Blu-ray Support In FFmpeg? Coming Soon, Perhaps.
Written by Michael Larabel in Multimedia on 17 March 2009 at 09:25 AM EDT. 14 Comments
A week ago at Phoronix we published an interview with the developers of FFmpeg (well, just three of their active developers) where topics from OpenCL to their release cycle to multi-threading support were discussed. Diego Biurrun, Baptiste Coudurier, and Robert Swain also talked about their version 0.5 milestone. In that interview, the following was said about Blu-ray support on Linux:

Blu-ray movies are playable on Linux right now, but there is no broad support, some movies will lack audio support, and a lot of manual intervention is required. If there is Digital Rights Management on the Blu-ray disc, the end-user must install a utility to dump and decrypt the high-definition files, manually input the DRM AACS key, and take other steps to watch a legally purchased movie. When it comes to FFmpeg support, Blu-ray discs using DTS-HD MA for their audio format do not work. A few months back there was some code proposed to the FFmpeg project that would partially address this problem, but FFmpeg developers rejected the code. Neither Diego, Baptiste, nor Robert have a Blu-ray drive, so at this point they have no personal interest in Blu-ray support. Diego reiterated they are interested in supporting "every format under the Sun and thus certainly Blu-ray," but their bar to accept patches is quite high and they will only reject patches if there are technical issues. All three of the developers though agree that Blu-ray support will appear in FFmpeg, but are unsure of when there will be proper support.

Well, Blu-ray support may now come to Linux sooner rather than later. Following that Phoronix interview, a few interested parties have offered up Blu-ray drives and media to the FFmpeg developers. Robert Swain has shared with Phoronix this morning that they are now deciding on a suitable FFmpeg developer to receive these donations to begin work on Blu-ray support.

Robert also shared that discussions are leading to possibly having the AACS decryption implemented in FFmpeg. With Blu-ray, the AACS decryption is done as part of the de-muxing process, which means it would need to be pushed into FFmpeg. The Advanced Access Content System keys though for Blu-ray support would be stored elsewhere (say in ~/.aacs).

This is a good sign that Blu-ray support on Linux through FFmpeg is hopefully moving forward.

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Michael Larabel is the principal author of and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via

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