4k Blu-ray?

StephenCampbell

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Sep 21, 2009
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Does anyone have experience with watching 4k Blu-ray on a Mac? The Mac Blu-ray Player software from Macgo says it supports 4k, and there are USB 4k drives, but some people say there's a hardware bottleneck with the graphics card or CPU, etc. What are the requirements for playing a 4k disc?

Thanks!
 

Audit13

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You need at least HDMI 2.0 and HDCP 2.2. You would also want a gpu that supports hardware decoding of h.265 and a software player that supports the encryption standard and hardware acceleration.
 

StephenCampbell

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What does it mean to have HDMI and HDCP within Mac OS? Which Mac hardware components have or don't have those qualifications?
 

northernmunky

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I'm not sure why everyone is talking about HDCP, that only applies if you're outputting over HDMI. I'm assuming you just want to play it back on your iMac screen since it has a 5k display? In which case your hardware should be absolutely fine.

MacGo player should use hardware decoding on your GPU to decode the 4k HEVC though I'm not 100% sure as its an AMD (not sure what their implementation is) - either way your CPU is an Intel Kaby Lake which I know does have built in hardware decoding for HEVC.
 
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Audit13

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Didn't know that you can play 4k UHD discs in a machine that doesn't have HDCP 2.2. Maybe this article is wrong: https://www.crutchfield.ca/S-T0PRbe0u1ua/learn/what-you-need-to-know-about-hdcp-2-2.html

The HDCP 2.2 issue doesn’t just apply to Ultra HD TVs and video sources — it affects any other components in the signal chain. If you run your HDMI connection through a home theater receiver or sound bar, it’ll need to be HDCP 2.2 compliant, as well. Any device in the chain that prevents the HDCP digital handshake from happening will prevent you from seeing a 4K image.
 

HDFan

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Jun 30, 2007
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Didn't know that you can play 4k UHD discs in a machine that doesn't have HDCP 2.2. Maybe this article is wrong: https://www.crutchfield.ca/S-T0PRbe0u1ua/learn/what-you-need-to-know-about-hdcp-2-2.html
I'm not sure why everyone is talking about HDCP, that only applies if you're outputting over HDMI. I'm assuming you just want to play it back on your iMac screen since it has a 5k display? In which case your hardware should be absolutely fine.
I have the same understanding. That's an issue with an external display, not an issue on the latest 5K iMacs with integrated monitors. On my iMacPro I play UHD rips with no problem, although I confess I haven't been able to figure out exactly how to determine what screen resolution is actually being used when it goes full screen.
 

Audit13

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With uhd rips, the copy protection has been removed.

The OP didn't mention anything about rips and specifically asked about playing a disc.

Anyone connect an external BD drive to a 5k Mac and play a 4k disc?
 
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HDFan

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Does anyone have experience with watching 4k Blu-ray on a Mac?
The OP didn't mention anything about rips and specifically asked about playing a disc.
Yeah, missed that part at the very end of the post due to the HDCP distraction. But it does answer the original question, and the the rest of my points regarding HDCP and hardware are still valid. If you rip it you can use any number of players, VLC, MPlayer, etc. as long as you have a drive that supports MakeMKV UHD rips.
 

Audit13

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If the op had asked about ripping, I would not have talked about hdcp and, instead, I would have talked about UHD friendly drives, playback software, frame rates, Dolby Vision and HDR.
 
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HDFan

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I would not have talked about hdcp and, instead, I would have talked about UHD friendly drives, playback software, frame rates, Dolby Vision and HDR.
Maybe you can share your insights in a new topic? UHD ripping seems to be a bit of a nightmare ...
 

HDFan

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Yes, I have found them to be excellent resources over the years. But it would be nice to have a MacRumors article summarizing everything you've learned, for those who don't read those forums and for those who do searches on this site. A lot of people don't have the time reading the forums, getting a gem on this site, another gem on another site, and putting them together to create a plan of action. Sort of a UHD ripping for dummies article ...

