Need Advice - Macbook Air Blu-ray Player + Software - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 6 Old 10-27-2012, 09:06 PM - Thread Starter
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Can anyone recommend a blu-ray player and software for a MacBook Air. I'm looking at a Seatech player and MacGo....

Any advice would be appreciated as I'm a total newbie on this thread. Thanks!
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post #2 of 6 Old 10-28-2012, 08:06 AM
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I have one of the slim portable blu-ray drives currently available at Amazon, the Samsung SE-506AB, it's bus-powered which typically means you'd need two USB ports relatively close to each other to draw enough power for it. Since I use it mainly with a Mac Mini that's not a problem but it might not work well for someone with a laptop where its USB ports are on opposite sides. You may want to check if your particular Air provides enough juice from a single USB port to power whatever external you're considering. I also have an older full-size LG blu-ray burner in a 5.25" enclosure and the two of them handle all my blu-ray ripping and other optical drive needs.

Note that I don't ever "play" blu-ray discs, I rip them once with MakeMKV, put the disc back on the shelf, keep that full-size file for use with XBMC in my HT and then perhaps transcode the resulting file into something smaller, more Apple TV and iOS device compatible. I've never used "MacGo" nor care to, though some here do use it and have said it has gotten better as it's been updated. If I'm traveling and have my MBP with me the transcode is what I'm bringing along to watch, I can never envision a situation where I'd schlep along an external blu-ray drive to connect to my MBP, and after ensuring I have an internet connection in order for MacGo to work, play a commercial blu-ray disc back.

If the slim drive you're considering has a power source and does not rely solely on bus power, that's an advantage. It'll all come down to how you plan to use the drive...if your Macbook Air is your only computer, how do you see yourself using it and where do blu-ray discs fit in for you? Do you plan to watch the movies on the Air or do you also have an HDTV?
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post #3 of 6 Old 10-28-2012, 11:58 AM
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I have used a ASUS USB Slim Blu Ray Writer (SBW-06C1S-U) on a Mac Mini when running OSX snow leapoard. I didn't try playing any blu rays; at least none that I remember. I was able to access DVD discs. It does work with blu rays running Windows 7. It's no longer available on Amazon, but I think ASUS has updated to a new model. Like the above post, this one requires two USB ports to run. It'll working fine with one if running DVD or just ripping blu ray, but won't play a blu disc directly.

It doesn't come with any software, and I'm only aware of one software package that plays blu ray in OSX. I don't remember it's name, but it was a mediocre expereince compared to the Windows counterparts such as PowerDVD, TMT, and so forth. Although, I have read it can done through VLC, but was quite user unfriendly.

I normally run Windows 7. I was having HDD problems, and switched to OSX briefly. I used the drive to run the OSX install dics. I think I may have played a DVD movie as well.
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post #4 of 6 Old 10-29-2012, 01:03 AM
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post #5 of 6 Old 11-01-2012, 09:09 PM
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While I did not try any Blu-Ray player software yet, searching for this brought up the following info:

Regarding MacGo, on its macupdate page, someone claims that this software is largely based on VLC, and that MacGo's usage of VLC code is in violation of the VLC licence.

There are two other choices: aurora player and Mac blu ray player from DVDfab. Both are commercial software, but the DVDfab one is subscription-based. The initial price is for the first year; subsequent years are about 10$ and include software updates and continued access to their server for the player to retrieve decryption keys to play back movies. They do mention that the player supports DTS HD, which so far is the only software that claims to support high definition audio formats. They don't specifically mention how the DTS HD audio tracks are handled; I wouldn't be surprised that they decode it and send it as PCM multi channel.

I wonder if the software decryption keys are stored on the computer once they are fetched from the various software player's servers so that an Internet connection is only needed for the first time a disc is played.

This also raises the question of how good is the software developer to provide keys for all existing discs. It would be quite frustrating to rent or buy a movie and not be able to play it because the key to decrypt it does not exist on the server.
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post #6 of 6 Old 02-04-2013, 02:03 PM
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None can play stereoscopic (frame packing) 3D yet .... :| blu-ray player (macgo) said this is in the works ...
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