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Hacking XBox 360 HD-DVD To Play On XP 167

Posted by kdawson
from the cheap-HD dept.
Dan writes, "The XBox 360's affordable HD-DVD, with the help of some custom drivers and a specific player, has been hacked to work with any Windows XP machine. This may have created the cheapest HD-DVD player on the market to date."
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Hacking XBox 360 HD-DVD To Play On XP

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  • by RingDev (879105) on Monday November 13, 2006 @01:03PM (#16825888) Homepage Journal
    Wow, the link is dead before the article is even up.

    -Rick
  • 199$ is cheap? (Score:2, Informative)

    by Kenja (541830)
    Given that there are a number of IDE & SATA drives hitting the market for under 150$ I guess I just dont see what the big deal is.
    • Re: (Score:1, Troll)

      by ookabooka (731013)
      "Given that there are a number of IDE & SATA drives hitting the market for under 150$ I guess I just dont see what the big deal is."

      Yeah, because blockbuster is definately gonna be renting out SATA drives soon. . .The reason why it is worth it is because the media will be worth pennies (if that). Say you wanted to store x gigaquads of data (I love the word gigaquads, yes I know it's meaningless). Would you buy zillions of SATA hard drives or 1 hd-dvd burner drive, and zillions of discs. They are appl
      • by MrWim (760798)
        boh!
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward
        ... what?

        You, um, do realize that SATA and IDE aren't synonymous with "hard drive" right? The poster is referring to SATA and IDE HD-DVD drives. And I've never heard of _anyone_ renting a disk drive at Blockbuster, so I guess I'm not sure what the hell you're even talking about.

        If we're talking about apples and oranges, you're talking about friggin' carrots or something...
      • Yeah! Try returning that XBOX360 to Blockbuster without its DVD drive. You'll wind up paying far more than $199, I'll bet.
  • Astounding (Score:2, Insightful)

    by hal2814 (725639)
    Someone got a USB device to work on a computer with USB ports! What will they think of next? Can we have a new word that means what "hack" used to mean?
    • http://dict.die.net/hack/ [die.net]

      The first entry might just be what you were looking for.
    • Re:Astounding (Score:5, Insightful)

      by aiken_d (127097) <brooks.tangentry@com> on Monday November 13, 2006 @02:20PM (#16827040) Homepage
      USB is an electrical interface, with some standard logical extensions. There are these things called "drivers" that are needed to get devices to work, if those drivers aren't built into the underlying OS. A USB plug in itself does not mean compatibility -- if you have any doubt of this, run down to a local computer store and look at all of the USB peripherals that specify what platforms and operating systems they will work with.

      A "hack" is generally accepted to mean a clever approach to achieving something by bending the rules; by using things in ways they weren't intended; or by coming up with a more clever approach than what was previously accepted.

      Now that you know all of that, I'm you'll agree that getting an HD-DVD drive that was intended for use on an xbox 360 to work on Windows does indeed qualify as a "hack." I hope this clears things up for you!

      -b
      • Re:Astounding (Score:4, Interesting)

        by hal2814 (725639) on Monday November 13, 2006 @02:38PM (#16827338)
        They took a device that was already hardware-compatible with a PC, found (not built, found) drivers to work with it, and called it a hack. You can call searching for drivers a hack if you want to but I don't buy into that definition. I lost the floppy disks for an old video card once and had to find drivers that didn't exactly match but were good enough. Was that a hack too? Not in my book.
      • I disagree. Using USB for any kind of communication with devices is standard use. If you used a USB port to directly recharge a car battery or something equally unusual, that would be a hack.
      • All they did was plug it in and find a driver. They didn't do anything subtly, profoundly, or admirably clever. At best this is a script kiddie wannabe hack.
  • by Skaber (1017606) on Monday November 13, 2006 @01:09PM (#16825970) Homepage
    Xboxhacker forums has links that points directly to the files. http://localhostr.com/files/c46c39057dc3fbe73d9f.r ar [localhostr.com] Xboxhacker points out that there is currently no available PC player for hddvd, so all you get is access to the dvd content.
    • by CerebusUS (21051) on Monday November 13, 2006 @01:33PM (#16826348)
      Xboxhacker points out that there is currently no available PC player for hddvd

      This is the part everyone is missing. Allowing the USB HD-DVD drive to work on your PC buys you absolutely nothing at the moment. The importnat parts are all done in software on the 360.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Red Flayer (890720)

        This is the part everyone is missing. Allowing the USB HD-DVD drive to work on your PC buys you absolutely nothing at the moment.

