Solution: HPMediaSmart DVD on HP Laptops stop playing Blu-ray discs

Solution: HPMediaSmart DVD on HP Laptops stop playing Blu-ray discs
By Chongchen Saelee

http://h30434.www3.hp.com/t5/Notebook-Operating-Systems-and-Software/Hp-mediasmart-dvd-play-the-avengers-blu-ray-disc/m-p/1851997/highlight/true#M109828

See, after 2012, 20th Century Fox slapped a bunch of their newly authored Blu-rays with BD+ and some other fancy DRM (digital rights management) techniques. So in order for you to play their content, you need to use their authorized firmware aka Blu-ray software players.

Unfortunately, if you’re an owner of an older Hewlett-Packard laptop who is stuck using their built-in media player software such as HPMediaSmart DVD, and you don’t have software upgrade or update support anymore, then you might be SOL or forced to buy a new commercial Blu-ray software that will play newer titles (Who has USD$100 lying around these days, especially to watch Blu-rays that have been collecting dust on our shelves for more than half a decade?).

HP, however, provided HP laptop owners with a FREE STANDARD VERSION of PowerDVD 10. The file is ~150 MB.

http://ftp.hp.com/pub/softpaq/sp56501-57000/sp56904.exe

Replace HPMediaSmart DVD with this newer version (relatively speaking). It’s an older version of PowerDVD AND YEARS old (from 2009), but it works all the same. That’s how the players work anyway, just with added gimmicks and updated library of disc keys.

Here’s how I was able to get most of my newer movies (they aren’t NEW MOVIES, but rather older movies but still pressed recently so they have BD+):

  • IMPORTANT: Uninstall your anti-virus suite, such as McAfee or Norton because it’ll block the crap out of the new Blu-ray virtual machine which needs that Internet access to get new keys to decrypt those damn discs (DRM, ain’t it a bitch?). Only after you’ve successfully installed your new copy of Power DVD 10 then you can reinstall your anti-virus/firewall/anti-malware suite. By then, PowerDVD 10 will be registered as “friendly”.
  • I downloaded the update installer from HP official tech support forum
  • I installed it and when asked to remove previous versions of PowerDVD, do so (as long as you have a version previous to PowerDVD 10, you might as well… of course it doesn’t make sense if you have a functioning version of HPMediaSmart DVD or PowerDVD 13+)
  • Once it installs, you still need to apply the patch (which is just another full version of PowerDVD 10) because the file downloads are the same size. But I think it requires the first download to authenticate it otherwise. So once you install the initial PowerDVD 10, open it, click on the “Upgrade” icon, go to the “Patch” tab and click on that. Again, you’ll have to download that ~150 MB file again, but it is necessary. The file is called HP-CNB.HP_RiTA10_v4504_DVD120706-03_Normal.exe
  • Once the patch reinstalls PowerDVD 10, DON’T FORGET TO REBOOT YOUR LAPTOP.
  • AGAIN, REBOOT YOUR LAPTOP after all the installation is completed.
  • VERY IMPORTANT: HAVE AN INTERNET CONNECTION ON (more on this later)
  • Now, the testing part, which is where you’ll be playing Russian roulette. You can be confident discs pressed before 2012 will work, but if you must really know, then you’ll have to test all your Blu-ray discs. The proper way is to put your disc in and let the virtual machine do it by itself. Don’t boot up PowerDVD 10 by itself because it might start dialing out or giving you scary messages about its integrity being compromised. So put in the Blu-ray disc and let it auto start-up.
  • If the disc spins at a consistent speed, odds are it’s getting decoded properly. If it keeps whirling, nothing is getting read. You might think it’s broken, but that’s actually how the DRM is preventing you from reading from the disc. It might even make your BD-ROM drive think there is no disc in there.
  • So if PowerDVD 10 starts up by itself, then it’ll attempt to read your disc and download the updated keys to decrypt your disc. That’s WHY YOU NEED AN INTERNET CONNECTION. If there isn’t an Internet connection, you might get a scary warning about PowerDVD 10’s integrity being altered.
  • -So after it retrieves whatever garbage it needs from the Internet, your Blu-ray might be able to start playing right away. Otherwise, again, this updating process is clunky as hell, so take your disc out, close PowerDVD 10 and reboot your PC.
  • And if everything went correctly, the next time you put in your Blu-ray, you won’t require that initial Internet connection and it’ll play.
  • So RULE OF THUMB: MAKE SURE YOU HAVE AN INTERNET CONNECTION ON THE ENTIRE TIME YOU ARE UPDATING/UPGRADING YOUR SOFTWARE, PLUS WHEN YOU’RE TESTING BLU-RAY DISCS TO SEE IF IT PLAYS
  • Last, but not least, if you haven’t reinstalled your anti-virus programs yet, now is a good time.

Hope this helps out. I’m sure a lot of HP laptop users out there can use it!

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