do you think apple has plans of introducing an imac with a bluray drive in the NEAR future? like maybe this Summer?
Tough to tell if Apple will include Bluray support. I'm sure they want to push their online service, but the video quality (blurays are MUCH higher bitrate encodings) and surround sound if bluray discs are still much better.
I've done my first test of creating Blue-Ray disc on 27" iMac, external Lacie writer and Toast 10 with HD plug-in.
I used very short 1080p .mov clip created in Final Cut Express (350Mb - about 4 min long) - By just dragging the file to the Toast window caused it to hang for about 15 minutes. I guess that Toast was "thinking" about it - when it finally came on and I added menu to it, it worked fine until I started recording it to the disc. I took ages - close to 2 hours. Painfully slow - It's really strange. I can't even imagine how long it will take to burn 2 hour film on it.
I was able to burn a 2hr home video onto a 4X BD-R in about in roughly about 2hrs on my PC which has a dual boot with Snow Leopard/Roxio Toast Pro. The bluray disc came out pretty good with the menus and plays well on my standalone Samsung Blura Player/PS3 hooked to a Sony 1080P HD TV.
The burn process failed to start once after encoding the HD clip from my Canon Camcorder while burning at the full speed of 4x. So, I was forced to choose the lower write speed of 2X, which worked perfectly fine in burning subsequent discs as well.
Now, I need to try doing the same on my newly acquired Apple iMac 27" i5 2.66GHz Display unit.