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    Mac Blu-ray Player software plays HD movies on your Mac

    Mel Martin

    Want to play a Blu-ray disc on your Mac? Apple doesn't include Blu-ray as an option, but they are readily available through 3rd parties like Amazon or Other World Computing. You'll also need software to play the disc, which is where the Macgo Blu-Ray Player comes in.

    I reviewed the Macgo Blu-ray Player software more than a year ago and found it pretty flaky. It dropped frames, was slim on features, and not something I could get to excited about.

    The updated player is a completely different story. I tested the software on a Mac Pro, and also an older (2006) MacBook Pro. I'm pleased to see that the Blu-ray movies I tested it on worked just fine, there were no dropped frames, even when running movies full screen. That's much better than my last outing with the software, and smooth playbook on my aging MacBook Pro was impressive.

    The app also supports DTS5.1 surround sound if you have hardware that can play it.

    The Blu-ray Player software requires an internet connection when you first put in a new disc. This is due to the copy protection scheme built into the discs by the motion picture studios. One a disc gets its keys, you shouldn't need to go online again. If you try another disc, it's the same process.

    The Mac app has added some new features, including screen grabs, and what they call 'AirX' which allows you to beam a Blu-ray movie playing on your Mac to an iOS device -- on your same WiFi network, of course.

    This new version works much better than the old versions I tried, and movie playback is flawless but I can't say the same for the AirX feature. When I first tried it, Blu-ray Player crashed, then a second try went a bit further, but my iPhone and iPad reported a 'can't find the server' message, even though I'm sure I followed the setup instructions correctly. I think there's more work needed on this feature.

    The app has extensive help and an actively updated website. You can download a free copy and test it to see how it works with your hardware. If you want to view Blu-ray movies on your Mac, this is pretty much it right now, other than some open-source hacks that don't work very well and aren't as easy to use.

    There is a summer special on the Macgo Blu-ray player software for US$39.99, which is $20 off. The sale lasts until August 19th.

    Apple has never officially supported Blu-ray on the Mac, and the late Steve Jobs famously called the licensing terms a "bag of hurt."

    Even so, some people like the 50 GB capacity of Blu-ray media for backup, and if you have the hardware, wanting to play a movie in HD is an obvious next step

    Check the Gallery for some screen grabs and a look at the GUI for Blu-ray Player.

    Gallery: Mac Blu-ray Player | 2 Photos

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