DVDFab released a media player today, as was pointed out to the rest of us here at MyCE by StormJumper in this thread: http://club.myce.com/f116/dvdfab-media-player-326198/#post2623929
It is apparently based on the open source XBMC project, which is a type of home theater software.
I've done some preliminary tests with the program, comparing it to my regular blu ray player, Arcsoft TotalMedia Theater 3, and two free players that are frequently recommended, VLC (2.0) and Media Player Classic HomeCinema (v18.104.22.16814). The operating system was Win 7 64bit, using an AMD/ATI 4850 video card, an AMD 6 core Thuban processor, and an LG GGW-H20L blu ray drive.
The test disk was Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Pt. 2, which is the last blu ray I've purchased.
Playing from the disk, the Arcsoft program TotalMedia Theater 3, has no issues opening the movie and takes you into the warning messages and previews prior to moving on to the disk menu. Playback with TMT 3 is excellent, with only slightly perceptible judders during the fast action sequence I picked. (the ride down into the vault of Gringotts).
DVDFab Media Player can also play straight from the disk, but instead of opening with warnings or even the menu, it goes directly into one of the playlists on the movie. It chooses the correct playlist, and also gives you an opportunity to open a couple of the others (commentary). And while the playback is initially pretty good, once the action scene starts, the movie turns into a fast slideshow. This player simply cannot give a smooth result in this scene when playing off the disk.
As expected, neither VLC nor Media Player Classic HomeCinema can open an encrypted blu ray disk, so I used AnyDVD HD in the background just to see if they could play the disk. VLC invariably picked the wrong playlist, and refused to give any other choice. It would play the movie properly if you selected the correct .m2ts file, but playback in the action sequence was a bit choppy, though not as bad as DVDFab Media Player.
Media Player Classic HomeCinema, with AnyDVD HD in the background, picked the correct playlist, but totally ignored anything else...so no menu. Playback with MPCH is very good, nearly on par with TMT 3 in the scenes with action.
So, I moved on to ripped files. The first was an ISO of the same movie. DVDFab Media Player was the only one of the bunch that could open the ISO directly. And playback improved to the point of being equal with MPCH.
Once mounted, three of the players did reasonably well playing the ISO. TMT 3 is the best though, with the least amount of imperfections, and the sharpest picture. VLC was still incapable of finding the correct playlist. It could only play the .m2ts file.
To test playing a blu ray in file format, I switched movies, to The Girl Who Plays with Fire. All four players did well with this decrypted movie on the hard drive.
DVDFab Media Player does have one peculiar weakness. It cannot play a dvd-video, either from a disk or from a file. It can play individual .vob files from within a dvd, and it plays avi and mkv files as well.
Another thing that drove me bonkers for a while was trying to turn off subtitles in DVDFab Media Player. It turns out, you have to go into Audio to turn off the subtitles. :rolleyes:
If you are looking for a player that can use menus in blu ray, this one from Fab is not for you. And it isn't as versatile as some of the others. If you need a free solution for playback of ripped blu ray, Fab has given us an alternative to Media Player Classic HomeCinema, but at the moment, I'd give MPCH a slight edge in quality of picture.
And of course the commercial products from Arcsoft stand well above it so far.