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back to article Microsoft unveils Xbox 360 HD DVD drive emulator

Microsoft yesterday launched software that emulates on a PC HD DVDs played on its Xbox 360 add-in drive. It's a move that could give the software giant de facto control of the next-gen optical disc format. The emulator software essentially allows companies mastering new HD DVDs to test them for compatibility with the Microsoft …

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twaddle

I was just writing this really lengthy rant about this and then stopped myself from hitting post because I vowed never to flame el reg.

But I will say, as a web dev/designer I never ever ever ever ever pander to the problems that IE holds and concentrate on making it work in all the other compliant browsers. Then go back and add in the various hacks and block model quirks to suit sir ass head gates.

The most wild tangent in an el reg article in years. Struggling to find a comparative for the story?

what is in the Xbox360 wont make a difference to buying trends, it is in the grand scheme of things a smaller demographic, to those who will be buying home cinema equipment in the future, and I am almost confident in putting a bet down that blu-ray will surpass hd-dvd simply because it has a better name and sounds like it is new.

The fickle public and their buying trends eh!

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Dead Vulture

o rly?

"IE's version of HTML has become the de facto standard"

Not where I work it hasn't. We use XHTML to the W3C standards.

Admittedly, we still have to code around IE's crappy implementation all the time, but we work from a position of coding it correctly then tweaking it for IE where necessary, not coding to IE's implementation then tweaking for other browsers.

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Yus rly!

Although both of the first two posters take the higher road and correctly code sites (for the benefit of decent browsers) before hacking it to work with IE, it's a big stretch to say that's the norm!

The sheer quantity of bank sites, shopping sites and other similiar 'must haves' (to some users) that only work with IE is incredible. Hell, add in good old iPlayer from the BBC which is IE only among other things.

A large number of high profile sites are designed to work with IE, and not even checked to see if they work with Firefox, Opera or Safari.

I'm glad some designers do what you guys do, but sadly everyone isn't.

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Gold badge

What are you on?

Standards like HTTP, TCP/IP are the reason the net works. Sticking to standards doesn't mean you can't have flash and other rubbish.

Why on earth would Firefox and Safari want to implement ActiveX rubbish on non-Windows platforms anyway? it would mean Microsoft suing and also would result in an insecure browser.

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Flame

Hardware

Isn't the HDDVD on the Xbox made by Toshiba? And all this release seems to be is a software version of that... Maybe we should be thankfull that MS are trying to force the HDDVD standard onto the market so we can all save some cash and only have a single hi-def format to buy....

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What are you on?

I'll echo the what are you on? sentiments.

Seriously, what are you on?

Player compatibility testing? Hello? Ever heard of standards? That's the point, then you don't test. Are you seriously suggesting that DVD manufacturers have a lab that contains every crappy $39 DVD player ever made so that they can have an army of interns take the sample discs and feed them into these machines in order to test for compatibility?

This is one of the worst non stories I think I have read in a long time. Tony, come on you can do better than this. What is the story about truly? MS creates an HD-DVD reference platform based on the Xbox360 and hopes that everyone will ignore Toshiba's referenmce platform and go with theirs? Huh?

There is an HD-DVD standard, as long jas disc manufacturers stick to that, it's up to player manufacturers to make their players work to the same standard. This is the same situation for BluRay. There is a standard in place, and both players and discs must meet that standard. That's how consumer electronics work. Otherwise every manufacturer of a CD walkman would have had to test the majority of music CDs for compatibility, cassette tape player makers would have had mountains of tapes to work through to test compatibility...

Good grief, this is ridiculous.

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Stop

Blaming MS for non-MS developer laziness again

It's easy to tell who in El Reg is pro-Microsoft and who is anti-Microsoft.

Take Tony Smith, for instance. He turned what should've been an article about high defenition DVD testing into an anti-Internet Explorer rant. Masterful work there, Tony. Never mind that HTML and HD-DVD have nothing to do with each other.

But hey, it's a great way to highlight developer laziness... let me try:

"By testing only on one web browsing platform, web masters have balkanized the web into IE and non-IE camps. This happened in spite of the W3C having provided free testing tools for the past decade..."

"...with Microsoft introducing a HD-DVD testing platform for High Defenition DVD production houses, HD-DVD developers risk splitting apart the HD-DVD market into XBox and Non-XBox camps, in spite of having more than one or two HD-DVD devices available for testing. This could permit BluRay to dominate the market..."

Hm, that felt pretty good.

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jai
Silver badge
Coat

(untitled)

and it's all acedmic because blu-ray will win the war anyway.....

.....coat.... door.....

