Components for Building Computers From Scratch/Bluray

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I ordered a laptop computer from Dell's website after conferring with their live sales associate to get the details worked out and a quote. They didn't currently have any laptops (at least in my price range) that came with a built in bluray player/burner so I ordered an external one on the same order as the laptop. However after receiving the bluray player it appears like one built for TV watch more than a data drive. It has an AC plug, ethernet port, came with remote control, and has small USB port in front and no connector cords for computer. I already owned a bluray player which runs 3D bluray and it cost twice as much and is half the size of this thing. Do you think they sent me the wrong thing?

Answer
Just from the pictures, that's a player, as in a standalone device meant to plug into a TV (or other display) and play Blu-ray or DVD discs by itself. It is not an external Blu-ray drive. If you ordered an external Blu-ray drive that looks like a shipping mistake; just for reference an external Blu-ray drive will offer (generally) a USB connection to the host PC, and a power connection, and is around the size of a Nintendo Wii. Here's an example product:
http://www.amazon.com/Pioneer-BDR-XS06-Blu-Ray-External-Burner/dp/B00TL4HGB2/

Also keep in mind, Blu-ray on PC is a fairly limited format - nobody is using BD-ROM for data (unfortunately), and BD-Video playback is still a largely hit-and-miss experience due to the relative inconsistency of software playback products. This doesn't mean it cannot work, but it is certainly not as streamlined as DVD support and implementation. Just something to keep in mind more than anything else - contemporary PCs (and most PCs from the last ~10 years) have the hardware capability to handle Blu-ray (and other HD format) content, so performance shouldn't be a concern (although on a laptop it likely will impact battery life when running on battery, especially if the drive draws its power from the laptop), its just a matter of support and the restrictions imposed by HDCP and AACS.

-bob

Components for Building Computers From Scratch

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Bobbert

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I have nearly two decades of experience in IT, computer repair, and related fields and will attempt to provide the most solid, brand-agnostic advice when it comes time to purchase a new computer, or upgrade an existing machine. I can answer anything from the seemingly basic to the downright complicated - and will do my best to provide this information in a clear and concise manner.

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I have been an enthusiast of PC's for many years, and can answer questions about the purchase/use of a new computer or the purchase, installation, and use of upgrades for existing computers. There probably isn't a whole lot related to the home computer that I haven't seen over the years.

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15+ years of experience

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