In This Chapter
Understanding what you need to watch DVDs on your Macintosh
Using the DVD Player software
Unearthing the mysteries of the hidden controls
All the creative capabilities of the Mac OS X digital hub are a lot of fun, but at some point, you'll want to take a break from work. In recent years, DVDs have exploded onto the home entertainment scene; because of its high fidelity, convenience, and seemingly limitless storage capacity, the DVD has taken consumers by storm. The idea of an honest-to-goodness theater in your home is now within the grasp of mere mortals (with, coincidentally, merely average budgets). Mac OS X has everything that you'll need to enjoy a night at the movies without ever leaving home. In fact, I highly recommend the 24-inch iMac or the 17-inch MacBook Pro for those widescreen classics.
Before you watch one second of film, get your setup in order. Playing DVDs requires a bit of hardware; fortunately, virtually all recent Macintosh computers come equipped with the stuff that's necessary to watch DVDs.
To play DVD movies, you need either an internal DVD-compatible drive in your Macintosh or an external DVD drive with a FireWire or USB 2.0 connection. DVD-ROM drives can only play discs, whereas others, such as the SuperDrive, can both play and record discs. Either type of drive works fine for watching movies on your Mac.
You can watch any standard DVD that you purchase at your local video store ...