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Standards

I used to work for a company making CD and DVD drive chipsets. We had industry-wide CD and DVD standards to work to -- the Red Book, Orange Book, Cooked Orange book (IKYN). Great. We also had to work around other people's failures, like an infamous motherboard manufacturer's screwed-up implementation of the ATA bus spec. It wasn't deliberate but by the time they got around to fixing it there were millions of computers out there with non-standard IDE channels in hardware. If we had designed our silicon to the exact ATA spec then it would fail occasionally when connected to that manufacturer's mobos, locking up the bus. Not our fault but we'd get the blame as everybody else's devices would work OK since they also knew about the bug and designed around it.

We also had a rogue's gallery test suite of weird CDs and DVDs -- Chinese music CDs with 100 minutes of music, 1100Mb CD-ROMs, odd VCDs etc. that our silicon also had to cope with or it would mean those drives couldn't be sold into certain markets around the world.

Standards are nice, in Theory. I want to live in Theory. Everything works in Theory.

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Coat

What are you on?

and where can I get some?

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Black Helicopters

so this is a "microsoft ploy"

and sony's not-really-a-game-machine-but-a-HD-player trick isn't? You think that Sony didn't try to play a game and make their Blu Ray the "de facto standard"? Or that Sony hasn't been trying for quite awhile to get sole control of the hi-def wars?

Sony hasn't made *anything* recently that isn't proprietary and locked down in the extreme. Look at their memory formats, their previous DVD players, their game machines-nothing goes anywhere without Sony getting as much of the action as possible, even if it stifles production and sales, and costs massively more than the competition for even less capacity.

I dislike M$ more and more the closer I come to being "forced" to use that nasty bug ridden, Big-Brotherish, DRM clogged, "I-don't-really-own/control-my-own-machine-or-software-anymore" Vista (damn that DX10!) but you can't fault them on doing things the same way Sony does, or try to make Sony somehow the hero by default (M$ is Teh 3viL!, so $0ny is l33t!)-both are playing nasty games to get control of standards, not in the least concerned about producing the "best" product available or providing a really awesome choice for consumers. M$ and $ony are after two customers. Each is out to serve themselves first, and second, media conglomerates. Quit providing parts and devices that play movies and music customers already have. Force DRMs and digital-only playback methods thru natural hardware failure over time, or thru legislative fiat. Make everyone either go without, or buy everything new in a controlled format that expires over time, so you have to buy it again, sooner. More money for less creativity, a cash cow that does nothing but suck in money.

And here's what these conglomerates do to expand their business-not by hiring better artists, not by competition, not by trimming costs, not by advertising..nope-they "invest" in legislation and government. Good leftists who can be bought easily.

Watch, soon it will be a crime, or considered "child abuse" (allowing police and government intervention) to not have a television in your home. Mandatory FCC regs will force digital-only connections. Tube televisions will be illegal because they're not "green", or are horribly expensive due to a fantasy "carbon tax", or are too polluting to dispose of. (they're already legislating the type of frikkin' light bulb you can have!)

In order to comply, you either buy the TV/DVD player the court mandates or lose your family and face fines and jail time. But what you buy is only based on what's available-you can't choose non proprietary players if that's all anyone is allowed to make or import..

watch soon after, once total media control is complete, all storage will "expire" or be deleted by it's "owners" (not you). You will have to buy everything whenever it is decided yours is "obsolete". Failure to replace your child's copy of "Spongebob:Extreme 3D Director's Select Cut" gets you dragged into the system again.

Of course, California and New York welfare folks will get their entertainment subsidized by the State and Fed. Which means you'll be paying for your media *and* theirs via taxation. Media Cartels win either way. Soon, Congress will "get convinced" that it's "better" to simply bypass the government and send your paycheck right to Hollywood.

Max Headroom didn't go far enough!

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Anonymous Coward

only IE compatible = lost sales

"The sheer quantity of bank sites, shopping sites and other similiar 'must haves' (to some users) that only work with IE is incredible."

Whenever I find sites like this (yes, you : M&S, Debenhams etc.) I send them a strongly worded email and don't buy anything from them until they fix it.

Perhaps if everybody did, they'd learn. After all, a company the size of M&S should be able to afford proper web development.

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Bronze badge

Almost on topic: Opera

When I see a site that doesn't work in Opera at all I get annoyed an move on, but if I see a site that still renders, just not as the designers wanted I get a sense of smug superiority. Plus I prefer the light version of Hotmail I get to see in Opera compared to the overly AJAXified one in IE/FF

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The problem with this theory....

The Xbox 360 HD DVD emulator is designed to allow HD DVD disc authors to cheaply test the HDi code on their HD DVDs. HDi is the standard <b>Microsoft</b> created to power interactivity on HD DVDs. Since <b>Microsoft</b> created the standard, doesn't it stand to reason that <b>Microsoft</b> create the reference software against which people who use the standard should test?

Sun created Java, so you'd expect that Sun would create the reference Java runtime.

Makes sense to you? Makes sense to me.

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