X360 Saturday, November 25, 2006 | 6:02 PM

HD-DVD Q&A session with Harvey Lee

HD-DVD Q&A session with Harvey Lee

Once again thanks to the XCN, we got another great interview to post. This time it's time for Harvey Lee, Platform Marketing Manager for Xbox 360 Europe, to share his thoughts about the HD-DVD, and to give some long answers about HDMI, HD-DVD-games, Blu-Ray and much much more.


All comments

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Commented on 2006-11-25 18:39:01
wow i would love to have a night with this guy,he is very correct in everything he says.sony is penalising the gamers but let them screw the fanboys ofsony
LONG LIVE MICROSOFT
Commented on 2006-11-25 19:05:04
what i wanna know is, can you have a game disc in the 360, and a different game disc in the hd-dvd drive, and use it to play them? ie youd be able to quit out of a game to the dashboard, then go into the game thats in the hd-dvd drive and play that, all without leaving your seat :D anyone know if this is possible?
Commented on 2006-11-25 19:23:15
yes that is possible, the part in the dashboard where it says play game has 2 half circles, upper is hd-dvd lowest is game (or reverse dont remember).
Commented on 2006-11-25 19:25:51 In reply to acm2000
Posted by acm2000
what i wanna know is, can you have a game disc in the 360, and a different game disc in the hd-dvd drive, and use it to play them? ie youd be able to quit out of a game to the dashboard, then go into the game thats in the hd-dvd drive and play that, all without leaving your seat :D anyone know if this is possible?
Well.. there are NO games on the HD-DVD and there is a 80% there never will be, but I'm pretty sure you could have a movie in the HD-DVD drive and a game in your 360 and switch between the two, instead of searching for your videos on the xbox you'd just go to the hd-dvd drive and play it from there, like having more than one drive in your pc... it's really not that complex.
Commented on 2006-11-25 19:29:39
I'm gonna sue him in England for talking bad about blu-ray!!!
Commented on 2006-11-25 20:24:09
so in 5 years time all stuff will be downloaded?? hd movie off market place took me 4 hours to download.......disk would take me 10 mins.

i reakon in 10 years but not 5.
Commented on 2006-11-25 20:33:04
hehe, "delaystation"... why didn`t i think of that ^_^
at last a guy who is NOT politically correct and says it like it is! nice interview :)
Commented on 2006-11-25 21:26:18
I wish you didn't need to pug that thing in the 360. having both the console and HD-DVD player plugged in is ugly and stupid. M$ should have just launched with it.

Guess i'll have to wait for a standalone player.
Commented on 2006-11-25 22:26:35 In reply to thedudex06
Posted by acm2000
what i wanna know is, can you have a game disc in the 360, and a different game disc in the hd-dvd drive, and use it to play them? ie youd be able to quit out of a game to the dashboard, then go into the game thats in the hd-dvd drive and play that, all without leaving your seat :D anyone know if this is possible?
Ah, i get what you are saying.

If you had gears of war in the 360's dvd drive and then viva pinata in the HD-DVD drive attachment, would you be able to swap between the two, without moving any discs? Don't know, but theoretically, i see no reason why not. The USB 2 connection is quite a bit faster than the maximum transfer rate of dvd. Though don't know whether this is currently possible in the software.

Someone mentioned something similar to Major Nelson a while back. They asked if, while playing a game (gears of war) from the dvd drive, could you play your own custom soundtrack from a music CD (Toxicity, SOAD) that was in the HD-DVD drive. Major said he didn't know. Would be a cool feature though.

Heheh, "delaystation." Quick! Someone make a new image for thisiswaiting.com!
Posted by thedudex06
so in 5 years time all stuff will be downloaded?? hd movie off market place took me 4 hours to download.......disk would take me 10 mins.

i reakon in 10 years but not 5.
Well, think about it. How much has your internet connection speed come along in the last 5 years? me, only got internet 3 years ago at 600Kb/s, now i've got a much more reasonable 4096Kb/s (or 4Mb/s). Thats nearly a 7x increase in three years. 5 years from now, we could be pushing upwards of 24Mb/s. some people already have 16Mb/s home connections.

a 10GB file, at that speed, would take less than an hour to d/l (at optimum speeds). Still not super-fast. but awesome considering you don't even have to leave the couch.

