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Dimensions

The (unoffical) dimensions which I found are:

  • 9.5mm slot load

Software

There is free Blu-ray player software available for the Mac and Toast Titanium 11 is able to burn Blu-ray discs.

As it turns out, there are only few Blu-ray drives which are compatible (dimension-wise) with a unibody MacBook Pro and the lack of Apple support for this media makes driver support, associated software and other requirements makes reliable information on using a BlueRay drive with OS X and Macs hard to come by.

Question

How can I know if a specific internal Blu-ray drives will work when installed in the unibody MacBook Pro? (both specific models you know work with specific OS answers and answers to explain this in general would be of use)

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I think this is a fine example of a hardware question for the site. It is specific, addressed to an obvious need and will allow several answers that are firmware compatible (or listing the limitations of some drives when used in an Unibody MacBook Pro) –  bmike Feb 24 '12 at 16:40
    
@bmike This is one of those questions where I wish I could vote to reopen before it's closed (if it gets closed) just to get the ball rolling. –  CajunLuke Mar 30 '12 at 23:01
    
I'm probably confused, but I'm at a loss to comprehend how a drive can possibly have dimensions of 5x5x0.5 inches and have any other dimension be 9.5 inches. :S –  Dan J Mar 30 '12 at 23:06
    
@DanJ Thanks for the hint. This slot drive is 9.5mm in height. That's actually 0.37in and not 0.5in. –  gentmatt Apr 5 '12 at 8:32
    
Slimline drives are 12.7 mm thick; Super-slimline drives are 9.5 mm thick (these fit in current portable Macs smaller than 17") - and you need a slot-load mechanism, no tray –  iolsmit May 2 '12 at 13:04

7 Answers 7

up vote 4 down vote accepted

The following YouTube video by breakbeet808 confirms that

... It is now possible with the Panasonic/Matshita UJ167 9.5mm slot-loading BD-ROM drive, and/or the UJ-267 BD-Recorder drive, and some extra software: Mac Blu Ray Player from MacGo.

However, these blu-ray drives are not a "100% direct swap out replacement":

There is a slight difference with some mounting points on the top side of the drive. The problem is solved by swapping the drives' upper casing out.
(see "How to upgrade to the Panasonic/Matshita UJ167 drive")

Once you finish the upgrade, OS X will "recognize blu-ray discs and it will be available to the file system like any other optical disc".


How to upgrade to the Panasonic/Matshita UJ167 drive

This may void your warranty. Try this at your own risk.

  1. Remove the original superdrive. (You can follow instructions by ifixit, for example.)
  2. Remove the top metal shell of the drive itself, by removing its four screws. You'll also have to peel off a strip of silver tape that connects the top shell to the bottom shell. This will expose the internal guts of the superdrive. It's this top metal shell that we need to keep, it has the mounting holes in the right spots, so be very careful not to damage it. Do not touch any components inside of the drive. You may want to look up how to do this, it's a little tricky to free it up successfully.
  3. Now remove the top metal shell of the new blu-ray drive in the same fashion.
  4. Swap out those top metal shells, and screw the drives back together. The top metal shell from the original superdrive should now be on the new blu-ray drive.
  5. Now also swap out the small Y shaped mounting bracket from the plug-side of the superdrive and screw it to the new blu-ray drive - those two screw holes do match up exactly already.
  6. Carefully unplug the flexible data connection cable from the old superdrive and plug it onto the new blu-ray drive.
  7. Reinstall blu-ray drive.
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Great guide - but what are your thoughts on voltage/current rating - my concern is that the blu-ray may require a higher voltage/current rating that the original optical drive shipped with these machines. Could this overload the motherboard and cause instability or at worst irreversible damage - due to burn out of components? –  therobyouknow Jun 8 '13 at 12:39
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All devices use the SATA interface which is a standard. The SATA standard also defines the voltage and current ratings for devices too. The new device you're putting in should not impact your motherboard or cause any damage because the device will stay within the SATA voltage & current ratings. It cannot draw more current or a higher voltage because the motherboard will not supply it. At worst, the device will not work, and the main system will remain safe. –  andrewleung Jun 10 '13 at 13:11
    
+1 thanks @andrewleung –  therobyouknow Jun 10 '13 at 14:50
    
Update: I fitted a Panasonic/Matshita UJ-267 to My mid-2010 17" MacBookPro. This is a brilliant guide: eshop.macsales.com/installvideos/… (I did not buy from them or not do I work from them.) But beware of unthreading screws, particularly ones in the internal bracket, forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1464988 - I had this problem and I thought it was the end. But I follow the same solution and just cut the internal bracket with wirecutters so I could move it to unscrew another screw as required, the plastic is soft and doesn't shatter. –  therobyouknow Oct 24 at 15:35
    
The UJ-267 BD-R/BD-RE Blu-ray writer burner drive (it's also a CD/DVD burner) is recognised in both Mac OS 10.10 Yosemite and Windows 7 via BootCamp. Very happy, Despite having to break the bracket inside to be able to move it to get to a screw, as I had unthreaded one of the bracket screws (the metal seems to be very soft). But this is just the internal bracket (I could later glue it together), no damage to the MacBookPro's functionality or external appearance. –  therobyouknow Oct 24 at 15:38

A quick look at OWC doesn't show any internal BR drives for portable Macs, only in 5.25" format. CDW only shows a single model internal BR drive, and I doubt it would work well in anything other than its intended laptop.

