FOLLOWUP: This week I ordered and installed an LG DVD-ROM SATA Internal Blu-Ray Drive Model UH12NS30 (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...tem=27-136-268), which is probably the same one you wrote about above. With promo code it also was $40. And I thank you again for your replies.
After reading a LOT of reviews and forums about Blu-Ray and about people
having problems getting a Blu-Ray to burn, I decided a BD-ROM was good
enough for me.
I had a rather painless experience getting the bare metal OEM player up
and running, video and sound, but it seems a lot of people have problems
getting a Blu-Ray to play, so I'm going to somewhat detail my
Board: Asus F1A75-V EVO
CPU: AMD A8-3870K APU with Radeon(tm) HD Graphics
Graphics Card:Nvidia GeForce 9600 GSO [DVI output]
Monitors: Acer X193W
Windows 7 Pro SP1 64-bit and Windows 8.1 Pro 64-bit. [No problem playing Blu-Ray with either]
VLC 2.1.0 Rincewind.
KEYDB.cfg [downloaded from http://vlc-aacs.whoknowsmy.name/
libaacs.dll (64-bit) [downloaded from http://vlc-aacs.whoknowsmy.name/
Blu-Ray Disc, "When Harry Met Sally" - $5.11 on sale at Target.
As detailed in http://vlc-aacs.whoknowsmy.name/,
in %appdata% I created the folder AACS and put KEYDB.cfg in it. The
location of %appdata% is different in W7 and W8. The download site links
to instructions on how to find the %appdata% folder for your machine.
(The anonymous WhoKnowsMy.Name deserves a shoutout.)
I then put libaacs.dll in my VLC folder.
And that was all there was to it. I did do a right click on the desktop
and refresh my machine, but I did not restart. Cranked up VLC, clicked
on Media, clicked on Open Disc, clicked on the Blu-ray radio button, clicked on Play, and it plays, video and sound.
Hope this can help someone.
Addendum: Just tried playing Blu-Ray on my VGA card, cable, and monitor.
Works fine. I do understand that I need HDMI card, cable, and monitor
for a better picture. That'll happen sometime next year.
I also recommend Cyberlink's free Blu-ray Disc & 3D Advisor,
http://www.cyberlink.com/prog/bd-support/diagnosis.do, which will
1. Check if your system is capable of playing Blu-ray Discs and 3D content.
2. Recommend ways to optimize your system.
This tool fails my system only for Software Player Not found; apparently
it doesn't know to look for VLC. But it's a handy tool nevertheless.