I can't believe Win7 doesn't have Blu-Ray support yet. Having plugins open in the background breaks the 10Ft experience. PowerDVD (came with blu-ray player) is unusable from the couch.

Are there any comprehensive packages (paid or otherwise) that will give me TiVo usability, Blu-Ray support, Hulu and Netflix integration and music library functionality?

Should I scrap the HTPC concept and buy an AppleTV instead?

2 Answers 2


don't know about TiVo or Hulu, but i'm using PowerDVD 9, which enables Bluray-playback in Windows Media Center.

Cinema Playback Mode

When using Microsoft Windows Media Center, Cinema enables Blu-ray playback. Cinema also supports remote control colored keys during Blu-ray movies playback.

Obviously, Microsoft is outsourcing Blu-ray support in Windows 7 to Cyberlink.

  • PowerDVD 7 came with my Blu-ray player. I have since upgraded to the OEM version of PowerDVD 8. It still minimizes Media Center and loads the PowerDVD menu. It also drops win7 out of Aero and tries to lower my resolution to play the Blu Ray.
    – Rob Allen
    Jan 9, 2010 at 23:53
  • version 9 came out last October, time to upgrade :)
    – Molly7244
    Jan 10, 2010 at 0:17
  • 7 was such a piece of crap, I have a hard time justifying paying for the upgrade (they don't seem have a free upgrade to 9 for OEM folks).
    – Rob Allen
    Jan 10, 2010 at 12:27
  • i know, 7 was ridiculous ... i'm still using 6 on XP machines w/o Bluray drives.
    – Molly7244
    Jan 10, 2010 at 13:39
  • I loaded up the PowerDVD 9 trial and while I like what they have done with cinema mode attempting to playback a BRD freezes Win7 and required a hard reboot (left it for 30 minutes to see if it would handle it on its own). This machine was able to play BRDs under Vista.
    – Rob Allen
    Jan 14, 2010 at 18:01

I don't own it nor know much about it, but I often hear about the popcornhour device in the HD/Blu-ray community (http://www.popcornhour.com). Take a look perhaps.

As for me, I still stick around MediaPlayerClassic Home Cinema (http://mpc-hc.sourceforge.net/) with AnyDVD HD for decrypting the discs. The solution is far from elegant, but provide fine-grained control that I have yet to find elsewhere.

  • MPC-HC is nice in that it can play almost anything you throw at it but if the Blu-ray stream is across multiple files you have to hunt for the next piece in the middle of the movie.
    – Rob Allen
    Jan 10, 2010 at 22:08
  • In these situation, I use eac3to to discover what /playlist/ file contains the movie sequence (usually the first eac3to returns), then remux the movie with tsMuxerGUI. You drag-drop the playlist file and it creates a big .m2ts file. A bit of a pain, but it works fine. Too bad MPC-HC doesn't handle this natively.
    – mtone
    Jan 11, 2010 at 11:10

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