Want to buy a cheap computer that can play bluray

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by piatti, Jan 11, 2012.

  1. piatti macrumors 6502a

    piatti

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2010
    Location:
    USA
    #1
    I want to buy desktop computer to play videos in high quality (bluray). Does anyone know the cheapest way to go about it? I guess I’ll buy some used laptop / desktop and a used display that can play bluray but how do I find such a display? And what would be the cheapest way to buy a computer, laptop or desktop, that can play bluray?

    This is because I want a computer mainly for watching videos and barely anything else.
     
  2. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #2
    I suggest looking someplace other than a Mac forum, since no Mac computer can play Blu-ray discs natively.
     
  3. ericrwalker macrumors 68030

    ericrwalker

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2008
    Location:
    Albany, NY
    #3
    If you have a mac, can't you bootcamp windows with an external blu-ray player?

    Sorry, not a mac owner (yet) so I don't know.
     
  4. Consultant macrumors G5

    Consultant

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2007
    #4
    Few options
    1. Blu-Ray is one source of HD movies. You can get HD movies from iTunes and other sources.

    2. Use mac app (or bootcamp) + Blu-Ray player to play

    3. Get a HDMI display + Blu-Ray player
     
  5. piatti thread starter macrumors 6502a

    piatti

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2010
    Location:
    USA
    #5
    I meant HD, not Bluray in the OP. 1080p is what I'm thinking.

    Any cheap displays and/or laptops or desktops that can render 1080p?
     
  6. dakwar, Jan 11, 2012
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2012

    dakwar macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2010
    #6
    every new-gen mac (desktop or portable) can render 1080p no probs. my personal pref for app for the job is vlc.

    that being said, macs are way expensive if all you want to do is play 1080p. just buy a ~300 bucks cheap PC for the job. or buy used. better yet, buy a stand-alone media player (e.g. O'Play or WDTV Live HD or some such) and plug it into ur TV (or monitor) with an HDMI cable.
     
  7. piatti thread starter macrumors 6502a

    piatti

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2010
    Location:
    USA
    #7
    If I buy stand alone media player would that mean I could play videos on my External Hard Drive?
     
  8. caligomez macrumors regular

    caligomez

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2011
    Location:
    San Juan, PR
    #8
    Just be careful buying a used PC.. Make sure it's not more than a couple of years old.
     
  9. dakwar macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2010
    #9
    Yes it would, if there was some way for you to connect ur external hd to the stand alone media player and if the stand alone media player supported the file formats your movies are in. i personally like the asus hdp r3, it has usb, and it supports pretty much every movie format out there (but not all formats - check their website for the complete list). the wdtv live hd supports fewer formats, but has a better user interface. the apple tv has an even better user interface, but it supports WAY fewer formats (and i think it tops out at 720p), enough that i wouldn't recommend it unless you're a die-hard apple fan.
     
  10. KylePowers macrumors 68000

    KylePowers

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2011
    #10
    What's your price range? You could go for a PS3, that way you could play Blu-ray discs (including 3D ones) and videos from any other sources you may have (external hard drive, stream from a computer, etc).

    You can get 'em new for $250, I think. You could buy used for probably $50-$100 less, maybe.
     
  11. piatti thread starter macrumors 6502a

    piatti

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2010
    Location:
    USA
    #11
    We already have a PS3 in our house. Could that be used to play videos from EHD on TV?
     
  12. KylePowers, Jan 13, 2012
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2012

    KylePowers macrumors 68000

    KylePowers

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2011
    #12
    Assuming EHD means external hard drive, yes, from my understanding. I guess the only limitation is that it has to be USB, but networked drives work too if you get the right software on your computer.

    I used 'PS3 Media Server' the other day to stream a tv show from my Macbook Air to my PS3. It worked just fine and was much easier than lugging my laptop to the TV and plugging it in via HDMI with a dongle. Plus I could still use my MBA from the couch like a lazy person :D

    EDIT - PS3 might not be able to play some formats natively. If you're streaming from a hard drive attached to a computer, 'PS3 Media Server' for example will transcode in real time to make it playable... at least I think I got all that terminology correct. I noticed .avi played just fine, but .mkv had to be transcoded. Still worked well though! But yeah, going directly via USB, you may run into issues depending on your video formats.

    EDIT EDIT - And if you go directly USB from the external hard drive to the PS3, it may have to be formatted a particular way, like FAT32 and not NTFS. I'd google it if you run into any issues as I've never done it myself
     
  13. piatti thread starter macrumors 6502a

    piatti

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2010
    Location:
    USA
    #13
    Why are Mac charger so easy to break?

    Is it so that Apple can profit off of customers constantly having to buy new (expensive) chargers? Is there a reason why Apple charges have to be so expensive as well? From what I understand Window laptop chargers are so much cheaper and last a long time compared to Apple charger.
     
  14. obsidian1200 macrumors 6502

    obsidian1200

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2010
    Location:
    Albuquerque, NM
    #14
    So long as the HD video didn't have an audio track with Cinavia copy protection, the PS3 should play the video just fine. Here's a list of movies affected by this form of protection: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cinavia#BD. It's a small list, so I wouldn't worry too much about it, but I figured you should know that some of your encodes may not play on the PS3.

    Also, in regards to formatting the external drive as a Fat32 drive, you'll find that files larger than 4gb will not copy onto the drive. I'm not sure if the PS3 recognizes exfat, but you can get around the limitation if you copy the video file from your computer to your PS3 via one of the media streaming applications available on the net.
     

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