Advice for playing Blu-Ray discs
September 10, 2011 11:13 AM   Subscribe

I need advice for playing Blu-Ray discs on a Mac (or on Win XP).

I bought an external Blu-Ray drive, and have had very little luck using it with my MacBook Pro. (Yes, I know they're not officially supported.) I tried playing a movie using a piece of software called Mac Blu-Ray Player from MacGo. It seemed to work at first, but then it hiccuped and even stopped cold mid-playback... And seeking is so broken that it's practically impossible to resume playing from the place you stopped. So it's basically unusable.
Reading around the web, I found that the VideoLAN organization have a project called libbluray, which is supposed to add Blu-Ray playback to VLC, but it doesn't seem to be a part of the app yet.
I also tried ripping Blu-Ray discs with Mac BlurayRipper Pro and Pavtube Bluray Ripper, with no success.
So that's as far as I've gotten... Basically nowhere.
Has anyone here had any luck playing a Blu-Ray movie on a Mac?
I also have Parallels Desktop installed, so... Any recommended software for Win XP?
Thanks in advance.
posted by Silky Slim to Technology (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Have you successfully ripped the disc? You don't mention if your attempt to rip failed, or if the playback failed.

On XP, I use DVDFab as my ripper, which supports BluRay. VLC will play a valid rip directly - you only need special BRD support if you want VLC to play right from the disc rather than from a rip.

As a last ditch, you could also transcode it when you rip. You won't lose much quality going to mp4 (since BluRay uses MPEG4 anyway), but you will lose things like special features and most navigation (ie, you'll end up with a movie-only rip).

Good luck!
posted by pla at 11:20 AM on September 10, 2011

Download a trial of DVDFab and try ripping it in your virtual machine. Rip to mp4 for the most compatibility, mkv if you like the option of multiple streams and subtitles without hardcoding.

On preview, also what pla said.
posted by drpynchon at 11:22 AM on September 10, 2011

Response by poster: My rip failed on both attempts with the Mac apps.
pla - you mention support for playing directly from a disc as opposed to a rip. Do you know how to go about doing that?
Poking around the web just now, I came across a very interesting post:
"VLC 1.2 will play Blu-Rays.
Nothing fancy so far, no menus, BD-J or BD-Live++ crap.
It will work with encrypted blu-ray and some encrypted blu-rays."
posted by Silky Slim at 11:43 AM on September 10, 2011

THE best decryptor for the PC is AnyDVDHD. (It's worth what they charge for it.)
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 11:46 AM on September 10, 2011

2nding anydvdhd. what i do is run that in vmware on my mac. i share a folder from my mac and dump the decrypted iso there. then back on the mac side, i use mpls_dump to extract a .ts file containing the main movie. then i use handbrake to convert to something my appleTV can play. sometimes handbrake can't figure out the audio (many times the AC3 tracks are all foreign language, and the english AC3 or dts is embedded in the high-bitrate audio). in that case i use ac3to on the vmware side to extract the AC3 or convert the dts to AC3. finally i'll use subler to mux in the audio.

i guess its complicated but with the exception of anydvdhd, it's all free. if there are more direct or easier ways to do this, i'm open to suggestions :)

anydvd has never failed to decrypt a disc for me.
posted by joeblough at 3:43 PM on September 10, 2011

Are you running the Windows software tools mentioned here (any of them, really) under Parallels, or do you have Boot Camp set up? If it's the former, I can't imagine it's likely to work particularly well. I've used AnyDVD HD while booted natively in Windows to rip a handful of DVDs that I couldn't rip on the Mac side, and it worked fine, though obviously Blu-Rays are a slightly different beast.
posted by jaffacakerhubarb at 6:24 PM on September 10, 2011

I use MakeMKV to rip my Blu-Rays. The resulting .mkv container is playable in VLC, and from there you can encode it with Handbrake or the like if you want a smaller file.
posted by DakotaPaul at 9:46 PM on September 10, 2011 [1 favorite]

That should be: I use MakeMKV to rip my Blu-Rays on my Mac.
posted by DakotaPaul at 9:47 PM on September 10, 2011 [1 favorite]

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