Looking at Blu-Ray Drives/Media -- Mainstream Enough and Cost-Effective?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by astrostu, Aug 4, 2009.

  1. astrostu macrumors 6502

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    #1
    Hi folks, I've been out of the loop for awhile on media these days and what's actually being used. Yes, I know the obvious that Blu-Ray won the format war, that Apple doesn't officially support it (yet), but that Toast 10 and now Final Cut Studio 2 can burn to it.

    My situation is that I take A LOT of photographs and do heavy processing, leading to many large files. A recent trip I went on had 1331 photos that, after processing, including all the RAW files, final JPGs, and then intermediate 16-bit PSD files totaled about 58 GB. That's a lot of DVDs. But it's 2 BD-R disks.

    I just did a cost analysis tonight and with Amazon selling 15-packs of Memorex BD-R disks for $43, it's about 13¢ per GB. Versus 10¢ for a DVD-R or 15¢ for a DVD-R DL. Factor in the 5.32x formatted space on a BD-R, and I'm seriously considering investing in an internal drive for the second bay of my 2008 MacPro. 2-3 of those 15-pack spindles could dramatically shrink the several dozen DVDs that my photos and various other archived files take up.

    I have two basic questions, though. First, I remember reading several months ago (as in, could've been last year) a Wired article that was saying that while Blu-Ray won the format war, the public isn't likely to really adopt it, which seems to be somewhat evidenced by the huge number of DVDs still being sold. I'm not sure I want to invest in a system that'll never have wide-spread support.

    Second, if I do end up doing this, can I just shove an LG drive into my second optical bay and have the OS automatically recognize it? I'm looking at the LG GGW-H20L, just based on reviews on NewEgg and some sort of brand loyalty. But I'm really not sure what to be looking for here.

    Oh, and I guess a third question -- is there any software at the moment on the Mac that'll recognize a Blu-Ray disk and play a movie from it? Or do we have to wait for official :apple: support in their DVD player program?

    Thanks for help!
     
  2. gugucom macrumors 68020

    gugucom

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    #2
    1. It is entirely normal that life cycles of OD media heavily overlap. There is no alternative to economic distribution of 1080p content. The use of full HDTV will rapidly increase and people will demand more Blu-Ray disks than DVD. The parity may be 3-5 years away but it will happen. Online distribution will not be suitable due to bandwidth restrictions for mass distribution.

    2. Yes, no problem with the LG BD ROMs and Burners. OS X recognises them as DL DVD burners only.

    3. BD playback on the Mac Pro requires Windows with AHCI drivers. The drives usually come with suitable software for BD playback.
     
  3. mooblie macrumors 6502

    mooblie

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    #3
    astrostu: That LG drive is fine, but it's SATA (not IDE) so you'll need to find a spare internal SATA cable (or use an external FW case, as I do.)

    gugucom: OSX recognises that drive as a BD-writer: see attachment: "BD-Write: -R, -RE"

    Whilst you can't do BD-Video playback on OSX (Windows required), with Toast 10 + its BD Plugin you can read/write BD data or video -R or -RE discs (and, of course, encode and burn BD-Video discs onto -R or -RE.)
     

    Attached Files:

  4. gugucom macrumors 68020

    gugucom

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    #4
    There is no problem with the SATA connection on a 2008 Mac Pro. You have 2 ODD-SATA ports just for that purpose. All you have to do is fitting a SATA power adapter to your 2nd Molex power cable. Then you need a SATA cable with a 90° head to go under the front fan unit. This cable then needs to be routed through the cutout under HDD bay1 into the 2nd ODD bay. The rest is software. Biggest PITA is fitting the AHCI drivers in Windows.
     
  5. UltraNEO* macrumors 601

    UltraNEO*

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    #5
    OP, I use an BD-R/RE for the exact smae reason.. It makes logical sense.
    However if you can find archival grade BluRays, you can store your data permanently securing them for about 50years, though not all BluRay discs are the same. Just though you'd like to know.


    Yeah... But only for those countries who make 'bandwidth' a huge deal. Such as the UK. But TBH I doubt the medium will make it to the Mac, because it'll dent Apple's online media streaming business.

    Hmm.. That's not entirely true. The hardware shows up as being a BR burner with or without an extension. If the OP wants to burn BD-R/BD-RE, then he/she will need to purchase and install the BlueRay burning extension, which is a additional plug-in for toast 10.

    Not if it's on OEM device.
     
