XBox 360 HD-DVD drive question for those that have one

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by Cory Bevilacqua, Nov 14, 2006.

  1. Cory Bevilacqua

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    1) How long does it take to start a movie once you've closed the tray? I've seen that it takes about 10 seconds before it leaves the XBox Dashboard. That normal?

    2) On King Kong, I'm experiencing some odd behavior - When you pause the movie for a long enough time, the drive eventually spins down. Then I randomly get another millisecond of audio and video, then the screen goes to a screensaver-esque display of the Universal logo moving back and forth. When I press play again, I have to wait for the disc to spin back up. Is this something other people have experienced? The drive spin-down and the screensaver seem normal enough to me - but that extra second of audio and video that happens right before the switch to screensaver always scares the crap out of me, and doesn't seem normal.
     
  2. ppltd

    ppltd Producer

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    I have not had time to spend much time with my unit, but it is likely that the audio and video is being cached to memory, and what you are seeing that bit of video being 'flushed' prior to the screen saver coming on. Just a guess here. Sounds like MS needs a little more work on the programming.
     
  3. Dave W

    Dave W Stunt Coordinator

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    For disc loading times mine takes about 5-10 seconds before it starts at the "warning" screens after closing the tray. Different discs have taken longer though so it may just be the pre-loading phase at the 360 dashboard. The longest a disc has taken for me was about 30 seconds - it was Bourne Supremacy and it only took that long once... Subsequent viewings took the standard 5-10 seconds...

    I too have seen the screensaver thing happen but, only on King Kong myself. Other discs have the screensaver but King Kong is the only one that does the audio/video "pop" as it goes to screensaver.
     
  4. RAF

    RAF Lead Actor

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    Let's just say that when loading HD-DVDs into my XBox360 HD-DVD player the time is a lot closer to that of a "regular" DVD player than the snooze inducing load times of my Toshiba XA-1 HD-DVD player (even with the latest firmware upgrade). While I haven't actually put a stopwatch on it, let's just say it didn't stand out as anything unusually long. I think what others have reported here as times agree with my experience. In any event, the $200 box is teaching the $1000 something.

    [​IMG]

    And another thing that I welcomed on the XBox360 HD-DVD player was the "info" button that gives you time elapsed and time remaining on the screen when pressed. With the Toshiba you only get the elapsed time and you have to be aware of the total time of the movie (if you can read the fine print on the disc cover) and do a little math. Yes, some of the HD-DVD menus provide their own time line but there is so much inconsistency in menu functions among the various studios that this is a moving target at best (and a bit of a pain, in my opinion.)

    Finally, Toshiba could learn a lesson or two about a properly functioning backlit remote from Microsoft. The Toshiba backlighting seems to have a mind of its own and sometimes responds to sound or movement or both (or none.) And the Microsoft lighted remote buttons are so much easier to read that it's not even close.

    On the plus side for Toshiba, of course, are HDMI output and more sound output options. But if one already owns an XBox360 then the HD-DVD add-on is a very nice (and inexpensive) way to get into HD media.
     
  5. ppltd

    ppltd Producer

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    I have read a few reviews on the add-on that on disks with Dolby-HD, if selected, the sound is noticably improved over selecting standard Dolby. As I have not had the opertunity to verify this, I was wondering if you've noticed this. I have added a link to one of those reviews.

    One Review
     
  6. RAF

    RAF Lead Actor

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    Well, I wouldn't call it a large improvement and some of this might be more subjective than objective. As pointed out in the review that you cited, my audio processor shows that the digital (toslink) output from my Toshiba XA-1 is called "DTS" even though it's dolby digital. That's because that the Toshiba, when outputting the dolby digital plus soundtrack over coax/toslink (S/PDIF signals) changes it into what the pre/pro interprets as DTS (although it's full and not limited bandwidth.) Apparently the XBox360 HD-DVD doesn't do this same thing and my pre/pro's display from the S/PDIF output of the XBox360 HD-DVD shows up was "5.1 DD" and not "DTS." Even when I choose TrueHD from the HD-DVD sound menu the display still shows "5.1 DD" (although there might be a very slight difference in the sound.) HD-DVD player manufacturers are free to do whatever they want with the sound output (Toshiba chooses to convert all S/PDIF sound output to a DTS-like stream and Microsoft does not apparently.) To me, the sound is a hair better from the Toshiba than from the Microsoft HD-DVD drive, but it's very close. Maybe when you choose "TrueHD" when playing an HD-DVD on the MS unit you force it to handle the sound a bit differently.

    I don't think that you can make any generalizations regarding the absolute sound output from these devices alone since there are so many other variables in place. One would also have to consider the audio processor or receiver used, its settings, how your speakers are configured and a host of other options that will all be part of the equation. In any event, the sound from these HD-DVD discs is very nice. Of course, since the Microsoft HD-DVD player does not contain either HDMI outputs nor any analog 5.1 outputs (like the Toshiba 1st generation HD players) or 7.1 outputs (like the newer models) you won't be able to take advantage of the newest audio codecs, but for its intended purpose (an introduction to HD media at an under $199 price point for XBox360 owners) the new add-on does a remarkable job. For those of the 6 million + XBox360 owners who also have bought HD sets to take advantage of maximum gameplay, this HD-DVD add-on opens the world of HD-DVD movies to them for less than the cost of four XBox360 games and that's an exciting prospect. Also exciting is the fact that the player has already been hacked so that you can add it as an HD-DVD drive to a PC, but that's another topic for another time.

    That's my 2 cents on this.
     
  7. ppltd

    ppltd Producer

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    Thanks for your insight. It is much appreciated.

    I am going home tomorrow, and having a week off, I will be spending much time in my HT, installing hardware (add-on and new Power Conditioner), (got to upgrade the Samsung, installing a new sub (I blew mine last week[​IMG] ) and watching many movies that were delivered but not watched. Looks like it will be a very busy week off.
     
  8. directorpaul

    directorpaul Auditioning

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