Can Blu-Ray DVDs be played on a Mac?

(John Burt) #1

Is there a way to play Blu-Ray DVDs on a Mac?

(The machine is a Mini running 10.12.x, the OS it came with. The old 6 yr old Superdrive I pulled off another machine did not recognize the DVD. Apple’s web site did not mention playing Blu-Rays that I could find.)

(Seth Anderson) #2

Yes, but you’ll need an external drive that plays BluRay discs (OWC sells them for instance), and you’ll need 3rd party software to play it. Apple seems to pretend that BluRay doesn’t exist.

(Paul Schinder) #4

Unless you actually need the capacity of a BluRay drive (~ 5 x DVD) and write capabilities, you’re really better off just getting a BluRay player to attach to a TV screen using HDMI. They’re cheap. I have a BluRay drive with write capabilities attached to my MacPro, and mostly have used it to create video BluRays (until my videos got too big for it) and to read all sorts of disks (it reads CD, DVD both single and double layer, and BluRay). But when I want to watch a BluRay, I pop it into my Sony BluRay player and watch on TV.

(Josh Centers) #5

The advantage of having a drive connected to your computer is that you can rip a Blu-ray (check “Take Control of Apple TV” for instructions), but be forewarned that it’s a very slow process that I no longer think is worth the trouble.

(John Burt) #6

Yup. Capture (rip) the content is what I need to do. If I could get a player with “component outputs,” I could just capture it with the EyeTV. ScreenFlow and VLC might work if DRM does not interfere (haven’t tried it since I don’t have a player). At least both only take the time of the playback.

(John Burt) #7

I’ll check OWC. I always forget about them. Thanks.

(Gary Gibson) #8

I have an OWC blu-ray r/w drive that I use with my macbook pro. It works great for ripping blu-ray or DVD (I use makemkv). However, playing blu-rays directly is another story. I can sort of get it to work with VLC and some additional libraries, but the audio and video often go out of sync, you can’t always access the blu-ray menus (Java issues), and so on.

I find it far easier to just rip the blu-ray and then play the video file on VLC. That works fine.

If you really need to play the disc directly, then I second schinder’s suggestion. Get a cheap player. Or if you’re a console gamer and your console supports discs, use that. Most can play blu-ray discs.

(John Burt) #9

I need to rip them one way or another, so your suggestion is good. Thanks.

I wonder if a simple player can be fed into a Mac via the Thunderbolt port or HDMI for playing on the screen? (The HDMI is currently used as the Mac’s screen out, but that can be changed.) I should try it with a standard DVD player.)

(Gary Gibson) #10

I’m not sure if the mac HDMI connector is bidirectional. I thought it was only HDMI-out. The thunderbolt port might work with the right adapter, but you’ll probably still need software to get the video data to the screen. In any event, that would probably only allow audio/video capture, not a full disc rip.

My USB3 blu-ray drive is a Pioneeer BDR-XD05S Slim drive (sorry, I thought it was OWC, but I it’s not). I connect it to my MBP via a powered USB3 7-port hub (to work around the fact that the mac only has two USB ports). It’s completely plug and play. MacOS recognizes it as a valid optical drive, so everything works with it (DVD Player, VLC, Adobe Premiere - you name it). FWIW the hub I use is a “HooToo 9-Port 60 Watt USB 3.0 Hub with 2 Smart Charging Ports and 7 Data Transfer Ports,” purchased on Amazon back in 2014. It supports multiple hard drives and any other usb device I’ve thrown at it.

I’ve done dozens of blu-ray rips on this drive with makemkv. I’ve also done countless DVD rips with this drive on an older mac running snow leopard and the venerable mac the ripper v2.6.6 (I’m slowly converting my DVD library to digital form). So far I haven’t had a single problem with rips using this drive.

(Dennis Swaney) #11

Gary, have you seen this:

(Gary Gibson) #12

Yes, I looked at macblurayplayer a while ago. It seems like an interesting solution, if the you’re not put off by the pricing like I was, but you can only view AFAIK. You can’t capture/rip with it. The OP stated in a follow-up post that he was looking for a capture/ripping solution.

Makemkv is still the best bet for ripping blu-ray on the mac, and it seems to be free indefinitely (if you read the instructions carefully). The only downside with makemkv is that you have to spend the time ripping the video before you can watch it, and you need sufficient disk space to hold the results. If you want to store the results long-term (not just watch and delete) then you have to spend more time with handbrake to compress the rip to a reasonable file size. Also, you don’t get access to the menus (but IMO disc menus aren’t as interesting or creative as they used to be back in the heyday of deluxe DVD releases - so ultimately no big loss). Makemkv can be run in the background, so you can find ways to pass the time (steam, netflix, catch up on email, etc) while you wait.