So I don't think a compatible product exists.

That said, I have a LaCie BR external drive that I occasionally use with my MBP 15" as well as other Macs around my office (including file servers). It's not an internal, but its small, fast, and reliable.

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This one should fit in a MBP. –  gentmatt Feb 24 '12 at 18:56
    
That’s a tray loading drive. –  Robin May 1 '12 at 17:57

Edit: Slimline drives are 12.7 mm thick; Super-slimline drives are 9.5 mm thick (these fit in current portable Macs smaller than 17")

Physically these two should fit for slimline dimensions (12.7 mm) - don't know about the software support (I guess it will be difficult to find someone who actually uses an internal Blu-ray drive in a portable Mac):

TEAK BD-C24SS-A slimline BD combo drive

  • Slot Load «Combo-drive», plays Blu-ray disks (no recoding for Blu-ray), writes DVDs & CDs


Sony BD-5850H slimline BD burner

  • Slot Loading Mechanism, Max. 6x BD read, 6x BD write, Max. 8x DVD+/-R read/write, S-ATA interface

Sony BD-5850H slimline BD burner

You would have to remove the plastic bezel/cover (which is normally not too difficult).

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It seems like both slot drives are already 'naked' - i.e. there is no case that can be removed. But then the hardware buttons will prevent an installation in a MBP. –  gentmatt May 2 '12 at 5:21
    
@gentmatt - worst case you can unclip the plastic cover and desolder the button. –  Robin May 2 '12 at 11:37
    
@iolsmit - they’re both too thick at 12.7mm unfortunately. –  Robin May 2 '12 at 11:38
    
@Robin - you're right. The 9.5 mm format is also called super-slimline. I wasn't aware of this new format. It seems there is no slot-load super-slimline BD drive available yet. Some super-slimline tray-loaders –  iolsmit May 2 '12 at 12:58

For the software, I have to say you won't be able to play a Blu-Ray drive onto your Mac since their is no decoder for Mac OS X integrated.
However, you can play your Blu-Ray movies by using Windows. And of course, some clever guys did find a work around to play Blu-Ray movies onto your Mac.

For the hardware, it seems it's pretty hard to find an internal drive with a 9.5mm hight to fit in your 15" MacBook Pro. Take a look at this picture with the supported models:

enter image description here

It seems like Apple, with his eagerness to design the thinnest notebooks, has made it almost impossible to install an internal Blu-Ray drive inside a Unibody MacBook Pro.

Their are some with 12,5mm in height, but they will only fit in a 17" MacBook Pro. And since you mentionned the height of 9.5mm, I assume it's a 15" MacBook Pro you're talking about.

So in my opinion, it's not possible to fit an internal Blu-Ray drive into a 15" MacBook Pro Unibody. It's like Steve Jobs said once, Blu-Ray is a bag of hurt (to implement it in a Mac).

I think you should look out for an external one. I would recommend one with maximum versatility, one with Firewire, USB, and eSATA connectivity.

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Thanks for your answer. Unfortunately, OWC does not mention Unibody Macbook Pros. Also, they don't specifically mention internal blu-ray drives for the other mobile Macs. The prizes would have to be significantly higher. –  gentmatt May 2 '12 at 10:51
    
So, you are saying...? –  Michiel May 2 '12 at 10:55
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OSX will read from and write to blu-ray data discs, and VLC has initial support for blu-ray video playback. –  Robin May 2 '12 at 11:41

Wonderful question! I am looking to do the same thing and found it difficult to find the right drive so that the wireless card will fit nicely over the top. So after a little searching, here is a Panasonic as well as the Sony drive perviously mentioned, these should both fit perfectly (with a little thinning down aka removal of the sony faceplate). So now we have the drive. If you are going to be installing this yourself there is a great walkthrough on drive replacement over at iFixit. Luckily apple got with the standard and any macbook 2009 or later will have a SATA hook-up which fits our replacement blu-ray drives. As far as software goes, the web is an endless source for compatible software. Although, VLC is a great media player that will handle blu-ray playback in keeping with a comfortable GUI.

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I did not test it, but this one should be right. Is there anybody who can verify this?!?

http://www.amazon.com/Thinkpad-Ultrabay-9-5MM-Blu-ray-Burner/dp/B002L2K280/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1357338715&sr=8-1&keywords=UJ267

Lenovo IBM 43N3230 ThinkPad UltraBay Enhanced Blu-ray

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I'm using an external Blu-ray drive on my Mac Mini with Macgo Mac Blu-ray Player.

Blu-ray discs play fine through my Mac Mini 2.5 Ghz Intel Core i5, using an external LG Blu-ray drive.

Connected to my amplifier and projector through HDMI I am getting a DTS audio output as well.

All works fine.

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