        This is the part that you're missing... this allows you to play HD-DVDs on your PC... since there are no PC HD-DVD players, this is a new capability.

        As to

        The importnat parts are all done in software on the 360.

        Well, of course, unless you intend to watch a HD-DVD movie. The point isn't the games, it's the other HD-DVD content.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by CerebusUS (21051)
          No, see you missed it again.

          this allows you to play HD-DVDs on your PC

          The only HD DVD content there is right now? Movies. There's NO software available for your PC to play those movies. So you can hook up the drive, you can access the drive, you can look at the data structure on an HD-DVD movie, but you can't actually play the movie that's there.

          When you buy this device, it comes with an installation disc for your 360. That installation disc loads the software HD-DVD player onto your 360... the drive i
      • Come on. HD-DVD (like Blu-Ray) supports MPEG-2 (DVD-format), MPEG-4 H.264 (Quicktime is one example), and VC-1 (WMP).

        Which of those formats do you believe there is not a player for?
      • by XSforMe (446716)
        "Allowing the USB HD-DVD drive to work on your PC buys you absolutely nothing"

        Correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't HD-DVD content supposed to work only under "sanctioned" devices? I mean, they even went as far as creating the HDMI interface to allow such content to project under "approved" devices.

        Doesn't this hack gets us closer to being able to extract whatever content is in those discs? Sure, we still need lots of tinkering to figure out the mapping of the drives and a ripper to extract such contents , bu
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by masteroffm (1026700)
      actually with the nvidia purevideo codec and the right drivers playback for blu-ray and hd-dvd is currently available http://www.nvidia.com/page/purevideo_hd.html [nvidia.com]
    • by PsychicX (866028)
      Um, what? If we take a look at the blog linked in the post (emphasis mine):

      Knowing there was already software available for Windows XP to play HD-DVD's, could simply plugging the HD-DVD drive into a PC work? Well, no Windows needs drivers.

      If Windows wants drivers, drivers it will get. After installing these drivers magic started to happen. The HD-DVD drive was now recognized in Windows XP. Now we needed a piece of software to actually play the HD-DVD. And after some hard work we managed to find a versio

  • get a copy of BluRayDecryptor or anyBluRay or BluRayShrink?

    I would love to take the main movie and convert it into a nice HD mpeg4 for mediaportal system.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 13, 2006 @01:12PM (#16826032)
    ...most prophetic slashdotted domain name of 2006.
  • by Samir Gupta (623651) * on Monday November 13, 2006 @01:13PM (#16826040) Homepage
    The site paints this to be a cool hack that MS never intended, but really, Microsoft may have always intended for this to happen officially in the future. They already officially support Xbox 360 controller use on Windows, for instance and have released drivers. This is the logical next step.

    Really, it's part of their strategy to converge the 360 and Windows gaming worlds together... witness the recent reorganization into a single games division, for instance.
  • by Yvan256 (722131) on Monday November 13, 2006 @01:16PM (#16826098) Homepage Journal
    This may have created the cheapest HD-DVD player on the market to date.
    Excuse me, but last time I checked, a computer running Windows XP wasn't free. Some people have Macs, others have PCs running Linux/BSD/etc.

    Saying that it's the cheapest HD-DVD player because you can hack it to work with a PC running Windows XP is as stupid as saying it's the cheapest HD-DVD player because you only have to connect it to your Xbox 360.

    • by Control Group (105494) * on Monday November 13, 2006 @01:42PM (#16826472) Homepage
      This is a fair point, and you're certainly not wrong. But I think there's some value in the comment, since I'm pretty sure the penetration of computers running XP is three orders of magnitude higher than the penetration of the XBox 360.

