Can VLC Really Play Blu-rays? Here’s What You Need to Know

VLC Media Player, known for its versatility and wide range of supported formats, has become a go-to application for many users when it comes to playing videos. However, playing Blu-ray discs has been somewhat of a challenge for this popular software. In this article, we aim to explore the capabilities of VLC when it comes to playing Blu-ray content, discussing its limitations, workarounds, and alternative solutions for a seamless Blu-ray viewing experience.

What Is VLC Media Player And What Formats Does It Support?

VLC media player is a popular open-source multimedia player that supports a wide range of audio and video formats. Developed by VideoLAN, it is available for various operating systems including Windows, Mac, Linux, and more.

One of the key reasons for VLC’s popularity is its ability to handle a vast array of file formats. It supports almost all popular audio and video formats, including but not limited to MPEG-1/2, MPEG-4, H.264, Xvid, DivX, AVI, WMV, MOV, MP3, FLAC, AAC, WMA, and many more. This extensive format support makes it a versatile choice for media playback.

Additionally, VLC also supports various streaming protocols, allowing users to stream content from the internet or other local network devices. It can handle network streams, IPTV, DVD ISOs, and even plays media files from damaged, incomplete, or unfinished downloads.

Overall, VLC media player’s extensive format support and its ability to handle various multimedia tasks make it a popular choice among users looking for a robust and feature-rich media player.

The Limitations Of VLC When It Comes To Playing Blu-ray Discs

VLC media player is a versatile software that supports a wide variety of media formats. However, when it comes to playing Blu-ray discs, VLC has certain limitations. Firstly, VLC does not come with built-in support for Blu-rays. This means that if you try to play a Blu-ray directly using VLC, it will not work.

One of the main reasons for this limitation is the DRM (Digital Rights Management) protection on Blu-ray discs. Blu-rays often come with encryption and DRM technologies to prevent unauthorized copying and playback. VLC is not equipped to handle this level of protection and cannot bypass it.

Additionally, Blu-rays usually require special codecs and libraries to decode the high-quality video and audio streams. While VLC does come with its own set of codecs, it may not have the necessary ones for Blu-ray playback.

However, it is possible to enable Blu-ray playback in VLC by installing additional plugins and libraries. This will allow VLC to recognize and play Blu-ray discs. The next subheading will discuss the steps to enable Blu-ray playback in VLC media player.

How To Enable Blu-ray Playback In VLC Media Player.

To enable Blu-ray playback in VLC media player, you need to follow a few steps to ensure proper configuration. Here’s what you need to do:

1. Install the Latest Version: Make sure you have the latest version of VLC media player installed on your computer. Visit the official VLC website and download the most recent version for your operating system.

2. Install AACS and BD+ Libraries: Blu-ray discs are protected with DRM (Digital Rights Management) encryption. To bypass this protection, you will need to download and install the AACS (Advanced Access Content System) and BD+ libraries. These libraries can be found online easily, and there are several websites that provide them for free.

3. Locate and Load Keys Database: Once the libraries are installed, find the “vlc” folder on your computer. In this folder, locate the “keydb.cfg” file and open it in a text editor. Now you need to add the keys required for playback. These keys can also be found online or through forums dedicated to VLC and Blu-ray playback. Copy and paste the keys into the “keydb.cfg” file, save it, and close the text editor.

4. Adjust VLC Playback Settings: Open VLC media player and navigate to “Tools” > “Preferences” or press “Ctrl+P” on your keyboard. In the preferences window, go to the “Input & Codecs” tab. Under the “Discs” section, check the box that says “Blu-ray” and click on “Save”.

5. Play Your Blu-ray Disc: Insert the Blu-ray disc into your computer’s Blu-ray drive. Open VLC media player and click on “Media” > “Open Disc” or press “Ctrl+D” on your keyboard. In the “Disc” tab, choose “Blu-ray” as the disc type and click on “Play”.

