[Success! See post 12] How can I play an HD DVD?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by Nermal, Mar 30, 2007.

  1. Nermal Moderator

    Nermal

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    #1
    Right, what do I need? I understand that DVD Player can't play them yet (maybe in Leopard), what about VLC? Is there any other software I can use?

    If I have to use Windows, am I stuck with Boot Camp or can I use VMware?

    As you can tell, I'm kinda new at this sort of stuff :) I can get a drive for $110 but I don't want to waste money if I'm not going to be able to use it!
     
  2. Frank Palermo macrumors newbie

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    #2
    You can't... at least not easily, not yet :-\

    As I understand it, the situation with HD DVD (and Blu-Ray) playback on the Mac is this:

    1) Tiger's DVD Player actually does have very limited support for HD DVD. It can play HD DVDs authored with DVD Studio Pro 4, but it doesn't support a number of things (the VC-1 video codec, AACS DRM, the UDF 2.5 file system, etc.) that are used on commercial HD DVD titles.

    2) Leopard's DVD Player probably will add support for playback of commercial HD DVDs. However, the studios have mandated that you need a video card and monitor that support the HDCP DRM system in order to be allowed to watch the new HD formats at full quality. As far as I know, no current Mac video card or Apple monitor supports HDCP. (I think it will be interesting to see if Apple or a third-party provides HDCP-compliant video cards for "older" Macs, or if the official line will be that "you need to buy a new Mac to watch HD DVD or Blu-Ray").

    3) VLC doesn't work. There are various problems with video (even though support for the codecs is theoretically there), but the real stumbling block is that there's no open-source decoder for the new surround sound audio formats (Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby True HD, etc.) yet.

    So yes, at the moment you would have to use Windows (probably via Boot Camp, as HD playback is fairly demanding)... but Windows playback software like PowerDVD would likely still complain about the HDCP display issue. And the only way around that would be to use one of the... ahem... "various programs that are circulating online"... to copy the disc to the hard drive and play the files from there (taking up to 30GB of space in the process). So even under Windows, you probably couldn't just put the disc in the drive and have it play normally.

    In short, you can play HD DVDs on a (Windows-equipped Intel) Mac, but it's pretty messy (and may or may not get better with Leopard thanks to the HDCP display requirements). Sorry I don't have better news for you :( .

    -Frank
     
  3. Nermal thread starter Moderator

    Nermal

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    #3
    I found this in a different thread:

    So, it looks like they do indeed play under Windows. I have XP and Vista licences and it's the 360 drive that I can get for cheap, so it looks like it'll all work, even if it is a bit messy.
     
  4. Frank Palermo macrumors newbie

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    #4
    Well yes... it *should* work under Windows, if everything's just right. CyberLink's support FAQs for PowerDVD Ultra stress the importance of having the entire display chain (graphics card, graphics card driver, and monitor) support HDCP. If PowerDVD doesn't think the system is "secure", it may downconvert the video to a non-HD resolution (960x540 I believe), or not play it at all. They do have a free utility called the "BD/HD Advisor" on their site that checks the system requirements... you may want to download that to see if it finds any problems. It's not perfect though... it sometimes sees compatibility problems where there are none (and vice versa). That's why they clearly label it as "beta" software.

    I can definitely recommend the 360 drive though. It's a good piece of hardware (although my Macs don't get to use it... all PowerPC here).

    -Frank
     
  5. Nermal thread starter Moderator

    Nermal

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    #5
    OK, I've decided to wait until Leopard (or at least until Apple confirms whether there will be HD DVD playback in it). Hopefully you'll still get a free copy of KK with the drive by then :)
     
  6. clevin macrumors G3

    clevin

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    #6
    HD DVD you bought from store?

    LOL, Macs does NOT even have a HD-DVD drive for you to put disk in. U will have to wait for next generation of macs.

    or

    wait to see if apple will provide software support for third party HD-DVD drive like the one for xbox360.
     
  7. Nermal thread starter Moderator

    Nermal

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    #7
    A statement like that makes me wonder whether you actually read my post, or just the title. I clearly stated that I was looking to buy a drive.
     
  8. clevin macrumors G3

    clevin

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    #8
    oh yeah, u were right, sorry for that, after I reread it, I guess I stopped right before the $ sign, ;)
     
  9. Nermal thread starter Moderator

    Nermal

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    #9
    Duh :rolleyes:

    :p

    I ended up spending my "HD DVD allowance" on a couple of PS2 games, so them + WoW should keep me occupied until Leopard rolls around, hopefully with HD DVD support.
     
  10. Nermal thread starter Moderator

    Nermal

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    #10
    I ignored my own advice and bought a drive yesterday. I almost have it working (the image is doubled up and the subtitles are stuck on) so I'll fiddle with it a bit more and will post back once I get it all going :)
     
  11. DoFoT9 macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

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    #11
    u can get external firewire/usb HD DVD players??? usb wouldnt be able to keep up with it!!! ud need fw800.
     
  12. Nermal thread starter Moderator

    Nermal

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    #12
    OK, as promised, here are the details:

    System: MBP 2.33 GHz Core 2 Duo (256 MB Radeon X1600)
    Drive: X360 USB HD DVD Player (Toshiba X807616)
    OS: Windows XP, Boot Camp 1.3
    Video Driver: ATI/AMD's Boot Camp driver update
    Software: PowerDVD Ultra 7.3

    There does not yet seem to be any Mac software available for playing HD DVD. I decrypted my copy of King Kong and attempted to play it using Apple DVD Player but it didn't like it. It's using VC-1, so maybe it'd work for H.264 movies.

