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General HD (720 / 1080) Acquisition
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Old December 22nd, 2005, 06:55 PM   #1
Major Player
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Katoomba NSW Australia
Posts: 635
Media Player Dilemma...

First the scenario.

X-Box360 and Zensonic Z500 have been released. Both appear to be capable of PAL HD/HDV playback - at last... and both have DVD drives for WMV9 HD playback from DVD disk!!

The downsides are: X-Box360 will not give any video playback without Windows Media Centre Edition being installed. Yes, Microsoft has generously provided a utility for those without WMCE - usually XP-Pro users - that allows network connection to the X-box360, but it only allows access to still-images and music. So, an all new operating system is required for using the X-Box360 for streaming HD/HDV video.

The Zensonic Z500 - being a lovely new device, has no component outputs... only HDMI. If you haven't seen the prices being asked for HDMI to DVI or component conversion cables... they're over the top!!

So; given that most folks - myself included - don't particularly want to have to load a new OS, or pay a hefty penalty for having only component or DVI enabled HDTVs... is there any feed-back from anyone who has been able to sort out an effective in cost and lack of fuss and disruption way of integrating one of these HD Media Players/Consoles into their HD/HDV editing/viewing setup?

I have a RokuHD1000 Photobridge, but it is a Linux based box without DVD drive, that up until about a month ago was incapable of PAL HD/HDV playback. While the joy of finally achieving seamless playback of my PAL HD/HDV m2t clips was great... the despair that the Roku just can't play WMV9 or AVI or any other distributable, was exacerbated by the fact the unit loses network sharing capacity whenever a computer on the network is shut down or turned on. Takes nearly 30-40 mins to get it sorta working again.

The manufacturers seem to be indulging in a little bit of the old "lock 'em into the treadmill of connectivity compatability", and it's looking like a whole new Maze for new adopters to navigate.
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