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Microsoft will cut the price of its HD DVD add-on August 1

Microsoft introduced its HD DVD player for the Xbox 360 last November for a price of $199 USD. The Xbox 360 launched without a high definition disc player, so the USB-based HD DVD add-on gave Microsoft the additional firepower necessary to combat the PlayStation 3's standard Blu-ray disc drive.

Through the end of June, Microsoft had sold over 155,000 of the HD DVD add-ons and proclaimed it the "biggest-selling accessory" ever for a console.

Now, Microsoft has seen fit to reduce the price of its most expensive accessory for the Xbox 360. Effective August 1, the HD DVD add-on will retail for $179 USD. In addition, customers who purchase the peripheral between August and September 30 will also qualify to receive five free HD DVD movies.

"With the price reduction to $179, the Xbox 360 HD DVD Player continues to be the most affordable way to enjoy high definition," said Microsoft's Jeff Bell. "From the beginning, we set out to offer Xbox 360 owners an unrivaled high-definition experience, with a choice of optical discs on the HD DVD format and digital downloads through Xbox LIVE Marketplace -- both of which have a selection of the best content Hollywood has to offer."

Microsoft will highlight the HD DVD add-on price reduction by offering the movie "300" on demand in HD beginning August 14 through Xbox LIVE. Also on deck will be a free download of the season one pilot of "Heroes." "300" and "Heroes: Season 1" will also be available on HD DVD.

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HDCP nneded?
By Spyvie on 7/26/2007 10:50:44 AM , Rating: 2
I’m seriously confused about DVI, HDMI, and HDCP.

I have a Q6600 on a Gigabyte board, 4GB RAM, and an EVGA 8800 GTS 320, running Vista 64. My monitor is a Samsung 1660x1050 with DVI in. The specs on the EVGA card say HDCP compliant, but there’s no HDMI out on the card.

Can I use this drive to watch HD-DVD titles on my computer?

RE: HDCP nneded?
By rmaharaj on 7/26/2007 11:22:41 AM , Rating: 2
HDCP is the method of encrypting the data between the source and the display - it isn't tied to a particular connection. You can have HDCP over DVI, HDMI, DisplayPort, pretty much any digital connection. So if you monitor is HDCP compliant, yes, you should be able to watch HD-DVD movies.

RE: HDCP nneded?
By GreenEnvt on 7/26/2007 11:23:08 AM , Rating: 2
HDCP doesn't need HDMI. The DVI ports on your video card will support HDCP if the box lists it as supported.
Assuming your Samsung monitor also supports it via DVI (my Samsung 19" 940bw does), then you are set to watch movies encrypted with HDCP.

RE: HDCP nneded?
By darkpaw on 7/26/2007 11:35:50 AM , Rating: 2
Might need to go beyond what is printed on the box and actually research the individual card. Remember that Nvidia and ATI both got some bad press last year for saying HDCP compliant when the cards actually lacked the HDCP chip.

RE: HDCP nneded?
By omnicronx on 7/26/2007 11:54:47 AM , Rating: 1
The EVGA 8800 GTS 320 most definatly is, but the 6600 is most definatly not ;) unless you paid a premium for a special version of the 6600. (it was the first card to offer hdcp apparently)

RE: HDCP nneded?
By dubldwn on 7/26/2007 12:45:07 PM , Rating: 2
The 6600 is his cpu.

RE: HDCP nneded?
By euclidean on 7/26/2007 12:49:03 PM , Rating: 2
The EVGA 8800 GTS 320 most definatly is, but the 6600 is most definatly not ;) unless you paid a premium for a special version of the 6600. (it was the first card to offer hdcp apparently)

He said the "Q"6600...that's his cpu.

RE: HDCP nneded?
By Spyvie on 7/26/2007 12:03:39 PM , Rating: 2
Thanks for the answers, I prolly should post questions like this on Anandtech's forums or somewhere besides here.

I'm pretty sure my 8800 GTS is OK, along with my monitor, but I'll double check before I purchase anything.

Now, if I can get a grip on 5.1 audio out...

"People Don't Respect Confidentiality in This Industry" -- Sony Computer Entertainment of America President and CEO Jack Tretton
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