Now that HD-DVD has officially lost the HD format battle, and Blu-Ray has emerged the victor, many Mac sites are speculating that Apple will soon implement Blu-Ray playback support into its system and start selling Blu-Ray drives in its computers.
I’m not sure Apple will implement Blu-ray playback into OS X any time soon.
One thing most people don’t know is the requirements to get the license to playback HD stuff on computers. The rules require that the playback device makes sure that the chain from the computer’s DVD drive, to the RAM, to buffers, to the graphics card, to the cable, to the display are all encrypted. That is all in order to close the ‘Analogue Hole’.
Did you know that Vista checks for chain encryption integrity for every frame when it’s playing HD contents? That’s 30 times every second (talk about paranoia). Try to buy a Vista system that can play HD stuff and see what onerous requirements you’ll find. You’ll have to buy specific graphics cards, specific monitors etc…
For Apple to implement Blu-Ray playback it has to do a lot of work to be compliant; and the requirements would put quite a burden on the system. I believe that’s the reason that currently, with iTunes rental service one can get HD rentals on the AppleTV only and not on one’s Mac. The AppleTV is a closed unit with an HDMI connection, meeting the stringent requirements for HD playback. Many people don’t expect this, but if you connect the AppleTV to your HD TV using the component video connectors instead of HDMI, the AppleTV won’t display rented HD contents in HD, you’ll get an SD version of the rented movie.
I’m not sure I want Apple to implement that kind of crap into the system that I use every day, in order to do something that I couldn’t care less about.
I mean really, does it make any difference if the stuff is true HD on a computer screen considering that the largest one currently is is 30″?
I would guess that Apple would implement Blu-Ray as a storage device on the Mac in order to take advantage of the huge capacity that it provides, and would leave HD playback to downloads and the AppleTV.