By following these steps, you should be able to enable Blu-ray playback in VLC media player and enjoy your favorite Blu-ray movies on your computer.

Understanding The DRM Protection On Blu-ray Discs And Its Impact On VLC

Blu-ray discs are known for their high-quality audio and video content, but they also come with a form of digital rights management (DRM) protection. This DRM protection is designed to prevent unauthorized copying and distribution of the content on these discs.

Unfortunately, this DRM protection poses a challenge for VLC media player when it comes to playing Blu-ray discs. Unlike other media formats, VLC does not have built-in support for decrypting and playing the protected content on Blu-ray discs. This means that by default, VLC cannot play encrypted Blu-ray movies.

To overcome this limitation, users need to install additional software or plugins to enable Blu-ray playback in VLC. One such plugin is called libbluray, which allows VLC to access the content on Blu-ray discs and play them. However, even with this plugin installed, it is important to note that VLC may not always be able to play all encrypted Blu-ray discs due to the constant updates and changes in the DRM protection methods employed by disc publishers.

It is worth mentioning that while VLC can play decrypted Blu-ray content, it is illegal in most countries to decrypt or bypass DRM protection without permission. Therefore, make sure to check the copyright laws in your country before attempting to play Blu-ray discs with VLC.

Alternative Solutions For Playing Blu-ray Discs On Your Computer

Playing Blu-ray discs on your computer may not be as straightforward as playing DVDs or other media formats. If you find that VLC media player is not the ideal solution for your Blu-ray playback needs, there are alternative options you can explore.

1. Leawo Blu-ray Player: This dedicated Blu-ray player software not only supports Blu-ray discs but also handles DVD playback with ease. It provides a user-friendly interface and supports various audio and video formats.

2. PowerDVD: Developed by CyberLink, PowerDVD is another popular choice for playing Blu-ray discs on your computer. It offers a comprehensive media experience and supports high-quality audio and video playback.

3. WinDVD Pro: This software from Corel is specifically designed for playing Blu-ray discs on your computer. It offers a range of advanced features and enhances the viewing experience with its intuitive interface.

4. Macgo Blu-ray Player: If you are a Mac user, Macgo Blu-ray Player is a reliable option. It supports Blu-ray and DVD playback and offers smooth playback without any quality loss.

While VLC media player is a versatile software, these alternative solutions can provide a more tailored and optimized experience for playing Blu-ray discs on your computer.

Comparing VLC With Dedicated Blu-ray Player Software

VLC media player is a versatile and popular multimedia player that supports various formats, but can it really play Blu-rays as well as dedicated Blu-ray player software? Let’s find out.

While VLC does have the capability to play Blu-ray discs, it comes with some limitations. One of the major limitations is the lack of menu navigation support. Unlike dedicated Blu-ray player software, VLC cannot navigate through the menus, access special features, or use interactive functions found on Blu-ray discs. This can be disappointing for users who enjoy the full Blu-ray experience.

On the other hand, dedicated Blu-ray player software, like CyberLink PowerDVD or Leawo Blu-ray Player, offers complete menu navigation, allowing users to fully enjoy the content and features of their Blu-ray discs.

Another aspect to consider is the picture and sound quality. Dedicated Blu-ray player software often provides superior audio and video playback, including support for high-definition audio formats like Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio. While VLC can play Blu-ray discs, the quality may not be as optimal as with dedicated software.

In conclusion, while VLC is a versatile media player that can play Blu-ray discs, it lacks the menu navigation and advanced features offered by dedicated Blu-ray player software. If you are a cinephile and desire the full Blu-ray experience, investing in dedicated software may be the way to go.

Tips And Tricks To Enhance Your Blu-ray Playback Experience With VLC.

