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Blu-ray pulled from new iMacs at last moment?

updated 03:45 pm EDT, Thu October 15, 2009

Tech notably absent from Mac lineup

Blu-ray drives were pulled as an option for upcoming iMacs with little time to spare, anonymous sources claim. People described only as "close" to Apple say that Blu-ray support was originally anticipated for a near-future iMac refresh, but that it was nixed just before the computers went into production last month. Regardless, buyers would only have been able to get a Blu-ray drive as part of a custom order.

The claim may reinforce earlier rumors to the same effect. Apple CEO Steve Jobs has in the past described the Blu-ray format as a "bag of hurt;" the company may however be feeling pressure to add support, for several reasons. Aside from offering a marketing hook, the technology is now available for a number of rival Windows PCs. It is also of use for video work, watching movies and an alternate means of backup.




by MacNN Staff

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  1. Feathers

    Joined: Dec 1969

    -12

    playback or authoring?

    Who want's Blu-Ray playback anyway? The real issue is support for authoring which is the real "bag of hurt" that his Steveness spoke about. Still a long way off. Too bad that HD-DVD lost the war!

  1. stwf

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +10

    no , its the playback

    Sorry but thats not right. Steve was referring to the Licensing issues. Any device must provide a encrypted output path in order to be allowed to playback BluRay material.

    In order to do this Apple would need to offer HDMI out only, or keep the mini displayport and encrypt the traffic over it. Either way that would make the current monitors unusable for BluRay playback (unless someone hid a decryption algorithm in there already).

    Burning and playing back unprotected content is easy and is already supported by Roxio Toast.

  1. jdonahoe

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +1

    Who wants a limited drive anyway

    Unless they put a recordable Blu-Ray drive in the iMac, why bother. Most people would want to burn standard dvds and cds to start. It makes more sense, for now, to add a Blu-Ray as an external drive if they really need/want one. Recordable Blu-Ray internals are still about $250-$350 right now and they don't look small enough to fit in the case

  1. charlituna

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    comment title

    first off, these rumors are at this point just rumors. for all we know, the drives will be there when an announcement is made. course it could be just for the mac pro and just online but that's the machine they are pushing on their final cut studio users so from Apple's POV it's a wise move

    second 'support' doesn't mean hardware. it can also mean a software update allowing you to attach a blu-ray drive and play/burn from the desktop without a 3rd party software.

    third, there are articles going back for months that there have been issues with getting anyone to produce a slot loading drive of quality even just for playback and DVD/CD writing. a burner would likely be just as bad. this could be part of why Apple seems to be switching to leading the pack on the SD/download issue, rather than following behind. besides reports are that only something like 15% of all PCs sold in the last year had blu-ray in them. so it's not the high demand item that some vocal folks want the world to think.

    i wouldn't mind the software support but frankly I don't really need the hardware. a plug in is fine with me

  1. idanno

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +1

    No Need

    Blu-Ray is good for watching a high quality movie on a new HD TV.
    But for a mac, I think that only a video professional may find a use for it.
    Burning to a BRD will be not only slow but not cheap, compare that to the cost of a hard drive, I don't even burn to a DVD any more, I just copy it to another 500GB WD USB HD.
    Cost = 20 EUR Cents/GB

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +1

    licensing


    In order to do this Apple would need to offer HDMI out only, or keep the mini displayport and encrypt the traffic over it. Either way that would make the current monitors unusable for BluRay playback (unless someone hid a decryption algorithm in there already).


    Sorry, but that's wrong. HDMI, by itself, does not solve the issue. You need the HDCP along with it (which most people who put HDMI ports on their hardware also includes, because it would be stupid not to).

    And if Apple's monitors don't have HDCP built-in, which I doubt they do (but I don't know one way or the other) that's Apple's own biasness, stupidity, and short-sightedness (the same way their DVI monitors never had that built in, so you couldn't use them with HDCP over DVI, like many HD receivers).

    But that's neither here nor there. These are freakin' iMacs. iMacs have built-in screens. Therefore, there's no problem with worrying about displayports and such. The traffic can all be encrypted internally.

    And some of Apple's newer macs support HDCP (as was seen when some content from the video store would not play on their computers). And the AppleTV supports this for HD content as well.

    So what's the problem? Easy. Apple doesn't want people having blu-ray, because it interferes with their video plans. They want you to download from them, not buy disks from other people. There's no after-market money in offering Blu-Ray drives.

    Sure, Steve will go on and on about how its 'so restrictive and complicated' (I'm sorry, you can't find five programmers at Apple to figure out how to make it work? And, seriously, MS was able to implement it in their OS. Are they more capable than you? And they have to deal with third-party computer manufacturers. You guys make the whole widget!) And the only 'restrictions' are on the hardware side. It isn't like the consumer has to login to an account in order to play the content, like they do with iTMS video content.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +1

    Huh?

    Blu-ray drives were pulled as an option for upcoming iMacs with little time to spare...but that it was nixed just before the computers went into production last month. Regardless, buyers would only have been able to get a Blu-ray drive as part of a custom order.

    If it was a 'custom' order, how can you 'pull' it and 'with little time to spare'? They don't pre-make 'custom' orders. They only pre-make the standard configurations to put in the store. As such, the only time they need to worry about 'pulling it' is right before they announce the computer and put it on the web site.



  1. Midwest Mac Guy

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +1

    Tell Apple No to iMac until Blu Ray is Included!!

    We have to fight with our wallets. Go to Apple's web site and go to the purchase page of one of the iMacs and a chat icon will come up on the upper left of the web site. Let them know you won't buy until Blu Ray is included. Don't let them force iTune$ on us. I personally won't buy until the Blu Ray is an option. It is a shame that such a great display is crippled by the lack of the high-def standard. What were they thinking?

  1. Dark Goob

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Blu Ray is the Standard, Apple Must Include It

    You guys are all wrong about one thing. Blu Ray video playback does NOT always require encryption.

    For example, if I shoot some home video with my AVCHD camcorder (note: ALL consumer camcorders use AVCHD), and I want to make a disc to burn and mail to my friends and family (who will ALL have Blu Ray players by this Christmas, since I'm giving them to them), then it does not carry DRM because *I AM THE COPYRIGHT HOLDER* and I decided NOT to put DRM on it. Just in the same way that DVDs burned from iDVD do not have DRM, either.

    Now, it's just retarded that Apple would sell a computer that EVERYONE expects to be able to capture, edit, and burn video from their video camera... and everyone PAYS EXTRA TO GET A MAC because of this assumption... and then they hook up their AVCHD camcorder and realize IT FAILS AT DOING THIS! Unless they buy Toast and some expensive external BD-R drive. FAIL FAIL FAIL!

    No. Blu Ray is the standard. It is ABSOLUTELY RIDICULOUS that Apple does not include it in their machines and has not been including it since it was first available on the market. If it's a Blu Ray drive that happens to be incapable of playing back encrypted movies, then so be it... but people need to be able to capture and *natively* edit AVCHD in iMovie (without converting into some over-inflated alternative codec which takes for frakkin' ever!).

    Please people. Apple's head is up its rear on this one, BIG TIME. I've been a Mac user since 1984... Apple was first with the 3.5" floppy, one of the first with CD-R, always one of the first with DVD-R, first with IEEE 1394, early USB adopter. Yet with Blu Ray they suddenly decide to ignore the march of technology and really shaft their users. It's a damn shame.

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