Add Blu-ray Capabilites to Your Mac.

Unless you’ve been living on an uncharted desert island for the last few years, you’re probably aware that Blu-ray won the High-Definition format wars.

You’re also probably aware that, while fairly common on many Windows boxes, Mac OS X does not support playback of Blu-ray movies on your Mac. That means that if you’ve added a Mac mini to your home-theater system, want to watch HD movies on the road, or even if you just don’t have a lot of space for a TV and a computer, you’ve got to copy and convert the data from the discs in order to play them back and that’s impossible without a drive capable of reading Blu-ray discs.

Unfortunately, this Mac/Blu-ray gap also goes the other way too; the HD home movies that you’ve edited together in iMovie, Final Cut, or even Adobe Premiere are all HD, but how are you going to get them to your (or perhaps your mother in law’s) television to take advantage of the larger screen and/or the better sound quality? Sure, iDVD will get them to a disc playable anywhere, but you’ll lose that wonderful HD quality. For widest HD support, you need to be able to burn a Blu-ray movie to disc.

In both these scenarios, the lack of a Blu-ray drive is the main problem. Though you can’t play the movies themselves back, OS X will mount Blu-ray discs on the desktop; you can rip them using a program such as Handbrake. On the other side of the coin, programs like Toast 10 Titanium Pro can burn Blu-ray discs that will play in any home Blu-ray player. You just need a drive that can read and burn Blu-ray discs.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t appear that Apple is going to be including Blu-ray on its computers any time in the near future. OWC is coming to the rescue with its Mercury Pro Blu-ray “Quad interface” optical drives. Let’s take a look at the pricing/features of just the drive solutions:

OWC Mercury Pro Super Multi Blue Blu-ray External SATA Drive Solution (OWCMRF8UEBDW10)

  • “Quad Interface” (FireWire 800/400, USB 2.0, eSATA)
  • LG Electronics Super Multi Blue 10x SATA Blu-ray recordable drive with LightScribe
  • up to 10x Blu-ray, 16x DVD, and 48x CD burn speeds
  • Connection cables for all interfaces
  • 2 pieces 25GB 4x single layer media
  • 1 year OWC warranty

OWC Mercury Pro 12X Blu-Ray+SuperDrive (OWCMRF8BDSD12X)

  • “Quad Interface” (FireWire 800/400, USB 2.0, eSATA)
  • Pioneer BDR-205 12x SATA Blu-ray recordable drive
  • Up to 12X Blu-ray, 16X DVD, and 40X CD burn speeds
  • Connection cables for all interfaces
  • 2 pieces 25GB 4x single layer media
  • 1 year OWC warranty

While those are great prices on great drives, we’re taking it a bit further and offering up a pair of bundles with Toast 10 Titanium Pro as well. A long time Mac favorite tool for burning CDs and DVDs, Toast 10 Titanium Pro takes burning on Macs to the next level with built-in Blu-ray data and video disc burning capabilities in addition to DVD & CD support.

OWC Mercury Pro Super Multi Blue Blu-ray External SATA Drive Solution w/
Toast 10 Titanium Pro (OWCMRF8UEBDW10T)

  • “Quad Interface” (FireWire 800/400, USB 2.0, eSATA)
  • LG Electronics Super Multi Blue 10x SATA Blu-ray recordable drive with LightScribe
  • up to 10x Blu-ray, 16x DVD, and 48x CD burn speeds
  • Connection cables for all interfaces
  • Toast 10 Titanium Pro
  • 2 pieces 25GB 4x single layer media
  • 1 year OWC warranty

OWC Mercury Pro 12X Blu-Ray+SuperDrive (OWCMRF8BDSD12XT)

  • “Quad Interface” (FireWire 800/400, USB 2.0, eSATA)
  • Pioneer BDR-205 12x SATA Blu-ray recordable drive
  • Up to 12X Blu-ray, 16X DVD, and 40X CD burn speeds
  • Connection cables for all interfaces
  • Toast 10 Titanium Pro
  • 2 pieces 25GB 4x single layer media
  • 1 year OWC warranty

Let’s Get High-Definition!

Of course, the really great thing about bundling Toast 10 Titanium Pro with our Mercury Pro Blu-ray drives is that it becomes the perfect combination for burning your HD videos for playback on your home Blu-ray player. Like we alluded to above, HD video cameras are widely available, and even iMovie is capable of handling HD video. It somehow seems kind of silly to have to edit all that HD footage together and scale it down to DVD if you want to watch it on your television.

So the question is: if the OWC Mercury Pro supports Blu-ray media and Toast 10 Titanium Pro allows you to author Blu-ray video discs, what’s stopping you from taking your HD movies and putting them on Blu-ray for highest-quality playback? Instructions, of course!

Fortunately, OWC has you covered there, too. We’ve put together a nice walkthrough of how to create a basic Blu-ray video that will play on your home Blu-ray player.

Now, you can view your HD video the way it was meant to be viewed – in full HD!


LEAVE A COMMENT


  • Chris,

    I have actually mailed 2.5″ hard drives w/ enclosure in a padded envelope via US mail first class for $3 weighed at the post office.

    Since then, my friend has upgraded from DSL to cable internet, so it is easier and faster to transfer those multi GB files with overnight downloads.

    But yes, whenever the cost of bluray drives and especially bluray media get cheaper, discs are great for mailing data.




  • People still buy discs? :-)




    • Hello MacRat,
      Absolutely. HD movie benefits aside, with 25 to 50GB of storage on a single disc, blu-ray makes a great storage and/or archived backup solution.




    • Actually, there are several reasons I can think of off the top of my head that would lead someone to buy discs. The first (which is more a reason for blank BD media) would be for high-capacity storage, especially for shipping purposes. Were they more ubiquitous, I’d sooner send a BD-RW of data (dealing with video projects can eat up space pretty quickly) than a hard drive. With a padded envelope, shipping is a heck of a lot cheaper.

      As for the movies, the main reason would be for the “extras” that BD movies have: deleted scenes, supplementary info, etc. There is also a matter of portability – the BD movie that I use at my house is easily transported to my sister’s house, where she can watch it, without having to hook up (or unhook) computers.

      Even if you don’t have an interest in those “extras” and you don’t see portability as a particularly pressing issue, there is still one main thing that seems to be forgotten when talking about things like this – not everybody lives in an urban center where high-speed Internet service is available and/or affordable. Nor does everybody have the resources/desire to hook their televisions up to a broadband-connected computer.

      For those, the compatibility, portability, and simplicity of a using discs is still a very viable option. With a comparably smaller investment, you have the ability to enjoy commercial movies and share your own movies with the widest range of people.