3 Methods to Play Blu-ray contents with Kodi/XBMC

Kodi, formerly known as XBMC, is an excellent solution for creating a home media centre, that allows users to play almost any video or audio file and other digital media files from local and network storage media. As standard, you cannot play Blu-ray with Kodi because Kodi Blu-ray support is yet to be added. In this tutorial take you through the process of playing Blu-ray on Kodi/XBMC in 3 easy methods.

Add Blu-ray to Kodi

Method 1. Rip Blu-ray for Playing on Kodi(XBMC) via Network

First, you should note that there is still a lot of legal ambiguity around ripping content that you have legally purchased. At Audioholics, we believe that you should be able to watch purchased media on your system regardless of whether it's coming from a standalone Blu-ray player or a media center frontend. Actually, it's not as difficult as you imagine. To get Blu-rays on Kodi, you'll need a Blu-ray drive installed in your computer and the assistant of a third-party tool called "Blu-ray Ripper" to remove the copy protection from Blu-ray and rip Blu-ray to Kodi in a normal format like MP4, MKV, MOV, AVI, etc for playback.

Most of you are likely familiar with the excellent Handbrake for ripping standard Def DVDs, but while the latest version of the software has added SOME support for reading Blu-Ray folder structures, it cannot yet decrypt the Blu-Ray discs, so you'll need to add an intermediate step. Here Dimo BDMate for Mac is the bee's knees.

It is an intuitive Blu-ray converter that get around the encryption on Blu-rays and make digital backups of all movie content on your hard drive to free up the disc, or just convert to video files compatible with Kodi/XBMC such as MP4, AVI and MKV on Mac(OS Sierra included), so that you can then watch the video of Blu-ray on the XBMC Kodi, even 5.1/7.1 surround sound can be kept.

Besides, this Blu-ray ripping tool also provide some video editing tools to let you crop the Blu-ray movies black bars, trim the unnecessary part, etc. for better video watching experience. What's more, this Blu-ray ripping software provides more optimal presets for iPad, iPhone, PS4 Pro, Xbox One S, Samsung TV, Android tablet, VR and more media devices. If you are a Windows user, you can turn to BDmate, which can help you convert Blu-ray to Kodi on Mac.

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Rip and Convert Blu-ray to Kodi for smooth playback

1. Load Blu-ray movies > Insert the Blu-ray disc into your computer's Blu-ray drive and run the best Mac Blu-ray ripper. You can load the Blu-ray movies by clicking "Add Blu-ray" button. You can select desired audio track for outputing.

Mac Blu-ray ripper

2. Choose output format > As XBMC supports playing pretty much of video formats around, here H.264 MP4/MKV is the best choice for playing via Kodi(XBMC). You can click "Select Format" and choose MP4 or MKV from "Format > Video". If you want to keep 1080p resolution as source movie, you can choose HD MP4 or HD MKV from "Format > HD Video" as output format. If necessary, you can click "Settings" to adjust video encoders, bit rate, frame rate, etc.

MP4 video settings

3. Start ripping Blu-ray to Kodi > When all the settings are OK, click the "Start" button to begin converting Blu-ray movies to Kodi highly compatible video files. After the conversion, click on "Open" button to access to the videos you ripped. Now you can stream, add and watch Blu-ray movies with Kodi with the best quality. Before Kodi Blu-ray playback, you can store Blu-ray to NAS or DLNA at first.

How to add converted video source in Kodi

1. Adding sources in Kodi

In the main menu of Kodi, select Videos and then Files. Now you should be able to select "Add Source".

Add source

In the Add Source window, select Browse.

Browse

Search for the folder you keep all your video files in and hit the OK button.

Search for the folder

Give the source a name of your choice.

name

Now you have to set the content of the source which means telling Kodi if this source contains media like movies or TV shows. This way, Kodi can download the correct meta info of your media such as images, plot summaries and trailers.

Set content

On the bottom, select the scan option you prefer the most.

Scan option

That's it. Hit OK and then Yes in the pop-up asking if you want to do the initial scan of all media within the source. You can also add more than one location to a source. For example, you might want to combine a location on your computer with an external drive, both containing movies. The process is basically the same. All you have to do is editing an existing source and select "Add" to add another location to the source.

