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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Notebooks > Blu-Ray on MacBook Pro

Blu-Ray on MacBook Pro
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TailsToo
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Aug 16, 2009, 11:23 AM
 
Just wondering - with the next revision of the MacBook Pro, what do you think the odds are that Apple would offer a Blu-Ray drive as an option? Maybe standard on the high end?

I have a Core2Duo 2.33 that I've been wanting to upgrade, but I was really hoping that I could get a Blu-Ray player in the unit.

What do you all think?
     
mduell
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Aug 16, 2009, 01:41 PM
 
Low. There's more money and contro to be had with iTMS.
     
P
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Aug 17, 2009, 06:59 AM
 
Next revision is possible, but not likely. BR licensing changed recently - Apple was clearly waiting for that before adding it, but I doubt that they are done with the OS support just yet. BR isn't exactly taking off at the moment, but it is the kind of premium feature that Apple tends to support, so I think it will happen at some point.

Personally I'd certainly wait for Snow Leopard and probably for Nehalem as well before upgrading, so waiting a little while doesn't hurt.
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
AKcrab
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Aug 17, 2009, 07:14 AM
 
Why do people want blu-ray on a computer? To hook it up to a HD tv?
     
P
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Aug 17, 2009, 08:59 AM
 
To watch Bluray discs on long plane rides? That's why DVDs were added, even if it took hardware acceleration to make them work to begin with.
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
TailsToo  (op)
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Aug 17, 2009, 09:34 AM
 
For both movies and to "future proof" the machine. I could see in 3 years where some software could come on Blu-Ray, just as DVD has become the standard media today.

I was hoping that Apple might put Blu-Ray, USB 3, or Fire3200 into the next revision - something that would be next gen! It was hard to keep my old PowerBook G4 around once everything became USB 2.0. The same will probably happen with one of the standards above in a couple of years.
     
carterx
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Aug 17, 2009, 09:51 AM
 
I think BR discs need to come down in price more before it gets popular for PC/Mac usage.
     
Zeeb
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Aug 17, 2009, 12:17 PM
 
Originally Posted by P View Post
BR isn't exactly taking off at the moment, but it is the kind of premium feature that Apple tends to support, so I think it will happen at some point.
Blu-ray is gaining popularity:

http://gizmodo.com/5317003/blu+ray-s...wesome-percent

Although there has been speculation that Apple might skip blu-ray altogether, I don't think they will do that at this point. Broadband speeds are still too slow for most people to download HD content as easily as they do for standard definition.

I'm not sure about the next revision--but I would guess within the next two revisions there will be blu-ray on a MBP. Personally, its a dealbreaker for me if its not included by then--along with USB 3.0. Windows 7 has been getting good reviews -- and one doesn't have to wait twice as long for standard tech upgrades in the PC world.
     
TailsToo  (op)
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Aug 18, 2009, 10:09 PM
 
That's what I'm hoping too... My MBP isn't the fastest out there anymore, but I would hate to replace it with the current model only to find that Blu-Ray and USB 3 is just one rev away (i know, no one knows what Apple is coming out with next, it could just be a speed bump).

I just hope Apple gives one or two more reasons to upgrade. I imagine that I am not the only one waiting!
     
Simon
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Aug 19, 2009, 12:42 AM
 
BR has a slim chance, but USB3 is extremely unlikely.

The next rev MBP should launch before winter's over. That's before the very first consumer controllers for USB3 are scheduled to arrive. And even once those arrive, you'll see another delay until they've been integrated in mobile chipsets.

Unless Apple delays the next MBP rev all the way to mid 2010 I don't see any chance for USB3.
     
drnkn_stylz
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Aug 19, 2009, 10:04 AM
 
I have heard news/rumors that Apple software (iTunes, iMovie) support Blu-Ray, however, I doubt Apple will release a Mac with a Blu-Ray optical drive. It's too bad because I would enjoy being able to take a few movies I have on Blu-Ray with be while traveling. Also, I do hook up my MacBook Pro to my HDTV via HDMI so Blu-Ray would be nice to have in that respect as well.

Keep in mind people will be chiming in saying HD is stupid on a laptop blah blah the screen is too small blah blah iTMS etc.
..13" MacBook Pro | 2.53gHz | 4gb RAM | 320gb Seagate Momentus XT | OSX.6.6.. // iPhone 4 32gb
     
P
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Aug 19, 2009, 10:39 AM
 
Bluray makes excellent sense on a laptop. You sit close enough that a 17" screen is plenty big for HD.
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
Big Mac
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Aug 19, 2009, 01:52 PM
 
How many hours would you get with bluray on a laptop when running on the battery?

