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Ask Max: Playing HD DVDs on Your Mac

Asked on 11/14/2007:

I might be getting a for Christmas this year and am not real concerned about this subject, but was just wondering if the MacBook will play HD DVDs?



It's wonderful that you might get a MacBook for Christmas. Unfortunately, the Blu-ray/HD-DVD playback on computers is still in turmoil. The problem is that most movie studios believe that putting their movies on a computer-readable format will open the door for massive piracy. So although there are HD-DVD and Blu-ray drives for computers, those are restricted to data discs only. You can't get store-bought High Definition movies to play on your Mac.

Apple has yet to include a Blu-ray or HD-DVD drive in any of their standard Macs. These drives are obtainable however. PowerMax can install them in the Mac Pro and some drive makers sell Blu-ray upgrades for Macs. Apple may have skipped the High Definition disc issue because computer companies are only allowed to support the data formats of these new discs. If it becomes possible for movie studios to be comfortable with Mac playback of HD movies, then perhaps Apple will start to include those drives.

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