4K Discs, etc.


In Runtime
Hello all.

Movies released on 4K UltraHD discs have been around for a little while now, but, it's only more recently that they are able to be played on a computer.....AND, the system requirements for it are quite specific and demanding.

I custom build my desktop computers, and part of my most recent custom-build is the EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 Superclocked graphics card. One of the things I had in mind when putting together this custom-build was the ability to play 4K UltraHD discs; one of the other pieces of hardware in my custom-build is a Pioneer BD-RW BDR-211M ROM drive; this device is capable of the reading and playback of 4K UHD discs.

There is more than one software program out there capable of playing 4K discs, and one of them is Cyberlink PowerDVD; this software happened to come with the Pioneer drive I purchased.

As I'm sure a lot of you already know, in order to use certain pieces of hardware or software programs, there is usually a list of "System Requirements"; for the Pioneer drive/ Cyberlink PowerDVD, my system meets, or, better said, EXCEEDS the requirements. This is from my motherboard, processor, RAM, etc., I exceed requirements.

One of the requirements mentioned (besides my Intel Processor, Core i7-7700K), is Intel HD graphics: Now here is where I may have made an "assumption". I figured that when it mentioned among the requirements - the Intel processor & HD graphics - that they had to be present on-board your system. So, my thinking went: Yes, I meet the minimum requirements for graphics...but I can go better than that with my EVGA Nvidia GTX 1080 card.

As far as the Intel graphics goes? Yes, they're present on my system....if I choose to use it. However, I have the EVGA graphics card, and the graphics produced by this graphics card are far superior to the Intel graphics.

However, here's the issue:

Yes, I have to use the Intel graphics when doing this (playing a 4K disc). And, when attempting to play a 4K disc, I always seem to run into issues: I'll receive an error message on-screen when using the Cyberlink PowerDVD software program, I'll contact their tech support department, and they'll have me try numerous "fixes", and eventually, I'll be able to get the disc to play.

However, at a future date when I attempt to play yet another, different 4K disc.....another error. The error always seems to have something to do with the protected "path" from the graphics to the monitor (I have an LG 4K Ultra Hi-Def monitor).

It's like I can never just pop a 4K disc into my Pioneer drive, launch the software program....and just watch the movie; there's always an issue, always an error.

I'm pretty sure all this hassle has to do with DRM (Digital Rights Management)/ DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act). This stuff can make it difficult for legitimate/ legal owners of a product/ service.

Cyberlink (who makes the PowerDVD program to play these 4K discs) also has a program on their web site for download: CyberLink Ultra HD Blu-ray Advisor. After running this program, it shows you results telling you if you are or are not capable of 4K disc playback; if not, you'll be able to see which of the system requirements are failing for you.

During my troubleshooting with Cyberlink Tech Support, I send them screenshots of this, and then they give me suggestions/ fixes to try.

Even though I have successfully played 4K movies, when in the future I try another, different one, the error always seems to have to do with Advanced Protected Audio/ Video Path (sometimes known by the acronym of PAVP). The thing is: I have done nothing different from the last time I successfully played a 4K disc, no system changes.

And sometimes Cyberlink Tech Support isn't exactly swift and forthcoming with their responses, and, when they do respond, it's not always helpful.

I've been making my own custom builds since way back in the mid-90's [anybody remember that OLD operating system of Windows 95?!?! :silly: ] I remember floppy discs....diskettes. And then I've had CD ROM, DVD ROM, Blu-ray ROM, and now all the way up through to my current 4K drive of the Pioneer Ultra HD Blu-Ray Playback drive. But with this 4K drive, it seems I can never just insert a disc and simply watch & enjoy a movie.

From some searching I've done around the 'Net, I see I'm not the only one running into issues with 4K playback on a computer system.

Now, here's another thing. And, I might be going into a little "grey area" here, and if I'm pushing the boundaries of what's acceptable here on this forum, you let me know and I'll stop.

I'm pretty sure you know about "ripping" content (CD's, DVD's, Blu-rays....). As of now, 4K content is not supposed to be ripped, and, seems difficult to do even if you try. Up above I mentioned DRM (Digital Rights Management)/ DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act): I'm pretty sure this is the reason why.

Countries outside of the United States don't have to abide by America's laws; if a 4K disc finds its way to another country and someone there can find a way to decrypt and rip the data......

So here's what I want to ask:

Does anybody here have any knowledge or experience with:
- DVDFab
- AnyDVD
- Pavtube

These items/ programs claim to be able to rip the contents of 4K discs (so you could put it on your hard drive and then use some video playback software to watch the movie). One of the companies - DVDFab - is based in China. I've been to their web site and reading the information there sometimes shows that English is not their first language (awkward phrasings, grammar, etc.).

And, on one of DVDFab's forums, there's this disclaimer thing that sounds a little shady, one of those "grey areas":

"External free keys for UltraHD Blu-ray discs: We‘re been keeping closer attention to the latest news concerning the leaked volume keys these days. Therefore we've implemented this option for your convenience. To be able to open some UltraHD Blu-ray discs, you'll need to provide a file with keys in the settings. Please note that the content of such file is your sole responsability and therefore DVDFab cannot assist you if a certain disc is not found in it."

Yes, they spelled the word "responsibility" wrong ;) , and, did you catch that one sentence? "...you'll need to provide a file with keys in the settings. Please note that the content of such file is your sole responsability."

It's like they're admitting that there's "illegal" keys out there to decrypt these 4K discs, but it's on you to go out on the 'Net and obtain them.

How about Pavtube? Their web site claims that their software program can rip 4K discs and convert it to another video file format (MKV, MP4, etc.). And, no need for you to obtain your own "keys"; it's called Pavtube ByteCopy.

I know I've written a long post, but I wanted to give as much information as possible up-front so you don't suggest something that I've already tried.

Before I even purchased the Pioneer BD-RW BDR-211M ROM drive (with its accompanying PowerDVD software), I made sure my system met or exceeded the requirements; and it does.

I've been going through this hassle since basically about Christmas, over a month. I own legal copies of 4K disc movies, I have the hardware & software to be able to play it....and yet always run into problems. Cyberlink Tech Support has been of little help.

I think it's all because of DRM :mad:

So....any thoughts? Any help? What about the items I listed above and ripping ( DVDFab, AnyDVD, & Pavtube)?
You don't need the Intel IGP, as Pascal is fully HDCP compliant. Your issue is in the software alone, and PowerDVD has always been crap. Aside from telling you to just "grab a copy of the movie off the net" which will play fine in a player like MPC, I suggest going online and trying other free software for 4k disc playback. Your other option is to get a cheap Xbox One or actual Bluray player and hook that up to your monitor. 4k movies have probably been the biggest pain in the *** when it comes to content viewing ever because of intrusive DRM.
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