Monday, February 10, 2014

Using a BluRay on a Mac

This has been a controversial subject for some time. Steve Jobs didn't want BluRay in Mac computers and never authorised support for it. His reasoning was most probably that optical storage (CD, DVD, BD) was a dead end. In the meantime, many computers (MAC or PCs) don't include any optical device anymore, everything being moved to the "Cloud" or to "on-demand" solutions. I am among the people who still like physical carriers like disks and who want to "own" the product. As a consequence, since I am using both PC (much less) and Mac (much more) platforms, I wanted to find an easy solution to be able to watch my huge collection of BDs and DVDs on my computers while I am travelling for instance.

Apple only supports DVD players in their computers, some of them still have an integrated DVD player (those are disappearing in their new products) or have the possibility to connect an external one (Apple provides one for the MacBook Air range for instance). See above picture.


The solution: consists of two elements: the BluRay player/burner and the required software.
There are quite a few cheap BD burners available on the market. I selected a Samsung version based on several reviews I could find on the net. The advantages of this player are a relative compactness, the fact that it works with a single USB connection (and embedded power supply - no external power supply needed), and it is delivered with the PowerDVD software suite allowing to play BluRay's on Windows platforms.


The player will automatically be recognised as a disc unit and you'll be able to play DVDs with the standard DVD player provided by Apple. To play BluRay discs, you'll need specific software. The good news is that freeware is available, next to commercial products. Moreover, the Mac software will make the use of BD more user friendly, most annoying videos/commercials/copyrights are skipped, you can almost directly watch the movie/TV series, a huge advantage.
See here, for instance, for more info:

You're all set, you can watch your BDs on your Mac from now on...