HD DVD unable to bare Children of Men

Children of Men, one of last year’s best films and one of this year’s most anticipated HD DVD exclusives has hit a snag when played on various HD DVD players, perhaps most notably on the Xbox 360 add-on. According to High-Def Digest, some Xbox 360 HD DVD owners are experiencing issues where Children of Men refuses to play, even after trying multiple, retail exchanged copies of the movie.

The Digest conducted a test of their own, and found the same results that users reported – the disc did not work after attempts on two different consoles. Curiously, some users on the Web site’s forums area report no such issues with Children of Men on their Xbox 360 HD DVD players, while others report playback problems with Toshiba’s XA2, A2 and A1 standalone players.

“I think this is the most worrying thing about HD-DVD - the inconsistencies and differences that people supposedly with the same hardware and firmware get. The technology just doesn't seem ready for prime time yet,” said Ian Smith, HD DVD blogger and High-Def Digest forum participant. “It seems like we are guinea pigs and the hardware/software manufacturers don't know what Quality Assurance is. It's not as if there are many players out there that need to be tested!”

For some users, Children of Men will play, but will either eventually freeze or encounter playback issues, such as the inability to fast forward. Those who were unable to finish the movie in high definition were forced to flip the combo disc over to continue the film on the standard definition DVD side.

Neither Microsoft nor Universal was available for comment at time of publication.

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