RUMOR: Apple’s next-gen iMacs to offer Blu-ray option, Core i7 ‘Clarksfield’ quad-core CPUs

Citing “people close to Apple,” Kasper Jade reports for AppleInsider that Apple’s “earlier plans to offer Blu-ray technology on the new all-in-one desktops may have been pulled back just before [Apple’s next-gen iMac] systems went into product last month.”

“Either way, it’s believed that the technology would have found its way into the new models largely in the form of build-to-order options, given steep pricing still associated with Blu-ray drives,” Jade reports.

“Around the same time, others with connections to the Mac maker have shared word that Intel’s recently released Core i7 ‘Clarksfield’ quad-core mobile processors may find their way into the new iMac line in some capacity, making the new models the first consumer-oriented Macs with four processing cores,” Jade reports.

More details in the full article here.

34 Comments

  1. @jaundiced…
    “Since it takes a minimum of a 50″ monitor to see a difference, why bother?”

    You can’t possibly believe that old chestnut. The purveyors of that myth specify that one needs to be sitting 8 feet away not to be able to see the difference between 720p and Full-HD 1080p.

  2. I’m still not sure if this is really needed at all. On the one hand, neither 20″, nor 24″ iMacs had screens large enough for ordinary person to be able to tell the difference between a DVD and Blu-Ray movie from a reasonable distance (i.e. sitting at a dorm couch). I would venture a guess that vast majority of people who actually watch DVDs (and would watch Blu-Ray) on an iMac are college students for whom an iMac is the only device with a screen.

    On the other hand, a growing number of home iMac owners are making home videos in HD and want to capture, edit and deliver those videos in real, true HD. Currently, the only reasonable option is Blu-ray. I can’t really expect all my friends to have an AppleTV, so that they can watch my HD content (school shows, church picnics, kids’ sport competitions, etc). Pretty much every family I know has an HD TV and BD player. Right now, the only way for me to give them an optical disc with HD material is a rather cumbersome one. I capture into iMovie, edit and finish as full HD video. Then I use Toast 9 to convert the video into Bluray-compatible AVCHD and author that video for compatibility with BD players. I burn my video on a standard dual-layer DVD (fits about 1 hour of full 1080p HD) and distribute that. Most people have no problem viewing these discs in full HD.

    Blank Blu-ray discs are still obscenely expensive (just like blank DVDs were, some 9 years ago — around $15 each). So, having Blu-ray player/burner on an iMac won’t really do much for me.

    What Apple really needs to do is resurrect iDVD from it death path. They haven’t really touched iDVD during last revision of iLife. iDVD must become iBluRay (or iDVD-BD, or something similar). Right now, there are many cheap (sub- $150) software tools on Windows that can capture AVCHD video, edit it and deliver the result in a full-HD, Blu-Ray compatible format on an ordinary DVD. In the Mac world, there is nothing, just a clunky, cumbersome work-around with Toast.

    With over half of US households already watching their TV content on large flat-screen HD TVs (and a good number of those also having Blu-Ray players), Apple really needs to get its act together and let home users build HD video from start to finish, the way they did it for SD video ten years ago.

  3. “Since it takes a minimum of a 50” monitor to see a difference, why bother? “

    Well that’s just bullshit. That’s only true of a high def TV where you’re sitting back 10 feet. On a computer monitor where you’re less than 2 feet away from the screen you sure can distinguish blu-ray high def vs lower resolution crap.

  4. Should have checked before putting that price. My “Staples” store still sells BD-R discs for $15 each; meanwhile, SuperMediaStore has the usual cakebox pacages for $50 for a 25-pk ($2 per BD-R disc). I guess the disc price has dropped significantly since I last checked. That makes an argument against a built-in Blu-Ray drive much weaker, and in favour of a re-designed iDVD (with full Blu-ray authoring) much stronger.

  5. I still don’t see the point of adding a $400 dollars device that you almost don’t use. I buy HD content via iTunes or some other downloads. Install programs via DVD / CD (I am not sure if some companies are selling software in a a Blu Ray disc). My storage is in external hard drives, a 87Gb BluRay disc can’t hold my entire pictures, music and home videos library.

    Can some one explain why would I or any body else will need a BluRay unit in the iMac?

  6. How many slot loading Blu-Ray players are out there? That might be a problem because all the Macs except MacPro need a slot loader. However Apple needs to start supporting Blu-Ray. I can not see me getting one, but it has become successful. They need to give some support if not just for the MacPro people who would use it.

  7. @AboutTime
    Well, the difference there?

    Windows users are “promised” their hardware will work.
    When Apple releases something 99% of the time you KNOW it’ll work.

  8. Mr. Ree,

    Maybe you don’t keep up with current events, but Time Capsules are droppping like flies. Either Apple has programmed 18 month obsolesence into these devices or Apple allowed substandard parts and/or assembly. This is hardly the quality of workmanship and craftmanship that an elite company would possess. Unfortunately, Apple had historically released inferior products, hoping that other products would compensate for these bonehead diasters.

  9. @jaundiced,

    Sorry to burst your bubble, but you couldn’t any more wrong.

    Screen size alone is worthless in determining whether you’ll “see a difference”. Viewing angle is what’s important; it’s a function of both screen size and viewing distance.

    Now, using some well-established facts about human visual acuity along with a little trigonometry, it’s possible to calculate exactly where the benefits of 1080p (Blu-ray) are visible or fully realized. Carlton Bale has done just that:

    http://carltonbale.com/2006/11/1080p-does-matter

    According to visual acuity principles, the full benefit of 1080p on a 24″ iMac would would be visible from nearly FOUR FEET away. I don’t know about you, but I don’t typically sit four feet from my computer monitor!

    My personal experience with both large and small displays mirrors Carlton’s research; Yes, I’ve done actual tests.

    In short, you would absolutely see the difference at typical viewing distances in front of a computer display. In fact, the difference would be nothing short of stunning. Once you saw 1080p HD on a 24″ iMac, you’d never be able to watch standard DVD again.

    SC

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