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How to watch Blu-ray movies on your Mac

bd4kmaster3Do you own a Mac and want to play Blu-ray discs right there on your screen? The good news is that it is possible even though Apple doesn’t support the format.

We’ve see many Windows computers include Blu-ray Disc optical drives which are useful for not only watching movies but for burning data on to the 50GB capacity discs.

But Apple’s support of the format hasn’t been forthcoming.

Apple was actually one of the companies listed in the Blu-ray camp when the war against rival full high definition format HDD was raging.

But when the dust settled back in 2008, Apple CEO Steve Jobs was waiting for the format to be more widely adopted.

The result on Apple’s side was that no Blu-ray optical drives were ever included on any of its computers including the full high definition 21.5-inch and 27-inch iMacs.

Today the iMac doesn’t even have an optical drive so it can’t play even play DVDs let alone Blu-ray.

The Buffalo BRXL-PC6U2B Blu-ray external drive attached to our 27-inch iMac

Apple has a USB SuperDrive available separately which can connect to the Mac to play DVDs.

But you can also play Blu-ray right there on your Mac if you want to.

The first thing you’ll need is an external Blu-ray drive. There are several available including models from Buffalo, Samsung, LG, ASUS and Sony.

And while none of these state on the packaging that they support the Mac OS X operating system they will still work.

These are connected by USB to your Mac. Depending on the drive, it might be necessary to connect two USB cables from the drive to your Mac to have enough power.

The Free Mac Blu-ray Player

We used the Buffalo MediaStation External Blu-ray Writer BRXL-PC6U2B ($125 from JB Hi-Fi) which had two USB cables to attach to our brand new 27-inch iMac running Mountain Lion. This way we don’t need to connect the device to power.

Playing DVDs wasn’t an issue because the Mac’s native DVD player is still pre-installed on the computer despite the fact there is no longer a DVD optical drive on board.

We were able to see the DVD mount on the desktop after being loaded into the Buffalo drive and could play the disc using Apple’s DVD player software.

But what about Blu-ray? We inserted a Blu-ray Disc into the Buffalo BRXL-PC6U2B and saw the disc on the desktop.

Watching The Newsroom on Blu-ray on our 27-inch iMac

Now to play the disc you need third party software. There are a few options available including Mac Blu-ray Player and iDeer which cost about $35

But we settled on the Free Mac Blu-ray Player which we saw to be almost identical in terms of functionality and the best part – it didn’t cost us a cent.

Now to burn Blu-ray discs there are also a few options including programs which can be downloaded from the Mac App Store like Blu-ray Creator and NTIDragonBurn.

There is also Roxio Toast Titanium 11 which allows Blu-ray burning as well.

It’s also possible to export to Blu-ray from Apple’s own video editing software Final Cut Pro as well.

If you’re into Blu-ray and also happen to own a Mac – it’s good to know they can now work together.

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