After getting the Xbox 360 HD DVD player from Best Buy we were set and ready to go. This particular HD DVD player is an external model that can be placed flat or standing up, which means it will fit in the entertainment center next to the HTPC and other audio equipment. It also comes with the HD DVD title King Kong, which means we will have something to watch once we get the system ready to use.
Many older computer systems will struggle to play smooth HD content playback as both Blu-ray and HD DVD media require up to six times the rendering required over standard-definition content and are memory bandwidth intensive. Digital rights management (DRM) technologies also create issues on older systems as High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection (HDCP) support is needed on both the PC and the monitor in order for Blu-ray and HD DVD media to play in HD. This means that to play HDCP content you must have HDCP ready components, including, but not limited to, an HDCP ready monitor, disk drive, multimedia application and computer operating system. If you don't pass these qualifications the copy-protected DVDs restrict playback to 480i and 480p modes, so make sure you have all the right components. HDCP is a form of Digital Rights Management (DRM) developed by Intel Corporation to control digital audio and video content as it travels across Digital Visual Interface (DVI) or High-Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI) connections (so thank Intel for this one).