Hit OK

Method 2. A Blu-ray player application for Kodi Blu-ray Playback

For Kodi Blu-ray disc playback you will need three things:

  • A PC or HTPC media centre running Kodi
  • A Blu-ray disc drive
  • A Blu-ray player application because this will become your external player

As to Blu-ray player, here 8K Player for Mac Blu-ray Power is the best option for Kodi Blu-ray support. You get Kodi blu-ray support without the malware and advertising. It will give you the best possible video and audio playback that will beat the most expensive physical Blu-ray players out there. It can also produce a semi surround sound experience to movies that do not come with it natively. What's more, it supports 3D Blu-ray, 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray playing. Windows version is here. Once you have installed 8K Player or any other Blu-ray decoder you can move onto the next stage..

1. Setting Up an External Player in Kodi

To enable Kodi Blu-ray disc playback we need to setup 8K Player as an external player. All external players are configured using an XML file called playercorefactory.xml which needs to be placed in the Kodi Userdata folder. For this guide we are using Windows 10 so in the Cortana box found at the bottom left of your screen enter the following command:

%APPDATA%\kodi\userdata

It will display the Kodi Userdata folder at the top of the Window as shown in the image below. If you are using an older version of Windows you can get to this folder using a standard "Run" command.

Click on the folder at the top and it will take you to the Kodi Userdata area. Next right click somewhere in that folder and select "New" and then "Text Document". It will create a new text document and you now need to rename this file to playercorefactory.xml . Make sure that you have the folder set to show file extensions so that you can edit the full name of the file.

2. Configuring the Playercorefactory.xml File

When you have created the file open it with Notepad. Within this file you can configure any external players that you want to use with Kodi. I have included below the text required to configure the 8K Player for Kodi Blu-ray disc playback because this is the top Blu-ray decoder. Copy this text into your new playercorefactory.xml and save it.

<playercorefactory>
<players>
<player name="8K Player" type="ExternalPlayer" audio="false" video="true">
<filename>C:\Program Files (x86)\8K Player\8KPlayer.exe</filename>
<args>D:\</args>
<hidexbmc>false</hidexbmc>
<hideconsole>false</hideconsole>
<warpcursor>none</warpcursor>
</player>
</players>
<rules action="prepend">
<rule filetypes="bd|ifo|bdmv|mpls" player="8K Player "/>
</rules>
</playercorefactory>

A couple of things to note. If you are using an alternative Blu-ray decoder to 8K Player or you have changed the default installation path of the application you need to enter the correct path for your decoder between and shown in red. Also my Blu-ray drive uses the drive letter D:\. If your drive uses a different drive letter you must specify this between and shown in blue. All other settings can be left as above because they will suite most players.

3. Kodi Disc Settings

At this stage 8K Player is configured as the default player to play Blu-ray with Kodi. We must now change a couple of settings within Kodi to complete the job because we want our Blu-ray discs to fire up when inserted. Fire up Kodi and on the main menu select "Settings", then "Video" and then "Discs". You will be presented with the following screen:

Kodi Blu-ray settings

I am using a custom skin but the menu steps are the same. Where it says "Play Blu-rays automatically" put a tick in the box. This will ensure that Kodi launches your Blu-ray disc when inserted. If you do not tick this box your Blu-ray movie will appear at the top right of the Kodi application when you put the disk in.

And that's it! You can now play Blu-ray with kodi. You now have Blu-ray playback in Kodi using 8K Player as an external player. Go back to the Kodi home screen and insert your Blu-ray movie. If you have have followed these steps correctly you movie should auto start and begin playing.

Method 3. Install BluRay Plug-in for XBMC for Blu-ray playback with Kodi

Apart from the above two programs, there aren't a lot of options for playing Blu-ray out of the box on a PC. No one has written any open-source software that can playback Blu-ray movies, nor is there any software library capable of decoding the DRM encryption on-the-fly yet. The free application MakeMKV does have a few advanced features that, coupled with an XBMC plug-in, can give you a pretty close experience on Windows or Linux (it works on Mac OS X in theory, but we aren't going there). Refer to this article to learn how to set it all up.

Now choose your right method to put the movie from Blu-ray onto Kodi/XBMC for playback. For me, the first method maybe the most simple and effective one. Enjoy the movie! Contact us or leave a message at Facebook if you have any issues.

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