HD-DVD: Out of the Box

C|net has a new Out of the Box feature where they cover the unpacking and set-up of new technology. Their debut video caught my interest, as a new Toshiba HD-DVD player is unpacked and — without even powering it up — dissected for all to see.

While I think it’s premature to choose sides in the upcoming format war between Blu-Ray and HD-DVD, I do enjoy checking out how the players work. The opened HD-DVD player featured is essentially a Pentium 4-based PC with a few add-ons like the HD video decoder chip and a USB attachment containing the firmware. Surprisingly, the heavy lifting of the video decoding is done not by the Pentium 4, but by the HD decoder chip, leaving the P4 for tasks such as generating a pretty interface.

I look forward to see what other new technologies Out of the Box will cover, especially new Apple gadgets. WWDC is coming up in August, and I’m hoping for shiny new somethings from Apple. (Not glossy, mind you.)

HD-DVD: Out of the Box

One thought on “HD-DVD: Out of the Box

  1. Supposedly the first Blu-Ray players are similar. I’m not sure whether they use off-the-shelf parts like a P4 (the HD-DVD players also run on Red Hat) but they follow the trend of essentially being PCs, complete with extended bootup times.

    Personally I’m rooting for HD-DVD especially since the initial impressions of Blu-Ray from various sources have been unimpressed (see the excellent and comprehensive look here), but either way I’m waiting for the second or third generation players. I want a nice slim one that can boot up and into the disc in ten seconds like my DVD player does.


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