As we all know, it had revolutionized the movie industry with the introduction of Blu-ray Discs (BD) in 2006. With their high storage capacity, ability of holding and playing back large quantities of HD video & audio, as well as photos, data and other digital content, Blu-ray Discs are becoming more and more popular. However, to prevent the Blu-ray Discs from being copied for commercial usage, a copy protection system for Blu-ray discs has been introduced by the Advanced Access Content System Licensing Administration (AACS LA).

Part 1: What is AACS decoder?

In fact, what is AACS? AACS is short for Advanced Access Content System. Generally, licensed content participants can use the AACS technology to protect content they distribute on next-generation optical media. And these licensed adopters have the right to manufacture, produce, and sell products that are AACS compliant, which is aimed to prevent illegal actions from copying optical discs. Then, what is AACS decoder? Blu-ray Disc with AACS is not able to be played anywhere unless it is given an AACS decoding. And AACS decoder is the tool that can help us decrypt the content on the disc, so we are able to play on the go. There comes the concern: what are the steps to make AACS decoding for VLC?

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Part 2: How to install AACS decoder for VLC player?

As the most popular free and open source tool in the market, VLC Media Player supports Blu-ray media playback with some extra operations. However, for legal reasons, AACS and BD+ DRM libraries and keys still are not shipped, which means only Blu-ray disc with AACS libraries exposed are supported. Usually, when we are trying to play Blu-ray disk via VLC media player, we sometimes will encounter the following error:
Blu-ray error:
This Blu-ray Disc needs a library for AACS decoding, and your system does not have it.
Your input can’t be opened:
VLC is unable to open the MRL ‘bluray:///F:/’. Check the log for details.

How to make AACS decoding for VLC? Below, we will show you the method to install AACS decoder for VLC player. To install AACS decoding for VLC, just follow the steps in detail.

Step 1: Make sure you have got the latest version of VLC for your system in the computer.
Step 2: Log in the website: http://vlc-bluray.whoknowsmy.name/ to download the KEYS DATABASE(KEYDB.cfg) and AACS DYNAMIC LIBRARY.
Step 3: To install the KEYS DATABASE
a. First, you can go to your user area to do the AACS decoding for VLC player, for me, the link is C:\Users\tina(you can check your own computer to see your username)\AppData

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b. Then in the “Folder Options” window, you can click “View” option, and select “show hidden files, folders and drives” under the “Hidden files and folders”. In the end, hit “OK”.

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c. Inside the opened location, you are supposed to open “AppData” directory or create a new folder and name it as AACS.
d. Open the folder that you have just created and paste the KEYDB.cfg file directly that you previously copied.
Step 4: To install the AACS DYNAMIC LIBRARY
Before we successfully make VLC AACS decoding, we still need to do the last step mentioned below. Follow it.
a. Use the File Explorer to navigate to the install location of the VLC Media Player and paste it there. In general, the default location is C:\Program Files\VideoLAN\VLC (64 bit).
b. Then you can navigate to “VLC” directory, and move & copy the libaacs.dll file into it directly.
Then it is time to check whether we have done all the things successfully. Launch the VLC Media Player in your computer, open the Blu-Ray disk that was previously failing with the warning “This Blu-Ray Disc needs a library for AACS decoding”. Undoubtedly, I am sure you are able to play Blu-Ray disc with VLC on Windows for free now.

Part 3: How to decode Blu-rays without extra AACS decoder?

To me, the best Blu-ray decoder software, it is the Leawo Blu-Ray Ripper. Why? For it supports to decrypt, rip and convert Blu-ray discs with AACS, BD+ and the latest MKB protection, and CSS-DVD discs with advanced disc protection removal technology. What is more, it supports up to more than 180 video formats from any region with 6X-faster ripping speed and guarantees 100% original quality.

Tip: Leawo Prof. Media, the 10-in-1 total media converter suite, integrates 10 programs into 1, including HD Video Converter, Online Video Downloader, Blu-ray Ripper, Blu-ray Creator, Blu-ray Copy, DVD Ripper, DVD Creator, DVD Copy, Photo Maker and Photo to DVD/Blu-ray Burner.

After you have downloaded the software, Leawo Prof. Media, click “Blu-ray Ripper” to enter the main interface. Import the Blu-ray disc on your computer to Leawo Blu-ray Ripper. Then you will be provided three options to import Blu-ray file(s): Full Mode, Main Movie and Custom Mode. Choose a mode and select title(s) if necessary, and then click “OK” button to start importing Blu-ray movie.

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In the main interface, in a drop-down box named MP4 Video, you can find Edit, Change and Apply three options. Click Change to enter the Profile panel to select the output format. If you want to set the parameters of the video, you can select Edit to enter the editing panel including Video Codec, Bit Rate, Resolution, Frame Rate and Aspect Ratio.

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Later, it is time to set a directory under Save to box. Finally, you can just click Convert button. Wait in several minutes, and you will decode Blu-rays without extra AACS decoder successfully.

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Regardless, there are many reasons to pull still more Blu-ray Players with AACS decoder in the market. In this article, we have rounded up the best alternatives of AACS decoding for VLC to your computer!

Part 4: More Blu-ray Players with AACS decoder recommendation

VLC AACS decoding alternative: AnyDVD HD
As a powerful and efficient Windows-based program that removes restrictions of Blu-ray media automatically in the background, AnyDVD HD is capable of disabling unwanted movie features, including forced subtitles, forced delays, and no-skip marks, which offers you overwhelmingly full control over your viewing experience. AnyDVD HD boasts DVD and Blu-ray decrypter functionality. DVDs typically rip quickly, while Blu-rays range from 30 minutes to a couple of hours depending on the length of the movie, and the extras you want. In one word, with AnyDVD HD making the movie region free, you are able to comfortably view movie on any Blu-ray player.

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AACS decoding alternative: DeUHD
DeUHD has claimed that it has the ability to rip UHD Blu-ray discs, like remove the AACS 2.0 protections. As one of the most excellent solutions that enables you to rip the disc to your hard disk as a folder or an ISO file, you then could make the 4K UHD movies to PC for watching on 4K UHD TVs & any other devices, such as iPhone or tablet. If you like, you can go to the website to download the free version to have a try. However, only three discs can be decrypted and playback for about 10 minutes during trial period.

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AACS decoding for VLC alternative: DVDFab HD Decrypter
As we all know, DVDFab HD Decrypter is the free DVD copy tool from DVDFab, while DVDFab DVD Copy is a much more advanced tool. DVDFab HD Decrypter is capable of ripping & copping the entire Blu-ray movie to hard drive, and removing part of Blu-ray protections while copying, or all the DVD protections, such as CSS, RC, RCE, APS, UOPs and Sony ARccOS. Use this AACS decoder VLC alternative as long as you want with limitations if it has fulfilled your Blu-ray copy needs. It is currently the best free Blu-rays encryption removal software.

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AACS decoder VLC alternative: MakeMKV
MakeMKV, also known as “transcoder”, it can convert the video clips from proprietary, usually the encrypted disc into a set of MKV files, which is able to preserve the most information but not change it in any way. Additionally, this excellent alternative of AACS decoding for VLC, the MakeMKV can instantly stream decrypted video without intermediate conversion to a wide range of players. Therefore, most people can watch Blu-ray discs with their own favorite player on various device.

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While above are the 5 best VLC AACS decoding alternatives available, there are still plenty of options to decode Blu-rays without extra AACS decoder to your computer. As for which option you choose, it depends on what file formats you prefer, ideal quality, and more. If you would rather stick with a reliable AACS decoding for VLC player alternative, you might want to choose Leawo Blu-ray Ripper.