blu-ray drive for mac mini

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by mlody, Oct 14, 2016.

  1. mlody macrumors 6502a

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    Windy City
    #1
    I am thinking about setting my 2012 mac mini as the main entertainment hub in the living room. Right now, I use Windows PC that I use to share home drivers and family media, etc. I also use Asus router as the time machine that is flaky. The one thing that stops me right now from doing the setup is that I do not have much room around my main TV and in order to accommodate my mac mini, I would have to get rid of my blu-ray player. With that, I would need to buy an exteral blu-ray drive and potentially blu-ray dvd playback software.

    Can anyone recommend a decent external blu-ray drive and software for playing blu-rays for mac mini?

    Thanks
     
  2. Kaida macrumors regular

    Kaida

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  3. kiwipeso1 Suspended

    kiwipeso1

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    Wellington, New Zealand
    #3
    Would recommend pretty much any samsung blu-ray writer, as samsung have a great track record with making burners. ;)
     
  4. mlody thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Nov 11, 2012
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    Windy City
    #4
    after checking several drives, I realized that I only need blu-ray player, not writer, and was thinking about this pioneer one.

    https://www.amazon.com/Pioneer-BDR-...id=1476668785&sr=8-3&keywords=pioneer+dvd+usb

    Any recommendations as far as the blu-ray playback software goes?
     
  5. Kaida macrumors regular

    Kaida

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    #5
  6. mlody thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #6
  7. ActionableMango macrumors 604

    ActionableMango

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    Sep 21, 2010
    #7
    Sorry I do not have a recommendation for you. However, I can warn you against the Macgo player software.

    It's...weird. The UI is awkward, it's buggy. It crashes. It only plays the movie, and supports none of the other BD features. It requires communication with a server in China. Sometimes it skips around. FW/RW are extremely unreliable to the point of uselessness.

    It is very clearly not a licensed Blu-Ray Association product. Based on how it behaves, I suspect it is getting decryption keys from China, ripping the BD on the fly, and streaming the ripped output to the display window.
     
  8. kiwipeso1 Suspended

    kiwipeso1

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    #8
    Normally I would recommend that you use VLC for any video or audio through your mac.
    If you are simply going to rip and not burn anything, then all you need is something like handbrake and a converter to the right format.
    For the record, Plex seems to have minor issues with MKV files, as I can't seem to get starwars rebels to play properly on my android tv.
     
  9. HDFan macrumors 6502

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    Jun 30, 2007
    #9
    I've have two buffalo drives which I have used for for ripping (and burning) for years and have had no problems with them.

    You mention that this is to be part of your home entertainment system. What are it's components - 4K, 1080p TV? Receiver? Sound Bar? How are you going to get the video/audio from the MacMini to the tv and audio player? Your plan is to play the Blu-Ray disk directly from the external Blu-Ray drive attached to the mini?

    Blu-Ray on a Mac is a nightmare.

    Finding an audio decoder that can handle DTS-MA soundtracks on a Mac is a real problem. And if you want to just slip a Blu-Ray disk into the drive and have it decrypted and played - I don't know of any program that will do that. Maybe someone else does. Normally you have to rip it first to disk and then use a program such as Plex to play it. But you lose the structured format of the original Blu-Ray.
     
  10. T'hain Esh Kelch macrumors 601

    T'hain Esh Kelch

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    Denmark
    #10
    No, Blu-Ray on the Mac is fine. Direct Blu-Ray playback is a nightmare. And HD audio tracks.

    Unless you go the way of ripping your Blu-rays, I would recommend against getting rid of your dedicated Blu-Ray player.
     
  11. FreakinEurekan macrumors 68040

    FreakinEurekan

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    Sep 8, 2011
    Location:
    Eureka Springs, Arkansas
    #11
    This, exactly. If you want to play Blu-Ray discs, use a dedicated player. It does not work well on Mac. If you want to just rip them and then play the rips, using your Mac is fine.

    Personally I do the rip method, and I use Apple TV with iTunes home sharing so my Mac Mini is not connected to my TV.
     
  12. cube macrumors G5

    Joined:
    May 10, 2004
    #12
    The problem is finding a region free BD player. There is a massive lockdown compared to DVD.

    This is a great way of hampering a technology, although not as bad as the DRM in SACD.
     
  13. cynics macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2012
    #13
    Any drive will work just fine. I use a Samsung burner.

    However on any desktop OS especially OS X BD player software is terrible in my experience.

    It is literally easier and more reliable to copy the BD using MakeMKV, play that MKV, delete the MKV after you are done watching the movie, every single time you wanted to watch the movie then it is to mess around with BD playing software.

    Highly recommend keeping a dedicated BD player in your entertainment center.
     
  14. Synchro3 macrumors 65816

    Synchro3

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    Jan 12, 2014
    #14
    For Blu-Ray playback I recommend DVD Fab Media Player (Mac version). The MacGo Player was never reliable.
     
  15. HDFan macrumors 6502

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    Jun 30, 2007
    #15
    I looked at DVD Fab Player. It looks as if it sort of does the job, but there were issues with the software as well as intrinsic issues when playing on a Mac.

    The Software

    It does seem to do the basics. However

    1) multiple times the disk which I was playing suddenly just closed so I had to reopen it again.
    1a. there were delays as the disk was being read
    2) On menus where are you supposed to click to invoke a specific choice? Mucking around on a menu trying to choose between 2D and 2D display caused the disk to close. On a dedicated player I'd just press the up or down button and the choice would be highlighted.
    3) Only supports AC3?


    Intrinsic issues

    3) As above it is much easier playing on a dedicated blu-ray payer with a remote. On a Mac you can move the mouse anywhere on the screen, so how do you know where to click to invoke the menu item?
    4. If you're on the couch and the Mac is playing the video across the room, how are you going to select menus, pause, change volume, etc.? You could use Parallels on an apple device, but that's really awkward. Having some sort of a remote mouse just seems very inconvenient.

    The company

    Website is OK. Quick look at reviews looked average.

    Company seems to be based in China. These may be great guys, but Chinese companies have an extremely poor reputation for just closing up shop with no notice.

    It looks as if it is a license and not a purchase - $40 for 2 years on a Mac. Not a bad price. But that's a perpetual cost.

    Since this involves Blu-Ray decryption the player software is dependent I believe on having the right keys. The studios surely aren't happy about their ripping software, so are probably doing what they can to shut them down. Having purchased similar DVD software, I eventually ended up throwing away my money when they were shutdown. Being China where things are totally unpredictable ....

    So looks as if it will play a Blu-Ray as they would play in a native Blu-Ray player, with some restrictions. Just be aware of the risks.
     
  16. macdragonfl macrumors 6502

    macdragonfl

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  17. kiwipeso1 Suspended

    kiwipeso1

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    #17
    Why yes, Samsung are great and you can always count on them making things that burn well :D
     

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