Great interview.

Edit: YAY! !343 days! Halo fans will know why this is significant :)
Commented on 2006-11-25 23:00:07 In reply to acm2000
Posted by acm2000
what i wanna know is, can you have a game disc in the 360, and a different game disc in the hd-dvd drive, and use it to play them? ie youd be able to quit out of a game to the dashboard, then go into the game thats in the hd-dvd drive and play that, all without leaving your seat :D anyone know if this is possible?
I don't believe so. The limitation is that HD-DVD uses a blue laser, while conventional DVD uses a red laser. The wavelengths on the lasers are incompatible with the wrong types of media.
Commented on 2006-11-26 00:34:35
Heheh DelayStation :D Thats great! *goes to joystiq to post some antisony comments
Commented on 2006-11-26 00:45:30
Hmm.. I have the player, so I'll answer some of the questions you all seem to have.. If you have anymore, post them here and I'll try to answer...

First off, on the dashboard, the HD-DVD is on the bottom, regular is on the top. It would be nice if this is switchable, as I have my HD-DVD on top of my 360.

Second, there shouldn't really be any reason why you couldn't play a game in the HD-DVD player other than the transfer rate of USB. The player reads regular DVD Movies (it upscales them infact), but when you stick a 360 game in there, it acts like a regular DVD player and tells you to stick the game in a 360. So, the short answer is that the HD-DVD will not play games, but it's not due to the laser.

As for my feelings on HD-DVD so far, I love it. The picture looks great, it was easy to install, and I think it looks great. I'm thankful that MS didn't delay it's console to include it, and/or jack up the price to include it for everyone. My niece really wanted one after she played Viva Pinata at my house, so i got her a 360 for this Xmas. I just picked up a Core and threw in a Memory Card so she could save her game. She's 6 years old, so she's not going to be doing a whole lot with it other than playing this game and Kameo. However, I'm glad that I could get away with spending just $259 (CC $40 Off Coupon) plus the price of the memory card and game, rather than $500 + game. The second scenario wouldn't have happened.

To check out my unboxing pics of the HD-DVD player, check out my site:

http://www.audioeric.com/
Commented on 2006-11-26 01:02:39
I remeber watching this guy on gametrailers he is very smart.
Commented on 2006-11-26 01:31:32
Although I do hope, that format that is supported by Xbox 360 succeeds, some things bother me with this interview.

About that VC1 codec. So it is compatible with Blu-ray. There must be a reason why some manufacturers don't use it. And if Blu-ray content makers will start to use it (and if it is superior, they probably will), then what?

And when he is talking about those very expensive Blu-ray drives, is he trying to get people to buy PS3? If games will really need that extra space, then developers have that option with PS3. Compression is always the worse choice. Oblivion is a good example of a game being huge and fitting to Xbox 360 game disc. Gears of War is not, because it is a short game.

Also about always mentioning those past failures of Sony. So Sony may have made some bad decision earlier, but it doesn't automatically mean that they will do so also this time around. Besides, it has been said that Betamax had better picture quality than VHS. And creating CD format with Philips was a good decision.

Touting that: "We let you choose.", is also getting old. Microsoft wanted to go to the market early, so they really didn't even have that choice to implement a new disc format. Of course Sony is pushing their new format that they have created. It is also a little bit ridiculous to say "Hey, we have this great HD-DVD add-on, buy it!" and next "But of course, if you don't think that this format will succeed, do not!".

