Blu-ray discs hold up to six times more audio or video data and support transfer speeds over five times faster than standard DVD discs. Additionally, Blu-ray discs support true 1920-by-1080 high-definition resolutions, while the best that regular DVD discs can manage is 720-by-576. If you are into high-end audio and video, Blu-ray discs are the way to go. Although Blu-ray players were very expensive when first released, some models are now priced under $100. Whether you need to add a player for your A/V system or your computer, you can connect or install a Blu-ray drive yourself in a few minutes.
Installing a Blu-ray Drive in a Computer
Log out of Windows and power off the computer. Unplug the AC power cord from the computer and disconnect any other cables connected to the machine. Place the computer on a large desk, table or other flat, stable work surface.
Loosen and remove the screws on the rear of the computer securing the access panel cover on the side of the case. Remove the cover and set it aside. Remove the right-side access panel as well and set it aside.
Lay the computer on its side so that the motherboard is facing upward. Select an empty 5.25-inch bay in the top of the computer case. Use your hand to reach in through the rear opening of the bay and push the plastic bay cover plate out the front of the computer.
Orient the Blu-ray drive so that you can see plastic jumper caps on the rear. Verify that the blue or black jumper covers the two pins for the master setting position. There should be a small diagram on top of the Blu-ray drive, just above the jumper block on the rear of the drive. If the jumper is in the “Slave” or “Cable Select” position, move it over the set of pins labeled “Master.”
Insert the Blu-ray drive into the open bay in the computer and slide it into the slot until the screw holes on both sides of the drive align with the screw holes in the mounting bay. Insert the retaining screws supplied with the Blu-ray drive into the screw holes and use the Phillips #2 screwdriver to tighten them.
Locate an unused 1-inch Molex power connector from the power supply unit and plug it into the rectangular power receptacle on the rear of the Blu-ray drive.
Connect the SATA data cable to the SATA connector on the rear of the drive. Connect the other end of the cable to an empty SATA port on the motherboard. Ensure that the cable connection on both ends is tight and secure.
Reinstall the left and right panel covers and secure them with the retaining screws. Move the computer back in its original location and plug in all the cables. Power on the computer and press the “Delete,” “F1” or “F2” key as soon as the initial boot screen or manufacturer logo displays on the screen.
Enter the BIOS or System Setup password for the computer if prompted to do so. Verify that the Blu-ray drive appears as the “Primary” or “Master” drive on the SATA channel to which you connected it. Refer to your computer or motherboard user guide for specific instructions on how to verify driver settings for your PC. Click the “Save Changes and Exit” link to reboot the computer. Allow the computer to boot and the Windows desktop to load. Windows automatically detects and configures the Blu-ray drive for use on the computer.
Open Windows Media Player or another DVD viewer application and use the Blu-ray drive to view compatible discs.
Connecting External Blu-ray Drive to Computer
Connect the small end of the USB drive to the mini-USB port on the rear of the external Blu-ray drive.
Connect the other end of the USB cable to an empty USB port on the computer.
Plug the AC power adapter into the “Power” or “AC” port on the rear of the Blu-ray drive. Plug the power cord into an electrical outlet or power strip.
Power on the external Blu-ray drive and wait a few seconds for Windows to detect and configure the device automatically.
Insert a Blu-ray or DVD movie disc into the drive. After a few seconds, an AutoPlay window will open, prompting you to use Windows Media Player or your default media player application to view the movie disc. Click the “Play in Windows Media Player” or other appropriate link in the AutoPlay window to watch the movie on your computer.
Connecting Blu-ray Player to TV
Power off the television. Plug the power cord from the Blu-ray drive into an available electrical outlet.
Connect the one end of the HDMI cable to the port labeled “HDMI” or “HDMI AV Out” to the rear of the Blu-ray player. Alternatively, connect the red, white and yellow plugs on one end of an RCA A/V cable to the matching colored ports labeled “RCA Video Out” or “RCA Out” on the back of the Blu-ray player.
Connect the other end of the HDMI cable to the matching port on the rear of the TV, or connect the RCA A/V cables to the TV.
Power on the Blu-ray player first, then power on the TV. Use the remote control for the TV to set the input source to the one used to connect the television to the Blu-ray player, such as "Video 1" or "HDMI."
Insert a Blu-ray disc into the player and press “Play.” The video from the disc appears on the TV screen.
- If connecting the Blu-ray player to an A/V receiver, connect the player to the “DVD” or “Blu-ray” input ports on the back. Many A/V receivers support both HDMI and RCA connections for Blu-ray players. After connecting the Blu-ray player, connect the TV to the “Video Out” port on the back of the receiver.
- For high-definition signals from the Blu-ray player, use an HDMI cable. If your TV does not support HD, use an RCA A/V cable set.
- If using an HDMI cable connection, you need not connect an audio cable from the Blu-ray player to the TV. HDMI sends digital audio and video signals over a single cable.
- Always use an anti-static wrist strap when working inside your computer to prevent possible damage from electrostatic discharge
Items you will need
- RCA A/V cables or HDMI cable (for connecting set-top player to TV)
- USB cable (for connecting external Blu-ray player to computer)
- SATA cable (for installing internal Blu-ray drive in computer)
- Phillips #2 screwdriver
- Anti-static wrist strap
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- Overstock.com: How to Install a Blu-ray Disc Drive on Your Computer
- LG: Blu-ray Disc Drive UH12LS29
- CNET Reviews: Tune Up – How to Install a DVD or CD Burner
- Sony: Blu-ray Disc DVD Player BDP-S185/BX18 Operating Instructions
- HelpWithPCs.com: Install CD Burner, Installing a CD Writer or DVD Player/Burner
- Panasonic: Owner’s Manual Blu-ray Disc Player Model No. DMP-BDT220
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