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How to Watch Movies with Mac OS X Lion’s DVD Player

The DVD Player application in Mac OS X Lion includes snazzy little on-screen controllers. They enable you to watch your movies on your Mac in pretty much the same way you’d watch them on your TV with your DVD player.

If you’ve changed your Mac OS X Lion preferences, DVD Player might not start automatically.

Follow these steps to watch a DVD:

  1. Insert a video DVD into your Mac.

    This step automatically launches the DVD Player application; if it doesn’t, you can double-click the DVD Player icon in the Applications folder or single-click it in LaunchPad to start it.

  2. Use the controls to play, stop, or pause your DVD and more.

    The controls themselves should be self-explanatory to anyone who has ever used a set-top DVD player. If they’re not familiar to you, hover the cursor over any control to reveal a tooltip. This works for buttons on either type of controller.

  3. Use the Controller drawer if you like to give DVD Player less commonly used, but still useful, commands.

    To open or close the little Controller drawer, choose Controls→Open/Close Control Drawer, press Command+], or click the little pull tab and drag.

    The controller might disappear after a few seconds. To make it reappear, jiggle the mouse or choose Window→Show Controller (Command+Option+C).

  4. Sit back and enjoy the inserted DVD movie on your Mac screen.

There really isn’t much more to it than that, but here are a few other useful tips and hints for using DVD Player:

  • The View menu lets you choose viewing sizes for your movie, including Full Screen, which usually looks best.

  • The Go menu lets you navigate to the DVD menu, beginning of the disc, previous or next chapter, or forward or back 5 seconds, with convenient keyboard shortcuts for each of these commands. It also includes several convenient submenus.

  • To create a bookmark so you can jump directly to this exact moment in the movie, choose Go→Bookmarks. The Bookmarks window opens. Click the little plus button at the bottom and then type a name for this bookmark. Click the Add button and you’re done. Now you can skip right to this frame of the movie from the Bookmarks submenu (in the Go menu) by double-clicking it in the Bookmarks window, or by selecting it in the bookmarks panel of the chapters/bookmarks/video clips overlay.

    Move your cursor to the top of the screen in Full Screen mode to see the movie’s chapters and bookmarks.

  • Many user-configurable options are available in the Preferences window: DVD Player→Preferences (keyboard shortcut: Command+,).

  • For more information about almost any DVD Player feature, choose Help→DVD Player Help.

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