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

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by ipaqowner, Aug 10, 2007.

  1. ipaqowner macrumors regular

    Sep 16, 2006
    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?
  2. jdechko macrumors 68040

    Jul 1, 2004
    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.
  3. macjonny1 macrumors 6502a


    Jan 10, 2006
    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.
  4. russell.h macrumors regular

    Jul 2, 2007
  5. ipaqowner thread starter macrumors regular

    Sep 16, 2006
    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?
  6. phytonix macrumors 6502

    Jan 26, 2006
    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?
  7. fishkorp macrumors 68020


    Apr 10, 2006
    Ellicott City, MD
    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.
  8. ipaqowner thread starter macrumors regular

    Sep 16, 2006
    Would that be USB or Firewire?
    Many thanks for the info.
  9. kolax macrumors G3

    Mar 20, 2007
  10. ipaqowner thread starter macrumors regular

    Sep 16, 2006
    Isn't that just software?...if the actual DVD drive can't read Blu-Ray...the software won't help a bit.
  11. Whiteapple macrumors regular


    Jan 17, 2006
    Haute Savoie,France
    Is the Nvidia 8600mGT HDCP Compliant ? I guess if it's not, then too bad. :)
  12. 2fives macrumors regular

    Nov 7, 2006
    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.
  13. DeepShadows macrumors newbie

    Aug 13, 2007
    I plugged in my XBOX 360 HD-DVD drive in to my windows XP machine and had it working within minutes. required a very small download and a reboot and that was it... don't listen to these people... unless you NEED Mac OS X support
  14. kolax macrumors G3

    Mar 20, 2007
    Read the title of this thread again please...
  15. Nermal Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 7, 2002
    New Zealand
    Wrong. I use PowerDVD 7 (and nothing else) under XP and it works perfectly.
  16. jaw04005 macrumors 601


    Aug 19, 2003
    This will also work if your display is not HDCP compliant.
  17. ipaqowner thread starter macrumors regular

    Sep 16, 2006
    And your point is? :confused:
  18. Benedictus-x macrumors member

    Jun 16, 2007
    The Port!
  19. kolax macrumors G3

    Mar 20, 2007
    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.
  20. Chris F macrumors regular

    Jul 27, 2007
    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.
  21. ipaqowner thread starter macrumors regular

    Sep 16, 2006
    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?
  22. mmoran27 macrumors 6502

    Oct 23, 2006
    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.
  23. ipaqowner thread starter macrumors regular

    Sep 16, 2006
    I'm running WinXP Home under bootcamp on my C2D MBP.
  24. mmoran27 macrumors 6502

    Oct 23, 2006
    Power DVD works with XP also.

    Power DVD works with XP also.
  25. ipaqowner thread starter macrumors regular

    Sep 16, 2006
    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
    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 DVD rental service on their 14 day free trial.

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