"The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground." TJ
     
drnkn_stylz
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Aug 19, 2009, 02:05 PM
 
^ I assume it would be very similar to a DVD.

I can play 720p .mkv files in full screen on my 46" HDTV off of battery and when fully charged I will have 60% left after 2 hours (new 13" MBP). Although there is no disk in the drive so that would be inacurate. Maybe take off another 10%-15%?

Having the ability to rip BD onto the HDD would be ideal as it would be more efficient when running off the battery.
..13" MacBook Pro | 2.53gHz | 4gb RAM | 320gb Seagate Momentus XT | OSX.6.6.. // iPhone 4 32gb
     
Big Mac
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Aug 19, 2009, 02:23 PM
 
I would assume substantially less time than DVD, and you can't rip bluray like you can with DVDs.

"The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground." TJ
     
Simon
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Aug 19, 2009, 02:34 PM
 
Which brings us back to square one: how to rip and watch HD content.

Here's a simple three step guide. It's tried and trusted.

Step 1) Download the movie in HD with BitTorrent
Step 2) Play
Step 3) (optional) send letter to studio explaining you would have loved to buy XYZ in HD, but due to BR's inane crippling you have chosen not to buy
     
drnkn_stylz
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Aug 20, 2009, 08:42 PM
 
^ So true.

Downloading 1080p movies takes a long time, and I have a 15Mb internet connection. I usually download movies in 720p to make it quicker, still looks good. Those are only 4gb-8gb per movie in .mkv.

I still buy Blu-Ray movies though.
..13" MacBook Pro | 2.53gHz | 4gb RAM | 320gb Seagate Momentus XT | OSX.6.6.. // iPhone 4 32gb
     
The Godfather
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Aug 26, 2009, 01:47 AM
 
Originally Posted by drnkn_stylz View Post
^ So true.

Downloading 1080p movies takes a long time, and I have a 15Mb internet connection. I usually download movies in 720p to make it quicker, still looks good. Those are only 4gb-8gb per movie in .mkv.

I still buy Blu-Ray movies though.
* Downloading takes 20+ times more than going to a store and buying the BD
* MPEG4/H323 compression is obscenely lossy to crunch a BD to 4GB
* 720p is 56% less pixels of 1080p <-- less than half
* SDTV is 33% lower res than 720p
* 720p is more like SDTV than it is like 1080p
* If one think that looks good, she should be able to trade her hires TV with a 17" CRT TV, and not notice the difference
     
Simon
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Aug 26, 2009, 03:34 AM
 
If you have a high-quality playback device I can see why you'd want 1080p material with minimal compression.

However, only very few high-end projectors really offer 1080p resolution and those that do are extremely expensive (unless they suck in terms of color, brightness, noise, etc.). Many expensive and high-quality projectors are still limited to 720p. If that's what you're using there should be no advantage to having a source file with more than 720 lines. Note also, that the 17" MBP is the only portable Mac capable of playing back full 1080p content on its internal screen. The other portable Macs will scale 1080p material down to fit the 900 (15") or 800 (13") line internal screens.
     
drnkn_stylz
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Aug 29, 2009, 04:43 PM
 
Originally Posted by The Godfather View Post
* Downloading takes 20+ times more than going to a store and buying the BD
* MPEG4/H323 compression is obscenely lossy to crunch a BD to 4GB
* 720p is 56% less pixels of 1080p <-- less than half
* SDTV is 33% lower res than 720p
* 720p is more like SDTV than it is like 1080p
* If one think that looks good, she should be able to trade her hires TV with a 17" CRT TV, and not notice the difference
There is a noticable difference from 720p vs 480i/p from standard definition TV. I have a Blu-Ray player and my TV is 1080p, you can notice a fairly big difference from 720p - 1080p, this just makes sense. I have an HD DVR set top box that I have set for 720p (instead of 1080i) for HD channels, and there is a big difference when going back to SD channels.
..13" MacBook Pro | 2.53gHz | 4gb RAM | 320gb Seagate Momentus XT | OSX.6.6.. // iPhone 4 32gb
     
P
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Aug 31, 2009, 04:56 AM
 
1080p vs. 720p vs 480p is a question of how close to the TV you sit. If you sit further from the screen than 4 times the height of the display, you cannot see the pixels on a 720p picture. Unless you have bionic eyes, 1080p doesn't improve the picture at all at that distance. The same number for 1080p is 3 times the height of the display.