And as a side note, downloading of 5 to 10 Gb HD movies would fill up that 12 Gb hard drive Xbox 360 has very quickly. Atleast you can erase them and download again with no extra cost. By the way, isn't that about the size of double layer DVDs (9.4 Gb?) like the Xbox 360 game discs?
Commented on 2006-11-26 01:44:26
I don't see blu-ray becoming the disc standard, no matter how many studios support it. Sony has a bad history with these things.
Commented on 2006-11-26 01:45:26
This message is in "Boulet Time" (TM), If you still *really* want to see it, click here

Commented on 2006-11-26 02:07:08
i just don't know what to choose for..

I don't want to buy this and end up with a system where it would be a failure and what a waste of money kinda thing..

I will get a ps3 next year, and it already comes with a blu-ray player..but i don't want it to fail and then shell out extra money on a HD DVD player...and since blu-ray can fit alot more, isn't that going to be a great thing?

In UK, the difference between a Blu-ray DVD and HD dvd is just £2. Each company says theirs is better and the other one isn't.. What are the lies, the real truth, and what truely is the best format for HIGH DEFINITION?

Ahh! It's just so confusing! I suppose i'll leave it until end of next year and see which really is winning and which High def format to jump to.
Commented on 2006-11-26 02:33:37 In reply to Splicer261
Posted by Splicer261
i just don't know what to choose for..

I don't want to buy this and end up with a system where it would be a failure and what a waste of money kinda thing..

I will get a ps3 next year, and it already comes with a blu-ray player..but i don't want it to fail and then shell out extra money on a HD DVD player...and since blu-ray can fit alot more, isn't that going to be a great thing?

In UK, the difference between a Blu-ray DVD and HD dvd is just £2. Each company says theirs is better and the other one isn't.. What are the lies, the real truth, and what truely is the best format for HIGH DEFINITION?

Ahh! It's just so confusing! I suppose i'll leave it until end of next year and see which really is winning and which High def format to jump to.
HD-DVD is the better format it uses VC-1 and MP4 for its compression while bluRay still uses Mpeg2.
Commented on 2006-11-26 02:50:34
"Sony has a bad history with these things." what things? Do you mean movie formats? I think they did quite well with DVD. Their other ones went down the toilet =P but you never will succeed if you give up the first time.

As with any interview from a person hired by the company it's touting, I take this with a truck load of salt. This guy keeps bashing Sony but is doing exactly what they do when it comes to selling their products.

-He ONLY says that you don't need HDMI to view in 1080p, but he doesn't mention the fact that it can transmit uncompressed streams of audo and video (meaning better audio and better video)

-Sony is making us pay a premium for something uneccessary? Wth is he talking about?

Video games on PS3 come on Blueray (more expensive format with more storage) and the X360 games on DVD (less expensive format with less storage) but you pay the same for the games.

If you want to talk about price Xbox360 cost the same as the PS3 with it's HD-DVD add on (400+200=600) unless of course you went with the Core version saving you 100$ (but most people don't have or get the core). Notice how he never mentions this when he starts talking about pricing and only sticks to the pricing of the Blueray players (which are rediculously high).

-He says the storage on Blueray is uneccessary. Developers are transitioning from the old format (DVD) and going to something new and as with any transition it is difficult to make the best of what you have. I love how he talks about paying so much for a Blueray player that will be ancient in several years but Xbox360 DVD format will become ancient more quickly then Blueray will because down the road we are going to need more storage for games and developers are going to have more options with the Blueray format wether they want to make one SKU or if they want to fill the game with a bunch of extra's giving the consumer more value for their buck. Also comes the fact that with HDMI and Blueray paired you have the space to store uncompressed audio/video and the capability to stream that through HDMI.

-That whole downloading movies crap....I'm not even going to bother, Sony and Microsoft are complete idiots if they believe people would rather download movies from the internet onto a storage space (which is expensive to buy and also the possibility of corruption and other problems that come with computers SIDE NOTE: I hope he isn't serious about downloading movies to Xbox360 because that 20g drive is going to fill up very very quickly and nobody will do that) then to buy movies in hand.

This guy is just like all those bullshitters, stuffing a product down your throat by giving you only part of the facts.

