How to Watch DVDs on MacBook?

Until recently these CD-like discs were the standard way to watch a movie, but these days more and more people are using digital downloads or online services to watch videos. However DVDs are still one rather popular.

How to Watch DVDs on MacBook? Apple SuperDrive

How to play a DVD on a Mac with a DVD drive

On the one hand playing a DVD on a Mac is extremely simple and couldn’t be easier. Just insert the DVD into your Super DVD drive (Super DVD drive is Apple’s optical disc reading and writing technology). The DVD Player DVD will open automatically and start playing the disc. You can open it using the Menu. In this case you click Play to run the movie.

When the movie start running, the on-screen controls vanish, but they’ll appear if the user moves the cursor over the screen. At the bottom of the display the shuttle controls are located. User can use them to play/stop the movie, skip chapters, control volume and so on. When the user moves the mouse up to the top of the display, a horizontal Chapter List bar appears. Clicking on chapters skips to that display. To eject the disk, press the Eject button on the keyboard.

Playing a DVD on a Mac Without a DVD Drive

The problem is that that modern Macs don’t have physical DVD SuperDrives (the only exception is the MacBook Pro without Retina Display), so users can’t play CDs or DVDs on. This situation makes playing DVD movies on a Mac somewhat more challenging. However, there are some options available for playing videos on a Mac:

External SuperDrive

It is perfectly possible to attach a SuperDrive to your Mac even when the device doesn’t have a built-in SuperDrive. Apple sells a USB SuperDrive that connects to any MacBook Air, MacBook Pro with Retina Display, iMac or Mac mini. Once connected the external SuperDrive acts just like an internal one. That’s the user inserts a DVD and the SuperDrive will play DVD, CD audio and record both CDs and DVDs.

Remote Disc

Apple Remote Disc is a useful feature which allows you to share computers to watch movies. That means you can insert a DVD into a drive on one Mac, and watch it over a network using another machine. This method, however, is limited as it will not work for audio CDs or copy-protected DVDs (which is most commercial DVDs). For these you need to still use a directly connected SuperDrive.

To turn on Remote Disc:

  • On the computer with the built-in SuperDrive, open System Preferences. Then click on Sharing.
  • Click the lock icon.
  • Enter your admin password.
  • Tick DVD or CD Sharing.
  • Insert the DVD into the drive and the user on another computer will be able to see it.

More Details about DVD Player Application

DVD Player is an app which allows you to watch DVDs on the MacBook. This app is bundled within OS X. If you have a SuperDrive on your Mac, slot a disc into the machine and the program will automatically launch. The app is easy to use, and will either fill your screen instantly or present the DVD’s menu screen in a smaller window. When viewing DVD’s in full-screen mode, the controls appear as a pop-up panel at the bottom of the screen (much like the Dock with Hiding turned on). At other times these controls appear as a floating panel. You’ll also find there buttons for slow motion, subtitles, special DVD features such as alternate view-angles.

To make fine adjustments to sound and picture quality, you should open the Audio Equalizer and Video Color, respectively. Only one can be open at a time, the other then being available from the dropdown menu at the top of the panel.

The same dropdown offers the Video Zoom control. This control lets the user magnify and re-frame the action in the viewer window. This option can be also accessed from the Window menu.

By selecting either Bookmarks or Video Clips from the Window menu, the user can open a panel that stores shortcuts to the user’s favorite moments and segments (Bookmarks and Video Clips) on a DVD, making them easy to find next time you play that DVD.

When you minimize the DVD Player it keeps playing in miniature on the Dock. So you can keep an eye on the movie while getting on with something else.

DVD Player Shortcuts

  • Play or pause: Space bar.
  • Stop: Command key + .
  • Skip to Next Chapter: Arrow looking right.
  • Skip to Previous Chapter: Arrow looking left.
  • Scan Forward: Command key + Arrow looking right.
  • Scan Backward: Command key + Arrow looking left.
  • Go to Beginning of Disc: Command key + Shift + D.
  • Go to Menu Screen: Command key + ‘.
  • Toggle Closed Captioning On and Off: Command key + Option + T.
  • Add Bookmark: Command key + =.
  • Volume Up or Down: Command key + Arrow looking up or Command key + Arrow looking down.
  • Toggle Mutfe On and Off: Command key + Option + Arrow looking down.
  • Show or Hide the Controller: Command key + 0.
  • Switch to Finder: Command key + Option + F.

Note that all recent Macs feature a video output port. With an optional adapter, this will output the screen in S-video or Composite video – useful if have a widescreen TV and want to use your Mac as a DVD player. With a laptop you can consider hooking up to a bigger computer screen. iBook owners could also run Screen Spanning Doctor to allow better resolution. DVD’s can also be played using an Apple Remote and OX X’s Front Row full-screen media player.

Links

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