Since the late '90s, Macs have welcomed DVD movies. Pop a disc in your drive, watch Apple's DVD Player app open, and enjoy the show. Simple. But DVDs' high-definition successors, Blu-rays, never got the same warm reception. Today, the right third-party hardware and software will let you play Blu-ray discs on your Mac. But, uh … maybe you shouldn't?
Steve Jobs famously hated the licensing hurdles and hefty fees Blu-ray imposed. With his characteristic taciturn restraint, he publicly called the format a 'bag of hurt' and likened the groups behind it to the Mafia. Apple never built Blu-ray drives into Macs, and eventually ditched optical drives altogether to focus on selling movies through iTunes.
But some Mac users still need to burn their own Blu-rays or read data off BD discs, so there are plenty of third-party Blu-ray drives available for the Mac. And once those drives became available, a few enterprising companies who did (presumably) pay up for the keys to decrypt Blu-ray discs released Mac apps to play regular Blu-ray movies with those drives.
Unfortunately, searching for
mac Blu-ray player online gets you a lot of highly suspect sites with creatively translated English, each pitching their own totally not-at-all-questionable video player that may or may not actually play Blu-ray discs. But there are a few options respectable enough to make it into the Mac App Store. We'll discuss those in a moment, but first, let's talk about another app that sounds like a good idea, but really isn't.
Aug 09, 2013 Therefore, it can play Blu-ray disc and DVD disc from any region in a smooth way. Powered by advanced decryption technology, this best Blu-ray/DVD player for Mac can smoothly play encrypted or commercial Blu-ray/DVD disc, not to mention non-commercial one. Furthermore, this free Blu-ray player for Mac can play video files and audio files. Jan 23, 2019 With Blu-ray here for the long haul it’s important to understand a few things about what makes the best Blu-ray player software for your computer. Video & Audio: Quality Matters The best Blu-ray player software can read a variety of discs, not just Blu-ray. Look for one that can also play DVDs, CDs and rewritable discs.
VLC is a justly beloved open-source video player — free, robust, and able to play tons of different formats. With the right tinkering, Blu-ray can be one of them. But playing Blu-rays on VLC is like free-climbing a skyscraper without safety equipment: Sure, it's technically possible, but it's also incredibly difficult, full of drawbacks, and almost certainly a bad idea.
Jan 29, 2020 Sony’s UBP-X700 is the best 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray player for most people. For a fair price, it offers the latest cinema-level video and audio technologies to put you right at the center of your. Jan 25, 2020 Best Blu-ray Drives for Mac iMore 2020. Blu-ray discs are the gold standard in physical video formats right now. You probably have a decent Blu-ray collection of your favorite movies, but without a Blu-ray drive, you can't play them on your Mac.
For starters, the site I originally used to find the right files that would supposedly enable Blu-ray playback on VLC is, as of this writing, no longer capable of establishing secure connections. (Which is why I'm not linking to it here.)
When it was up and running, its sparse instructions didn't seem to work, and I had to go digging for another site's advice to get VLC playing even sort of nice with Blu-ray. Then I had to separately install Java to have any hope of getting Blu-ray interactive menus working.
Even after all that, VLC wouldn't play most discs I tried with it, ominously warning me of revoked certificates and other things that sound like they involve well-paid lawyers. And when it did play discs, it refused to let me skip past the annoying preview video tracks before the movie; sometimes, trying to do so just dumped me back at the beginning of them.
VLC works great for lots of things. Blu-ray playback isn't one of them. Just don't do it. Especially when you've got another free and far more legitimate option waiting for you in the Mac App Store.
The two currently available Mac Blu-ray apps come from Chinese companies. Shenzhen-based Leawo's is by far the cheaper – as in, it's free – and while it's perfectly adequate, you definitely get what you pay for.
