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4.4 out of 5 stars80
4.4 out of 5 stars
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54 of 56 people found the following review helpful
on 13 August 2007
I too just made the upgrade to the HD DVD drive for the xbox 360.

Setting this up seems pretty straight forward and yes your xbox 360 needs to have connection to the internet so that it can download some updates. This won't take long.

The package and features include:
External HD DVD drive
Remote Controller and batteries
The HD DVD drive has 2 extra USB ports
installation disc and manual
Cable to connect HD DVD drive to the back of your 360
Requires its own power supply but thankfully its a lot smaller than the brick that you need for the 360.

Picture quality is great, again, as other reviewers have stated you will not really notice that much of a difference between the HD DVD's and standard DVDs but to be honest to really notice the improved detail quality, hook it up to a huge projector or massive 40+ in" LCD/Plasma TV and then play your old standard dvds on it and then say you can't notice any difference!

Also it might help if you change the resolution settings on your xbox 360 display (ie 720P, 1080i and 1080P if your TV supports these resolutions) plus use either component/VGA/HDMI cable instead of the composite (ie red/white and yellow connectors) These will give you a much noticable difference. But again what cable you can use will depend on what connections your TV/monitor can accept.

Another great thing about the HD DVD drive is that all HD DVD's are region free so you can play Asian, Japanese, USA, UK and European HD DVD movies in your HD DVD drive (This does NOT apply to standard DVDs). I recently purchased a HD DVD that had quite a lot of scratches and it played fine Plus you can hook the external HD DVD drive to your pc and watch movies on there (provided your pc is powerful enough to do that)..

One last thing is that the external drive is quiet and don't heat up to crazy temperatues during operation, and after watching HD DVD's and other standard DVDs, taking them out of the drive and feeling how cool they are to the touch is assuring.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on 28 February 2008
Got the HD player for Christmas and I am really delighted with the quality of picture/sound that it gives out. For the price you really cannot beat it, the player also upscales normal DVD's so all my DVD's HD or not look great!
I also took adavantage of the 5 free HD DVD's from Microsoft which is superb, 5 free DVD's for nothing so that made the whole deal even better.

The only dark cloud on the Horizon is that Toshiba are no longer going to support this format, which means that the Xbox 360 is shortly going to be the only way that you can view HD DVD's. How many movie companies will produce HD films on this basis?? I doubt very few if any. It seems that Blue Ray is going to win out.

The only way that I can see this format being saved is if the coming Xbox 360 Ultimate has the HD player bulit in (as rumoured) and there are massive sales resulting in a demand for the HD format and other HD players.
Unfortunately I think it is unlikely. So in short its a great player but you may have nothing new to play on it before long!!
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45 of 47 people found the following review helpful
on 10 August 2007
Just a thought...since it has USB leads, I've tried to run it through the PC to watch Hot Fuzz & it worked!!! It recognised it straight away and was up and running in no time. So if you want you can bypass the 360 and use it on the computer instead.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on 15 March 2007
Just popped in Star Wars Revenge of the Sith and was blown away by what I saw! The picture quality is much higher than just in the standard 360 drive. So it confirms that it does indeed upscale using the VGA cable. I didn't find it noisy with the film on either. You can also play American discs as well so if you look at US Amazon you can browse through the many upcoming releases.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 29 March 2007
The Xbox 360 HD-DVD drive add on is great. I got one of the earlier packs with King Kong. I opened it out of the box and it look good sitting next to the 360. I put the disc in and there's a quick update which takes no more than a few seconds and I was up an running within a couple of minutes.

The picture quality was very good, I was used to the upscaling through VGA and I think it is an improvement. As I only have King Kong on HD DVD I can't really compare the quality to the DVD release, but I watched a few minutes of a standard DVD upscaling and switched to this, the HD-DVD picture was clearly better, sharper and more vibrant. Upscaling vs HD - HD is definitely better, if you want the best, buy the best!

I can't wait to buy some more, Bourne Supremacy is on its way at the moment.

The only downside is there is a lack of titles at the moment really, and a strange array of old releases to go with brand new releases, also the cost, HD DVD's are going to set you back £17+ each at the moment but prices are coming down.

Its a great buy, and I'd highly recommend it to anyone that enjoys watching DVD's once or twice (or more) a week. You might want to hold out until later in the year though for more titles.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 3 September 2007
As previously mentioned this is available from £99 from certain high street games outlets.
Having recently bought a 37inch LCD I was a little disappointed with the quality of terrestial television. Anyone who has a HD tv will know what I mean - get too close and you can see the blockiness of the SD picture.

