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4.4 out of 5 stars81
4.4 out of 5 stars
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on 3 October 2006
This is a very good addition to the Xbox 360 which gives you access to the next generation films. Unlike the Playstation 3 where the Bluray is forced onto you at a very high price, the HD DVD for the 360 is an addition that compliments very well the already very good Xbox 360.

The good thing about it also is that you can plug it into your PC as well.

Definately get it if you want to see HD DVD... plus its much cheaper than buying an HD DVD player by itself.
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on 6 November 2006
Despite its amasing cheap price I was SHOCKED to learn something even MORE amazing about buying this product. The serious amount of movies great movies found on HD DVD !! It seems Sony has backed the wrong horse and has given us a format that is not as widely supported!!!

There are FAR more movies available on the HD DVD Disc format (just check Amazon), and no Universal picture releases on Blu Ray!!! When you compare the Xbox 360 with its cheap HD DVD add-on and its main competition; the PS3: there's really no contest the XBOX 360 is the best way to go for your console/movie playback needs.

My advice is to not to wait for Sony's overpriced solution for HD movies to be released here in Spring and buy an Xbox 360 now. Not only is the Xbox 360 a more powerful unit (e.g. 3 times the triangle fill rate of the PS3) with better games, but the format it uses (HD DVD) is supported more with its discs being able to hold a massive 54GBs (45GB HD and 9GB Dual layer DVD on the flip side!) - Currently shipping Blu Ray movies are squeezed into 25GB and only encoded in inferior Mpeg 2 - unlike HD DVD which uses the much more Powerful VC1 Codec from Microsoft. Also Blu Ray does not provide the option of a normal DVD on the flip side
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on 22 November 2006
The image quality of this unit is fine bit for many people the audio limitations are crippling. It does a great job of standard DD 5.1 surround but thats as far as it goes. The 2 new HD audio codecs (DD+ and TrueHD) cannot be output by this unit. Until the arrival of HDMI it is PHYSICALLY IMPOSSIBLE (despite fanboy comments below). These formats CAN NOT be output over optical (640 kb/s) due to the bandwidth restriction, the new formats being able to output 6.144Mb/s. Lacking the discreete outs of a standalone player which will output the discreete PCM streams via RCA, this is not a viable alternative to a standalone HD-DVD player for the true HT enthusiast at the moment. Also to be noted that there are issues with overcompression of the audio and audio sync problems too. The sound quality difference between this and my Toshiba is night and day. It will be returned as unfit for purpose. I may buy again after HDMI has been addressed as MS has tested DD+ and TrueHD with success. On the subject of DTS.... DTS is fine but DTS-HD is also a failure to the extent that compression renders it worse than standard DTS, so no lossless 7.1 audio i'm affraid.

If there is any further misunderstanding of this well known limitation then Google 360 and DD+
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on 28 February 2008
the hd dvd drive has been discontinued. microsoft are looking into making a blu-ray drive so if you want a hd movie drive wait until that is released rather than buying this.
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on 24 February 2007
Oh you all no dobut know this has been an incredibly hot item and impossible to get hold of for a whiel now - bit now its finally come back

and I though yes just order it!

BUT... I was disppointed so a warning to you all - be advised that this is now a 2nd generation unit IT DOES NOT come with any HD DVD disk (no King Kong) and I have already found it is regioned at least as far as DVDs go - as I have no HD DVDs at all let alone US ones I cant say if it will play these but I have my very very strong doubts

As long as you know this its still a great bargain- but Microsoft have once again taken a dream product and mucked it up!

No dobut there had no choice but to region the unit but Its made a previous no brainer purchase limited and worthy of more consideration before purchase thus HD DVD is no longer going to be clear winner in the format wars

I appreicate the reasons why media corpoartions feel the need to limit products but the bottom line is this which would you rather have us doing everything illegally because we are given no other option if we want to make our proper media choices - everytime a new way of closing the door comes in it just encourages ripping and piracy

If i get a USA HD DVD or even a DVD the film compnay gets the money and id rather do that but if you close that door - then what? Its about time all this control over media formats stopped because it justfies and encoruages piracy and me to open my box and get handy with a soldering iron and a firmware update! Which i defintley know MS don't wnat me to do

All the legal nonsense over entetainment media is frankly ludicrous - please wake up and get with the progarme while you still have any makret to control
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on 24 February 2007
I was thinking and going thru my head about why should I buy 1 of these and finally got 1, and how did I ever cope without it, the movies are just fantastic Enter the Dragon is so brilliant on HD DVD, this is a fantastic piece of kit and it's worth every penny i spend on it. But remember you must have a HDTV so you can enjoy this. The newer films like Van Helsing are just amazing completely blows dvd out the water, dont think twice invest in the future and remember that HD DVD will only get better and we will eventually see dvd as we do VHS (YUCK why have dvd when I can have HD DVD).
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on 20 February 2007
Have a look at the range of films available here on Amazon for HD DVD, then compare that to the list of available Blu-ray movies. If you're interested in any films from Sony Pictures, 20th Century Fox, Disney or Pixar, then forget about HD DVD because those studios are exclusively supporting Blu-ray.

