Rumor: Apple’s Blu-Ray plans revealed

Anyone want a rumor? We got one, cheap.

Sighting “a source” and “info gleaned from various non disclosures”, faithful Macenstein tipster Doug has written us with what he claims is Apple’s forthcoming plan to offer a new Blu-Ray burner/NAS device geared toward video professionals and tying into the Final Cut Server line. As with all rumors we present, this one should be treated as bullshit until someone physically sees such a device for sale in an Apple Store. As the source himself says ” I have no way of determine if a product has been greenlighted, what price or release is…etc”. But hey, there are only so many pics of Paris Hilton you can put up in one day. Read and decide for yourself.

Apple’s Blu-Ray Solution

Many pundits and a small percentage of the public at large have been bemoaning the total absence of Blu-Ray in the Mac lineup. Pretty much every other PC vendor has addressed this, even if its a play-only BTO option. Why has Apple been ignoring (seemingly) Blu-Ray?

Not because they were waiting to see who won the Blu-Ray vs. HD-DVD war. If they were on a side, it was always going to be Blu-Ray. Its much simpler. Steve Jobs saw it as a product with no real demand. Who wants to watch HD on a small computer screen with tinny speakers? If you’re into Blu-Ray then you have a large, HD flat-screen at home, with surround sound, etc. You can share the experience with others while relaxing on the couch, instead of being tethered at your desk. Also, every Blu-Ray disc sold is one less iTunes sale or rental. And as for using it as a backup solutions, external hard drives are cheap, larger, reusable and faster.

Addressing the professional video segment is where Apple sees the Blu-Ray sweet spot. These folks have real Blu-Ray authoring needs that are currently being met by other vendors, even though they may otherwise be working in a completely Apple/Mac workflow.

The recent Final Cut Server release shows how seriously Apple takes this market. This new software package also debuts new network storage and asset sharing features that are going to tie into a coming product: a networkable and stand-alone Blu-Ray burner/NAS combo.

This device is a configurable external enclosure. Inside is a slot-loading Blu-Ray burner, and 4 hard drive bays configurable to a 3TB RAID array. This technology is essentially the just-canceled X-Serve Raid – competing in the network storage arena was a price point Apple felt it was a waste of time messing with; but package it with a Blu-Ray burner and Final Cut Server functionality and price becomes no object.

The device is networkable via Firewire 800, Gigabit Ethernet, or Fibre. When your project files are stored on the RAID, you can queue them to be burned and then close Final Cut and even shut down your Mac – the burner functions then as an independent, stand-alone unit!

You can also access the device via USB or wireless-N, but many Final Cut Server functions, including burning, are not available.

It should be noted, faithful Macenstein readers may recall this is the same Doug who wrote an incredibly long rambling tip about dockable Mac nano with base station. Apple subsequently published patents for a similar device shortly after, although to date no actual unit has been made or shipped. Given how long that post was, I think we got off lucky here.

Whether or not Doug’s tip proves worthwhile, it a least seems plausible, and makes the idea of Final Cut Server more attractive/useful.

What are your thoughts?

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Comments
2 Responses to “Rumor: Apple’s Blu-Ray plans revealed”
  1. Atheist says:

    “But hey, there are only so many pics of Paris Hilton you can put up in one day.”

    Thank God

  2. William says:

    hey! I have an idea: let’s all be original and chant the same lame line in defense of Apple’s incompetency as every other Joe Shmoe website out there. Yeah, nobody wants to watch movies on their laptop. And all those people I see at school and at the cafe watching Divx files and DVDs on their macs? Oh, besides them you meant… right. Yeah I mean, the extra resolution of Blu Ray may not be needed on a small screen like the Macbook’s, I agree, but are you suggesting that people who want to start building a Blu Ray collection should continue buying DVDs as well, just to have something to watch on the road?

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