VLC media player offers various features and options that can enhance your Blu-ray playback experience. Here are a few tips and tricks to make the most out of VLC when playing Blu-ray discs:

1. Enable hardware acceleration: VLC supports hardware decoding, which can significantly improve the playback performance of Blu-ray discs. To enable hardware acceleration, go to Tools > Preferences > Input & Codecs and check the “Use hardware-accelerated decoding” option.

2. Configure audio settings: VLC allows you to customize the audio settings according to your preferences. You can access the audio settings by going to Tools > Preferences > Audio. Here, you can adjust the audio output device, enable surround sound, and tweak other audio options.

3. Enhance video quality: VLC provides various video filters that can enhance the quality of your Blu-ray playback. You can access these filters by going to Tools > Effects and Filters > Video Effects. Experiment with different filters like sharpen, denoise, and adjust colors to improve the video quality.

4. Utilize subtitle options: If your Blu-ray disc includes subtitles, VLC allows you to customize the subtitles according to your needs. You can change the subtitle font, size, color, and sync options by going to Tools > Preferences > Subtitles / OSD.

By utilizing these tips and tricks, you can enhance your Blu-ray playback experience with VLC media player and enjoy your favorite movies with improved performance and visual quality.

Addressing Common Issues And Troubleshooting Tips For Playing Blu-ray Discs With VLC

Playing Blu-ray discs with VLC media player can sometimes come with various issues and challenges. In this section, we will address some of the common problems and provide useful troubleshooting tips to help you enjoy a smooth Blu-ray playback experience.

One of the most frequent issues users encounter is the error message stating “This Blu-ray Disc needs a library for AACS decoding.” This error occurs because VLC does not come with the required library for decrypting AACS-protected Blu-ray discs. To resolve this, you will need to download and install the libaacs library and place it in the appropriate folder.

Another problem that users face is when VLC fails to play Blu-ray menus. VLC’s Blu-ray support is primarily focused on playing the main movie, so the lack of full menu support can be frustrating. In this case, an alternative solution would be to use dedicated Blu-ray player software that offers comprehensive menu navigation.

Additionally, if you encounter playback issues such as stuttering or freezing, it is recommended to check that your computer meets the minimum system requirements for Blu-ray playback. Ensure that your hardware specifications, especially the CPU and GPU, are sufficient to handle HD video decoding.

Lastly, keep in mind that VLC’s Blu-ray playback functionality is not perfect, and compatibility issues with certain discs may arise. If you encounter persistent problems, it might be worth trying alternative software specifically designed for playing Blu-ray discs.

By addressing these common issues and following the troubleshooting tips provided, you can maximize your chances of successfully playing Blu-ray discs with VLC media player.


1. Can VLC play Blu-ray discs?

Yes, VLC has the capability to play Blu-ray discs. However, it requires additional steps and plugins to unlock this feature. By installing the necessary tools and configuring settings properly, VLC can indeed play Blu-ray movies.

2. What tools do I need to play Blu-rays on VLC?

To play Blu-ray discs on VLC, you need two primary tools: AACS (Advanced Access Content System) library and BD+ library. These libraries help VLC decrypt and play encrypted Blu-ray content. It’s important to note that these libraries might vary depending on your operating system, but they are essential for VLC to recognize and play Blu-ray discs.

3. How do I configure VLC to play Blu-rays?

Configuring VLC to play Blu-rays involves several steps. After downloading and installing the AACS and BD+ libraries, you need to place them in the appropriate directory. Next, launch VLC and navigate to the Preferences menu. In the preferences window, choose “Input/Codecs” and then “Access Modules.” From there, enable the “Blu-ray” option. Finally, save the changes and restart VLC. You should now be able to play Blu-ray discs using VLC.

Wrapping Up

In conclusion, while VLC is a popular and versatile media player, it does have limitations when it comes to playing Blu-ray discs. The software lacks official support for Blu-ray playback and may require additional plugins or workarounds to successfully play these discs. Therefore, users should carefully consider their specific needs and explore alternative options that offer dedicated Blu-ray playback capabilities for an optimal viewing experience.

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