Viewing Blu-Ray and HD DVD Video


With the introduction of two new optical disc formats with large capacity for storing high definition (HD) content, demand for viewing, editing, and copying high definition media to and from a computer has shown a dramatic rise in popularity. The vastly increased storage capacities of these optical media allow full length movies with 1080p HDTV format and 24-bit/192 kHz six channel audio. The Blu-Ray disc was developed by the Blu-Ray Disc Association, and stores 25GB of data on a single layer disc and 50GB on a dual layer disc. Blu-Ray supports up to 48Mbps bitrate for superior picture quality, a drastic improvement over the 8Mbps bitrate of DVD video. HD DVD, designed to be the successor of the aging DVD standard, has a maximum capacity of 15 gigabytes (GB) per layer and maxes out at 36Mbps bitrate. With a dual layer HD DVD disc, a single optical media can store up to 30GB of data, and a soon-to-be released triple layered HD DVD disc will be capable of holding up to an amazing 51GB of data storage (using 17GB layers).

As the HD format war between Blu-Ray and HD DVD continues without an obvious favoritism by the general masses, it has been understandable that a large majority of consumers are reluctant to choose a preference. Addonics' Z Blu-Ray & DVDR/RW Writer with eSATA and USB 2.0 is designed to circumvent this by allowing both HD optical disc formats to be viewed from any PC or Mac computer with an eSATA or USB 2.0 port. The Addonics drive is also backwards compatible with the legacy optical disc formats, with support for reading and writing to DVD and CD media.

How to view and edit Blu-Ray and HD DVD media on a computer:

Windows XP and Vista

Full support for playback and copy of both Blu-Ray and HD DVD formats is available on Windows XP and above. Additional third party software is required to support these formats.

The Cyberlink High-Def suite bundled with the Addonics Z Blu-Ray & DVDR/RW Writer with eSATA and USB 2.0 is currently the leading choice for working with HD content. The powerful suite encompasses the full spectrum of HD technology, including the ability to capture, edit, author, burn, and playback both Blu-Ray and HD DVD optical formats. 
Cyberlink website

Mac OS X

There is no known support for HD DVD playback and copy on Mac at this time. Only Blu-Ray video editing and copy as data storage is supported under Mac, with no playback ability.

Apple iMovie HD '08
iMovie, a subset of the iLife suite developed by Apple, has been improved with digital video editing capabilities onto Blu-Ray discs since the iLife '05 release. The iLife application suite is included with the latest Macintosh computers and also available for purchase separately.
iLife website


Roxio Toast 8 Titanium
Roxio Toast is superb for burning content onto Blu-Ray, DVD, and CD discs under Mac. The Dynamic Writing feature allows the user to drag and drop data onto the Blu-Ray disc just like a large hard drive. Toast also upgrades the built-in OS X Finder to support writing onto Blu-Ray disc. 
Roxio website



A wide variety of applications have been created for the viewing and copying of data on Blu-Ray and HD DVD discs under Linux. Linux kernel 2.4 and above can be patched to support Blu-Ray copy for data storage applications. The method of which this can be accomplished is available from this website. The commerical software Nero Linux 3 can also be used to copy Blu-Ray and HD DVD content.

Linux MCE on Kubuntu 7.10
Linux MCE is an addon to Kubuntu as a media center application with Blu-Ray and HD DVD playback. Linux MCE can be installed along with Kubuntu from the installation DVD as a full Linux distribution.
Linux MCE website


Nero Linux 3
Nero Linux 3 is the definitive burning application for the Linux operating system. Based on the award-winning current Nero Burning ROM platform, Nero Linux 3 is the most powerful and versatile burning application available for Linux, and the only application to offer Blu-ray Disc and HD DVD data burning support.
Nero website