Can I Play 4k Blu-Ray On PC? How To Get Your PC To Play 4k

Last Updated on July 27, 2022

With an increasing number of HD TVs on the market supporting resolutions as high as 4k, it’s easy to wonder whether your old PC can support this Ultra HD resolution. 

If you want to play 4k Blu-ray on your PC, your computer’s operating system, graphics card, and CPU must support the 4k Blu-ray format. Currently, only PCs with Intel graphics processors with HDCP 2.2 support can play 4k Blu-ray. You’ll also need an Intel CPU processor from the 7th to the 10th generation.

Besides the hardware requirements, you also need a third-party software program that will allow you to play the disc on your computer screen. Let’s find out all the requirements for playing 4k Blu-ray on your PC.

Play 4k Blu-Ray On PC

How Is A 4k Blu Ray Different From Blu Ray?

The content on a 4K Blu-ray disc has a resolution of 3840 x 2160 pixels, four times that of a full HD 1080p Blu-ray disc and 16 times that of a standard definition DVD. 

They can store more information, resulting in better picture quality with more detail and less noise than regular high-definition Blu-rays. 

It also allows them to support better audio formats like Dolby Atmos and DTS:X surround sound formats which provide immersive surround sound effects for your home theater setup. 

The first 4K UHD Blu-ray was released in 2016 and has continued being released since then. They’re dominating the film industry now.

Can I Play 4k Blu-Ray On PC?

You can play 4K Blu-ray on your PC, but you must first use a suitable. You will not be able to play 4k Blu-ray discs on Windows Media Player except Windows Media Player 9 or above. 

Also, your device’s hardware components like graphics card, CPU, and RAM must support 4k Blu-ray format.

The most popular 4k Blu-ray player software is VLC Media Player, which has been around for years and can play most video formats. However, this program does not support the playback of Blu-ray discs. 

The only way to watch a Blu-ray disc on your computer is by using special software designed specifically for this purpose, like PowerDVD, a free Blu-ray player. 4K Blu-ray is the next generation of high-definition disc media. 

The new discs also support more color, deeper blacks, and higher contrast ratios.

What Is The Best Way To Play 4k Blu-Ray On PC? 

The best means to play 4K Blu-ray on PC is to use a third-party player software, like VLC Media Player. This software allows you to play Blu-ray and DVDs on your computer without installing a physical disc drive. 

However, your computer’s CPU and graphics card must be Intel.

While playing a video on your computer, your RAM, CPU, and graphics are engaged. Because media players are not permitted to change your system’s graphics and power plan settings, some media players use hardware decoding to ensure smooth playing but cannot fully utilize your hardware. 

This explains why you can’t download just any 4k Blu-ray movie and hope it plays on your PC. 

How To Get Your PC To Play 4k Blu-Ray Videos

How To Get Your PC To Play 4k Blu-Ray Videos?

Playing 4k Blu-ray movies on your computer has software and hardware requirements. The hardware components (RAM, CPU, and GPU) involved in playing a movie of that format must be up to date. 

Here are the 4k Blu-ray playback PC requirements.

1. Upgrade The GPU 

The GPU is the most critical component in streaming 4K content. You may have a high-end CPU, but if your GPU is not up to par with the video, it won’t display it. 

The minimum requirement for playing a 4K Blu-ray is a graphics card with at least 4 GB VRAM and a processor that supports decoding Ultra HDCP 2.2. The graphics card has to support 4K video decoding.

Only displays powered by Intel Graphics and Ultra HDCP 2.2 like Intel HD Graphics 630 and Intel Iris Graphics 640 can play Ultra HD Blu-ray. AMD and NVIDIA GPUs do not support 4k discs, so if you have one of those on your PC, you’ll have to upgrade to Intel. 

2. Upgrade The CPU

The CPU processes all types of tasks, including graphics and video. The CPU is also the brains behind the scenes, so it has to be fast enough to handle all tasks, including 4K Blu-ray playback. 

A slow CPU can cause stuttering and other issues that make watching a 4k Blu-ray movie on your PC a miserable experience. 

To play a 4k Blu-ray movie on your PC, the CPU must be Intel but not newer models. Since Intel has removed SGX extension from its 11th and 12th Generation Core CPUs, they no longer support 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray discs. 