Start doing the math, and you'll see that the diagonal measurement of the screen - the one you see advertised - is almost exactly twice the height. For a 40" display, the magic number for 720p is 80 inches - 2 meters, or 6 and 2/3 feet. That's pretty close - I doubt that you sit that close to your TV. For a 50" display, it's 2.5 meters or 8 1/3 feet. That's not impossible - you might very well sit at about that distance, so 1080p might give a small benefit. Bigger, and 1080p starts coming into its own.

On a laptop, the difference is bigger because you sit so much closer to screen. 1080p is directly obvious, and 1440p etc would also be visible. Resolution isn't the only thing, though: Bluray 720p looks better than most downloaded 1080p (trailers etc), because the bitrate is so much higher.

SD is also usually interlaced, 480i or 576i, which is a much bigger quality problem than a lower resolution. Switching from 576i to 576p was by far the biggest image improvement I've seen - 576p to 720p was visible, sure, but a much smaller improvement.
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
drnkn_stylz
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Aug 31, 2009, 05:04 PM
 
I have a 46" LCD TV, and I sit about 7-8 feet away from it. I don't wanna do the math but I sit relatively close, which is why I probably notice these differences.
..13" MacBook Pro | 2.53gHz | 4gb RAM | 320gb Seagate Momentus XT | OSX.6.6.. // iPhone 4 32gb
     
msuper69
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Aug 31, 2009, 07:33 PM
 
I had always thought that 1080i/p was better than 720p.

I've recorded both 1080i (1080p option not yet available) and 720p on a couple of Sony HD camcorders.
Upon viewing the video on a 1080p Sony HDTV, I was pleasantly surprised that I couldn't tell the difference.

I'm not saying there isn't a difference but it wasn't enough that I could notice it.

Blu-ray is quite awesome though and until it's feasible to download the 1080p online equivalent, I will continue to pick up a few Blu-ray disks every now and then. Trouble is, there are not that many movies coming out of Hollywood these days worth watching i usually just buy some older movies from Amazon. If you are on the ball, Amazon has some decent Blu-ray deals going on nearly all the time.

Oh and I'd like to see Blu-ray drives on my Macs if only for the backup capability (which still depends on the price of blank Blu-ray 50GB media coming down to Earth. It was the same with DVD media way back when.
     
jokell82
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Aug 31, 2009, 08:01 PM
 
Originally Posted by msuper69 View Post
I had always thought that 1080i/p was better than 720p.
You were half right. 480i < 480p < 1080i < 720p < 1080p

All glory to the hypnotoad.
     
msuper69
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Aug 31, 2009, 08:53 PM
 
Originally Posted by jokell82 View Post
You were half right. 480i < 480p < 1080i < 720p < 1080p
Technically yes.
Subjectively no difference.
     
Simon
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Sep 1, 2009, 03:08 AM
 
Originally Posted by msuper69 View Post
Oh and I'd like to see Blu-ray drives on my Macs if only for the backup capability (which still depends on the price of blank Blu-ray 50GB media coming down to Earth. It was the same with DVD media way back when.
I'm not at all keen on slow backups in sessions to optical disks that will likely become unreadable five or ten years later.

Nowadays we have cheap high-capacity and really fast HDDs plus even cheaper USB sticks with medium capacity. I have yet to hear a good reason to still use optical disks for backup purposes.
     
msuper69
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Sep 1, 2009, 07:14 AM
 
Originally Posted by Simon View Post
I'm not at all keen on slow backups in sessions to optical disks that will likely become unreadable five or ten years later.

Nowadays we have cheap high-capacity and really fast HDDs plus even cheaper USB sticks with medium capacity. I have yet to hear a good reason to still use optical disks for backup purposes.
And I can't see backing up to HDDs that are prone to failure at the worst possible time.
I will follow the lead of old school data processing where backups are made to non-mechanical media (tape is the main backup media in work settings - not viable in the personal computer arena but I would use it if it were). USB sticks don't have the capacity yet. I can't even backup my iPhoto library on one of them).

I haven't encountered any breakdown of CD/DVD media yet and it's been 10 years since I've started using them.
     
   
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