Yes, I KNOW HD DVD is “dead.” Microsoft is stopping manufacturing this drive, and there wont be many more releases. But come on, it’s $50! That comes with King Kong on HD DVD, the full 360 Media Remote, and 5 more HD DVDs after rebate. There are still hundreds of titles you can rent on Blockbuster Online (and Netflix until they get phased out over the next year). And probably the biggest value here is for people that use their 360 as their primary DVD player. Save the life (and sound) of your internal DVD drive and play your movies in this. Look at it this way: it’s a cheap external DVD drive you can use with your 360 to extend your consoles lifespan. It isn’t as loud as the internal 360 drive, and it plays HD DVDs (6 free). You know you’re tempted.
How are you, friends? It’s been a long time no see, I know. As of lately I’ve taken a somewhat extended hiatus from gaming. Many of you know I’m majoring in film, and it has redirected many of my interests to movies. And it’s no surprise gaming has accelerated those interests, with the Xbox 360 HD DVD add-on drive introducing me to High-Definition media, followed by the Playstation 3 with it’s Blu-ray drive. Between you and me, I’ll tell you it’s like a crack addiction. I just can’t get enough high-definition content.
I had been toying with the thought of starting a new website dedicated to HD, and with one sleepless night, it was so. I present to you: High-Def Junkie
If you read this website, chances are you too are a high-def junkie. Many of us went through the transition from standard def together. I bought my first HDTV in late 2005 in preparation for the Xbox 360 launch. Then after a YEAR of relentless nagging (by yours truly), our friend Tarun went HD. And now, it has completely spoiled me. It actually pains me to watch anything in standard-def.
So I extend an invitation for you to join me over at High-Def Junkie. Since gaming is very much a part of the high-def addiction along with movies, I’m planning to in someway tie these two sites together. I’ve already set up forums over at High-Def Junkie, with a section dedicated to gaming. Perhaps I will make them the official gamerawr forums? Any input is appreciated. See you there!
I’m not gonna lie, the fanboy within me jumped for joy when I heard this news. The lack of exclusive studio support was always pointed at as HD DVDs downfall. The Blu-ray folks were just waiting for the day Universal (the only HD DVD exclusive studio) jumped shipped. Well, someone jumped shipped, and it was Paramount, DreamWorks Animation leaving Blu-ray in favor of HD DVD. Before, Blu-ray fans were only missing out on Universal titles, now there are multiple studios with blockbuster movies you can only watch on HD DVD.
I guess this news is partly bad, too, since it means to “format war” will continue to wage on. While I have both formats, I far prefer HD DVD, as I think most would who have tried both. All we need are some cheaper standalone players, and sales could easily sway back in HD DVD’s favor. Blu-ray has gotten a huge install base boost from Sony’s
trojan horse PS3. A video game console can help sway a battle, but it’s ultimately up to standalone players getting into peoples houses. HD DVD already has the upper hand here, as standalone HD DVD player prices continue to drop and be cheaper than Blu-ray. Go on HD DVD, fight the good fight.
The audio problems with the 360 HD DVD player are finally being put to rest (about time). Coming out sometime today (5/15), the update will fix some bugs, and add some features such as the much anticipated DTS output.
Has the Dolby Digital audio on your HD DVDs sounded flat and quiet? Turns out, it has been stuck on “night mode.” That has been corrected, and you now have the option to enable or disable this (default is off).
ANY audio track that HD DVD supports, including DD+, TrueHD, and DTS, can now be scaled and outputted in Dolby Digital, WMAPro, or 1.5 Mbps DTS. Unfortunately, straight TrueHD and other high bandwidth output are limited by the optical on the 360. 1.5 Mbps DTS is the best you can get out of the optical port. It should be a pretty big improvement over the (currently gimped) Dolby Digital, which is only 640Kbps.
Its unclear whether these new audio options are restricted to the HD DVD player, or if DTS will be added as a universal option in the 360 dashboard audio menu. My guess (hope) is the latter. Currently there are only options for DD and WMAPro. Either way, I’m psyched. That damn DTS logo of the face of my receiver has been taunting me, and I will finally get some use out of it.
Also fixed are some disc compatibility errors.
Update: It’s out. Sign into Live, and launch a HD DVD and you should be prompted to update. Unfortunately, DTS is limited to HD DVD (duh, I guess). Maybe with the next Dash update we will be able to choose it as a universal output? Well, since I don’t think any games have a DTS of DD+ track, I guess it wouldn’t make much of a difference.