US gamers will again be the first to benefit from a Microsoft retail strategy. The Seattle-based software behemoth today announced plans to reduce the US price of its Xbox 360 HD DVD player by $20 (£9/€14), but failed to mention any similar cut for its European gamers. The price drop, announced at the Comic-Con event in San …
I have an Xbox 360 and a HDTV, but I'd never buy this. As mentioned before, it looks like HD-DVD might well lose the war, but the main point for me is the noise that the Xbox 360 makes. I won't use the 360 as it stands as a DVD player because it is too noisy during the quiet bits, and apparently running HD-DVD movies means it is running at almost full processing, which means even more cooling noise.
Red ring of death
If my Xbox wasn't in Prague being repaired, I might think about getting an HD DVD drive...
The audio problem was fixed many months ago. Not sure what you mean by ICT issues as its not yet enforced on HD DVDs so with non Elite 360 HD DVD you can use component or VGA in high definiton.
UK HD-DVD drive
If you shop around you can usually find the 360 drive as low as £99; when you throw in the fact the US price is exclusive of sales tax, the prices are more or less comparable. But an official cut would be nice.
It's a shame HD-DVD is lagging, at the moment it is coming without region control and it offers Internet access as standard (unlike the original Blu-ray spec), so it offers greater prospects for interactivity - the '300' disk for instance allows people to re-edit the movie and post their own mash-ups to a central site - a nice idea with plenty of potential.
As for sound quality, my 360 HD-DVD combo sounds just fine.
Looks like running scared
With the PS3 in the market and Blockbuster supporting Blu-ray it looks like Microsoft as a support of HD DVD are trying to use the Xbox360 like Sony did to promote the standard they are backing.
Whether the Blu-ray is important for a console is debateable but as a next gen movie format it does look like HD DVD is losing out.
I don't think it has "serious sound issues" apparently its not ouputing 24bit sound. I've not got anything to work on 24bit sound except for some rubbish that came with my Soundblaster. The xbox 360 has an optical out which and it sounds perfectly fine for me when i play HD-DVDs.
The HD-DVD player isn't just xbox only. It works with Vista PCs and also with some tinkering Windows XP and Media Centre.
I wish they'd bring out a X360 with inbuilt HD-DVD drive though
You pay too much for beer...
By my maths you could get at least four pints for 9 quid. More if a special offer is on :P
I don't understand where the noise comment is coming from.
The majority of the noise generated by the 360 during normal operation is from the on-board dvd drive. As this does not operate during HD-DVD playback, I don't think the noise is that intrusive to be honest.
I have a Sony DVD-Recorder (about 2 years old and originally £500+) that is noisier during playback, than the 360 is during playback of HD-DVD. The cooling fan on this unit is noisier than the 360 too.
No ICT worries, really
I wouldn't worry about ICT Mark. The 360 player looks rather gorgeous over VGA or Component, and frankly the chances of ICT _ever_ turning up on the format are slim to none. After all, it's a bit pointless when people can crack AACS. Even if that weren't the case, they promised not to use it before 2010, and by then I expect one of the following three things to have happened:
a) Blu-Ray to comprehensively win, causing HD-DVD to be dead.
b) HD-DVD to remain as niche as Laserdisc, which didn't even have Macrovision.
c) "proper" players to be as cheap as DVD ones are now, and silent, so you'll want to upgrade.
For what it's worth, I'm very happy with mine.
It's because you Brits and Europeans are making so damned much money. Microsoft wants to squeeze out every ounce of profit it can, so it goes after the markets with disposable income.
BluRay has about 40% more software out there right now. And growing. Toshiba just hasn't made the deals with the studios that Sony has. Plus, they don't have a studio.
Don't buy one in Europe! The HD-DVD drives are all the same - the only difference is the language on the remote control buttons and the power adapter fly lead. For normal DVD playback the HD-DVD drive takes its region code off the 360 - HD-DVD themselves are region free.
I had mine shipped over from Hong Kong 6 months ago for just under 100 quid. HD-DVD discs cost less than DVDs in the UK if you have them shipped from US (no region issues, occassionally a little tax to pay if customs notice). Not sure what the audio quibble is I get 7 point surround.
Re: Price difference
"It's because you Brits and Europeans are making so damned much money."
Erm, as you refer to "us" as "Brits and Europeans," I'm assuming you're American?
Just so you know: America is the richest country in the world.
So don't give me b0ll0cks about us Brits/Europeans being so wealthy, as I and many other person my age in the UK has to drive in a vsmall car and live in a terraced house. When I was in the US last year, I lost count how many teenagers who had just passed their test has a brand new dodge bought for them!
Re: Price difference
man that was poor typing! sorry, pretty tired today!