How I Rip Blu-Ray Discs to My Mac for Use on My Apple TV2

Let me first start with this: I presume that any work that you do with MakeMKV to make the data visible to your Mac and your Apple TV is done by you on discs that you own. I consider what I do with the method I describe here to be fair use. Don’t use these methods to share these files with others who have not paid for them. In short, don’t be a dick and pirate things.


I had my initial doubts about the second version of the Apple TV, given how lame the first one was. My bad experience kept me from getting one until the time that MLB.TV streaming came to the device. ((I paid for a year of MLB.TV with the idea that I’d watch. Even though I was unemployed and had free time to watch, I did not do so. That was when I knew that I was done watching baseball. RIP Geof’s love affair with the Reds, 1985-2011.)) The NBA and NHL have followed suit, and that combined with Netflix has made it an essential in my home theater use. In fact, my Apple TV gets more use now than my TiVo does. ((If I did not have steeply-discounted cable pricing, I would have gone OTA only using an Elgato device by now.))

The Apple TV is also a great device for using the content you already own. In 2009, I started pursuing a Mac mini-based home theater setup. I have a mini from that era slaved to an original Drobo with 6.5TB of raw storage in it. I am forever in the process of ripping CDs to it in Apple Lossless, moving from an MP3/AAC collection on my iMac. I also put DVDs through the wringer to have ready for the Apple TV’s use. I have an ever-growing iTunes catalog, store on that Drobo, all of which is available to the Apple TV via the Computers section.

The issue I’m tackling here, of course, is Blu-Ray. Steve Jobs famously called Blu-Ray “a bag of hurt” in explaining why it’s never made it into the Mac line. I think that it’s also safe to say that Steve believed that we would be in a post-physical-disc world very soon. ((This world, in a marketplace where his company sat between producers and consumers, was going to make him a shitpile of money. Compare that to the royalties he’d have to pay to put a Blu-Ray device in his computers, and clearly it wasn’t worth it.)) This brings us to third-party hardware and software that we can use to make it work.

[blackbirdpie id=”173878602822197249″]

Without further introduction, here’s my setup:

Continue reading How I Rip Blu-Ray Discs to My Mac for Use on My Apple TV2