  6. gugucom macrumors 68020

    gugucom

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    #6
    We are not so poor in bandwidth here in Germany but I doubt that we will see such capacities in the next 3 years. Enthusiasts may have them but not the general public.
    :apple: 's streaming business is the more important factor I think. They will naturally look at BD as competitive. Unfortunately they screw their customers over by such policies. In the end it is a sales argument for Windows.
     
  7. UltraNEO* macrumors 601

    UltraNEO*

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    #7
    Well... Seems like we're both happy huh?
    I'm in Nippon (uncapped fibre, typically 100~120 Mbit/s)
    and you're in Deutschland :D:D Cool...
     
  8. gugucom macrumors 68020

    gugucom

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    #8
    I'm on alone on a cable modem which currently gives 32 Mbit/s download. It is likely to go up in the next years to 100 but I don't see the servers which would keep up with such bandwidth.
     
  9. UltraNEO* macrumors 601

    UltraNEO*

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    #9
    I have the same issues. I can find domestic servers offering high speeds but can't seem to send file overseas at high speeds however locally shared torrent streams fly!!!!!! :)
     
  10. astrostu thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #10
    Okay, so it sounds like this is a perfectly valid thing to do at this time. And all I would need to get, in addition to the drive, is a SATA cable with a 90° head? The power hookups should already be in my Mac?

    Also, is that the drive of choice these days? Or are pretty much most drives created equally, here?

    Edit: I also just noticed on Logitech's website that the GGW-H20L burner is discontinued ...
     
  11. CaptainChunk macrumors 68020

    CaptainChunk

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    #11
    Where are you finding DVD-R DLs for $0.15 each?
     
  12. astrostu thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #12
    That's not per disk. Per disk, I'm still finding it at around $1-$1.20. It's per GB, which is what I realized in a "duh!" moment is what I should be looking at.
     
  13. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    #13
    I have this drive in a USB2 enclosure and it works fine with Toast 10 for burning 25 gb Blu-ray disks.
     
  14. geoffreak macrumors 68020

    geoffreak

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  15. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    #15
    But not as reliable for long-term storage.
     
  16. CaptainChunk macrumors 68020

    CaptainChunk

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    #16
    Yeah, a big DUH to me as well. ;)
     
  17. gugucom macrumors 68020

    gugucom

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    #17
    HDDs are a bit chunky for distribution some folks may find. ;)
     
  18. TheStrudel macrumors 65816

    TheStrudel

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    #18
    That is the drive of choice, as it provides an excellent price/performance ratio. It may have been discontinued, but its replacement burns BDs 2x faster and costs more than it's worth, so feel free to buy the one you linked. All you'll have to do is route the SATA cable with 90° head from the logic board as described. The power hook-up, you'll convert from Molex to SATA power, but it's already in the optical drive bay so you just need to buy a converter (they cost like $1 USD).

    I find BD back-ups to be very convenient myself, as 25 GB/disc is a nice capacity. Check Meritline.com for cheaper discs in a bulk package - if you're willing to go off brand, they'll be even better deals. Not one of my Optical Quantum discs has coastered yet, though admittedly my burns are complicated archivings of video editing projects that I test with a BD-RE first.
     
  19. mooblie macrumors 6502

    mooblie

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    #19
    Just a point of info, astrostu: LG is not Logitech. (That might slow down your research if you assume that!)

    It's well...LG ("Lucky Goldstar" once upon a time, but they dropped that cr*ppy name).

    Their range is here. Looks like the BH08LS20 is slightly cheaper (!) with 8x BD-R write speed, but it's dropped the HD-DVD features, compared to the GGW-H20L (6x).
     
  20. yoak macrumors 65816

    yoak

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    #20
    mooblie & Cave Man, can you please link to the enclosures you are using?
    I´m looking into getting the LG as well, but the job of putting it in my MP is putting me off.
     
  21. mooblie macrumors 6502

    mooblie

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    #21
    Sure: see here. It has 2xFW400 and USB2.0 external connections, metal case, with fan and internal PSU.

    [​IMG][​IMG]

    I sourced in UK, but I'm sure Span will ship to Norway, or you can find it locally.
     
  22. mooblie macrumors 6502

    mooblie

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    #23
    Well done Caveman, yours trumps mine, with its eSATA! :)
     
  23. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    #24
    I haven't tried the eSATA yet. I was just looking for something cheap that was reliable. I don't use the drive all that often. Archival backup of files and to rip Blu-ray discs when I buy them (which isn't all that often). It's stored in its box 99% of the time.
     
  24. yoak macrumors 65816

    yoak

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    #25
    Thanks guys. I´ll see if I can find them over here somewhere first.
    Cave Man, was it difficult to put together?
     

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