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  1. Member ahhaa's Avatar
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    I have DVDs from the days before Netflix (have you heard they will be streaming High Dynamic Range?!) , and those DVDs have played back pretty nicely on a cheap old Philips that has that up-converting feature.

    Now I've been looking for an external USB unit more for playing back DVDs in the future than for burning them. The up-converting feature isn't mentioned either way in the ads I've seen.

    Anybody know of a USB unit that up-converts, or failing that an AC up-converting unit that outputs over USB?
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    Forget about this idea. External PC DVD drives cannot do what you want.

    External PC DVD drives are not the same as DVD players. When playing a DVD, the drive's only function is to retrieve data from the disc as directed by software on the PC. Software always handles decoding the video and audio data and up-converting is always done by software, plus your PC's video card, not the DVD drive.
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    I'm confused what you are asking. Do you want a standalone DVD player that hooks to a TV or an external PC USB DVD drive?

    Either way video signals are not passed over USB.

    In the case of an external PC drive, the data is passed over the USB and then decoded by software on the PC. It is up to the software player to upscale.

    In the case of a standalone DVD player, the player will either upscale or the TV will upscale, depending on the settings you configure. USB ports on standalone DVD/Blu-ray players are for input (flash drives or hardrives), they do not output video.
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  4. Member ahhaa's Avatar
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    Maybe a practical example will help?
    Right now one of my Raspberry Pi's is acting as a HTPC, running Kodi & it does a really great job.
    The Pi outputs solid 1080P HDMI, which is better than my laptops can manage.
    I just don't want to convert all sorts of DVDs which I may only want to ever play once or twice more.

    The Pi inputs are limited to 4 USB sockets, and .mkv files from flash drives look stunningly good.

    I'd just like to plug in a DVD player sometimes (which I'm doing very rarely, as Netflix supplies more than I have time to watch.)
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  5. Member Cornucopia's Avatar
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    Again, you could connect an external USB CD/DVD/BD burner drive, load up & run a DVD/BD playback app (such as WinDVD or PowerDVD) on your PI, and have the app do the upconverting, but that's about it.

    Scott
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  6. USB DVD drives are not DVD players. They are just dumb data devices. It's the software on the computer that is the DVD player and does the upscaling. Can the Raspberry Pi handle the CSS encryption used on commercial DVDs? If not you'll only be able to play discs you've burned yourself.
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    There is at least one software DVD player for Kodi. You would just need to buy the MPEG-2 license key for the Pi from the Raspberry Pi Store to enable MPEG-2 hardware decoding and DVD playback. The license is not expensive.
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  8. Member ahhaa's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by jagabo View Post
    Can the Raspberry Pi handle the CSS encryption used on commercial DVDs?
    The Pi 2B & 3B are 'officially' able to run Raspian (Debian), Mate (Ubuntu), RISC, and Windows 10 IoT; and quite a variety of game emulators. The limitations are pretty much those of the Arm's embedded history :

    $35 gets you this, which needs no fan and idles on 2-3 watts...

    SoC: Broadcom BCM2837
    CPU: 4 ARM Cortex-A53, 1.2GHz
    GPU: Broadcom VideoCore IV
    RAM: 1GB LPDDR2 (900 MHz)
    Networking: 10/100 Ethernet, 2.4GHz 802.11n wireless
    Bluetooth: Bluetooth 4.1 Classic, Bluetooth Low Energy
    Storage: microSD
    GPIO: 40-pin header, populated
    Ports: HDMI, 3.5mm analogue audio-video jack, 4 USB 2.0, Ethernet, Camera Serial Interface (CSI), Display Serial Interface (DSI)


    But I don't know if it can handle encoding issues; tho nobody into HTPC on Youtube has mentioned that.

    Here's a good overview of the HTPC , altho Kodi has now been improved over this older vid.
    https://youtu.be/PjfvOxZzqsQ
    Last edited by ahhaa; 16th Apr 2016 at 13:09.
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    Since the Raspberry Pi is a low-power system, you would be better off with an external DVD drive which has its own power supply that plugs into the wall.
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  10. Member ahhaa's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Cornucopia View Post
    Again, you could connect an external USB CD/DVD/BD burner drive, load up & run a DVD/BD playback app (such as WinDVD or PowerDVD) on your PI, and have the app do the upconverting, but that's about it.