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I tested Leawo's player with a selection of discs from every major studio (plus Criterion, for you cinephiles out there), ranging from titles I bought back in 2009 to discs released in 2018. They all played just fine, with a crisp picture and clear sound. Leawo's menus let me easily switch audio and subtitle tracks, and jump between different video files on the disc with a Playlist option. And unlike hardware Blu-ray players, it's not region-locked, so you can watch discs from all over the world.
But bones don't get much barer than Leawo's offering. It doesn't support Blu-ray menus at all; if you want to view special features, you'll need to guess at their location from the Playlist menu. If you're dying to watch, say, The Sound of Music's pop-over interactive commentary with sing-along mode, Leawo's app will not be one of your favorite things.
The app takes a solid minute (I timed it) just to load a disc, a process that requires multiple un-intuitive menu clicks, and whoever ported it into Mac didn't bother to change the drab Windows-like interface.
If you just want to watch Blu-rays on your Mac, Leawo will definitely do that. It's perfectly serviceable. It doesn't seem to install spyware or bother you with ads. But there's a better (and considerably more expensive) choice if you want a more robust experience.
Hong Kong-based Macgo's Blu-ray Player Pro usually sells for a whopping $79.95, though you can watch for frequent sales that will knock the price down to a still-lofty $39.95. On the App Store, with a 'family' license to run on multiple Macs, it'll cost you $64.99. (There's a marginally cheaper non-Pro version, but like Leawo's app, it doesn't fully support menus, so why bother?)
For that price, you'll get an experience nearly identical to popping a disc into any regular Blu-ray player. Macgo's app played my test discs flawlessly, with full support for menus and a virtual remote that even mirrored the what-are-they-even-there-for red, blue, green, and yellow buttons on the average Blu-ray remote. Its interface isn't Mac-like, but it's clean, intuitive, and unobtrusively minimal.
Discs loaded quickly — 15 seconds, tops – and played the same pre-roll ads and trailers they would in a hardware player, though thankfully, I could skip them just as easily as I would elsewhere. The app offers hardware acceleration for smoother playback, though aside from loading speed, I didn't notice a difference in quality between it and Leawo's app. Macgo's app even supports BD-Live online features, though you'll have to go into the Preferences to turn that feature on; it's switched off by default. I couldn't tell or test whether Macgo's app was region-free, but I'd be surprised if it weren't.
The only shortfall I found in Macgo's app, besides its price, was its lack of support for 3D or 4K UHD Blu-rays. I'm sure that's a dealbreaker for some folks, but most users probably won't lament it.
In hindsight, Steve Jobs may have been right to keep Blu-ray drives out of Macs. On a laptop screen, you may not be able to fully enjoy the HD splendor of a great Blu-ray picture. (And hauling around an external drive plus discs would make the experience a lot less portable.) Desktop Macs with big screens already have Netflix, iTunes, and lots of other less noisy and expensive ways to watch HD movies.
For the same $120 - $180 you'd shell out for Macgo's app and a good external drive, you could buy a decent Blu-ray player to hook up to your big-screen TV. (Reputable names like Sony and LG offer region-free players you can score for $100 or less with a little comparison-shopping.)
If you don't own a TV or a Blu-ray player, do own a Mac, already own an external Blu-ray drive for some other purpose – like ripping the Blu-ray discs you own for your personal digital collection – and really, really want to watch Blu-rays specifically off the discs, you'll likely be pleased with Macgo's app, and reasonably satisfied with Leawo's.
But with so many other, less troublesome ways to watch movies on your Mac, maybe you're better off leaving this particular bag of hurt alone.
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When it comes to playing Blu-ray movie on the computer, there are two effective methods: one is using a Blu-ray ripper to convert your Blu-ray disc to the regular format. Another is getting help from a Blu-ray player software.
We should know that neither Windows nor Mac includes any default software capable of playing Blu-ray disc. To get around this problem, you can use the professional Blu-ray player software - VideoSolo Blu-ray Player. It has already given the detailed solution on how to play Blu-ray movie on Mac, Windows 10, Windows 7, .etc. You can try it from the download button.
