HD-DVD Player

Xbox 360

Review by Matt Paprocki



Overall: 9


With a simple set up, nice design, and excellent price, the HD-DVD attachment for the Xbox 360 is a superb value for those looking to dive into the next generation of DVD. If you’re willing to give an unproven format a chance, this is the way to do it. Annoyances exist, though these barely detract from the product as a whole.

B000JHO4L0.01._SS500_SCLZZZZZZZ_.jpg (14198 bytes)In the box, you’ll find the rather small HD-DVD player, install disc, a USB cable, AC adapter, Universal Media Remote, and HD-DVD version of Peter Jackson’s King Kong. To get up and running, the install disc needs to be inserted into the 360 itself. This runs through a small software update once the player is connected.

The player itself offers two USB ports on the back which can be used to eliminate the clutter from the front of the 360 assuming you have things such as the Vision Camera hooked up. The HD-DVD player mimics the 360 design in that it can be housed vertically or horizontally. However, it seems as if it’s made to be horizontal as there are no rubber feet on the side to prevent it from slipping when it’s vertical.

When running, the entire system is surprisingly quiet. You’ll definitely feel some extra heat when the player is running, so ensure you have proper ventilation. A green light above the drive itself is lit constantly when the 360 is on regardless of whether or not the attachment is being used.

Gamers will notice a significant increase in the boot up speed of the console with the HD-DVD player plugged in. It takes twice as long to reach the dashboard with the connection. Unplugging the USB cable will return the Xbox 360 to its standard boot speed. The system automatically detects when a movie is inserted into the drive. If the disc is already in the player when the console starts up, an option added after installing the software can be selected on the bottom of the dashboard to play it.

There’s no need for any additional audio or video cables. The HD-DVD player runs using whatever connections and settings the Xbox 360 is using. Standard DVDs can be played in either the 360 or HD-DVD player. Unless you’re using a VGA cable, there’s no advantage to using the HD-DVD attachment to play standard discs. The format does allow for the upconversion of DVDs, but in this case, that’s only when using a VGA connection.

Quite obviously, this is not a required accessory. The drive offers no video game functionality and likely never will. This is a piece of electronics aimed at those looking to support a new format of choice. The usability, small size, and low price make it an easy choice if HD-DVD is something you’re looking to get into.


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Last updated: Thursday, February 15, 2007 09:32 PM