Worth buying an external Blu-ray?

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by zachlegomaniac, May 16, 2013.

  1. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2008
    Location:
    boston
    #1
    Hi all,

    Do you think it is worth buying an external blu-ray and using handbrake to move my library into iTunes? I know it's rather subjective, but I just wanted some opinions. Will even blu-ray become outdated (silly question, I know)?

    If yes, do you have any suggestions on the best piece of hardware at a "decent" price?

    My brother has a ton of blu-ray discs he was going to sell, but he said he would give them to me if I wanted them, but I don't have a blu-ray player. All of the HD video I have has been purchased directly from the iTunes store, and I currently use handbrake to rip my own DVD's, but, of course, there is a noticeable difference in quality.

    Thank you,
    ZLM
     
  2. macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2012
    #2
    Versus doing what with it?
     
  3. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2012
    Location:
    Great White North
    #3
    if you're doing it for the sake of not having them given to someone else no, if there are a bunch of movies in the pile that you want, then the cost of the drive will be more than made up by not having to purchase them with itunes
     
  4. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2009
  5. macrumors 6502a

    btbrossard

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2008
    Location:
    Chicagoland
    #5
    I bought an external Blu-Ray drive this spring in part to get my growing Blu-Ray collection into iTunes.

    The external drives are relatively inexpensive (I bought an LG model for about $100).

    As a bonus, writing to BD discs is easier when doing backups that using DVDs. I back up all the photos the family takes and it can easily add up to 50 gb a month worth of RAW files. Using 2 BD discs is faster (and cheeper) than using 10+ DVDs (or 5+ DVD-DL discs).
     
  6. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2012
    Location:
    Great White North
    #6
    +1 for backup, also less physical discs laying around, which also makes it easier when doomsday come and you need to recover from it
     
  7. macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2012
    #7
    A BR-ROM is cheap isn't it, and slightly more if u want burner capability. But we are talking under usd$100.

    Ah, YES, specially if you wish to watch those big-budget, special effects, majesty scenes movies, that anything less than FULL HD (not compressed) will do. U can rip them, without compression, to your HD, but I don't know whether you are able to retain all extra features etc.
     
  8. macrumors G5

    Macman45

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2011
    Location:
    Somewhere Back In The Long Ago
    #8
    I went with the Asus. The Samsung is okay, but look carefully at specs. There are currently only two drives that will do full Dolby, and proper 7.1 surround sound...The Asus and the Liteon.

    The Asus has a lower desktop footprint which is why I went for it, but it's fast, quiet and reliable.

    My Buddy got the Liteon, but says that the Dolby is flaky...can't vouch for that one.
     

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  9. macrumors 68000

    phrehdd

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2008
    #9
    It really doesn't matter if blu ray disc play becomes obsolete in the future as you can always (later) transfer what is on the discs.

    There are a couple of things you might consider -

    1) have you compared a blu ray type of movie converted for iTunes against a regular purchased blu ray disc movie?

    2) converting a blu ray level movie for itunes provides an inferior image and the reality is you are converting to an inferior product.

    3) While they may not play DMR iTunes movies, there are multiple streamers out there that can play blu ray level movies with full HD audio goodness and that includes several Blu Ray players or items such as Dune Media players, Med8tor and others.

    4) Maybe start with a Blu Ray player to play your soon to be blu ray disc collection and later opt for a burner/reader to convert some to iTunes ready.

    5) a nice alternative might be a Mac Mini with Plex or XBMC hooked to your TV to handle BOTH iTunes and also full Blu Ray level files with DTS and Dolby ability (sorry not HD version of the latter unless running Windows or Linux).

    In short you should compare both iTunes playable file of a movie with the blu ray disc version. If you have a decent TV or plan to get one, you will definitely see a difference and possibly audible difference if you have a receiver. As you said it is subjective.

    I use a Blu Ray player to stream files and also play my purchased movie discs. My streaming is from my purchased so I can quickly re-watch movies without all the menus/features etc. I also use XBMC off my Mini Mac and all my DVDs converted to file are played beautifully. (Yes I do have a blu-ray burner/reader.)

    Hopefully, my comments are food for thought and do/get what you feel is best for your needs.
     
  10. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2008
    Location:
    boston
    #10
    Thank you all. I think I'll go for it. If I can get a drive for the cost of even 5 Blu-ray Discs that I would like a copy of it seems like a no brainer. It's one of those things where I was hesitant because I wonder if ill get caught up in trying to now rebuild my entire library in HD once I get used to it. A very non-urgent "problem".

    ----------

    Not buying one at all and continuing with DVDs until everything goes all digital to save money.
     
  11. macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2008
    #11
    I just got some no-name brand BD-ROM from Amazon for $40. It shows up in profiler at Mat****a. Is this possibly the reason why on my first rip attempt the Dolby Digital 5.1 didn't work but the stereo channel worked? If so, DAMMIT. Not the biggest deal in the world since most the time I watch these on my bedroom TV that outputs to just two speakers. But DAMMIT.
     
  12. macrumors 65816

    lunaoso

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2012
    Location:
    New England, USA
    #12
    Was it this one? Because I was considering buying this one.
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B004OP6IQW?qid=1366579622&sr=1-14
     
  13. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2009
    #13
    Did you get instructions on how to set the bluray settings once it's ripped but before its converted? That's what through me for a loop the first time I tried.
     
  14. macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2008
    #14
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B001TVAU0E/ref=ya_aw_oh_pit

    This is what I bought. White one posted looks almost exactly the same. As I saw on a comment somewhere, the eject button doesn't work. But a paperclip will do fine.

    I have done a couple other discs now. I got an IMAX flick to work on surround, and it's awesome. It has shuttle launches and birds, and the sound was split well. I may have messed up something using Subler. I also ripped Tropic Thunder but haven't tried surround sound yet.

    FYI I'm using Handbrake's Apple TV 3 settings. Tropic Thunder ended up being 8.5 GB. I wonder if forced subtitles did that. Thanks for the info on checking settings.
     
  15. macrumors 601

    Joined:
    May 21, 2009
    #15
    I vote no 4K blurays are coming out soon , they will replace 1080p
     
  16. macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2008
    #16
    This is basically why I have decided to go the iTunes route now. Theoretically Apple could at some point offer an upgrade pricing from SD to HD with shows and movies you bought in the past. If you are offered this with DVD to BD, it's rare to get some sort of rebate.

    But when 4K movies become a thing, I can't imagine Apple NOT working out a deal for people who bought HD movies to upgrade to Ultra HD for $5 or $10. 4K BDs are probably going to run you $30 or $35. So that's a huge savings.

    I doubt this is going to happen soon en masse because I still know people JUST getting BD players and HDTVs. So it's going to take a long time to convince people to upgrade that extra step, especially at the price the 4K TVs are.
     
  17. macrumors G5

    Macman45

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2011
    Location:
    Somewhere Back In The Long Ago
    #17
    Yep. That's why I did a lot of research before i bought one...I guess it's not a big deal if you don't need that level of support, and you do pay a premium price, but the Asus does what it says...Both DPL and 7.1 are covered...The Liteon claims this too, but as I said, can't vouch for that one.

    They have come down in price though....I paid £139.00 or $211.00 for the Asus back in December last year just before I got my new iMac....Now they can be had for around the $180.00 mark...I wondered why the big difference and that's it...The full range of support. If you just want to rip your BRD's then the little Samsung is fine...If you want the pro stuff, you pay the premium for it...I think as 3D and BRD become more popular, the prices will drop....other makers are bound to come to the party too.
     

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