Xbox 360 – HD DVD player

I ordered the Japanese HD DVD drive last week from when they sold it for only US$136, quite a bargain (it’s now back to normal US$199). You can also get it from

The HD DVD drive comes with the drive it self, a USB cable, a remote, a setup disc and an AC adapter. The remote have Japanese text, but it’s straightforward to use. You don’t need the setup disc, I didn’t use it anyway. I think it only update the Xbox 360 firmware to support the HD DVD drive. But if you updated the dashboard last fall, you should be fine. The AC adaptor is universal, mean it takes 100-240V 50/60 Hz. You only need at travel plug/socket adapter, or if you have an old VCR or radio power cord, that will work just fine.

This mean, that if you find an HD DVD player at a low price some where in the world, all HD DVD drives will work on any Xbox 360. The drive is not region locked. HD DVD is region free so you can buy movies from around the world. The player will only play DVDs in the region you Xbox 360 is coded for. So if you live in Europe, you can only play region 2 encoded DVDs in the HD DVD player.

I have only tested one movie, The Bourne Supremacy, on a 17″ LCD monitor with VGA connection in 1280×1024 (so the movie play in 1280×720). The picture look real good and I’m looking forward to the day when I get myself a big HDTV. But I have to say that the step from DVD to HD DVD wasn’t that quantum leap as going from VHS to DVD. Still, the HD DVD is a good purchase and will be better with a bigger TV.
I like the HD DVD movie menus. They look better than DVD menus since the movie still plays when you press the menu on the remote. I also like the picture in picture feature.
When I tried capture some screenshots of the movie with menus etc. on my SDTV capture card, I found out that you have to set the Xbox to PAL-60 to play HD DVD movies on a SDTV. It doesn’t support 50 Hz. That’s why I had to take screenshots of the movie with my digitalcam.
The disctray icon on Dashboard is spilt in two when the HD DVD drive is connected to the 360. With the upper half you can start a game as normal and with the bottom half, you start the movie which are in the HD DVD player.

The next pictures are taken with a digital photo camera, since that’s the only way I can capture good screen photos.

When you press the Guide-button on the remote/controller while watching a movie, you get the standard info blade and can then press the Yellow-button to go back to Dashboard.

And this is how the folder strucutre is when you connect the HD DVD drive to a Windows XP with the right drivers.