Fastmac ships first slimline Blu-ray optical drive upgrade for Apple portable Macs, Mac mini

Apple StoreFastmac today announced that it has begun shipping the first & only Blu-ray optical drive upgrade for Apple’s PowerBook, iBook & MacBook Pro computers. The new slimline, slot loading drive uses one of the fastest & most compatible Blu-ray mechanisms to provide up to 50GB of storage on 1 disk, without sacrificing compatibility with standard DVD & CD recordable media. Fastmac’s Blu-Ray optical drive has been tested & certified compatible with Adobe Premiere Pro CS3 video production software. The drive is available now for order for a special introductory price of $799.95. Each drive carries a 1 year warranty and a 30 day money back guarantee .

Fastmac’s new Blu-Ray slot loading drive has been tested and certified compatible with Adobe’s forthcoming Premiere Pro CS3 video production software that includes Adobe Encore CS3 and is part of the Adobe Creative Suite 3 Production Premium Collection. Adobe Encore CS3 integrates with Adobe Photoshop & Adobe Premiere to provide a rich set of creative tools for the production and output of full-featured, menu-driven DVD and Blu-Ray Discs. It is the only video production and editing software available for the Mac OS that supports built-in Blu-Ray Disc authoring for playback on stand-alone Blu-Ray DVD players & the Sony PlayStation 3.

Fastmac’s new Blu-ray slot loading drive gives photographers, videographers & musicians the ability to save anything, anywhere- in the field, on location, in the studio, at work or at home. System administrators and database administrators can archive and retrieve large amounts of data on one convenient disk. And consumers can now watch today’s latest HD content in true high definition with surround sound anytime & anywhere they happen to be.

Blu-ray, also known as Blu-ray Disk (BD), is the name of a next generation optical disk format developed by a consortium of electronics and computer manufacturers including Apple, Dell, HP, JVC, Mitsubishi, Panasonic, Pioneer, Philips, Samsung, Sharp, Sony & TDK. The format was designed to enable the recording and playback of High Definition (HD) content and to allow storage of large amounts (up to 200 Gb) of data. While current optical drive technologies rely on a red laser to read and write data, the new format uses a blue-violet laser (hence the name, Blu-ray). The blue-violet laser has a 38% shorter wavelength (405nm) than a red laser (650nm), allowing the drive’s optical pickup unit to focus more precisely than ever before. Data can then be packed more densely on standard sized disks. Despite using a new type of laser, Blu-ray drives are compatible with standard DVD and CD media through the use of a combined red, blue & violet optical reader and writer.

In addition to broad support from the electronics, music, computer & video game industry, 7 out of 8 of the major Hollywood film studios support Blu-ray media and 5 out of those 7 (Disney, Fox, Lionsgate, MGM & Sony) have decided to release their movies exclusively in the Blu-ray format. With its forward and backward integration with new and old media, Blu-ray is destined to become the successor to today’s DVD format.

Fastmac’s slimline Blu-ray slot loading optical drive supports reading, writing and re-writing to single and dual layer Blu-ray media at 1x speeds. The drive is also compatible with standard DVD and CD media and can write to DVD-R and DVD+R media at 8x speed in single layer and 2x speed in dual/ double layer mode. It can rewrite to DVD-R and DVD+R media at 4x speeds. The drive also supports DVD-RAM reading and writing at up to 5x speeds and standard CD-R and CD-RW burning at 8x speeds.

Fastmac’s slimline Blu-ray slot loading optical drive upgrade requires Mac OS X 10.2.8 or higher and is compatible with the following Apple computers:
• iBook G4
• iMac G5
• iMac Intel
• MacBook Pro (17-inch)
• Mac mini
• PowerBook G3 Pismo
• PowerBook G4 Titanium (667 Mhz or higher)
• PowerBook G4 Aluminum

Blu-ray burning requires 3rd-party software such as Adobe Premiere CS3 or Roxio’s Toast 8 Titanium, which enables Blu-ray disk support in the Mac OS Finder. Native support for Blu-ray burning within iLife & iTunes is expected in the future via Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard, but cannot be guaranteed at this time.

More info: http://fastmac.com/slim_bluray.php

23 Comments

  1. Where’s the HD DVD or a universal drive? You can’t even watch Blu-Ray movies on this drive because there is no software that will enable it for the Mac platform. Blu-Ray overhyped and overpriced! I hope HD DVD wins exact same picture and sound quality for half the price, can’t wait for all the Blu-Ray fanbois to respond. Final Cut Pro and DVD Studio Pro support HD DVD.

  2. @DC

    Blu-Ray offers a heap more storage capacity than HD-DVD – 50Gb as opposed to 30Gb.

    In the long run, Blu-Ray production costs will come down to match, or closely match, those of HD-DVD.

    And, in the meantime, the extra 20Gb will prove very useful for data backup.

    Movies are not going to be sold on plastic forever. In the next 5 years we are going to see a substantial shift to downloads.

    So data storage could well become the main usage of these disks.

    I am with Blu-Ray.

  3. @SydneeStephen
    I know that Blu-Ray holds more storage duh? Toshiba announced they will come out with a 17GB per layer triple layer disc this fall. Verbatim is developing 150GB HD DVD disc. So what’s your point again? For the consumer it boils down to cost, since both formats are the same in quality. HD DVD is cheaper to make as well. “In the long run”?? That maybe too late for Blu-Ray since HD DVD has determined to undercut the price of Blu-Ray no matter what.

  4. @DC

    Blu-Ray has an inherent advantage since it uses a tighter track layout. Both technologies use the same blue laser technology. Blu-Ray costs more because the thinner coating on the surface required new equipment, while HD-DVD could be built on existing equipment.

    As the Blu-Ray manufacturers amortise their initial investment over their early production runs, the cost of manufacture will fall. Once the initial investment is fully amortised the cost of manufacture will be the same for both technologies. The HD-DVD disks will have to be sold at a significantly lower price if they are to compete…

    Blu-Ray has the potential to store significantly more data in the same space – theoretically it has a capacity of 200Gb, compared with 60Gb for HD-DVD.

    I think you got your Verbatim remark wrong by a factor of 10. This from their website:

    “Similar to DVD media in structure, Verbatim HD DVD-R sports 15GB of single layer capacity and is manufactured at MKM’s high-tech DVD production facility in Singapore. 30GB dual layer HD DVD-R media will be produced by the end of 2006.”

  5. Sorry I meant to say Ritek here is the wiki article: “Ongoing development

    Although the HD DVD standard has been finalized, engineers continue working to advance the technology. At the Consumer Electronics Show in January 7, 2007, Toshiba announced that they have created HD DVDs with 17 GB layers, and demonstrated a triple-layer 51 GB disc.[7] Toshiba aims to secure approval of the new disc by the DVD Forum within this year. There is no guarantee that the triple-layer format will work in existing players as it was not part of the original mandatory specifications.

    For recordable media Ritek has announced that they are working on HD DVD discs with 10 layers, which would have a capacity of 150 GB.[8] I know everything you are saying about the technology behing the production.”

    “theoretically it has a capacity of 200Gb” WTF? Sometimes theory does not turn into reality!You are banking on speculation that Blu-Ray will be cheaper in the long run? Perhaps but that means HD DVD will be cheaper than Blu-Ray as well. Bottom line is COST for the consumer!! People will buy anything that is of same quality for the cheaper price! History proves that!!! In fact the public will buy lesser quality because of price.(Beta vs. VHS) How much more so in this since they are the same quality. Now shut the hell up!!!!!!!!

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