Blu-Ray

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. You need something like PowerDVD from Cyberlink.

Products used in this guide

How to convert your Blu-ray 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 been featured before in our roundup of DVD cloning software, and for good reason: both are completely free. While MakeMKV is technically still a beta, and it's 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.

How to watch your Blu-ray discs on Windows 10

VLC

You can watch the actual discs on your Windows 10 PC without having to convert them to a digital file.

The first option to mention is the good old Swiss Army Knife, VLC. Natively, VLC won't just play your Blu-ray discs, so you'll need to do some tweaking.

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

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.

If you're interested in something a little more feature-filled, there are a number of paid apps out there. The best is Cyberlink's PowerDVD. The latest version is PowerDVD 19 but for watching Blu-Ray, it makes more sense to get the previous version, PowerDVD 18 which starts around $60. It offers support for 3D Blu-ray as well as regular discs, high frame rate playback, casting and 4K UHD Blu-ray.

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. It's a handy piece of software to have on a media PC, and you can even use it to pull in content from YouTube and Vimeo, including 360-degree video.

The app you need

There are free ways to watch Blu-ray discs, but you get what you pay for and much more besides with Cyberlink's excellent PowerDVD 18. It's last years version, but given it can be had right now for half the price of PowerDVD 19, it's a better value choice if watching Blu-ray is your primary goal.

Full-featured

PowerDVD 18

Serious software for media fanatics

PowerDVD 18 is an amazing piece of software that can play up to 4K Blu-ray discs with True Theater and full-screen enhancements for the best possible experience.

PowerDVD can also play YouTube and Vimeo videos, as well as natively playing 360-degree content. It's a great value and a really powerful piece of software for enthusiasts.

Additional apps

If you're looking for something a little less intensive or want to digitize your collection, these are the apps for you.

MakeMKV (Free at MakeMKV)

Simple to use and will convert all your physical discs into digital files with ease.

Leawo Blu-ray player (Free at Leawo)

Basic, but functional, if you just want to play the disc and nothing more, this is a great app to get.

VLC (Free at VideoLAN)

VLC is a brilliant tool for Windows that, with some tweaking, can play virtually anything imaginable.

Handbrake (Free at Handbrake)

Handbrake will convert your Blu-ray's raw files into something more useable for your PC or home media server. And it's free!

This post may contain affiliate links. See our disclosure policy for more details.

Latest And Best Prime Day Deals

The Ring Alarm security system is reaching new low prices for Prime Day
Ring Alarm home security systems

Various configurations of the Ring Alarm are discounted to their best prices yet exclusively for Prime members at Amazon through Tuesday night to help keep your home secure.

The Sonos Beam Prime Day deal includes a $40 discount and 2 $50 Amazon gift cards
The Sonos Beam Prime Day deal includes a $40 discount and $100 in Amazon gift cards
$359.00 $499.00 Save $140

That's just so much savings in one deal. You'll have to wait for the physical gift cards, but that's basically $100 to spend however you want.

Prime Day dropped this PlayStation 4 console bundle to just $250
PlayStation 4 Slim 1TB console with Marvel's Spider-Man and Horizon Zero Dawn
$249.99 $359.98 Save $110

This deal on the PlayStation 4 Slim console saves you $50 off its regular price while also including Marvel's Spider-Man and Horizon Zero Dawn Complete Edition for free. You'll just need an Amazon Prime membership to snag it.

The newest device in the Echo family, the Show 5, is now down to just $50
Echo Show 5
$49.99 $89.99 Save $40

It's only been on the market since May, but it hasn't escaped the Prime Day price cuts.

Amp up your home security with these huge Prime Day discount on nearly all Ring products
Save on Ring products today only

Whether you need a video doorbell, whole home alarm system, or some lights to brighten a dark area, Amazon has it all marked down today!

These huge price drops on the entire Galaxy S10 lineup might be one of the best Prime Day phone deals we'll see
Samsung Galaxy S10 128GB unlocked Prism Black Android smartphone
$599.99 $900.00 Save $300

We love the Galaxy S10, and we love deals. This combines two of our true loves in one!

Scour Amazon Warehouse's deals to save an extra 20% on tech and more through Prime Day
Extra 20% off Amazon Warehouse

Amazon Warehouse sells a myriad of items in varying conditions, from refurbished to open-box, used, warehouse-damaged, and more. It's a great place to snag a deal, and now Prime members can save an extra 20% off select items at checkout.

There's never been a better deal on the Ring Video Doorbell 2 than this pre-Prime Day offer
Ring Video Doorbell 2 (Certified Refurbished)
$89.99 $169.99 Save $80

Amazon is taking $80 off the certified refurbished Ring Video Doorbell 2, which lets you see and speak with visitors at your front door no matter where you are in the world.

More Prime Day Deals