Of course, today's topic is the best free Blu-ray player software for PC. So let's get down to the business.
VLC media player is the most common and popular media player. You can also count it as one of the best free Blu-ray player software. With VLC, you can directly play an unprotected Blu-ray disc or steam Blu-ray ISO files on the computer.
How to Play Blu-ray Disc with VLC
You just need to open VLC media player on your Windows or Mac and go to 'Media'> 'Open Disc' > 'Blu-ray' > 'Play'. It will automatically detect the Blu-ray disc that has connected with the computer.
Additional Tip: To play some of the encrypted Blu-ray disc, you will be required to add the KEYS DATABASE(KEYDB.cfg) and AACS DYNAMIC LIBRARY (libaacs.dll for Windows or libaacs.dylib for Mac).
Go to the full guide: How to Play Blu-ray Movie with VLC on Windows & Mac
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1. It is quite tricky to add the KEYS DATABASE and AACS DYNAMIC LIBRARY file.
2. Commercial Blu-ray discs that released in recent years may not be supported.
Leawo Blu-ray Player is an outstanding PC Blu-ray player software, which can play Blu-ray disc, Blu-ray folder, Blu-ray ISO file as well as DVD, normal video and audio. It's an all-in-one solution for your video playing needs. With its extraordinary Blu-ray menu control support, it is very convenient to adjust subtitles, audio tracks, and Blu-ray chapters during playback.
We have written a full review: Review for Leawo Blu-ray Player – Play Blu-ray/DVD on Computer Freely
How to Play Blu-ray Disc with Leawo Blu-ray Player
After the Blu-ray disc is detected by the program, you can directly click on the movie to start playing.
1. The Blu-ray menu is not smooth to control.
2. It always crashes like crazy and uses almost 100% CPU resource when playback.
Aun Player can play unprotected Blu-ray/DVD and some of the commercial Blu-ray disc from Rom without any charge. This program also offers options to choose subtitles, audio tracks, chapters and titles for watching. It supports one-click to ejecting Blu-ray or DVD disc from the optical drive.
How to Play Blu-ray Disc with Aun Player
There are three options on the main interface and in the File Menu: 'Load BD/DVD Rom', 'Load BD/DVD Folder' and 'Load Video'. To play Blu-ray discs, you need to select the 'Load BD/DVD Rom' option. Then this program will detect any Blu-ray Rom attached to your PC.
1. Can't support the latest Blu-ray disc.
2. Sometimes, the Blu-ray video freezes/skips every few seconds.
3. Even if the disc itself has multiple tracks and multiple subtitle tracks, the software may not recognize it.
PotPlayer is developed by the same developer of KMPlayer. It's a totally free BD player for Mac/Windows which can play unprotected Blu-ray disc, Blu-ray ISO, DVD, CD, and audio & video files on PC. It doesn't have too many functions in playing Blu-ray. But if you're looking for a simple, lightweight media player with Blu-ray playback function, it can't be beaten.
How to Play Blu-ray Disc with PotPlayer
You just have to right click, then go to 'Open' > 'Open Blu-ray' option to play Blu-ray disc movie automatically.
1. It can't play commercial Blu-ray disc.
2. Easily get stuck when loading the Blu-ray.
After you tried the free Blu-ray player software, you may find that almost all of them has their own issues on Blu-ray playback. Although free is a big advantage, our advice is choosing VideoSolo Blu-ray Player. It works perfect on playing encrypted Blu-ray and DVD disc, as well as common video/audio file on the computer. At present, no obvious shortcomings have been found. It is stable and easy to control. Just take a try with it and you'll love it.
Blu-ray player software makes it easy to watch your favorite flicks conveniently on your PC, elevating your movie night. So, pick up your favorite one from the above list and start watching your Blu-ray movies on the computer.