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Can Mac through USB 2.0 play Blu-Ray?

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 

I had an external DVD/CD drive and it just went bad so I'm going to replace it.  I am looking at one option such as Apple's external USB drive.  It's $79 but I've seen it as low as $50 on eBay and Amazon.  I am thinking of getting that one but then I came across this other drive by OWC:

 

http://eshop.macsales.com/item/OWC/MRSSBD6X/


What I like is it also both reads and writes CD's and DVD's.  It's super small and sleek which is important to me since I plan to use this drive a lot when traveling.  Another plus is it doesn't have a separate power cable and gets all power through the computer.  What I like also it is reads blu-ray. I don't need a blu-ray writers since I have one in my Mac Pro.

 

I have a few questions:

 

-It says in some situations it may require a power cable.  Would it need this for playing blu-ray?

 

-It is only USB 2.0 and now USB 3.0 is coming to Macs and there is also firewire and especially thunderbolt.  Would USB 2.0 be able to easily handle playing blu-ray?

 

-I realize that both Windows and Mac out of the box don't play blu-ray.  Is there software available for the Mac that would easily be able to play a blu-ray?  I don't know if copy protection is an issue but if it's not able to play protected BD's could it play unprotected BD's?

 

-Are there other options other than this drive I should look at?

 

I like Apple's drive but really like the option of Blu-Ray.  With retina macs coming out now this would be nice.  I am glad to see the latest MBP added USB 3.0.  I want retina though and won't get the upper end MBP but I'm hoping after a year or two more product refreshes that retina makes it's way to the rest of the MBP line and i'll try to hold off purchasing until then.

post #2 of 3

I assume you have either a Mac Mini Server or a MacBook Air? Otherwise, the Apple drive is not an option.
 

post #3 of 3
Quote:
Originally Posted by markw10 View Post

-It says in some situations it may require a power cable.  Would it need this for playing blu-ray?

No, it's just for low-powered USB ports like you get on some laptops - some ports will be unpowered like in a USB hub.
Quote:
Originally Posted by markw10 View Post

-It is only USB 2.0 and now USB 3.0 is coming to Macs and there is also firewire and especially thunderbolt.  Would USB 2.0 be able to easily handle playing blu-ray?

Yes, Blu-Ray can go up to 40Mbit/s, USB 2 is around 30MByte/s (240Mbit/s). Plenty for Blu-Ray.
Quote:
Originally Posted by markw10 View Post

-I realize that both Windows and Mac out of the box don't play blu-ray.  Is there software available for the Mac that would easily be able to play a blu-ray?  I don't know if copy protection is an issue but if it's not able to play protected BD's could it play unprotected BD's?

There is a way to do it:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k8GTwY2fF2M

but you'd be better just ripping the disc so that it's easy to skip through it. You may as well do that on your Mac Pro really.
Quote:
Originally Posted by markw10 View Post

-Are there other options other than this drive I should look at?

Sony has a portable drive:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827118066

but either one should work.
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