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HP Notebook PCs - Problems Occur When Playing Blu-ray Movies (Windows Vista)

This document pertains to HP and Compaq Notebook PCs with Windows Vista.

Use this document to help resolve problems that can occur when playing a Blu-ray movie.

Identify a Blu-ray compatible optical disc drive

If the optical disc drive does not spin or play when a Blu-ray disc is inserted, the drive may not be compatible with Blu-ray technology and it cannot play Blu-ray discs.

Blu-ray discs can only be played in an optical disc drive that supports Blu-ray technology. Standard CD or DVD disc drives do not support Blu-ray.

Examine your optical disc drive to determine if the drive is compatible with Blu-ray technology:

  • Is there a Blu-ray sticker on the outside of the drive?

  • When you open the disc drive, and remove the disc, does the drive itself have two separate laser lenses?

Image of interior of Blu-ray optical disc drive, showing two laser lenses.Image of interior of Blu-ray optical disc drive, showing two laser lenses.

If your Blu-ray capable disc drive does not play a Blu-ray disc, or no image appears on your screen, or only parts of the disc will play, continue to the sections below for more troubleshooting tips.

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Update the software you use to play Blu-ray movies

A movie that was released after a movie player released may not play on older versions of Blu-ray hardware and software. This can happen due to copy protection. Blu-ray technology requires an Internet connection for software players. The software player must be updated over the Internet to acquire new encryption codes to help protect the movie industry from piracy. Also, new interactive features may not be recognized by the original software programs and drivers. Some Blu-ray movies feature an enhancement to the Blu-ray specification called BD Profile 1.1. This may prevent a movie from being played, or it may prevent access to the movie menus while using the QuickPlay or MediaSmart programs.

NOTE: It may take several weeks before an update is made available for your software movie player. That is, before some newly released movie titles will be able to play, a new update needs to be developed and made available to the public.

Update QuickPlay

To resolve problems with a Blu-ray optical disc drive, you should use the update feature within the QuickPlay software program to update to version 3.7 or later by following the steps below.

  1. When QuickPlay is operating, double-click the Update icon to open the Updates and Enhancements window.

  2. Double-click Get the latest QuickPlay updates.

  3. Select Download now! and follow the on-screen instructions.

Once the new version is installed, restart QuickPlay and insert the Blu-ray disc.

Update MediaSmart

MediaSmart displays an alert when there is an update available. If there is no update available, you will not see the alert. To resolve problems with a Blu-ray optical disc drive, you should use the update feature within the MediaSmart software program to update to the latest version by following the steps below.

  1. When MediaSmart is operating and displays a prompt to Select the updates which you wish to install, click the Update your MediaSmart option.

    Figure 1: Update your MediaSmart

    Image of MediaSmart update prompt
  2. If prompted to stop playback before updating, stop and remove the disc, and then click Retry.

  3. If prompted to uninstall the existing version of MediaSmart, click Yes.

Once the new version is installed, restart MediaSmart and insert the Blu-ray disc. The update notification is no longer active.

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Blu-ray Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Why do some Blu-ray discs not play on my Blu-ray drive?

The movie industry updates Blu-ray content protection which requires new codes before you can view the movie. Some Blu-ray discs will not play at all on a Blu-ray drive, or will play the previews and the title menu, but pressing the play button will not play the movie. Updating to the latest version of the movie player will correct these issues.

Some Blu-ray discs will prompt you for an update when they are inserted. You may see an alert prompting you to download a free update similar to this one. Follow the instructions to install an updated version of the media player.

Figure 2: Check for updates option in MediaSmart

Image of MediaSmart check for updates window

Why does QuickPlay or MediaSmart display the following error message when playing certain Blu-ray movies?

This player is not equipped with the latest firmware and is unable to play this disc.

If you see this error message, please use the following methods to fix the problem.

  • Install an updated firmware driver for the optical disc drive.

    Go to the HP Support & Drivers Web page for your model, and download the latest firmware update for the Blu-ray optical drive.

  • Update to the latest version of QuickPlay software.

    Open QuickPlay and select Updates and enhancements, then download the latest QuickPlay updates.

  • Update to the latest version of MediaSmart software.

Why won't a Blu-ray movie play on the notebook display and an external display at the same time?

The message The content is protected. The content is not allowed to play in current display mode may appear playing a Blu-ray movie in dual display mode. This behavior is intentional. For copy-protection purposes, viewing a Blu-ray movie is limited to only one display at a time. Therefore, you must choose either the notebook display or an external display device to view the output from the Blu-ray video. Press Fn + F4 to toggle to HDMI only. This action refreshes the screen, and transfers the display from the notebook to the external display.

Why can I not control the Blu-ray movie play menu from either the touchpad or an attached mouse?

This behavior is intentional. The Blu-ray movie assumes that you are using either the keyboard, or PC remote (if included with the system) to select play.

Why do I see sporadic horizontal lines when playing a Blu-ray movie if the notebook PC wireless is turned on?

The lines on the display are caused by interference from the wireless network. To resolve the issue, you should close any open applications and turn off wireless by pressing the notebook PC wireless button. This should prevent any further wireless network interference. See HP Notebook PCs - Video Wobble May Occur When Playing Blu-ray Disk at High Resolution While Connected to HDTV Using HDMI on Extended Mode .

Why can I not hear any audio when the notebook PC is connected to a High-Definition TV (HDTV) using a High-Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI) cable?

The audio drivers must be configured properly as follows:

  1. Click Start > Control Panel > Hardware and Sound.

  2. Select Sound from the list supplied.

  3. Select Digital Output Device (SPDIF) and then click Set default.

  4. Select Playback tab, then select Digital Output as the default setting.

  5. Click on SPDIF (Digital Output via HP Doc) and then click Properties button.

  6. Select the Supported formats tab and uncheck all boxes in the Encoded formats, and then click Apply > OK to accept the changes and return to Playback tab.

  7. On the Playback tab again ensure that Digital Output Device (SPDIF) is selected and then click Set default button.

  8. Press Fn + F4 to toggle to HDMI only. This action refreshes the screen, transfers the display from the notebook to the external display, and the audio should now come from the HDTV sound system.

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