Leawo Blu-ray Player – Review

very good
key review info
application features
  • Plays back Blu-ray, DVD and video content smoothly (up to 1080P)
  • (3 more, see all...)

As technology advances, media players have to extend support for new type of media. Blu-ray quality has become a standard for high definition video and audio and digital solutions for such content become more and more popular and accessible.

Leawo Software has its own solution for this, called Blu-ray Player. The application costs $39.95 / €36.51 at the moment, but its regular price is set to $59.95 / €45.27. There is a trial period of 30 days that allows you to test the capabilities of the application before making a purchase.

Currently, we’re running a giveaway campaign for Leawo Blu-ray Player and you can get a free license of the application, no strings attached.

The installation procedure is nothing out of the ordinary, just follow the on-screen instructions and you’re good to go. No additional software is pushed onto the system during the procedure.

Looks are extremely simple, with a clear focus on rendering the video as unhindered as possible and with less emphasis on menus that could help you navigate through the Blu-ray disc content.

The main screen displays only the thumb(s) for the disc loaded in the optical drive(s) and the option to open a local file. Other than this, there is the current date and time and a small button to access the general configuration panel of the player.

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Starting the disc playback is pretty fast and in our case, it skipped straight to the movie file, running no intros, menu or promotional material. Some users may want to go through such content and configure aspects such as subtitle and audio language beforehand.

Furthermore, jumping from one chapter to another is not supported, which may be viewed as a downside when you want to resume playback.

The context menu in the video window, though, offers the possibility to choose the subtitles and audio track, if available.

Audio and video settings are available during playback. For the former there are options for amplification, setting an offset for the files that are out of sync (for finer accuracy we recommend using the keyboard arrows) and audio output type (analog, HDMI, optical/coax).

Video configuration when the movie is playing includes options for deinterlacing, scaling method, zoom amount, pixel ratio, post processing as well as adjusting brightness, contrast and video calibration so that it displays nicely on the screen.

One disadvantage when picking the audio or subtitle (also with an offset function to sync with the video) is that you do not get to choose from a list so that you can go straight to the one relevant to you; instead, you have to enable each one at a time until the one you want is found.

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However, under the configuration panel of the application there is the option to set a default audio and subtitle language, which is fixed to the original stream by default.

The general configuration menu features playback-related options for selecting the rendering method (best set to auto-detect), enabling hardware acceleration, define the maximum amount of error as far as aspect ratio is concerned in order to reduce the black bars as much as possible.

Additional choices are available for configuring the audio output, which can be to receivers supporting AC3, DTS, AAC, multi-channel LPCM, TrueHD or DTS-HD sound. Selecting the output device is also on the list and there is the possibility to block GUI sounds during movie playback.

The customization level in Leawo Blu-ray Player extends to the way subtitles are shown. Apart from choosing a specific size, font, style and color, the developer makes available the possibility to select between multiple character sets and to override ASS/SSA subtitle fonts.

Blu-ray Player from Leawo is a very simple application that seeks to reduce as much as possible the amount of configuration the regular and beginner user has to go through. It offers a straightforward, free of bells and whistles interface that gets you to playing the disc or local content as quickly as possible.

It does not dub as a media manager and it won’t list previously played content. Loading up locally stored files is achieved easily, with a drag and drop action. Moreover, there are no effects available, neither for video nor for audio.

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The Good

The application is far from being a complicated tool for playing Blu-rays, DVDs or local video content. It is equipped with the ability to force a certain region of the disc.

It provides access to the most important options a user may need: selecting between various audio tracks and subtitles, as well as making the necessary adjustments for an enhanced movie-watching experience.

The Bad

The price and its simplicity in options may be seen as downsides by some users.

The Truth

Leawo Blu-ray Player has clearly been designed with the beginner user in mind and provides an easy configuration menu and a little more than the basic options for rendering BD content. It may not be to the liking of more advanced users, but it achieves its purpose well.
user interface 4
features 3
ease of use 4
pricing / value 3

final rating 4
Editor's review
very good