Sunday, December 16, 2007

HD DVD - Xbox 360

Released at the end of November 2006, the Microsoft HD DVD drive for the Xbox 360 game-console gives the Xbox 360 the ability to play HD DVD movies. The drive was announced with an MSRP of US$199 and includes a USB 2.0 cable for connection to the console. The first drives also included Peter Jackson's King Kong on HD DVD.

Xbox 360 and add-on HD DVD drive
Xbox 360 and add-on HD DVD drive

HD DVD video output at the highest supported resolution (1080p) requires a display with HDMI, component, or VGA input. Despite the fact that the Xbox 360 supports 1080p output across component and VGA cabling, all first and many second generation 1080p TVs do not support that resolution on those types of inputs, which limits the TV and older Xbox 360 units (which did not include HDMI-out ports) to 720p or 1080i. For audio output, the Xbox 360 is limited compared to standalone players. However, the console is able to handle transcoding, if necessary, so a movie soundtrack of any type (Dolby TrueHD, Dolby DD+/AC-3, DTS, LPCM) will be outputted in the selected format. The HDMI-output on Xbox 360 Elite does not support multichannel LPCM and the Elite is limited to the same output choices as the non-HDMI Xbox 360 models.

The Xbox 360 HD DVD add-on drive is sold at retailers in the white color of the Xbox 360 Core/Premium. No announcements have been made by Microsoft to release this product in other colors to the general public.

In the fall of 2007, circulating rumors were spread of Toshiba working in partnership with Microsoft to develop a new Xbox 360 model that would include a built-in HD DVD player as well as other entertainment features.[64] However, this rumor was later denied by both Toshiba and Microsoft[65].

As of September 2007 the add-on has sold over 210,000 units world wide.[66] Although PC use is not officially supported, a number of users buy the HD DVD add-on drive to use exclusively with their PCs because of the cheap price when compared to HD DVD drives made for PCs.[citation needed]

On December 13, 2007 Microsoft annnounced the availability of an HD DVD emulator that works with the Xbox 360 console and the HD DVD drive accessory[67].

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