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I have a media center behind my TV and a DVD drive in an external enclosure (connected via USB) where I can reach it. I'd like to put a Blu-ray drive in there instead, but I'm concerned that it won't play the movies (maybe it's not HDCP compliant?). What if I get a new enclosure that's external SATA - would this be HDCP compliant, even though it's external? Can the PC (or the Blu-ray licensing module, for that matter) tell the difference?

Here's another question about this topic - I'm not concerned about throughput, since it's USB3, but rather about the drive being HDCP compliant. Has anybody with an external USB drive played a Blu-ray and can confirm if it works or doesn't?

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2 Answers 2

up vote 2 down vote accepted

It depends on two things,

1)If the hardware has an HDCP chip
2)If the software you're using for playback supports HDCP

http://www.sevenforums.com/music-pictures-video/61955-understanding-hdcp-blu-ray-copy-protection-its-h.html

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I read through the thread you attached, and through informative, it doesn't make any specific mention of a connection via USB, but I take your answer to mean that if a drive works directly in my PC, it would work in a USB enclosure? Or are you saying that the USB enclosure has to specifically support HDCP by having an internal chip (which I'm sure it doesn't)? I'd like to say the issue is clarified, but it's not - or maybe I should interpret that as "it won't work". –  SqlRyan Mar 13 '13 at 17:47
    
Yes, the physical connection is hardly relevant for the sake of playback(since you said you aren't concerned with playback speed, although USB 3.0 should suffice), as long as there are drivers for your OS. –  BigHomie Mar 13 '13 at 17:50
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Okay - given that, I found another conversation (avsforum.com/t/1232083/…) where the person is saying that the data is encrypted at rest and that the encrypted stream is sent the player, so HDCP isn't a factor until the player, which decrypts the signal - once it's decrypted, then the whole path has to be HDCP compliant. That seems to support that a USB drive (or eSATA, for that matter) would be fine. –  SqlRyan Mar 13 '13 at 17:57
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Just wanted to follow up and confirm that I've done this - it works without issue. The Blu-Ray drive was external, connected via USB3, and there were no playback issues at all (it worked same as an internal SATA drive would have). –  SqlRyan Jul 5 '13 at 6:59

Im not 100% sure of this, but Im fairly positive about my answer.

Yes, you can play Blu-Ray movies with a Blu-Ray drive connected via USB. However, there is a caveat: it will not play at 1080p. Since this method is not HDCP compliant, the player will actually strip data and not play at the full resolution and bitrate. The assumption is without the HDCP token being passed, that you may be attempting to pirate the movie.

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This is exactly the opposite of what the other answer says and what the questioner reports. If you don't have any evidence to support your claim I'd suggest retracting it. –  Dan Hulme Feb 12 at 13:46

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