How to watch Blu-rays on macOS?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by miretogo, Aug 5, 2019.

  1. miretogo macrumors member

    Aug 19, 2014
    Hello everyone,

    I bought an external USB Blu-ray drive with the aim of watching Blu-rays on my iMac. To my surprise, I couldn't just play them. I was even more surprised when I didn't find free software that could play them. Since I also use Windows on the iMac via Boot Camp, I thought I could just use Windows to watch Blu-rays. But it seems the same applies here. Both on macOS the only option to watch Blu-rays seems to be buying relatively expensive (50+ EUR) software.

    So far, I tried both "Leowo Blu-ray Player" and Elmedia Player on macOS and both seemed buggy and couldn't even play several Blu-rays.

    I also thought about buying the type of external Blu-ray player that people usually connect to their TVs but since the iMac has no video input, that is also no solution.

    Therefore, the best option seems to be to evaluate which is the best of the 50+ EUR Blu-ray apps and buy that one.

    Do you have any other ideas? How do you watch Blu-rays on your Mac?
  2. miretogo, Aug 5, 2019
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2019

    miretogo thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 19, 2014
    After researching some more, I have found the following solutions:
    * Buy best "premium" Blu-ray software
    * Rip Blu-rays (since I own the originals and only want to use the files myself it should be legal)
    * Buy ordinary external Blu-ray player and connect it to monitor or TV (but then I couldn't use the iMac display)
    * Use DVDs instead

    PS: I also tried the Blu-ray app "PowerDVD" in the meantime but it demands a registration which I find dubious and won't do.
  3. larrylaffer macrumors 6502a


    Aug 1, 2009
    Los Angeles
    VLC can play Blu-Ray discs if you get some additional files to decrypt them. I won't share any links here, but Googling "VLC blu-ray playback" should get you the results you want.
  4. miretogo thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 19, 2014
    I tried using VLC with the additional files but it didn't work. I read online that others had a similar experience.
  5. miretogo thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 19, 2014
    @kohlson: The problem with streaming services is that they are severely limited content-wise. Most films, especially older classics, are not available there. Fore example, Netflix has currently not one (!) film by Hitchcock or Sergio Leone in its library (at least not in Germany) - but a lot of "modern" trash. Or, as an iTunes user in Germany, I can buy or rent several Hitchcock films but, for whatever reason, not with English audio. Thus, DVD or Blu-ray seems to be the way to go, at least for me.
  6. kohlson, Aug 7, 2019
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2019

    kohlson macrumors 68000

    Apr 23, 2010
    Apple has only ever announced they would not be supporting Blu-Ray. Haven't ever seen anything that says that they would support Blu-Ray.

    There's a lot that needs to happen for a platform to support Blu-Ray. DRM, copy protection, video interface controls (to prevent screen-scraping, for example), and so on. This may be way there are few, if any, apps that support Blu-Ray on Mac.
  7. ftaok macrumors 603


    Jan 23, 2002
    East Coast
    I've used the Leowo Bluray Player app and it worked fine. I have a 2013 MBA, so not great specs, but certainly good enough for playing BD movies.

    Now a days, I just rip the BluRay using MakeMKV and play the file using VLC. It's easier ... admittedly not as easy as it really should be, but I've no interest banging my head anymore. Besides, dealing with MKV files on a NAS makes placeshifting my content so much easier.
  8. Erehy Dobon macrumors regular

    Erehy Dobon

    Feb 16, 2018
    Like ftaok, I rip the Blu-ray disc and play the resultant file instead.

    After using third-party Blu-ray player software successfully, I decided that I no longer wanted to hear my cheap external Blu-ray drive's rattling, coughing, and wheezing through a 2-hour movie playback. It's not a good experience.

    The standalone Blu-ray player connected to my TV is far quieter, I'm still okay with that one.

    These days, I will transcode the MKV to something that is more compatible with the devices I take with me when I travel (e.g., iPad). I really don't want to haul around 30 GB files.

    Steve was 100% right when he called Blu-ray a "big bag of hurt."

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8 August 5, 2019