but it is nice to be able to play them, if one comes your way). I bought mine last month for $107 and consider it money well spent. The upscaling to Ultra HD looks great on a 78" curved Samsung Ultra HD TV. Standalones that will play Ultra HD Blu-ray discs are just hitting the market for $400, and the supply of discs to buy for them is minuscule, so I'm going to continue upscaling, and leave those for the rich folks.
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