Blu-ray for iMac early 2011

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Henkan, May 14, 2011.

  1. Henkan macrumors newbie

    May 14, 2011

    I want to buy the new iMac (early 2011) and replace the internal dvd-writer with a blu-ray writer or reader. I assume it must be a slim drive with slot-in.

    The only blu-ray drive that I find at a reanably price is this:

    According to iFixit the drive used is a Sony Optiarc.

    So my question is if anyone here has replaced the internal dvd-drive of an iMac before? Do you think that the change would be possible?

  2. Vylen macrumors 65816

    Jun 3, 2010
    Sydney, Australia
    I think the change should be possible.

    Other than that, I can't say anything else to help. Sorry.
  3. Hellhammer Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 10, 2008
    The dimensions seem to be correct so it should fit. I haven't heard anyone doing this though since most people prefer an external drive. They are cheaper and faster and a lot easier.
  4. old-wiz macrumors G3

    Mar 26, 2008
    West Suburban Boston Ma
    osx doesn't support blu-ray playback natively. you need addon software to do so. Or you can install windows via bootcamp.
  5. stigzy macrumors member

    Oct 3, 2008
    If I where you I would've just bought external blur-ray drive:)
  6. Icy1007 macrumors 6502a


    Feb 26, 2011
    Cleveland, OH
    I would predict that if you replaced the internal DVD drive with a Blu-Ray drive, OSX will not see it and you will be left without an internal drive in OSX.
  7. littledexter macrumors newbie

    May 13, 2011

    If you burn a lot of cds the drive will malfunction pretty soon. It took 30 DVDs to waste the built-in drive of my 2009 macbook.
  8. Icy1007 macrumors 6502a


    Feb 26, 2011
    Cleveland, OH
    That's funny because my 2011 MBP drive is working just fine and I've burned at least 40-50 DVDs so far.
  9. jpine macrumors 6502

    Jun 15, 2007
    I did not know 3rd party software existed for playback. Can you make a suggestion? TIA!
  10. Hellhammer Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 10, 2008
    OS X supports Blu-Rays, but not BR playback. You can burn files to BR discs via Finder.

    MakeMKV, though you need to rip the disc first. There is a way to playback BRs under OS X too though, but it is pretty complicated.
  11. iSayuSay macrumors 68030


    Feb 6, 2011
    External bluray drive is the best way to go.


    1. You don't have to rip apart the iMac to install BD drive
    2. If lens is failing, you can simply unplug, bring your external drive to claim service/warranty
    3. Same case if you need to upgrade/change your BD drive
    4. You may plug it into different computer when needed


    1. External drive may not pretty to look at, it defeat the purpose of an iMac being hassle free and no chunk of cable
    2. Loss of 1 of 4 USB port, unless you're willing to exchange your connection
    3. Your friends, especially :apple: basher would brag you "What .. your $2000 computer doesn't even have bluray drive as standard drive? What a douchebag!!"

    Either way, I suggest to use your internal drive as EMERGENCY drive only. Because built-in laptop/iMac optical drive doesn't have good durability. It's a torn up, slowed down and cracked up drive to fit that thin space :D You may use it for occasional watching or burning, but not as a main drive
  12. 42streetsdown macrumors 6502a


    Feb 12, 2011
    Gallifrey, 5124
    i'm gonna have to concur with the external drive idea. taking apart an imac is a lot of hassle.
  13. Henkan thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 14, 2011
    Thanks for all replies.

    I think I'm getting an external drive, it will probably be a blu-ray burner and I can also use the drive with other computers.

    The iMac will be taken apart anyway since I intend to change the HDD to a 3Gb drive for data and add a SSD (OCZ Vertex 3) for the system. Change the DVD would then not cost me that much more trouble when it's already taking apart.
  14. Travis Bickle macrumors member

    Feb 11, 2011

    I'm planning to buy an imac in the next few months. Having always used windows based pc's i've got accustomed to working with that OS.

    Reading through here i'm now a little concerned. My idea was to get the imac and use it to burn all my media to HDD. I have a netgear readynas duo which i intended to populate with all my media; music from my CD's; DVD films and perhaps even BD movies. My TV's can play most files but eventually the idea was to get a mede8er player that can handle most file types and have the content streamed to that directly from the server.

