XBOX 360 HD DVD drive early reports are encouraging

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Joined: Apr 1 1999

While Sony continues to reduce shipments, and forcast ever increasing losses from the PS3, early users of Microsofts 199 dollar HD DVD add on for the Xbox 360 seem to be enthusiastic. The major advantages at this point is

There is no HD DVD region coding, so people who import the unit will be able to run ANY HD DVD *Sony of course has been agressively legally shutting down grey market importers

In addition since the HD DVD uses either the VGA connection all DVD's (which are region coded linked with the console) are upscaled

HD DVD content is displayed in fulll 1080i via the component connection.

Currently there is no HDMI support but I our opinion is at this point an advantage. HDMi 1.3 is still in an early stage, and for instance on the PS3 the initial implimentation will be 1.2 which will not in its current state be able to pass UN decoded high end audio (for instance to a hign end audio receiver). A large base of non HDMI HD DVD devices will likely reduce the push for HDCP control on the HD DVD side of things.

With PS3 being delayed to March 2007, and forecast prices for BD hardware at extremely high levels, it is likely that HD DVD will continue to gain market share, and that the 199 dollar upgrade to HD DVD via the Xbox 360 will be the cheapest HD solution for users who have an Xbox 360. At least in the US the HD DVD add on drive comes with a copy of King Kong and the remote control, effectively reducing the price to under 150 dollars.

What is of interest to DVDoctor is that HD DVD will support Red laser dvd's with HD content that are created. BD currently will ONLY support red Laser DVD's that are AVCHD based on the new Sony product line. Sony certainly appears to be trying every effort to force people to not only use BD but also use BD media. At this point from US Perspective, it appears that there are NO BD consumer authoring tools. There are situations where in DVD rom pc mode you can burn a file to the BD media, but these files are not BD video set top box playable.


Joined: Dec 1 2001

At a slight tangent, the John Lewis (department store) Xmas catalogue lists the Panasonic DMP-BD10 BluRay player at £1295 and the Samsung BD-P1000 at £995.

By comparison the Toshiba HD-E1 HD-DVD player is listed at £450. The add on for the Xbox 360 does not appear to be listed.