    Scott
    Ahh, OK thanks, I have been using VLC exclusively, and don't see any upconvert option. Those are both Win apps right?
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    Originally Posted by ahhaa View Post
    I have been using VLC exclusively, and don't see any upconvert option. Those are both Win apps right?
    The graphics for the raspberry Pi should already be set up for 1080p output if you have it attached to a 1080p TV. You will need to set up VLC to deinterlace automatically and choose a deinterlacing method via the Video menu. For VLC, the combination of right-click VLC window + View->Fullscreen Interface and right-click VLC window + View->Minimal Interface causes VLC to display video at full screen in a borderless window.
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  12. Member Cornucopia's Avatar
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    But...AFAIK, Vlc is not yet a full-fledged "DVD player" app, just supports mpg/vob. So decryption and menu navigation would not be possible. Same with Kino.

    Scott
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    Originally Posted by Cornucopia View Post
    But...AFAIK, Vlc is not yet a full-fledged "DVD player" app, just supports mpg/vob. So decryption and menu navigation would not be possible. Same with Kino.

    Scott
    I just popped the DVD version of "The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies" into my DVD drive and VLC played it, including the menu.

    [Edit]It just occurred to me that you might be saying VLC + Linux would work differently. I was using a Windows 7 system to test VLC's DVD playback capabilities.
    Last edited by usually_quiet; 16th Apr 2016 at 14:14.
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  14. Member ahhaa's Avatar
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    Thanks guys,

    asper UQ, I just tried a couple commercial DVDs on VLC (v 2.6.1) using Mint 17.2 (because it is a variant of Ubuntu, now a Pi OS) on my laptop.

    One was old enough to have both Widescreen/Full, Forbidden Planet, and the other was Avatar. Both loaded up Menus and onscreen functions worked- they played for a few minutes without hiccups.
    They looked kinda pitiful on the old Toshiba's screen; I've gotten used to 1080p.
    (I just watched The 300 from an .mkv file on a 32" played from Kodi thru a Pi 2B- I would have believed it was 4K.)
    Only thing was VLC isn't automated within linux for the mount drive thing, so it took me a minute to figure the procedure as the drive still listed the removed 1st try disc when I wanted to open the 2nd.
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    @ahhaa Have you tried using Kodi's own software player, DVDPlayer? From what I read, it's fairly decent as long as you have a MPEG-2 hardware decoder license key (costs only a few dollars) and have edited the config file on your SD card. http://wiki.openelec.tv/index.php/Config.txt#Editing_via_Another_PC
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  16. Member ahhaa's Avatar
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    Hi UQ!

    No, not yet. I've tried various file types with Kodi packaged as OpenELEC on the Pi, and they all seemed to work without buying a license, even tho on a dual-boot Pi with Raspian, when Raspian is loaded the VLC will only play the audio, which is ironic because recently Firefox would only play the visual until I 'refreshed' the hell out of it.

    This whole arena is poorly understood by me; and the Pi is calling me in 10 directions at once!:]

    I want a stop-gap solution because I think the HDR video releases will be game-changing for collectors.
    Last edited by ahhaa; 16th Apr 2016 at 16:49. Reason: clarity
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  17. Member Cornucopia's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by usually_quiet View Post
    Originally Posted by Cornucopia View Post
    But...AFAIK, Vlc is not yet a full-fledged "DVD player" app, just supports mpg/vob. So decryption and menu navigation would not be possible. Same with Kino.

    Scott
    I just popped the DVD version of "The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies" into my DVD drive and VLC played it, including the menu.

    [Edit]It just occurred to me that you might be saying VLC + Linux would work differently. Ij was using a Windows 7 system to test VLC's DVD playback capabilities.
    Guess I have an older version then...
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  18. Member ahhaa's Avatar
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    I've asked about this on the KODI forum, and found that the Pi uses GPU hardware scaling; it uses the Mitchell Netravali filter.
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