Chapter III.3. Watching Videos and Movies on Your Mac

In This Chapter

  • Understanding movie formats

  • Understanding digital movie formats

  • Playing a digital video file

  • Playing a VCD

  • Playing a DVD

Looking to unwind after a busy day of work? Feel free to kick back, relax, and cozy up to a movie on your Mac. Not only can your Mac act as a DVD player, but your Mac can also bookmark and store your favorite scenes so you can easily rewatch your favorite parts of a movie.

Although many full-length movies appear on DVD, many shorter movies and videos are stored entirely as digital video files. Whether a movie is stored on DVD or as a digital video file, your Mac can play it at your convenience.

Understanding Video Disc Formats

The most common video disc format is DVD (Digital Video Disc). However, DVDs aren't the only video disc format. An earlier video disc format is VCD (Video Compact Disc), which essentially stores video files on ordinary CDs. VCDs typically offer lower video quality (comparable to videotape) than DVDs and offer much less storage capability than DVDs. Another popular format is DiVX, which more and more DVD players can play.

Although DVDs are the video disc standard for most of the world, two competing standards — HD DVD (High-Definition Digital Versatile Disc) and Blu-ray — battled it out to become the next hi-def digital disc dominator. The war between these two competing formats lasted for about a year, with Blu-ray emerging victorious, leaving buyers of HD DVDs with players and ...

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