A couple quick notes: this isn't some magical how-to on playing protected Blu-ray discs within OS X, as that's still not possible as of when I am writing this. But, given the number of questions here and on other forums regarding Blu-ray playback on Macs, I figured I'd put together a little review of my experiences and a how-to on playing back Blu-ray movies on a Mac running BootCamp. What you'll need: A recent Intel-based MacBook, MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, iMac, or mac pro (with nvidia or ATI graphics) -- MacBook, MacBook Air, and Mac Mini with Intel graphics may work though playback will be mainly handled by the CPU, potentially causing stuttering playback A BD-ROM or BD-R/RE drive -- I purchased the recently released FastMac APP-6907 External Slimline USB 2.0 BD-ROM drive, which is a portable unit that can actually be powered entirely by a Mac notebook with 2 USB ports Windows XP 32-bit or Vista 32 or 64-bit -- I use Vista Business Edition 64-bit for this review Blu-ray playback software -- I use Cyberlink PowerDVD 8 Ultra, though any of the Windows playback solutions should work OS X 10.5 Leopard install disc (for Bootcamp drivers) or downloaded bootcamp install for OS X 10.4 Tiger owners A monitor connected to a VGA port or internal laptop display -- DVI connections will fail HDCP validation though Slysoft's AnyDVD HD software can bypass the HDCP requirement The drive (mini-review for those interested): The FastMac BD-ROM drive is a notebook-sized Panasonic (Matshita) UJ-120 drive in an external enclosure and an IDE-to-USB bridge. The drive itself is fully compatible with reading Blu-ray data under OS X 10.5 Leopard and Windows Vista, both of which support the UDF 2.50 file system. The drive is also compatible with reading and writing all manner of DVD and CD media under most any operating system. Packaged with the drive is a USB data cable, as well as two power cables: the first a standard AC-adapter which can power the drive when at home/work, and a special USB power adapter for use on the road. Using the USB power adapter requires two USB ports on your notebook, so this method will not work with the MacBook Air. Also, you cannot simply connect the drive and power cable to two ports of an unpowered USB hub, as their is not enough power flowing through such devices to power the drive. Portability aside, the drive isn't really anything to look at. It's a simple black box, only slightly larger than a Blu-ray disc in diameter and under an inch thick. There's a simple USB type-B port and power port on the back and no logos or writing on the casing. The front side is taken up almost completely by the Panasonic's bezel. This is a tray-loading drive so there is a small eject button on the front, though the eject functions within OS X and Windows work as well. There's a single light on the front as well that indicates either reading or writing, depending on the mode. The price of the drive is fantastic for a portable Blu-ray drive, but keep in mind that you will need to purchase Blu-ray playback software separately in order to make full use of the drive. If Apple releases an update allowing Blu-ray playback under OS X, you may be able to avoid buying additional software, but for now, you'll need to make use of a Windows playback solution. One last thing on the drive: though it is released by FastMac and is certainly advertised as "Mac compatible", the drive will work just fine on any Windows machine as well. How-to: Step 1: Install BootCamp and Windows First of all, if you aren't already using BootCamp to dual-boot Windows XP or Vista on your Mac, you'll need to do so. Running Windows within VMWare Fusion or Parallels Desktop will not work for Blu-ray playback. Full directions for installing BootCamp and a Windows can be found here. Be sure to follow all the directions completely, including installing the BootCamp drivers following the Windows installation. Tips on running Windows under BootCamp: If you're on a unibody MacBook, MacBook Pro, or MacBook Air, update the trackpad firmware and driver using Apple update. Then, disable the "one-finger" options within the Trackpad tab of the BootCamp control panel within Windows. Without doing this, the trackpad in Windows is nearly impossible to use effectively. Disable Wireless-A support in the network driver under Windows. For whatever reason, the Wireless-A band of the Broadcom wireless networking device causes garbled sound from the Realtek HD audio device for a few seconds every minute or so. To do this, open up the Windows control panel, and open device manage, click the + next to network adapters, and double click the Broadcom device listed there. In the new window that opens, click on the advanced tab, and scroll down to the "disable bands" option. Finally changethe value box to the option "Disable 802.11a". That's it. You'll lose the ability to connect to Wireless-A networks under Windows but your sound will actually play back correctly. Step 2: Connect drive and install drivers If its not already connected, you can now connect your FastMac (or other brand) BD-ROM drove to the machine or USB hub. Also connect whichever power connection you will be using. Windows will automatically find and install the necessary drivers, and ask you to reboot. Reboot your machine and hold the "option" button when the grey boot screen first appears to allow you to choose the OS to boot from. Select Windows and XP or Vista should boot normally. Step 4: Install Blu-ray Playback software Once you're back into Windows, install PowerDVD Ultra or whichever alternative Blu-ray playback solution you will be using. Although the FastMac drive does not include playback software, many drives do include OEM versions of Blu-ray playback software that you can use within Windows. Tip on keeping Aero glass enabled when using PowerDVD 8 (Note: No longer needed on PowerDVD 9): If you are using a Mac with a series 8 or 9 Nvidia graphics chipset, you can also keep Windows Aero Glass enabled on Vista systems when PowerDVD is playing back a Blu-ray disc. This is especially nice if you have a multi-monitor setup. To do this, go to your Start menu, and type "Regedit" (without the quotes) into the search box. Hit enter and the Windows Registry Editor will open. In the left pane, navigate to HKLM\SOFTWARE\Cyberlink\PowerDVD8). In the right pane you'll see a cryptic group of options. Double click "UI_AskAero" and change the Vale Data from 0 to 1, and press OK. Now do the same for "UseNVDWMOn". Restart PowerDVD, and Aero Glass will remain enabled! Step 5: Enjoy! At this point, you'll have fully functioning Blu-ray playback on your Mac... sadly only within Windows, but still nice. The only issue is that most Macs lack HDCP support, and the newer unibody notebooks that support HDCP don't seem to support it correctly with the Apple mini-DisplayPort to DVI adapter, at least within Windows. This means if you cannot connect a monitor using a digital connection. You can easily use an internal notebook screen or a monitor connected via VGA or an analog video adapter, but if you need to connect via DVI (or HDMI using an adapter) you will need to purchase and install Slysoft's AnyDVD HD software which can bypass the HDCP requirement. My experience: Using a MacBook Pro (late 2008 unibody) with Intel T9400 processor, 4GB RAM, 512MB Nvidia 9600M, and Vista Business 64-bit, connected to a Dell UltraSharp 2408WFP monitor, I can easily play back Blu-ray movies at full resolution on the external monitor while keeping Aero Glass on and being able to run a number of applications on the notebook's internal display. My CPU meter shows a minor workload (25-35% across both cores) while playing back Blu-ray titles (varies by codec) using the new Nvidia notebook drivers. Obviously, systems with slower CPUs or GPUs not capable of offloading as much of the playback work may not perform as admirably, but, having to boot into Windows aside, the experience is as good as can be expected from playing back Blu-ray movies on a computer. Anyway, I hope this helps others who can't wait on Apple or a third party developer to (hopefully soon -- SL?) bring full Blu-ray playback to OS X.