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Intel discontinues support for UHD Blu-ray discs in its newest PC chips

Discs
(Image credit: Multimediadiscount - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:CD_DVD_Collections.jpg)

The latest Intel-powered PCs and laptops will no longer be able to act as a media player for 4K HDR films as the company has eliminated support for the SGX (Software Guard Extension) technology required to play UHD Blu-ray discs.

SGX is a DRM (Digital rights management) security mechanism needed to support the playback of protected UHD Blu-ray discs on PCs. Intel had supported SGX since 2016, when it launched its Sky Lake Core i-6000 chips. But recently, several security vulnerabilities have been found in the software leading to its removal.

As relatively few PCs even contain disc drives, the move is unlikely to impact many users. However, CyberLink, which produces the media playback application PowerDVD that comes bundled with PCs, has warned that although older processors continue to support SGX, it could be withdrawn in future driver updates. 

Cyberlink’s FAQ page addressed the issue, saying that “the elimination of the SGX capability, as well as its compatibility with the current Windows operating system and drivers, has created a significant hurdle for CyberLink in terms of continuing to offer Ultra HD Blu-ray movie playback in our player software.

“As a result, CyberLink has determined that it is no longer practicable to support Ultra HD Blu-ray playing on newer CPUs and Windows systems.”

The change will only affect 4K Blu-ray, so you can still playback 1080p discs, and currently only its 11th and 12th generation chips are impacted. However, concerned users with hardware containing 7000, 8000, 9000, and 10000 series chips may wish to exhibit caution when next installing an update.

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Mary is a staff writer at What Hi-Fi? and has over a decade of experience working as a sound engineer mixing live events, music and theatre.