Blu-Ray

Want to watch Blu-Ray discs on your Windows 10 PC? It's easy when you know how.

DVDs are fairly simple to deal with on Windows 10, but what about Blu-Ray? These discs are now the standard for HD video on the physical format, and as more and more of us use our PCs for home entertainment, it's perfectly acceptable to want to play a Blu-Ray on it.

But it's not just a case of popping a disc in the drive and putting your feet up. There are paid apps out there that will do the leg work, but you don't have to part ways with your money.

Converting your discs to digital

This isn't for the light hearted, mostly because it takes such a long time to do and it's easy to make a mistake. But there is a free way to do it using two pieces of software.

MakeMKV and Handbrake have featured before in our roundup of DVD cloning software, and for good reason. Both are completely free to use right now, though MakeMKV is technically still a beta, they're still very powerful.

Essentially you use MakeMKV to pull the data from the Blu-Ray, then run it through Handbrake to compress it down. You can, of course, skip Handbrake, but each file from a Blu-Ray will be huge. So unless you have an awful lot of storage on hand, running through Handbrake is a good step to reduce the file size at the expense of outright quality.

Download MakeMKV for Windows Download Handbrake for Windows

Apps

VLC

You can watch the actual discs on your Windows 10 PC without having to convert them to a digital file. The first to mention is the good old Swiss Army Knife, VLC. Natively, VLC won't just play your Blu-Ray discs, you need to do some tweaking.

It's not necessarily the best option, but if you're a heavy VLC user then it's at least an option.

How to watch Blu-Ray discs in VLC

Perhaps a better, also free, method is the Leawo Blu Ray player application. It also supports DVDs, and while you're not paying for it, you're only getting a very basic Blu-Ray player. Nevertheless, it's reliable and gets the job done.

Download Leawo Blu Ray player

If you're interested in something a little more feature filled, there are a number of paid for apps out there. One of the better ones is Cyberlink's PowerDVD. The latest version is around $60 at the time of writing and offers support for 3D Blu-Ray as well as regular discs, high frame rate playback, casting and 4K UHD Blu-Ray as well.

Additionally, PowerDVD will also play back directly any of your ISO files from Blu-Rays or DVDs, so you've got everything you need under one roof.

See at Amazon

If you've got a good method we didn't talk about here, be sure to drop it into the comments below.