Looking for a Blu-Ray /DVD a player for the MacMini

For those of you who still have a sizable investment in Blu-Ray and/or DVD a media, what kind of external player do you use to connect it to your Macs?

I want to transfer much of my collection to my Macmini, so that I can eventually watch it on my iPad.

I’ll connect an external SSD to my Macmini, rip and transcode those images to the external SSD ahead of time, then just transfer a handful at a time to my iPad. I’ve always used the internal DVD player on my MBP, I’ve never had to resort to an external one.

What do you use for an external BR/DVD player/ recorder?

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I have what I believe to be an older version of this drive Archgon Premium Aluminum External USB 3.0 UHD 4K Blu-Ray.

However, I think if I was going to get one today I would look at portable blu-ray drives are available at OWC/MacSales.com as my first stop.

I don’t watch Blu-Rays on my Mac, I use MakeMKV to make MKVs of them and then throw them on my Plex server.

It’s still frequently possible to find good deals on Blu-Rays (often with “digital codes” for MoviesAnywhere) much cheaper than buying the digital copies themselves. This, of course, makes no sense, but such is the world in which we live. For example, I am currently ripping the “Taken” trilogy which I got from Amazon for $18 when Apple, et al wanted $15 per movie for the digital version. I have never seen Taken 2 or Taken 3, but I figured for $18 that works out to $6/movie and I can probably squeeze out $6 worth of enjoyment out of each of them.

(But, seriously guys, stop kidnapping Liam Neeson’s family. It’s almost as bad as what keeps happening to Harrison Ford’s wives/family.)

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How do you view them from your plex server?

Like I mentioned in the original post, I plan on copying the movies to my iPad after transcoding them.

I’ve been using a white plastic MacBook ca. 2006 with Handbrake which still works fine. Gradually making my way through the DVD collection. No Blu-Ray through. But I’d consider buying an old computer instead of an external drive.

No room for another computer. I’ve replaced my dying 2012 MBP with an M1 Macmini.

Does anyone know if Handbrake works on the M1 and Big Sur?

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Yup. Works fine.

There’s also a beta of HandBrake for M1:


Either on the AppleTV or an iPad.

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Well then, it looks like I should setup a plex server and cutout the transcoding step all together.

I Have an Apple TV but only use it to watch pictures mirrored from my iPhone.

(I’m glad I asked the wrong question :wink: )

From your iPad, how do you connect to the plex server?

Just beware that Blu-Ray movies are easily 25GB. OTOH, (non-SSD) hard drives are large and cheap. I have several 8TB drives hooked to a Mac mini in the garage.

Easy! ‎Plex has an iOS app.

If you want to watch the videos directly on your iPad, Infuse is another good option.


I have one of those disc players that can play both HD DVD discs and Blu-ray discs. I also have a disc player for Ultra HD Blu-ray discs.

If you really get into ripping BR discs (like 4k/UHD), look in the makemkv forums for one that will take custom firmware. I think it might speed things up a little, plus it will rip the data for 4K/UHD on a standard BR drive. I think I read some BR drives will limit the speed when it realizes data is being ripped.

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What is the advantage of buying an old computer? Another OS to keep running…;(

I really don’t have room for another computer

That looks like it is for an entertainment center not connecting to a Mac

The old Mac wouldn’t do Blu Ray either.

It was an example. :slight_smile:

For ripping DVD or Blu-Ray to video files, I use
this :
Pioneer Electronics USA Slim External Blu Ray Drive BDR-XD05S Silver https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00OLZCD5K/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_glt_fabc_Y5BS25QFAFZ5RFKMGZR6?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1

And then a combination of MakeMKV and Handbrake to create video file(s) .

I currently use Plex Media Server for streaming the files from my NAS both at and away from home.

It sounds like you don’t have room for all that. I spent a lot for dough and time on my current setup so I don’t have to care if the video file is 80gb or not.

You might have to play with settings to find a good compromise on file size and quality to save on storage.

Luckily for me, they haven’t been any new releases that I like in the last few years, so most of what I get are new 4k releases of older films. Like, it wan’t too long ago that LotR was released in 4k. That about blew up my storage because they movies are so long, heh.

The Hobbit “Trilogy” in 4k , not worth it to me.

Darn- so many replies all of a sudden, and on the same day my USB dvd/DR reader arrived.

I probably have less than 100 dvds/br to rip, 95% are DVDs. I have no UHD nor 4K discs at all. A 2-5TB external drive should be more than enough storage for this. The trend seems to be getting away from recorded media towards streaming.

It would be great if Plex would add in connectivity to services like movies Anywhere and/or whatever the dominant streaming services are.