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  1. #1

    Default How to play Blu-ray Disc on Mac directly?

    Hi, guys. I want to use my Macbook Air to watch a Blu-ray Disc movie but Apple can't play it as I know. So any tools I need? Any suggestions?

  2. #2

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    An external blu ray player for a start, and will need software to play it. Most are free. The link below will tell you most of what you need without reinventing the wheel.

    How to watch Blu-ray movies on your Mac
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  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by woofy View Post
    The free BD player they link to in that article is fairly crippled when you go the actual web site and look at the features - doesn't even play 1080p video or the "latest Blu-ray movie" whatever that means. That mob sell a "pro" version that is much the same price as the other software I've seen.

    I'm not sure what the deal is with BD Player apps on the Mac, but that's the third one I've seen and they all seem to be more or less identical. I got what I thought was the most legitimate looking one, MacGo Blu-ray Player for Mac. It's OK, though it doesn't seem great value for money really. It has a 'trial' version, which has writing in the middle of the screen while you're watching movies. Not all that useful.

    Hardware wise, there are plenty of drives available. I got one of these, but there are plenty of others. Don't think it needs to be anything special.

  4. #4

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    I have found the MacGo Blu-ray player pretty good really but these days I usually just rip the disc with MakeMKV.

  5. #5

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    +1 for MakeMKV!

    I've had success decrypting a variety of BluRay discs with MakeMKV and then transcoding them with Handbrake, which opens MKV files just fine.

    This can be a slow process but I get outstanding quality in the resulting m4v files using high quality rip settings in Handbrake (H.264 4.1 RF 18), results that are far superior to even the 1080p HD quality on iTunes (for reasons I can discuss if interested). It's worth doing for those titles you really love and want the absolute highest quality available. I get basically full BluRay quality for the same bit rate Apple offers its 1080p HD, which is significantly worse than BluRay quality.

    The other benefit to this route over the much more convenient buy-in-iTunes option is you get access to more and superior sound quality formats including genuine surround (as opposed to Apple's 4.1 Dolby Pro Logic) as well as all the extras that DVD and BluRay discs typically contain, while the disc itself is sellable/giftable/loanable unlike iTunes titles!

    Considering BluRays are now basically as cheap as DVDs used to be and very often cheaper than iTunes for older titles I really can't see that buying on iTunes is worth it.

    The only real downside is that subtitles for most BluRays can't be imported.
    Last edited by simonm; 23rd January 2015 at 01:19 PM.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by simonm View Post
    The only real downside is that subtitles for most BluRays can't be imported.
    Great info, thanks. I was totally sold until I read this part. I had a Spanish speaking partner for some years and she got me into the habit of watching movies with English subs. It's really good once you get used to it - helps considerably in understanding dialogue - and I find it hard to go without them now. I wonder if there's a way of ripping BD that gives you the subs and other features.

  7. #7

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    I wish Apple had supported blu-ray :P I use them for archive/backup and for transferring old VCRs.
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  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by soulman View Post
    Great info, thanks. I was totally sold until I read this part. I had a Spanish speaking partner for some years and she got me into the habit of watching movies with English subs. It's really good once you get used to it - helps considerably in understanding dialogue - and I find it hard to go without them now. I wonder if there's a way of ripping BD that gives you the subs and other features.
    There are ways around it. You can "bake them in" which means the subtitles are always visible and can't be turned off. This is probably fine for foreign films where you always want the subtitles.

    The other option is to search subtitle repositories for the title in question. These can then be manually added to the m4v files using a "muxing" program like Subler. I think MakeMKV even includes an option to search the internet but I've never used it. The advantage to this is that in the right format subtitles can be switched on and off.

    I'm pretty sure BluRay uses some form of rasterised format for subtitles (i.e. not a vector or text-based format), hence the difficulty in importing. Hope that helps.
    Last edited by simonm; 23rd January 2015 at 01:24 PM.

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