CNN has just reported that the LG OLED prices are not likely to drop over Black Friday, so I'm trying to decide whether I want to make the plunge now or not since I had planned to buy then. Until I do don't feel comfortable writing up something myself.
 

Audit13

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The OP was asking about playing 4K discs and makemkv will not help in this situation.

Makemkv would be useful for ripping 4k discs.

With respect to ripping 4k discs and playback, I use Windows 7 for ripping and Windows 10 for playback.

It's tough to go back to a non-OLED TV after seeing what a properly calibrated OLED TV can do.
 
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mic j

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VLC with MakeMKV installed can playback Blu-Rays. Haven't used it though, so can't speak up on how well it works.
I have both MakeMKV and VLC but have not been able to play a BR disc. VLC plays a mkv just fine but not from a disc. Do I understand your statement correctly than VLC in combination with MakeMKV will play a BR disc directly?
 

mic j

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VLC and makemkv cannot be used to directly play a disc from any computer AFAIK.
That's been my experience. Downloaded "Free Mac Player" app to play directly from disc. It's pretty good but not perfect.
 

Audit13

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That's been my experience. Downloaded "Free Mac Player" app to play directly from disc. It's pretty good but not perfect.
This player will work for any 4k disc on a 2015 Mac Air? I'm asking because I have always used a Windows 10 PC to play discs but it's a pain which is why it's simpler to rip the disc IMHO.
 
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mic j

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Mar 15, 2012
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This player will work for any 4k disc on a 2015 Mac Air? I'm asking because I have always used a Windows 10 PC to play discs but it's a pain which is why it's simpler to rip the disc IMHO.
I am not sure what it will/will not work on. I only do BR's not 4k's. Like you, I rip to mkv's, but I had the need to play a BR on the mac and needed a way to do it. Found this app and it allowed me to view BR with menu's (although the menu's are reformatted and do not play like the original disc).
 

Audit13

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Apr 19, 2017
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I am not sure what it will/will not work on. I only do BR's not 4k's. Like you, I rip to mkv's, but I had the need to play a BR on the mac and needed a way to do it. Found this app and it allowed me to view BR with menu's (although the menu's are reformatted and do not play like the original disc).
Playback with full Blu-ray menu support requires a paid Java 2.0 license in the player which is why free players don't fully support the BR menu structure.

I'm more interested in the main movie rather than the extras. I have a lot of discs and can't remember the last time I looked at the extras.
 
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T'hain Esh Kelch

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The OP was asking about playing 4K discs and makemkv will not help in this situation.

Makemkv would be useful for ripping 4k discs.

With respect to ripping 4k discs and playback, I use Windows 7 for ripping and Windows 10 for playback.

It's tough to go back to a non-OLED TV after seeing what a properly calibrated OLED TV can do.
I have both MakeMKV and VLC but have not been able to play a BR disc. VLC plays a mkv just fine but not from a disc. Do I understand your statement correctly than VLC in combination with MakeMKV will play a BR disc directly?
VLC and makemkv cannot be used to directly play a disc from any computer AFAIK.
Yes, MakeMKV will help in this situation. MakeMKV does allow VLC direct playback of Blu-Rays.

See here.
 

T'hain Esh Kelch

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This method works with a 4k disc? What about discs with playlist obfuscation?

The post is from September, 2013 and 4k discs didn't exist at the time: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ultra_HD_Blu-ray
MakeMKV supports UHD Blu-Ray decoding, so I don't see why not? No idea about playlist obfuscation, but VLC usually picks the playlist it deems correct. I don't think MakeMKV has anything to say in that matter.
 

Audit13

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Apr 19, 2017
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MakeMKV supports UHD Blu-Ray decoding, so I don't see why not? No idea about playlist obfuscation, but VLC usually picks the playlist it deems correct. I don't think MakeMKV has anything to say in that matter.
I could not get it to work. Did you get it to work?

Makemkv supports UHD through the use a a hash key file while 1080p uses no such list.
 
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