USB/Firewire external HD-DVD/Blu-Ray Drive?

ipaqowner

macrumors regular
Original poster
Sep 16, 2006
108
7
Looking for ways to view HD Movies on my MBP and as the Superdrive built in to my 17" MBP does not support HD-DVD or Blu-Ray playback can anyone tell me if an external USB or Firewire drive exists...or is even feasable?
 

jdechko

macrumors 601
Jul 1, 2004
4,080
213
Yes and no. The HD-DVD add-on for the Xbox 360 has been reported to work with a PC. Although the drive is very cheap ($180) Tiger's DVD player doesn't have the necessary codecs to play the movie. I know that there are also external Blu-Ray drives, but again, you're going to run into the same problem with decoding them. Vista reportedly works with these drives, and I'm not sure about XP, so a bootcamp install might be in the works for you if not already.
 

macjonny1

macrumors 6502a
Jan 10, 2006
535
46
It is hoped that leopard will include a player for hi-def movies...none exist now.

Even fastmac makes a slot loading blu-ray drive but there is no software to play movies.

In short, wait for leopard.
 

ipaqowner

macrumors regular
Original poster
Sep 16, 2006
108
7
Yes and no. The HD-DVD add-on for the Xbox 360 has been reported to work with a PC. Although the drive is very cheap ($180) Tiger's DVD player doesn't have the necessary codecs to play the movie. I know that there are also external Blu-Ray drives, but again, you're going to run into the same problem with decoding them. Vista reportedly works with these drives, and I'm not sure about XP, so a bootcamp install might be in the works for you if not already.
Thanks for that, I do run WinXP under bootcamp on my MBP.
Anyone running the Xbox 360 HD-DVD drive on WinXP Home under bootcamp?
 

phytonix

macrumors 6502
Jan 26, 2006
377
6
has anyone noticed that in DVD Player preference
there is now a High Definition part
does that mean it can play HD-DVD or Bluray now?
 

fishkorp

macrumors 68020
Apr 10, 2006
2,258
89
Ellicott City, MD
has anyone noticed that in DVD Player preference
there is now a High Definition part
does that mean it can play HD-DVD or Bluray now?
that's been there for a while. it's for HD movies you create and burn on a standard DVD using DVD Studio. it won't play "normal" HD-DVDs.


OP: certain versions of PowerDVD for Windows don't do HDCP checks, so you should be able to plug in the XBox drive and it'll work fine. The current generation MBPs have HDCP compliant video cards, so if you have one of those, you're also fine. Right now your only option is Windows. LG's second generation dual format drive is I think $399 that can read both Blu-Ray and HD-DVD, you'd just have to stick it in an enclosure. Not sure if you're willing to spend that kind of money for both formats. It's still less than half the price of a dual-format stand alone though. But stand alone HD-DVD players are dropping fast in price. Expect them to be under $200 by Christmas.
 

2fives

macrumors regular
Nov 7, 2006
158
0
Surrey BC
I think your best bet is to rip them to high quality .AVI's. I have many DVD 5 size HD (if you can still call them that) movies that look spot on dumped on a 2.5" external drive to keep me occupied if I get board at friends places.
 

kolax

macrumors G3
Mar 20, 2007
9,188
115
And your point is? :confused:
You said to me that it doesn't matter if VLC player can read Blu-Ray or not, because the MB/P's slot-drive can't read Blu-Ray discs.

The point in this thread is to find a USB/Firewire drive that will read HD-DVD/Blu-Ray discs, and in conjunction with that I said does VLC player read Blu-Ray discs.

Ain't much use having an external Blu-Ray drive if you don't have the software that will allow them to be played on your Mac eh?

That was my point - it has nothing to do with the default built-in DVD player.
 

Chris F

macrumors regular
Jul 27, 2007
133
0
You can't do HDCP over USB or 1394 (HDMI/DVI only) so its unlikely people will make HD-DVD or BD players exclusively for these interfaces.

Oddly enough the existence X360 HD-DVD player (which is not HDCP compliant) may provide for such players in the future as MS will probably convince studios to never enable the image constraint token on the discs.

Edit: This does not mean you wont be able to find a BD or HD-DVD burner in an external USB/1394 enclosure, just that you will never be able to get HDCP working with it which may or may not have an impact in the future.
 

ipaqowner

macrumors regular
Original poster
Sep 16, 2006
108
7
OP: certain versions of PowerDVD for Windows don't do HDCP checks, so you should be able to plug in the XBox drive and it'll work fine. The current generation MBPs have HDCP compliant video cards, so if you have one of those, you're also fine. Right now your only option is Windows.
From the PowerDVD Website re Video cards suitable for use with PowerDVD Ultra...

"Note: If you want to use digital output during Blu-ray Disc or HD DVD playback (through DVI or HDMI connection), make sure the graphics card is HDCP (High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection) compatible."

Does this mean that this only matters if I use an external display via the DVI output?
It will display HD on the MBPs 17" screen okay?
I do not have a HD TV and only want HD on my MBP for viewing via its own screen at the moment.
My Video card is the standard ATI Mobility Radeon X1600 with 256mb video memory...would connecting an X-Box 360 HD-DVD drive and installing PowerDVD Ultra work in HD without upgrading the X1600 drivers to be HDCP compliant?
 

mmoran27

macrumors 6502
Oct 23, 2006
298
0
Blu Ray & HD-DVD Plays fine on Macbook Pro

I have the Xbox 360 HD-DVD player (USB) and a Blu-Ray burner (USB) hooked up to my Macbook Pro (SR). Both play back fine under Vista (32-bit) with PowerDVD Ultra.

I don't think there is any playback software for Tiger. I may try it in Parallels to see if it works but I doubt it.
 

ipaqowner

macrumors regular
Original poster
Sep 16, 2006
108
7
I have the Xbox 360 HD-DVD player (USB) and a Blu-Ray burner (USB) hooked up to my Macbook Pro (SR). Both play back fine under Vista (32-bit) with PowerDVD Ultra.

I don't think there is any playback software for Tiger. I may try it in Parallels to see if it works but I doubt it.
I'm running WinXP Home under bootcamp on my C2D MBP.
 

ipaqowner

macrumors regular
Original poster
Sep 16, 2006
108
7
Power DVD works with XP also.
I took the plunge and bought the 360 DVD-HD drive yesterday and it's working a treat under PowerDVD Ultra...had a bit of trouble to begin with when PowerDVD threw up an error message at start-up with "Incompatible Graphics Driver"...I had to find and download the ATI Catalyst 6.7 drivers...I couldn't get them from the ATI site as I had to download and run a verification tool which stated my ATI Mobility Radeon graphics card was incompatible
I used the Omega-modified ATI drivers available from www.omegadrivers.net.
I had to uninstall the ATI control panel and then install the Omega version.
All working okay now.
I realised yesterday I didn't have any HD DVDs so went to HMV and bought Apollo 13...looks great on my Macbook Pros 17" glossy widescreen.
Have now joined the Lovefilm.com DVD rental service on their 14 day free trial.