It does not do it even in Win 7 RC.

Is this a legal issue or just too difficult to implement?


3 Answers 3


As others have metioned WMP does play blu-ray with a suitable 3rd party codec.

Blu-ray was not the standard MS backed in the HD war and also requires a java vm(!). Also is some ways blu-ray is more restrictive than HD-DVD, Sony's blu-ray favours dedicated devices, HD-DVD would have allowed streaming to X-Box from PCs etc. These are two different visions in the battle for the living room.

See - http://www.businessweek.com/technology/content/oct2005/tc2005106_9074_tc024.htm

So, basically, it might be sour grapes. On the other hand XP did not include a DVD codec, in fact I don't think Vista business had a DVD codec, although the home versions of vista did, so maybe it is a cost saving issue that will be revised in latter version. Not that they would be saving a large amount of money...

  • You don't need a JVM to play Blu-Ray discs. Some menus require Java, but you can always cycle through the tracklist if you don't want to install Java on your system.
    – Portman
    Commented May 2, 2009 at 17:05
  • That may be true, but a blu-ray player needs a JVM in order to satisfy the blu-ray standard AFAIK... Commented May 3, 2009 at 2:12

WPM can theoretically play decrypted Blu-Ray as long as you have the encoders installed that can do it - and preferably a video card that can do hardware decoding.

All in all though, you are probably better off paying for a 3rd party app like PowerDVD or Total Media Theatre to do it.


As I understand it, it's because a license to the BluRay codecs would increase the per-user cost by a few bucks, and rather than making everyone pay for a license to the BluRay codecs, it's simpler to just let users who have BluRay players pay for them.

  • 2
    How this is different from DVD codecs? Actually, AFAIR WMP didn't play DVD's for about 2 years from when first players hit the shelves... Maybe we will see it in some near future.
    – saldoukhov
    Commented May 2, 2009 at 6:16

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