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Mac Mini Blu-ray upgrade kit – a bag of hurt?

Posted at 13 November 2009 08:36 CET by AdamT

Amex Digital’s latest upgrade kit lets you cram a Blu-ray drive into Apple’s tiny Mac Mini, even though Mac OSX still lacks the all important native Blu-ray support.

Blu-ray-Drive-Upgrade-Kit2

The US$199 upgrade kit includes a slot-loading SATA Blu-ray drive (BD-UG1) and is designed for Mac minis and iMacs with an NVIDIA GeForce 9300M graphics or higher.

Playback of commercial Blu-ray movies was noticeably absent from the recent Mac OS 10.6 “Snow Leopard” upgrade, yet Amex Digital claims the upgrades allows users to play “Hollywood Blu-ray Disc movies on a properly configured PC or MAC”.

The drive allows Blu-ray data reading and writing using Adobe Premiere Pro CS3 with Encore or Roxio Toast with BD plug-in. AMEX suggests using VLC to load raw Blu-ray video files, although VLC does not support encrypted Blu-ray video so it couldn’t play video directly from a commercial Blu-ray disc under MacOS.

Booting the Mac mini into Windows would let you rip Blu-ray discs using third-party apps such as AnyDVD HD, which might be playable in Snow Leopard using the likes of VLC. Of course, while you’re running Windows you could just use the likes of PowerDVD to play the Blu-ray disc.

Or just buy yourself a Blu-ray player. Or a PlayStation 3. Or anything but a Mac.

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