    With Windows XP, PowerDVD worked perfectly. I first spent a day messing around in Vista with no luck, I just kept getting a message about incompatible video drivers. But using XP, with the AMD driver update, it worked straight away. I didn't try it without the driver update.

    The PowerDVD hardware adviser doesn't report any HDCP problems, although interestingly it informed me that I didn't have an HD DVD drive! The player itself had no trouble with finding the drive and disk.

    The picture quality is excellent on my 1440x900 screen. Tomorrow I'm going to connect an old analogue 17" LCD and see whether I have any HDCP issues. I'm eyeing a big new one but want to do some testing with HDCP before I buy it.

    With luck, Leopard will include native playback support (I hear that the disks mount now, which is a start). The hardware's definitely there, now we just need the software to go with it :)

    Any questions?

    USB works fine. These things run at less than 50 Mb/s, well under the 200-or-so you get from sustained USB.
     
  13. DoFoT9 macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

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    #13
    dude thats excellent!!!!! too bad that there are no drivers or software for the mac OS yet. but at least u can play it with your xbox drive. is the xbox drive recognised automatically or were there any driver issues??

    try paralleles :p . i wonder what that will be like....
     
  14. Nermal thread starter Moderator

    Nermal

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    #14
    The drive works out-of-the-box in XP. It has two "Xbox memory units" that ask for a driver, and there's a (do-nothing? It's 12 KB) driver on Windows Update for them, but the drive itself works whether you install the memory unit driver or not.
     
  15. DoFoT9 macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

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    #15
    wow thats awsome. can u buy the xbox drive by itself :p hahaha. maybe a 2nd hand one. wat am i on about blueray ftw!!
     
  16. andrewheard macrumors regular

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    #16
    You can only buy the drive by itself. It is external. See microsoft's site here.
     
  17. Nermal thread starter Moderator

    Nermal

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    #17
    Just replying to my own post....

    I suggested HD DVD support using Apple's feedback page. I encourage interested people to do the same.
     
  18. DoFoT9 macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

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    #18
    just sent an email asking for both HD-DVD AND Blu-Ray support in iDVD. bring it apple !!! u kno u wanna
     
  19. Nermal thread starter Moderator

    Nermal

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    #19
    A few days ago I was reading that indie studios are looking at HD DVD because it's cheaper to license than Blu-ray. According to the article, AACS is mandatory on Blu-ray and therefore to make Blu-ray you need to pay an AACS licence fee. I believe that this fee is paid per movie, rather than a lump sum.

    It would therefore follow that it wouldn't be possible to create Blu-ray "at home" (eg. using iDVD) as each disk would need to be licensed. Somebody please correct me if I'm wrong!
     
  20. desenso macrumors 6502a

    desenso

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    #20
    Forgive me if I missed this because I read this thread out of sequence:

    Have you achieved similar results using VMWare or Parallels?
     
  21. Nermal thread starter Moderator

    Nermal

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    #21
    I was going to try VMware but never got around to it*. I don't have Parallels (trial ran out).

    *The drive works, but I didn't try playing a movie. I used AnyDVD HD (which, incidentally, I do not recommend) to make a working copy of King Kong, which I could then play in "real" XP.

    May I ask why you prefer Blu-ray? Last I looked, Aust/NZ had far fewer Blu-ray movies available than the US, and the format is region-locked so you can't import them. HD DVD, on the other hand, allows you to import from the much larger US selection (and I have already done so, I now own 14 HD DVDs, or at least will do once they turn up).
     
  22. DoFoT9 macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

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    #22
    IMHO blue-ray is the far superior format. albeit more expensive. itl come down tho.

    BR holds a hell of a lot more storage than HD DVD, just a little over 3x the capacity.
    More companies are supporting BR, not by much tho.
    BR can hold more pits (binary) even tho the laser sizes of both are 405nm.
    BR has yet to be cracked in terms of burning the DVD and ripping (not sure if thats good or bad :confused:)
    BR has dual layer RW disks, from what i am aware of HD DVD does not?????
    HD DVD,15GB is hardly enough to hold a digital movie, if extra movies and documentaries might need to be put on another HD DVD, or onto HD DVD DL.

    in aust i have never seen a HD DVD or BR disk. how we miss out so...

    meh
     
  23. Nermal thread starter Moderator

    Nermal

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    #23
    I'd say that's bad.

    Which is why most movies are on 30 GB discs.

    Hence my "import" argument carries more weight.

    In addition, if the rumours are true then HD DVD's about to get more momentum: Toshiba is to drop their entry-level player down to US$99 and include 3 free movies.
     
  24. DoFoT9 macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

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    #24
    1then thats a good thing then, BR is more supperior in tht sense.

    230gb disk cost more, a DL disk is gonna b alot more than a single

    3thefacts tht ive seen neither a BR or HD DVD disk doesnt really change the debate
     
  25. fishkorp macrumors 68020

    fishkorp

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    #25
    not sure what kind of math they teach down under, but 50gb is not 3x the size of 30gb????? Both are the DL capacity. Single layer is 25gb vs 15gb, still not 3x. it's not even twice as big.

    and BR has also been cracked. there's a version of AnyHD that works on Blu-Ray discs as wel, that's why there are Blu-Ray rips all over newsgroups and torrent sites (not that I condone that sort of thing, I don't, I'm just letting you know that the point you made is incorrect.
     

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