    I now read that OS can't play BD content and wonder how easy it would be to rip from a BD disk using an external player. Also if the internal player is not that good then the idea of ripping a few hundred CD's may not be such a prudent one!

    One other thing while i'm here and hopefully someone will know. Currently i'm using the readynas duo on my windows based laptop/netbook and pc and streaming media to my TV's If i later on add an imac to my network will it be able to read/write any files to the server or will it have to be reformatted into a format that is recognisable to windows as well as OS?

    Apologies for the thread hijack but i see so many new threads started for what are practically the same topic i felt it best to just add into an existing one.

  15. wilsonlaidlaw macrumors 6502


    Oct 29, 2008
    iMac optical drive not too shabby

    My 2006 iMac optical drive is still going strong after burning loads of CD-R's and DVD-R's. Very rare to get a burn error on it. In contrast my 2009 MBP's optical drive has already been replaced once and is giving the first signs of trouble again (glad I bought Applecare, with one keyboard/top case and one optical drive replaced already). The MBP's optical drives have hardly burned any discs at all and mainly been used for reading purposes, so far less robust than my iMac one. However, for total robustness and 100% trouble free CD/DVD burning at any speed you like, nothing beats my old Dual G5 PowerMac.
  16. darrellishere macrumors 6502

    Jul 13, 2007
    The third party software you are after is MakeMKV!!!!

    It allows you to rip your blu rays save them onto a hard drive and watch the full MKV + Lossless audio quality via either VLC, Plex, or Movist.

    This is however the only solution under macosx but works well especially if your only renting the blu rays. Rip and send it back Perfect!! Kind of!
  17. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    Are you suggesting that you an get True-HD and DTS-MA audio with these apps?
  18. SkyMacTN macrumors newbie

    May 15, 2012
    Yes, I've done it to my 27" IMac. So yes, a person with some skill and the proper tools most certainly can install an internal blu ray drive or burner into an iMac. You need a suction cup, a few torx screw drivers, a can of compressed air, a spray bottle with 91% isoalcohol, a microfiber cloth and a Panasonic UJ-235. As far as playback, there is now a 3rd party program that will play a Bluray right off the disk. It's called Mac Bluray player. You can burn a Bluray with toast, and rip one with make mkv. That rip will be recognized by handbrake so to be made into an m4v file that is so much better and cheaper than buying it from iTunes. Or just copy it to a blank bluray, there are no copyright protections built into OSX Lion and there never will be, because apple will never offer a bluray drive. They actually want to do away with optical drives. Granted, to be legal, you must own the disc. However, an internal Bluray burner can be fitted inside an iMac with the 12.5" optical drive bay, and it will function fully natively as if apple installed it. And thanks to an innovative company, we can now play the blu rays as well.


    Unibody macs are stuck with using external Bluray for now. The bay is 9.5 mm unlike the iMac with a 12.5 mm bay. There are no slot loading 9.5 mm Bluray drives out there on the market. The electronics of a Bluray drive aren't small enough to get them that thin. There are tray loading options, but macs don't use tray drives. The tray drives allow for more space because the lack the complex eject mechanism of a slot loader. The only option for internal for now is older MacBooks with a dual core CPU above 2.4 ghz or iMacs, Macminis, and of course Mac pros. Mac pros can have 2 Bluray drives, any data drive will do just remove the face plate on the tray and the stationary face. You don't have to worry about the eject button on the front, as osx disables it anyway. Osx has a software emergency disk eject override for a stuck disk any way. Macs are a finicky but extremely reliable beast.
  19. Mike Valmike macrumors 6502a

    Feb 27, 2012
    Chandler, Arizona
    Well, MakeMKV doesn't do anything to the data streams, so the audio is in there. Whether you have the appropriate hardware to play it back to spec is a separate issue. If you re-encode with Handbrake to MP4, however, it replexes the audio to 5.1 AC-3 and 2.0 AAC. Hardcore A/V fanatics would just leave the 24GB-36GB BR main movie files intact on their drive, one would think, rather than re-encoding.

    BTW +1 for the suggestion to just rock the external drive. For whatever reason, internal optical iMac drives just aren't great, and even replacing them just buys you time, not performance. Maybe they have a crummy controller? I have no idea.
  20. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    No, it's not the hardware, it's the software. There is no way to get HD audio under OS X.

    Better to extract the DTS core than transcode to Dolby Digital. Unless you have to put it on an i-device.

Share This Page