I’m using Raspberry Pi as a media center using raspmbc, which is amazing for streaming (bbc iplayer, 4od) and playing files from NAS and USB. For DVDs I still needed to connect my laptop to TV, which is just an unnecessary effort. Being geek I knew I have to enable RPi to play my DVDs.
People say it will also ignore region protection (quite useful for my collection of dvds I bought in US)!
So what did I need?
* External DVD (I have actually bought a blu-ray external drive from ebay for 15.89GBP + 2.99P&P, which will work with my macbook air as well).
* Powered USB hub. Raspberry Pi won’t provide the drive with enough power. I’m actually connecting the DVD directly to RPi and using the hub to supply power only. It seems RPi can be powered from the same hub via normal USB connection, which eliminates a need for second power supply.
* A bit of the software:
** MPEG2 Licence – 2.4GBP from rasberrypi.org
** DVD plugin for XMBC (OOTB support doesn’t work good enough yet): http://forum.xbmc.org/showthread.php?tid=158896
ps. when you buy stuff from ebay please check if the seller is paying taxes in your country (eg. is company registered in your country). If not, find another one even if you cost you a pound more. Thanks!