They're all supporting Blu-ray particularly because they think it offers better content protection so, even if the HD DVD format wins the war and they're all forced to start releasing their films on HD DVD, they will likely opt to include the ICT protection flag, which means the film can only be played in high definition using an HDMI cable... which the Xbox 360's HD DVD drive doesn't support. Right now, no HD DVDs are using ICT protection, but that's simply because they are trying to win the format war. Rest assured that once (or if) the format takes off, that situation will change.

All of this means that this add-on is not an investment for the future; it's simply a cheap way of getting some HD movies right now. But you will inevitably end up having to buy a standalone HD DVD or Blu-ray (or combination) player before too long.

Oh, and if you think the Xbox 360 is noisy while playing DVDs, then you should be aware that this drive is just as noisy and you still get the noise of the Xbox 360's fans. My current DVD player is silent, so I always go back to it for standard definition DVDs.
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on 3 July 2007
right straight to the point, i bought this on a whim with 1 dvd the chronicles of riddick, and ye it looks good but it isnt a whoa! good like alot of this next gen hd and all the other buzz words they throw at things now days that wow factor i keep hearing about doesent seem to slap you in the face and make you wonder how you lived without it.i play thru a vga cable on a 26" samsung component may look better on youre set up but my tv dusnt like it. also the picture on the 1 hd dvd i watched was in letter box with no way of changing this (may be diffrent on component) tho ok i dont like wtaching a film which wastes the tv screen when its a widescreen tv. i will say the menus and a extras are good menus especially. installation practicly nothing just bang the disc in follow a few steps takes about 30 seconds plug it in and youre away. so all in all im not saying i regret it im just saying think about paying 10 or 15 quid on fims youve probably seen already because some things look good. i honestly think hd only just surpasses crt screens if you have lcd watching sky etc it looks rubbish hd is just bridging the gap and adding abit of shine.
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on 15 February 2007
The quality of this piece of hardware is irrelevent, HD-DVD's could well be heading down the pan, and Blu-Ray is winning the format war day by day.

Don't buy this before you're SURE its the right choice..
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on 8 January 2007
I wished I had done some research before purchasing this add-on drive as I am somewhat really disappointment by Microsoft's solution for a console HD movie playback/console solution.

For a start the whole implantation of both your console and the actual add-on just seems clumsy and awkward. It's like saying "ooops - we forgot to include this with the console's release!

As a result: It just looks awful and takes up so much unnecessary space.

(You already have one power brick with the Xbox 360 console and another one just does not go well with the Home theater setup)

While the HD-DVD add-on gives you great pictures via the Xbox 360, the lack of an HDMI output means no way you can extract DD+ and TrueHD. This is supposed to be a NEXT GENERATION HIGH DEF PLAYER !!! Not being able to use these sound systems is a crying shame. (Especially as the PS3 has an HDMI output that supports these new sound formats and more)

Another thing to note is the noise of the Drive, while not as distracting as while playing a game: you can definitely hear noticeable noise in just some of the quietest scene in the movie. (For comparisons sake the PS3 is almost silent during the movie playback of Blu-Ray discs)

Despite its cheap price I was SHOCKED to learn something even MORE disappointing about buying this product. The serious lack of movies found on HD-DVD itself!! It seems Microsoft has backed the wrong horse and has given us a format that is not as widely supported!!!

There are FAR more movies available on the Blu-Ray Disc format, that when you compare this cheap add-on and its main competition; the PS3: there's really no contest the PS3 is the best way to go for your console/movie playback needs.

My advice is to not to go with this clumsy solution for HD movies and wait for the PS3 to be released here in Spring. Not only is the PS3 one complete unit, but the format it uses (Blu-Ray Disc) is supported more with its discs being able to hold a massive 50GBs. You also have the added benefit of an HDMI output, additional sound options and of course quiet operation!
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