With the discontinuation of HD-DVD player production, Blu-ray has decisively won as the standard for high-definition video. Despite some initial hopes that Blu-ray would make its debut at Macworld San Francisco, Apple still has not yet committed to shipping Blu-ray drives in their machines.
Blu-ray is expected to first arrive in their Mac Pro models, but notebook owners may have to wait a little longer before they are adopted in MacBooks and MacBook Pros. Wired explores the battery drain a standard Blu-ray drive imposes on a notebook and claims that some of the 1st generation Blu-ray notebooks could only play a movie 1/2 way through before draining their notebook's battery.
The situation is no longer as grim, with the Blu-ray Disc Association claiming the situation has been resolved and some laptops now able to play 2 Blu-ray movies back-to-back on a single charge. Beyond the pure power draw of the Blu-ray drive itself, the additional processing to decode the Blu-ray video was contributing to the additional battery drain. One of the solutions has been the ability to offload this decoding to modern video cards.