View Full Version : Windows 7, Parallels or BootCamp, Blu Ray, Mac Mini
Jun 7, 2010, 11:50 AM
I have a Mac Mini 2.0 GHz C2D with 4 GB of RAM with an LG Blu Ray Burner in an external case. It uses the NVIDIA GeForce 9400M graphics processor with 256MB of DDR3 SDRAM shared with main memory. I have purchased Pavtube Blu Ray Ripper and I've used MakeMKV for Mac. Most Blu Rays work with either one program or the other. However, I do have some discs that I just can't get to work right in either of these apps. I have a friend who uses Windows 7 with AnyDVD HD and he claims that he can back up any blu ray as an .iso file for playback in Media Center. However, his file sizes are around 30 gb each. I know this is in part due to the uncompressed audio, which my mac would not be able to decode anyway. What I want to know is would it be possible to run Windows 7 on my mac mini in either bootcamp or parallels, use anydvd hd to rip the blu rays into .iso files (just the ones that Pavtube or MakeMKV won't rip, as I prefer to keep the files as small as possible), and play all the files (including the .mkvs and .mp4s that I rip on the mac side) in media center. I don't want to invest $250 in software if there is an audio or video problem with playing any of the files (.iso, mp4, mkv all from blu ray) in Windows 7 media center ON MY MAC. I think that there have been issues with people unable to play blu rays in media center on their macs due to graphics card incompatibility and HDCP issues, but AnyDVD HD claims to remedy the HDCP issue. Also, I don't know if the uncompressed audio will present a challenge, or if Media Center automatically downconverts the audio to DD or DTS. I just want to be able to copy all my blu rays for easy playback on my mac mini, which I have split the signal via an hdmi splitter for use in my living room as well as my media room. It is very important for me to have all the files loaded into a program such as media center or boxee for the user interface, as my wife and kids need a simple interface they can easily learn to access the movies without having to handle my precious discs. I know this is a long post, but I just want to make sure that I have covered all the issues at hand. Thanks in advance for the help!
Jun 7, 2010, 12:12 PM
You may want to Contact a mod (Contact Us link at bottom of every page) and ask them to move this to the AppleTV/Home Theater (http://forums.macrumors.com/forumdisplay.php?f=100) forum. You'll probably get a better response there or you might even find an answer to your question in one of the threads found there. Sorry I can't be of more help.
Jun 7, 2010, 10:43 PM
Running W7 in virtual mode is frustrating even on an i7 iMac. Bootcamp on the other hand will be just like running it on a very good Intel machine, so for video, it'll have to be Bootcamp
Jun 8, 2010, 03:49 PM
Thanks for the 411 on VMs. I have never used windows in any capacity on a mac, so I didn't know if parallels or any of them would work at all for what I'm trying to do. I guess, if I am reading you correctly, that it MIGHT work with bootcamp, as I will be running the full windows setup just as if it were on a PC. The question is: Can I share files between OSX and Windows? In other words, I have already been able to convert several of my blu rays to .mp4s and .mkvs and would like to be able to use those through windows media center. As a side note, all these files are on a mac-formatted external hard drive. I don't know if that's going to make a difference or not.
Jun 8, 2010, 04:26 PM
I run both Parallels and Bootcamp (XP) on my MacPro 1,1 (2.66 GHZ C2D and 7 GB RAM) and Parallels works surprisingly well. I have not used it to rip BluRay so and the speed could be an issue there. I have used it to edit HD video and render and it does fairly well.
You can share files across the Windows Mac sides, it just takes extra software if you use Bootcamp. If you use Parallels, it will take care of it. That's another one of the things I like about Parallels. If you load bootcamp first, you can always use the bootcamp partition in Parallels and see how you like it.
I just bought a new MP4,1 and will be upgrading from XP to W7.
Do you use the mini as a server for your home theater or just play the videos on the mini?
Jun 8, 2010, 04:43 PM
I use the mini for playback of the files. That's another big concern of mine: some of the .mkvs I have made have stuttering issues that I believe are due to a bit rate that my machine simply cannot handle. Since I will be playing the .iso files on the same machine, my experience tells me that I won't be able to play these files smoothly either, as they would be very high bit rates, also. I really want this to work, but I cannot justify spending so much money on something just to try it. For a little more money, I can literally get a windows machine that I know will do it. But I love apple, and I do not want to add more machinery to my arsenal.