As for the movie format I have no idea wth is going to happen but my guess will be it's Blueray because with the PS3 comes the blueray player and we all know when we got our PS2's we started getting into the DVD era. But I don't know, I'm just guessing with a historical bases.
Commented on 2006-11-26 03:00:11 In reply to Haloalldaylo
"HD-DVD is the better format it uses VC-1 and MP4 for its compression while bluRay still uses Mpeg2."

Well I guess this Harvey character got you too -_-. Look up first what the facts are. Initial versions of Sony's Blu-ray Disc-authoring software only included support for MPEG-2 video, so the initial Blu-ray Discs were forced to use MPEG-2 rather than the newer codecs, VC-1 and H.264. An upgrade was subsequently released supporting the newer compression methods so the second wave of Blu-ray Disc titles were able to make use of this.
Commented on 2006-11-26 03:24:01 In reply to shinhyesung
Posted by shinhyesung
"Sony has a bad history with these things." what things? Do you mean movie formats? I think they did quite well with DVD. Their other ones went down the toilet =P but you never will succeed if you give up the first time.
Sony and Phillips were touting their MMCD, while the rest of the industry was going with Toshiba's SD format. Luckily, this format war was over before it ever made it to the consumer, with Sony and Phillips abandoning the MMCD format and joining the SD format. There were only 1 or 2 things brought over from the MMCD and they were both related to servo tracking.

I think a better question is which Sony developed medium has ever "won"? True, BetaMax looked better, but it's not always what looks better that wins over the consumer..

Let's see, so we have BetaMax, MiniDisc, ATRAC, Memory Stick, UMD, and let's not forget DRM'ed CD's... So, what are formats/standards that Sony was initially behind that have succeeded?
Commented on 2006-11-26 11:54:00
No offence, but less compressed files will give shorter load times and look better.
Commented on 2006-11-26 12:09:59
loading times with blu ray is obviosly slower. Because the read speed is slower than the 360s DVD drive. Secondly the 360 supports decompression on the fly at the hardware level so the impact on loading times is pretty low. And the 360s games at the mo look alot better than sonys launch titles. Sure they are launch titles but apart from resistance as launch titles go they are shocking.
Commented on 2006-11-26 13:12:49
My theory, and I don't care about anyone else's is:

HDDVD - the new format for movies
BLU-RAY - the new format for gaming.

DOT! And hey, I own a 360! So please no lame fanboy comments :)

Love y'all
Commented on 2006-11-26 15:15:20 In reply to audioeric
Posted by audioeric
Hmm.. I have the player, so I'll answer some of the questions you all seem to have.. If you have anymore, post them here and I'll try to answer...

First off, on the dashboard, the HD-DVD is on the bottom, regular is on the top. It would be nice if this is switchable, as I have my HD-DVD on top of my 360.

Second, there shouldn't really be any reason why you couldn't play a game in the HD-DVD player other than the transfer rate of USB. The player reads regular DVD Movies (it upscales them infact), but when you stick a 360 game in there, it acts like a regular DVD player and tells you to stick the game in a 360. So, the short answer is that the HD-DVD will not play games, but it's not due to the laser.

As for my feelings on HD-DVD so far, I love it. The picture looks great, it was easy to install, and I think it looks great. I'm thankful that MS didn't delay it's console to include it, and/or jack up the price to include it for everyone. My niece really wanted one after she played Viva Pinata at my house, so i got her a 360 for this Xmas. I just picked up a Core and threw in a Memory Card so she could save her game. She's 6 years old, so she's not going to be doing a whole lot with it other than playing this game and Kameo. However, I'm glad that I could get away with spending just $259 (CC $40 Off Coupon) plus the price of the memory card and game, rather than $500 + game. The second scenario wouldn't have happened.

To check out my unboxing pics of the HD-DVD player, check out my site:

http://www.audioeric.com/
On the site you have a premium system, not a core, so really, you spent alot still.
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