Saturday, September 01, 2007

So you think you’re H-ar-D? (Review of Microsoft’s Xbox 360 HD-DVD player)

Have a gander at our dummies guide to quick and relatively cheap High Definition… words by Danny Walker (Your favourite dummy's favourite dummy)



So everyone's talking about HD and you still don't have a clue, thinking it’s just someone's initials or something. First of all, HD stands for High Definition as opposed to the lesser Standard Definition and it can be applied to gaming, video, television, radio and shopping (believe me, when women shop there is nothing standard about that).

Before you think about buying the add-on for your beloved Xbox 360 (please tell me you have a 360 as the HD-DVD player won’t work on its own), you need to have a TV in the words of Fonejacker “Ready for the Hurd”. This means your visual equipment needs to be able to except the signal sent from the 360. If it doesn’t have a little white sticker on it, you need to get yourself down to Argos (or online as there are quite a few bargains to be had nowadays).

Those currently content with loaning your mum’s 14 inch black and white portable this article isn’t really for you. I suggest you stay in the past and forget about the future… it’s just too big a step for you right now. But those willing to upgrade the easiest way to obtain the next level of luxury is to get yourself a television with a decent output. This means your HD-ready TV needs to have the best contrast, brightness and be the biggest size you can afford.

Once you have a decent TV – try not to go below 17 inches, you could go smaller but you might as well be watching the footage on your phone – you need to hook it up to your 360 and then the HD-DVD player to that.

Thankfully, the HD-DVD add-on works straight out of the box. There is a setup disc that gets your Elite, Premium or Core box ready to play High Definition movies. This adds software or something to the unit as well as an interesting icon where the “play game” symbol is – splitting it into Play HD-DVD or Play Game. After the software is installed there is a simple USB wire that hooks up to the back (or the front) of the unit and you’re ready to go.

In short, the picture quality is three notches above superb - King Kong being my only frame of reference. The sound is pretty strong too. It makes it seem as though the oversized PG Tips Primate is in your living room. The image is never blurry or rushed like some standard DVDs and action sequences are a joy to watch. You can use the (supplied) remote to navigate just like a normal DVD too, which allows just anyone to be the master of their own front room.

The only downside though is, A – it’s not integrated and B – Not all film company’s are supporting the format, choosing to go with Sony’s Blu-ray. Those who are onboard are really going for it though, re-releasing some very popular titles (did I hear someone say Top Gun). Some films also come on a combo disc, which is pure genius. On one side will be HD content and the other a regular DVD – which can be played in all standard players. Genius right?

HD-DVD will be around for sometime yet (despite what the Sony fanboys are spouting) and Microsoft’s Xbox 360 and its increasingly popular add-on player is the cheapest place to get both HD gaming and video.

A great choice for 360 owners, film geeks and/ or lovers of home entertainment.

4 comments:

JoccinOnYou!! said...

Sony fanboys huuuu raaaa!
Ita ALL about the Blu-ray player ppl!
Don't listen to this nut...he couldn't even find his bag in the airport...let alone a good DVD player!

Danny Walker said...

Yo tall player. I hope all is well. Despite what "JoccinOnYou!!" says we all know that HE is person who has been Jocced on for the longest time 2005-2007.

Winning all the Most Jocced On awards available and is still undefeated Joc-on-Me Champion winning the Jocced On Championships TWO years in a row.

When Soulja Boy says, "I'm Joccin on ya!!!" He is indeed talking about the person who claims to be called, "JoccinOnYou!!"

For those who would love to know what I'm talking about or who I'm talking about Google, '2006's Most Jocced On year book', and a picture or "JoccinOnYou!!" will appear.

JoccinOnYou...Agen!! said...

pretty funny...but i followed these instructions and this was the result...http://images.google.co.uk/images?client=firefox-a&channel=s&rls=org.mozilla%3Aen-US%3Aofficial&hl=en&q=2006%27s+most+jocced+on&btnG=Search+Images&gbv=2

even though it was the obvious outcome i was still shocked to see it was official...or not

joccinonyou...agen!! said...

someone managed to disable the hyperlink...wonder who?? so for all simpletons instructions follow:

1.copy '2006's most jocced on'

2.paste into the google IMAGES search bar

3.Click search

4.Move eyes towards the 5th picture...