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Blu Ray drive for Mac Pro

Discussion in 'Apple' started by Nelson Au, Aug 2, 2019.

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  1. Nelson Au

    Nelson Au Executive Producer

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    Jr, I see one UltraHD capable Pioneer drive at B&H. It’s an internal drive. The B&H description:

    Pioneer BDR-211UBK Internal BD/DVD/CD Writer with Ultra HD Blu-ray Playback.

    That must be the one you show above.
     
  2. Johnny Angell

    Johnny Angell Played With Dinosaurs Member

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    I have read, but not personally proven, that when redeeming on iTunes, the HD code will often be upgraded to 4K. I think I’ve read that on this forum.
     
  3. jcroy

    jcroy Producer

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    That appears to be it. Good to see that there's still some inventory left.

    https://www.pioneerelectronics.com/PUSA/Computer/Computer+Drives/BDR-211UBK
     
  4. Johnny Angell

    Johnny Angell Played With Dinosaurs Member

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    After much thrashing about on my hands and knees, I hooked up blu ray drive to my mac. It works. I put in a turbo-tax DVD and it was happy to run the app if I wanted it to. Then a DVD of a movie and I guess that was going to work except I got the message saying my DVD was set to the wrong region. This was for the DVD of Disney's Christmas Carol with John Carey. I stopped there because you can only change the region code 5 times. This is a region 1 disc so I must have changed the drive back when, though a don't remember.

    A blu-ray (2 D of the same movie) does nothing. It doesn't say wrong region nor ask me to change it. I've tried 2 blu ray movies with same results. Both discs of region 1.

    Do I need a player? Is there a good free one out there?
     
  5. Johnny Angell

    Johnny Angell Played With Dinosaurs Member

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  6. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Executive Producer
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    Mac OSX doesn’t support Blu-ray. So if you want to play a Blu-ray Disc on a Mac you will need a player. I’m only using my Mac to rip, not play back - I use MakeMKV for that. Once that program is open, it does recognize that there is a Blu-ray Disc in the drive.
     
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  7. Message #147 of 224 Aug 11, 2019
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2019
    Nelson Au

    Nelson Au Executive Producer

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    Hey guys, up until now, it seems on this thread I’ve been asking a lot of questions and not doing anything.

    This morning I decided what I’d do and pulled the trigger on a drive. It finally all came together when I reviewed a drive that Jr mentioned. You guys have given me a lot to think about and there were pluses and minuses about external USB drives.

    I choose a more expensive route, but it was what I wanted to do as my initial goal. I wanted an internal drive in my Mac Pro. The Pioneer BDR-211 looked right and it’s future proofed as it can read UHD discs if I want to try that. I watched two YouTube videos of the blu ray drive install in the Mac Pro and it’s a 10 minute job, easy! That closed the deal. The other thing I liked is that the data connection is via SATA, so hopefully that’s still pretty fast. And it’s internally powered and cooled by the internal fans. Apple made it very easy with the drive trays easily accessed and cables in place. So I expect the drive to arrive later this week. Maybe I can actually try a disc next week. I’ve down loaded MakeMKV but have not installed it yet.

    My Mac Pro has two SuperDrives installed. So I’ll remove one and save it for later if the other one dies. The blu ray will go into slot B.

    And Josh, if you decided you want to get into this more seriously, I found a YouTube video on how to replace the SuperDrive in a MacBook Pro 15” with a 9.5mm blu ray drive. It’s more involved as you need to remove the screws on the bottom case, then disconnect some cables inside and a few more screws to remove the drive. Then reverse the process to install the new drive. It can be done and it works. It’s delicate work, and not for everyone. But I know I could do it on my 2013 MacBook Pro if I ever decide to do that. I haven’t researched sourcing that internal blu ray drive yet. The guy in the video got his on eBay. He installed the drive in 2012 MacBook Pro. Might not apply to the newer one you just got.

    Johnny, I also found an application called Mac blu ray player from Macgo. On YouTube, it looks like a very straightforward player. The basic version is $39.95 and works on Mac OS X 10.8 to 10.14 and Macs built after 2012. A pro version is sale priced at $49.95, regularly $79.95. Looks like a good option if you want to watch blu rays on your Mac.

    https://www.macblurayplayer.com/index.htm

    Thanks again for all the insights on picking the drive. I’ve made a more serious commitment with this drive! Now comes the fun part. And possibly harder part.

    Edit: I just realized that my MacBook Pro is the 2012 15” Retina model and it is too thin to have an internal drive. I forgot that! So it can only do external drives. So never mind Josh my comment above about adding a blu ray drive!
     
  8. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    I don’t mean always use MA per se for redemption — there’s a bunch of advice on what’s service to redeem which movie. I meant, there’s no reason to not have an MA account for aggregating and connecting your movie accounts. :)
     
  9. jcroy

    jcroy Producer

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    Micro$oft Windoze never officially supported bluray in any of their versions of windows during the 2000s and 2010s decades.

    Most of the "bluray players" for windows are from third party companies.
     
  10. jcroy

    jcroy Producer

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    For sure.

    I don't have the Pioneer BDR-211*** model, but I do have the BDR-209*** model.

    I run the BDR-209*** where the drive is placed on the table next to the desktop computer. I use slightly longer SATA cables to connect the BDR-209*** directly to the motherboard. This is easier for air circulation, where I keep a small $5 desk fan blowing directly on the drive to keep it running cool.

