What are Blu-ray disks?

CDs and DVDs use a red laser of 650 nm. To cram even more data in the same space, a laser with a shorter wave-length, purple-blue light of 405 nm, is used. For a few years there was a fight between two standards: HD-DVD and Blu-ray. Around 2008 it became clear that Blu-ray had won the battle.

Blu-ray is meant as the successor to DVD. A single layer DVD can contain 4.7 GB of data, a single layer BD (Blu-ray Disk) can fit 25 GigaByte. Both standards support a dual layer disk, that double the amount to about 8.5 GB on a dual layer DVD and 50 GB on a dual layer BD. There are even double-sided, dual layer DVDs, but they are not very common, probably because they are harder, therefore more expensive, to make.

Why do I want a Blu-ray burner?

The cheapest, most common, 25 GB Blu-ray disks contain five times the data the cheapest, most common DVD disks contain. Now prizes per BD-R have come down to about € 2 or $ 2.50, Blu-ray has become a very interesting medium for storing data, not to mention movies.

The movie industry and HD video fans are using Blu-ray disks because DVDs are to small to fit a high definition feature film. Blu-ray players have become dirt cheap. Personal computers used to come with a DVD drive, now BD is on it’s way to replace DVD as the new standard in disk drives.

Why did you wait so long to get a Blu-ray disk drive?

I have been waiting for years for Apple to adopt the Blu-ray standard. Until now, Apple still doesn’t sell computers with Blu-ray drives, even though since I bought my Mac Pro 3.1 (2008), Blu-ray drives and disks have become cheap. Even though there is exellent software, like Toast Titanium, that lets you burn data and movies to Blu-ray recordable disks (BD-R) and Blu-ray re-recordable disks (BD-RE) and even though their Mac OS X supports reading data from BD natively.

So I decided to take the plunge and first read as much as I could find about others’ experiences with Blu-ray drives and Macs on the internet. I then ordered a LG BH08LS20 because someone wrote that he couldn’t get the LG BH10LS30 to work, no matter what. Still, the company I ordered from send me a LG BH10LS30 Blu-ray burner, that is replacing the model I ordered.

Since they had send it to me already, curiousity got the best of me and I decided to try to build the blu-ray burner in my Mac Pro anyway.

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