Like many people I was reluctant to "buy into" either bluray or HD-DVD at this early stage. However as I already have an XBOX 360 spending £100 to find out what the HD hype is really about wasn't too agonising a decision.

So far I have watched King Kong and Serenity on this player.

I know there have been mixed reviews on picture quality but let me assure you - if you output this player to a decent HD ready TV you will not be dissapointed. Colours look vivid and beuautifuuly saturated whilst the level of detail is breathtaking. You can pick out the individual beads of sweat and pores on an actors face and huge amounts of extra background detail.

It really is impressive.
FOr £100 - a real bargain.
Even if BluRay wins the day you haven't lost a great deal have you??
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 13 July 2007
For the money this is an excellent product:

Good Points:

The picture, particularly on large screens (42"+) is outstanding, I've got mine on a projector and the difference to standard DVD is very noticable.

They've now fixed the sound - it was very, very poor initially but a dashboard update has fixed this and it's now pretty good (just make sure you're connected to xbox live).

Bad points:

It's noisy - it's roughly the same noise level as a game, which can be distracting in quiet movie scenes.

It's not a massive leap on small screens - 32" or less and you might wonder what all the fuss is about. Obviously not worth it if you don't have an HDTV!.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 1 September 2012
I purchased an HD DVD upgrade unit for my Xbox 360 last year (2011) for approximately £10. Now, although the HD DVD has lost it's war with Blu Ray as a media, it does not deter the fact that quite a lot of films that were transferred to the HD DVD format are actually superior than those that went to Blu Ray!

Couple the great quality with the cost of the films, you can now pick up bargain HD DVD's off Amazon and from other stores from as little as £1. My entire Bourne collection cost me £4.25, £20 cheaper than the blu ray alternative and better quality.

I will concede that this device is not for new release films as there will not be any new releases on this, but the trade off is that the films that have been released already have dropped in price so quickly that it is a crime not to pick them up!

Any useful tips, fire "list of hd dvd" into a search engine and you will be quite supprised at how many films have already been released, then transfer those titles to Amazon and check the price compared to the blu ray edition.

I hope this is helpful.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Microsoft is really pushing HD-DVD as an alternative to Sony's Blu-ray, mostly for obvious reasons, but if you already have an Xbox 360, it's clear to see where the advantage lies; the price. However, running them side by side, there is little difference to choose between them.

The HD DVD drive is a small unit, about a 3rd of the size of the 360 itself and stands either upright or flat, just like the 360. It simply plugs into the USB port on the back of the 360 and in to the mains. If you use the USB port on the back of your 360 already, don't worry, as the drive comes with 2 extra USB ports.

The only thing I found awkward was keeping the wireless network device connected to the back of the 360 and running the USB to the HD Drive, however, you can just leave this lying loose on the back of the HD DVD drive if you want.

Picture-wise this is amazing on a VGA monitor or HD TV. If set up correctly (in either 1080i or 1080p if your TV supports it) you'll notice the difference straight away. Even on my 17" monitor I could see the improvement. However, if you connect via the composite cable or even scart (why?!), you'll need to think about getting a VGA cable, or HDMI if you are lucky to have one of the newer Xbox 360s that have this, to get the best picture. Unless you use one of these methods you won't get upscaling on DVDs either, which give you a vast improvement over standard DVD pictures. I'd recommend VGA as I use it myself.

Sound can be output through the 360 in the usual way (through the TV or through an external amp via the optical cable) and the drive supports the usual standard sound formats.

Negative points can be given for the noise, partly the fault of the 360 itself (though newer models tend to be quieter) and partly the drive. It's not too bad if you're listening in a large room, but in a small bedroom or study it can be a bit off-putting during the quiet moments of a film.

For the price, this beats anything out there at the moment, and with the price cut on the 360 it's tempting even if you don't have the games console yet.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 24 May 2008
With the price of HD-DVDs dropping all the time, with some of them now being cheaper than some of the regular dvd editions this isn't a bad little addition for the xbox 360. bundled with a media remote as well you can enjoy some of the great films that are on HD-DVD for a fraction of the cost of blu-ray at the moment. Overall not a bad buy if you want to watch some cheap high def movies and have a 360
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