    The metal side panel is completely removed from my desktop computer. (Also easier to manually blow the dust out).
     
  11. jcroy

    jcroy Producer

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    Though if you don't like a desktop computer looking like a "Rube Goldberg machine", then my setup is not recommended.
     
  12. Message #152 of 224 Aug 11, 2019
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2019
    DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    jcroy likes this.
  13. Nelson Au

    Nelson Au Executive Producer

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    Dave, the term shucking a drive is totally new to me! I looked it up and I get it. The upsides outweighs the downsides. At first I thought that would void the warranty, but apparently according to the article I read, the drive is warranted separately from the enclosure. Very interesting that what I read said that today’s external drives are high quality drives because the uses are so demanding that quality and longevity is important for an external drive. The act of shucking the drive I could do. The only part that gets me is tearing open a brand new enclosure. :)

    All four hard drive bays are full now in my Mac Pro. But I planned to remove data from two or three of those drives to free up the slots for new drives. So a 10TB drive would be nice.

    Thanks for the tip!

    https://www.howtogeek.com/324769/how-to-get-premium-hard-drives-for-cheap-by-shucking-external-drives/
     
  14. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    I can post the guides I followed if you want.
    The link you posted looks good.
     
  15. Nelson Au

    Nelson Au Executive Producer

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    Thanks for the offer for the guides. I’ll let you know if I have trouble with the shucking. I’ll probably hold off getting a drive until I get the blu ray drive installed and settled.
     
  16. Thomas Newton

    Thomas Newton Screenwriter

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    Until you have a Blu-Ray Video player application, you probably won't know the deal with the Blu-Ray region codes. Still, according to Disney, Blu-Ray has fewer regions than DVD. So there might be cases in which a "foreign" DVD would be outside your region, but a "foreign" Blu-Ray would not be.

    https://www.disneystudioshelp.com/detail_BDRegionCoding__BDDVDHelp.html
     
  17. Message #157 of 224 Aug 18, 2019
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2019
    Nelson Au

    Nelson Au Executive Producer

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    Guys, the Pioneer Blu ray drive arrived last Thursday.

    FC7642DC-D3B1-4F86-BD00-9F190B1BC6D4.

    I had a chance to install it yesterday, I tried to be artsy with the depth of field in this shot but the auto focus had its own ideas. There’s something subversive about seeing this, it’s not something Steve Jobs approved of.

    E7359254-9C15-409D-B44C-C3446A6DA0D2.

    ( edit: you might notice in the photo, all the YouTube videos said you have to remove the plastic trim piece at the end of the drive tray or else it won’t work with the Mac Pro drive door mechanism. I remove it as seen here and I had an extra older Super Drive from a dead G5 I got from work and I removed the Apple installed trim piece and installed it after this photo was taken, they simply used double stick tape)

    The drive install took 10 minutes, I removed the second SuperDrive and placed the Pioneer in the second slot. I took a little longer as I wanted to vacuum and wipe the dust inside. It wasn’t too dusty. After installing the drive, I booted it up, the Mac recognized the drive and I could see it in the top menu bar when I select the drive open button. It shows as the Pioneer BD-RW BDR-211M. I installed MakeMKV and started to fiddle around with it. Though an odd glitch occurred shortly after I tried to open the disc tray and the Pioneer wouldn’t open. Then a few minutes later, I couldn’t even see the drive anymore when I tried to open it again. So I restarted the Mac and it was visible again.

    I had the Iron Man (2008) blu ray handy so I inserted it in the drive and I found the file of the film and I tried a rip. It took 20 minutes. I opened the file in the VLC player app and I could see the movie! The file is 30.39gb. It’s read speed was 5.6x.
    However when I played the file in VLC, I noticed an intermittent stutter. As the Paramount logo is playing, I could see the moving clouds suddenly stop and then continue. Later as the movie opens and we see the caravan of Hummer’s driving, I could see the stutter again as the hummers seeming would move forward, then stop or go back a frame and continue it and 2 seconds later another stutter, then 5 or 6 seconds later another. It wasn’t evenly spaced. Out of curiosity I used Handbrake to rip the file into an m4v file. When that completed I viewed it in QuickTime and I could see the same stutter in the same places. So the initial rip must have caused that.

    This was an interesting experience to do the first rip. It seemed straight forward after I got somewhat familiar with MakeMKV. The first rip went a lot faster then I expected. But the first rip is not perfect. So I’ll have to learn why there is this stutter. A web search didn’t help yet, there was mention in the MakeMLV forums of a frame rate setting, but I have not seen a way to set that.

    Maybe there are drivers needed for the Pioneer?

    My Mac Pro is the last Mac Pro (mid 2012). Mac OS X 10.13.6. The CPU is two 6 core 3.06ghz Xeon. I upgraded the GPU card to an NVIDIA K5000 and 24gb if ram. This makes it compatible with Metal. This is a very well equipped machine, I bought it used from Stanford university as a friend works there and the IT department put it to pasture after 3 years of academic use. I got a great deal on it. It’s got a couple of little scratches on it but surprisingly in good shape.

    I’ll be interested in other’s experiences with MakeMKV. Thanks!
     
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  18. jcroy

    jcroy Producer

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  19. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Executive Producer
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    I’ve experienced no video stuttering when playing back my full rips directly on a 2009 MBP.
     
  20. jcroy

    jcroy Producer

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    Is the video player using the graphics card's acceleration?

    If not, then all the rendering has to be done by software which is a lot slower.
     

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