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Learn 3 Ways to Play DVD on Mac mini Easily and Smoothly

play DVD on Mac mini

"How do I watch DVDs with my Mac Mini? I really want to be able to watch DVDs and play music CDs but I don't know what to do! I'm guessing there is some kind of DVD player you can connect via USB but if anyone has an answer please respond soon!" - apple discussion

DVD is not dead, at least not now, but CD/DVD drive is ditched in new Mac mini. It won't be a problem if you have a disc drive, just insert your disc and hit play, but if you use new Mac Mini that comes with no disc drive, things become more tricky - your DVD won't play anymore. Luckily, you still have quite a few options to easily watch DVD movies and TV shows on Mac mini without disc drive, which are listed in detail below.

The 2018 new Mac Mini is re-engineered with more powerful 8th-gen i7 processors, faster memory up to 64GB, up to 2TB SSD storage, and great Thunderbolt 3. All these enhancements make the new Mac a great platform for movie enjoyment. Check the guide below and learn how to play DVD movie on Mac Mini.

How to Watch DVD on Mac mini without A Disc Drive

Option 1: Copy and Digitize DVDs to Mac mini

No one wants to carry a disc drive around, and it can be a headache when your DVD player won't work, for example, damaged DVD not playing, no disc found/blank disc error messages, DVD is regional locked, etc. You can rip DVDs to Mac mini for smooth and easy playback. MacX DVD Ripper Pro is a great option for the job. It can copy and digitize DVDs with untouched quality in mins. You will be able to deal with any new releases, damaged DVDs, workout DVDs, Japanese DVDs that cannot play correctly and make them watchable on your Mac's quicktime without disc drive.

[How to] Play All Types of DVDs on Mac mini

Step 1: Free download the DVD ripper on Mac and run it (the latest macOS High Siera also supported). Click "DVD Disc" icon at the top left corner of the interface to load DVD you inserted to drive. The DVD will be loaded quickly and then you can select an output format.
Step 2: Select an output format. Under the Common Video Profile section, click Mac General Video, and select one format as output. Mac supported formats are MP4, M4V, MOV, AVI etc.

rip DVDs to Mac mini

Step 3: Click "Browse" button to select another destination folder if you want to change the default one.
Step 4: Click "RUN" to start to rip DVD to Mac, then you can easily play your movie rips without disc drive.
It's worth mentioning that the hardware acceleration, hyper threading tech, Multi-core CPU support makes the program the fastest DVD ripper - rip a DVD in 5 mins. Now, you can play DVD on Mac mini anytime anywhere without worries about DVDs not playing on Mac mini.

Pros: need no disc drive any more to play movies on Mac min and support all kinds of DVDs, including damaged/unplayable DVDs, TV series/new movies on DVDs
Cons: have to download the software and rip DVDs to Mac mini first.

Option 2: Buy an Optical DVD Drive

In order to play DVD if you Mac doesn't have optical drive, you can buy an external one. Apple USB SuperDrive is your ultimate choice who own the Mac after late 2009. It's slight and simple to use. The Apple USB SuperDrive is $79.00 at its official site. There're many other good disc drives, such as LG Electronics 8X, Liteon EBAU108, Dell DW 316, Transcend Portable 8x, to name a few.

Pros: Ability to burn DVDs, simple to operate.
Cons: Only work on Macs, cannot play/burn Blu-ray discs, users have to carry the drive around in order to play the physical movie.

Option 3: Share Optical Drive on Another Mac or Windows Computer

You can play DVD on Mac mini by using Remote Disc feature that is designed to share a CD/DVD drive between Macs. To realize this, Mac users need another Mac computer with optical drive or a Windows PC that has installed DVD sharing setup, and connect them into the same network.

On the Mac with optical drive, click System Preferences > Sharing, enter your computer name that you want to access at, tick the checkbox for DVD or CD Sharing (for Windows users, download and install DVD or CD sharing update for Windows, and head to Control Panel > Hardware and Sound and click "DVD or CD Sharing Options). Then on the Mac mini, open Finder window, select Remote Disc in the Devices section. Double click the computer's icon, and connect to watch DVDs on Mac mini with optical drive from another computer.

Pros: Users don't need to buy external disc drive to play DVD on Mac mini.
Cons: Require another computer that equipped with optical drive. Remote disc can be very slow over a network. Not all types of DVDs are supported.

Tips for Solving Mac Won't Play DVDs Properly

Mac's optical drive ejects all DVDs or disc not recognized
Case: When I insert a movie DVD, it checks if for 5-10 seconds then ejects the disc which is a problem since I use my Mac to watch movies. I recently updated my OS X via Apple. Is this a common problem recently and what steps can I take to troubleshoot it and watch DVDs on Mac mini properly. - from apple discussion

Check if your DVDs are damaged (if yes, copy damaged DVDs to solve not playing problem on Mac mini), clean both your DVD and disc drive.
Reset the SMC (System Management Controller) on your Mac mini if you encounter DVD not playing on Mac mini after updating to a new mac OS.

Mac not playing DVDs correctly/stuttering playback
Case: Why haven't Apple fixed the DVD playback issue yet? Every time I put a DVD in and try to watch it it's stuttering like mad! Any ideas? - from mac rumors
This is properly caused by smudged DVD disc and dirty laser lens. Take a cleaning cloth and gently wipe the disc and drive and try again. It's also possible that your optical drive is just worn out and stops working.

Mac won't play some DVDs (workout/Japanese DVDs)
Some DVDs, like workout/exercise DVDs, Japanese DVDs, AV DVDs etc set up barriers for media players. For example, VLC won't load these discs or just shows unplayable blank DVD disc folder. The error can be solved with the help of DVD ripper that comes with DVD analysis tech and right title check mechanism. It can rip these unplayable DVDs to a digital format and then make your Mac default player recognize.

Related: Best DVD Players for Car, Play USA Region 1 DVD in UK

Author: Bella Brown | Updated on Dec 21, 2018

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