Only 7th to 10 generations (Kaby Lake~Comet Lake) Intel CPUs play your 4k Blu-ray movies. Intel’s SGX extension is a defense system allowing applications to run in private memory. It is for data security.

3. Change Your Monitor

You also need a 4k monitor. 4K monitors are available in various sizes, styles, and pricing points. A monitor with a refresh rate of 60Hz is ideal.

In contrast to the difference between 1080p and 1080ti displays, all 4K monitors will display the exact resolution when used in the same way. Philips Brilliance 279P1 will work just fine. 

There aren’t many laptop computers with built-in displays that support 4K resolution, and they’re expensive. The Dell XPS 17 2021 is one.

4. Inspect The RAM

The RAM doesn’t play a significant role in 4k Blu-ray display, but it’s still a factor. The more RAM you have, the faster your computer will be. 

If you plan on watching 4k Blu-ray, then it is essential to ensure that your computer RAM is up to 4GB.

5. Change The Motherboard

The motherboard is the foundation of your computer. It connects all of your components and allows them to communicate. If you have an older motherboard, it may not be able to support 4K Blu-ray playback. 

To play your 4K Blu-ray, you need a motherboard compatible with Intel Software Guard Extensions (Intel SGX) technology. You’ll enable the Intel SGX feature in the BIOS settings and allocate 128 MB or more of RAM for it.

6. Use A Suitable Display Cable

The display cable is integral to your setup if you want to enjoy 4K Blu-ray movies. A display cable is a cable that connects a monitor to its source device like your PC. HDMI 2.0 cables can handle up to 18 Gbps of data, three times faster than Ultra HDMI 1.4 cables

This means that 4K movies will play smoothly and clearly without tearing or stuttering. In addition, HDMI 2.0 supports HDCP 2.2 copy protection technology, HDR content (high dynamic range), and BT2020 color space support for future-proofing your system.

7. Use A Suitable Video Player

The video player you use extensively impacts how you watch your 4K Blu-ray discs. Third-party software 5K Player and VLC Media player support 4k Blu-ray. Windows Media Player 9 or above works just fine.

Is 4k Blu-Ray Worth It, Or Should You Stick To Blu-Ray?

Considering the upgrade, you need to make it just to play 4k Blu-ray on PC; you may want to stick with Blu-ray discs. You’re automatically out of the race if you’ve upgraded to newer processors. 

So is 4k Blu-ray worth it? 4K Blu-ray is the latest and greatest in home entertainment technology. It offers an incredible level of detail and color accuracy that will make you feel like you’re watching movies in your living room. 

Conclusively, 4k Blu-ray is a good upgrade over Blu-ray.

Other Related Questions About 4k Video Format

Is 4k Blu-Ray Support Dying?

4k Blu-ray computer support is dying as most CPUs and GPUs cannot support the format. There are few computers with inbuilt 4k monitors, and the market is pricey.

Users have to rely on 4k monitors. Windows media player below version 9 cannot support 4k Blu-ray display, so you’ll need a suitable video player like VLC or 5k player.

Can My Laptop Run 4k Videos?

Your laptop will run 4k videos if it has intel graphics processors with Ultra HDCP 2.2 and a 4k monitor. You can buy a 4k monitor and a dedicated Intel graphics card if your device doesn’t have these components. Using a monitor, you’ll also need a 4k display cable.

Why Can’t I Play 4k Movies On PC?

The most common reason you can’t play 4K movies on your PC is that your computer doesn’t have a suitable graphics card or monitor. You can’t play 4K videos smoothly with a GPU other than an Intel Graphics card equipped with Ultra HDCP 2.2 support like Intel HD Graphics 630 and Intel Iris Graphics 640.

How Do I Play 4k Movies On VLC?

  • Download the VLC media player.
  • Tab on Tool and click on Preference.
  • Navigate to where you have input/Codes, locate the Hardware-accelerated Decoding entry, and click on it.
  • Select Disable.
  • Click Save.
  • Restart the VLC player, and your 4k video will play.

The VLC media player alone cannot play a 4k Blu-ray; the display cable and graphics card must support 4k.

Which CPU Can Play 4k Video?

7th to 10-generation Intel Core processors (codenamed Kaby Lake) can play 4k videos. These processors have the Intel SGX extension, Intel’s CPU-based data protection feature. Newer Intel processors do not have this feature and do not play 4k Blu-ray.

 

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