      So, yes, it's only cheapest if you already own a PC running XP, but that includes an awful lot of people - most of whom don't have 360. So, for them, it could be the cheapest HD-DVD player available.

      Nonetheless, you're right; presenting it as an absolute statement is poor logic.
    • by evilviper (135110)
      Some people have Macs, others have PCs running Linux/BSD/etc.

      Who said it only works on Windows? That's just what they used in TFA.

      The drive was properly recognised by Mac OSX, but a HD-DVD player simply wasn't known/available.

      So, if anything, this just gives motivation for some people to start working on cracking the AACS DRM, so it can work under OS X/Linux/BSD.
      • by Yvan256 (722131)

        Who said it only works on Windows? That's just what they used in TFA. The drive was properly recognised by Mac OSX, but a HD-DVD player simply wasn't known/available.

        I'm sorry but the two sentences written by "Dan" only said:
        "The XBox 360's affordable HD-DVD, with the help of some custom drivers and a specific player, has been hacked to work with any Windows XP machine. This may have created the cheapest HD-DVD player on the market to date."

        So, his "hacked to work with any Windows XP machine" blurb was misl

    • by StikyPad (445176)
      It was recognized automatically on the Mac as well. If you're running Linux, you probably have a copy of XP. There may be 1 or 2 people who don't, but they're the exceptions. And of course, if you don't have any form of PC, then no, this wouldn't apply to you, although -- and this is purely anecdotal -- I haven't noticed a lot of people without computers reading Slashdot.
  • But I prefer to watch HD movies on my HD television. Movies on my windows box are usually run in the background while I do other things. Now with a media center PC I can send movies to the 360, and one could use the HD-DVD to do that function. But, why not just hook it to the 360 anyway?

    All in all I'm a fan of any opportunity to have low cost hardware available because an OEM is willing to take a loss.
  • Not really news (Score:4, Informative)

    by skyman8081 (681052) <skyman8081&gmail,com> on Monday November 13, 2006 @01:31PM (#16826326) Homepage
    There was a post on AVS Forum by a member who works at MS not too long ago about using the Xbox 360 HD-DVD drive on a PC. His reply that It isn't supported only in the sense that MS didn't test it for the PC, but there was nothing specifically being done to prevent it being used on a PC. So I'm really not surprised that it is being done this quickly to be perfectly honest.
  • The article mentioned that it was recognized as a valid USB device (no surprise there), and the DVD Player.app started up when they inserted a DVD. But, there was no app able to play a Blue-Ray disc.

    BR DVD playback would make an excellent addition to my core duo Mac Mini HTPC.. I wonder if MacOS 10.5 (Leopard) will have Blue Ray support?
    • by Yvan256 (722131)
      This is an external HD-DVD USB drive, not an external Blu-Ray USB drive.
      • by Sepodati (746220)
        This is /. and look at the confusion. Can you imagine mom and dad going to the store in a few months and trying to figure this crap out. The Best Buy and Circuit City salesmen are going to have fun... :)

        ---John Holmes...
  • by lawaetf1 (613291) on Monday November 13, 2006 @01:47PM (#16826552)
    Since I'm sure the EULA prohibits one from tampering with the hardware of the X360, I'm sure M$ will patch XP to disable any such hack. Get it to work on Linux though... /didn't RTFA, can't.
    • by uhlume (597871)
      Doubtful, since this doesn't require any modification of the hardware. Microsoft already officially supports this sort of "tampering" with other XBox 360 peripherals (they even provide Win98 drivers for the 360 controller, with XP support out of the box) so it'd be at least moderately surprising if they turned around on this one.
  • by speedphreak (834189) on Monday November 13, 2006 @02:19PM (#16827030)
    Is the drive priced low to act as a Microsoft subsidized loss-leader to help establish the HD-DVD format. Or, is the hardware really that inexpensive, and the vendors are milking the early adopters for all they're worth?
    • Probably because it's the Xbox 360 itself that's doing most of the heavy lifting. All the HD-DVD add-on has to do is read the raw data off the disc and send it over to the 360 for processing.

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