Connecting a Blu-ray player to a laptop is not as simple as it seems. If your laptop doesn’t have an HDMI input port, which is very rare, your options will be severely limited. In almost all cases, connecting the Blu-ray player with a USB cable will not work. This is because laptop USB ports are reserved for devices like external keyboards, mice, and USB dongles.
Using an external optical drive via USB is not possible. Fortunately, there are still several ways to connect a Blu-ray player to a laptop. Note that mileage may vary depending on your Blu-ray player and laptop. Here’s how to wirelessly connect a laptop to a Blu-ray player.
If both your Blu-ray player and your laptop have Bluetooth, you can try connecting them via it. Even if your laptop doesn’t have Bluetooth, you can get a cheap Bluetooth USB dongle that will allow you to connect to your Blu-ray player.
Once you have everything you need, here’s how:
1. Turn on Bluetooth on both devices and place them near each other.
2. Open the Bluetooth menu on the Blu-ray player.
3. Go to the playback screen option and select “Bluetooth Device”.
4. Go to “Device List” and connect to the laptop. You may need to enter pairing mode on your Blu-ray player before connecting to your laptop. You can read how to do this in the user manual, as it depends on the manufacturer and model.
This is made to primarily work with TVs, so there’s a good chance this method won’t work. The next best thing would be to connect the Blu-ray player to a local area network (LAN) and use the Blu-ray player on the TV. This way you will be able to access the files from your laptop.
Connect to LAN
Your LAN is a network inside your house that connects all your smart devices. While you won’t be able to use the Blu-ray player to watch content on your laptop, you will be able to share files between devices. This is very useful and convenient if you prefer to download content using your laptop and then simply stream it to your TV.
Here’s how to connect your Blu-ray player to a LAN:
1. Turn on the Blu-Ray player and go to the settings.
2. On your device, look for “Network Settings” or a similar option.
3. Find “Internet Settings” and/or “Wireless Settings”.
4. Select your Wi-Fi network and connect to it by entering the password.
5. If prompted, choose to obtain an IP address automatically.
Now that your Blu-ray player is connected to your LAN, it’s time to share files from your laptop. This is very simple, provided that your laptop is already connected to the network.
Here’s how to share files:
1. Right-click the file you want to share.
2. In the drop-down menu, go to “Grant access”.
3. Select “Homegroup”. You can grant only view rights or both view and edit rights. It’s up to you which one you choose.
Overall, if you already have a Blu-Ray player, a TV, and a laptop, this is an excellent solution. But if you have to watch videos and movies on your laptop, then you have one of the following options.
Use third-party software
The only proper way to wirelessly connect a Blu-Ray player to a laptop is with programs that do this. Or you can use third-party software that directly decodes Blu-ray without the need for a Blu-ray player. A prime example of such a program would be software. Their PowerDVD program lets you watch Blu-ray on your laptop.
If your Blu-ray player has a built-in program that allows you to connect the player to a laptop, you can try your luck with that too.
Use the laptop’s HDMI, USB, or Capture Card
Most laptops only have an HDMI output port, which means you can only use the port to connect your laptop to another display. Connecting your Blu-ray player to your laptop via the HDMI port with an HDMI cable just won’t work. However, some laptops have both HDMI input and output ports, allowing you to connect external devices, such as a Blu-ray player, to them.
The most popular laptops with HDMI input ports are some older Alienware laptops, such as the Alienware 17 and the Alienware M17X R4. If your laptop does not have an HDMI input port, you can use a capture card for the same purpose. A capture card is a device that allows you to connect an HDMI input to a USB. Most high-quality capture cards are very expensive, so if you don’t already own one, this isn’t the most cost-effective method.
If your Blu-ray player has a USB port, you can try your luck with that too. Even though most laptops won’t recognize the external drive, there’s still a small chance that it is. You may need to install Blu-ray player software for this to work.
Connecting a laptop to a Blu-ray player is not as stress-free as it might seem at first glance. If you want to connect it wirelessly, then you can just use some third-party programs or do it indirectly by connecting through your LAN. You may also experiment with using Bluetooth to see if it works.
Note that if you connect your laptop and Blu-ray player to the same network, you will not be able to play Blu-ray discs on your laptop. What you can do is connect your Blu-ray player to your TV and then share the files from your laptop to watch it.
The only real way to use a Blu-ray player with a laptop is to use an HDMI cable. You can either use the HDMI input port on your laptop if it has one or uses a capture card.