Blu-ray for Mac

May be coming soon, may be not

AppleInsider has a rumour that Apple and Sony are in the final negotiation stages for bringing Blu-ray drives to Macs.

Third-party Blu-ray drives are available but not an Apple-branded drive.

Apple-branded Blu-ray drives have been mooted for Macs for a couple of years. It has been assumed that the HD-DVD-Blu-ray marketing year prevented a decision being made but that obstacle, if it was real, has now gone away.

Another theory says that Apple has been involved with Blu-ray since 2005, has had plenty of opportunities to add a Blu-ray drive to Macs and has consciously not done so. Robert Cringely suggests that Apple wants high-definition video content to be downloaded via iTunes and that Blu-ray is a threat to that.

He suggests that high-definition film downloads need a 1080p standard and files will be huge. The next step is that the Apple-Google relationship will be used to have Google’s global datacentres download such movies.

He speculates that Apple will add a H.264 encoder/decoder chip to its Macs to enable the playback of such movies, which is not supported now. Apple TV will also be a playback device and that won’t need Blu-ray.

PCs and notebooks with Blu-ray drives are already available. Microsoft Vista Blu-ray support will mean more software applications will support them.

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