Let’s face it: Apple is never going to support Blu-ray playback on the Mac, which is bad for those of us who are Blu-ray fans. There are various workarounds, but the simplest may be the combo of the Mac Blu-ray Player from Macgo and a MCE Super-BluDrive. Well, at least it’s simple if you have a good Internet connection.
Let's look at the software first. After inserting a Blu-ray disc into the MCE drive, and launching the Mac Blu-ray Player application, you’ll be prompted to select your disc or a backed up .iso image. You have to be connected to the Internet for the application to decrypt the disc for watching --- which can be a bit inconvenient, but not a deal breaker considering the lack of other options. After the application scans the disc, it begins playback. It supports a resolution of 1080p and a DTS5.1 audio system, if you're so equipped.
I use the Mac Blu-ray Player and MCE Technologies's US$79.99 USB Super-BluDrive on a new, 27-inch iMac. Playback -- on Avatar, King Kong (the Peter Jackson version) and The Dark Knight Rises -- was consistently smooth and the picture looked great.
What’s more, there are three advanced interfaces for advanced configurations for the output settings. These interfaces allow you to set parameters regarding title, subtitle and audio. You can also share info on the movie you’re watching via Facebook or Twitter. And you can set the Mac Blu-ray Player to be the default DVD player rather than Mac OS X's own DVD Player.
As for the USB Super-BluDrive, it's better than Apple's SuperDrive. Though a bit heftier, the MCE is a much-better deal. The portable (it comes with a carrying case), slot-loading drive connects via USB and can play and record CDs and DVDs, as well as play commercial Blu-ray movies directly on the Mac with the Mac Blu-ray Player software.
It’s compatible with all Mac systems. You simply plug it into an USB 3.0 or USB 2.0 port, and you're good to go. MCE even includes a power supply connector for use in case one USB port doesn't provide enough juice. I never ran into this problem, but if you do, use the power supply connector to plug into another USB port on your Mac for additional power.
Whats more, the MCE drive is compatible with Apple’s DVD Player application for the playback of DVD movies, as well as with Finder Burning for burning DVDs and CDs from the desktop. It can be used for installing system software and applications, is bootable, and is fully compatible with all DVD and CD recordable media on the market today and can record to standard DVDR media at up to 8X (11MB/sec) speed, to DVDR+/-DL (Double/Dual Layer) media at up to 4X (5.5MB/sec) speed, to DVD+/-RW at up to 6X speed, to DVD-RAM at up to 5X speed, and to CD-R and CD-RW media at up to 24X speed.
If your hard drive is running out of room to store all the movies, music and software you’ve accumulated, maybe it’s time to get a Blu-ray burner. And with the MCE/Macgo hardware/combo, we can not only burn to Blu-ray discs on a Mac, but can also play Blu-ray movies. What's not to love?