Kodi is without doubt the best HTPC media centre software on the internet today but one thing it lacks is a built in Blu-ray decoder. As standard you cannot play Blu-ray with Kodi because Kodi Blu-ray support is yet to be added. It can play pretty much any other media file out there but does not have the ability to launch Blu-ray discs. Fear not however because it does have the ability to use external players so you can integrate another PC Blu-ray decoder to handle your discs within Kodi and add Kodi blu-ray support. This guide will take you through the process step by step for setting up Kodi Blu-ray disc playback. A full video tutorial is shown at the end of the post.
Play Blu-ray With Kodi – Complete Guide
For Kodi Blu-ray disc playback you will need three things:
- A PC or HTPC media centre running Kodi
- A Blu-ray disc drive
- A PC Blu-ray player application because this will become your external player
Without doubt the best PC Blu-ray player on the market today is Cyberlink PowerDVD 16 Ultra and is the best option for Kodi blu-ray support. I must stress at this point that you are better off purchasing a PC Blu-ray decoder rather than downloading the many free packages available on the internet. When I originally setup Kodi Blu-ray playback I went through the array of free players and many of them are jam packed with advertising and malware. Cyberlink PowerDVD 16 Ultra is without doubt the best Blu-ray player and is extremely cheap. You get Kodi blu-ray support without the malware and advertising.
Cyberlink PowerDVD 16 Ultra for Kodi Blu-ray disc Playback
There are many reasons why we are choosing PowerDVD 16 Ultra edition over all other Blu-ray players but mainly because it’s the best. Firstly its Blu-ray playback capabilities are second to none. It will give you the best possible video and audio playback that will beat the most expensive physical Blu-ray players out there. Power DVD has the ability to recognise areas of the video content such as skin tones and voice and applies upscaling / improvement rules to them. It can also produce a semi surround sound experience to movies that do not come with it natively. Secondly Cyberlink PowerDVD 16 Ultra is currently the only PC Blu-ray player capable of launching 3D Blu-ray discs!
If you have 3D Blu-ray discs in your collection then you are going to need it. It also has the ability to provide 3D playback for 2D movies and the experience is not bad at all. This product is perfect for your HTPC media centre because of its rapid load time and small system footprint. It will launch instantly when Kodi calls it and wont affect the running of your HTPC. If you don’t have Cyberlink PowerDVD 16 Ultra you can get the best price below. This application is the perfect choice to play blu-ray with Kodi.
Read the full Cyberlink PowerDVD 16 Ultra Review
Compare Cyberlink PowerDVD 16 Ultra Prices
Once you have installed Cyberlink PowerDVD 16 Ultra or any other Blu-ray decoder you can move onto the next stage.
Setting Up an External Player in Kodi
You can see a full video tutorial at the end of this post.
To enable Kodi Blu-ray disc playback we need to setup Cyberlink PowerDVD 16 as an external player. All external players are configured using an XML file called playercorefactory.xml which needs to be placed in the Kodi Userdata folder. For this guide we are using Windows 10 so in the Cortana box found at the bottom left of your screen enter the following command:
It will display the Kodi Userdata folder at the top of the Window as shown in the image below. If you are using an older version of Windows you can get to this folder using a standard “Run” command.
Click on the folder at the top and it will take you to the Kodi Userdata area. Next right click somewhere in that folder and select “New” and then “Text Document”. It will create a new text document and you now need to rename this file to playercorefactory.xml . Make sure that you have the folder set to show file extensions so that you can edit the full name of the file.
Configuring the Playercorefactory.xml File
When you have created the file open it with Notepad. Within this file you can configure any external players that you want to use with Kodi. I have included below the text required to configure the Cyberlink PowerDVD 16 Ultra for Kodi Blu-ray disc playback because this is the top Blu-ray decoder. Copy this text into your new playercorefactory.xml and save it.
<playercorefactory> <players> <player name="PowerDVD" type="ExternalPlayer" audio="false" video="true"> <filename>C:\Program Files (x86)\CyberLink\PowerDVD17\PowerDVD.exe</filename> <args></args> <hidexbmc>false</hidexbmc> <hideconsole>false</hideconsole> <warpcursor>none</warpcursor> </player> </players> <rules action="prepend"> <rule filetypes="bd|ifo" player="PowerDVD"/> </rules> </playercorefactory>
One thing to note here. If you are using an alternative Blu-ray decoder to Cyberlink PowerDVD 16 Ultra or you have changed the default installation path of the application you need to enter the correct path for your decoder between <filename> and </filename> shown in red.
Kodi Disc Settings
At this stage Cyberlink PowerDVD 16 Ultra is configured as the default player to play Blu-ray with Kodi. We must now change a couple of settings within Kodi to complete the job because we want our Blu-ray discs to fire up when inserted. Fire up Kodi and on the main menu select “Settings”, then “Video” and then “Discs”. You will be presented with the following screen:
I am using a custom skin but the menu steps are the same. Where it says “Play DVDs automatically” put a tick in the box. This will ensure that Kodi launches your Blu-ray disc when inserted. If you do not tick this box your Blu-ray movie will appear at the top right of the Kodi application when you put the disk in.
And that’s it! You can now play Blu-ray with kodi. You now have Blu-ray playback in Kodi using Cyberlink Power DVD 16 Ultra as an external player. Go back to the Kodi home screen and insert your Blu-ray movie. If you have have followed these steps correctly you movie should auto start and begin playing.
Kodi Blu-ray Support Using PowerDVD Video Tutorial
The below video shows all of the above configuration from start to finish. It uses the new Cyberlink PowerDVD 17 but the setup is the same for any version of the application.
Kodi Blu-ray Support – Frequently Asked Questions
Why is there no official Kodi blu-ray support?
Kodi will not launch Blu-ray discs because it has not been implemented into the application.
How long does it take to setup Kodi Blu-ray disc playback?
With the external player application install included this guide can be completed in around 20 minutes.
Blu-ray, Blu ray or Blue ray playback?
The correct spelling for this is Blu-ray but many different versions of this are used across the internet.
Can I Use Any PC Blu-ray player to play Blu-ray with Kodi?
Yes you can as long as it supports command line launching of files and discs. Avoid free ones from suppliers you have never heard of as these generally come packed with Malware. Cyberlink PowerDVD 16 Ultra is the best on the market and currently the only PC Blu-ray decoder to support 3D Blu-ray movies.
Can other media file types be launched using external players in Kodi?
Absolutely. These are configured within the same playercorefactory.xml file but have slightly different parameters. See our guides section for more information on this.