The LCD TV in my office started having issues with the LCD screen a couple weeks ago so I had to take the TV in to get the screen replaced. Luckily the LCD panel happened to be under warranty or I would have been out $2200. Regardless though it left me without the TV in my office which I use not only for TV but also for a second computer screen from one of my desktop computers so I was limited to using my HP w2408h monitor to watch movies, etc. One of the things I wanted to accomplish was to get the HD DVD player from my Xbox 360 working on a Windows 7 computer so I could watch some older movies on the monitor while the TV was in the shop. Below is information regarding what issues I ran across and how to overcome them which really is limited to the software used to play the HD DVD movies.
Install Xbox 360 HD DVD On Windows 7 Computer:
Installing the actual HD DVD player from the Xbox 360 on the Windows 7 computer is a snap. Simply plug in the power to the player and attach the USB cable from the HD DVD player into the computer and the drivers will install automatically. Once the HD DVD player’s drivers are installed on Windows 7 it will display in the Windows 7 Device Manager as a Toshiba DVD drive as shown in the below image.
Xbox 360 HD DVD Player In Windows 7 Device Manager:
As you can see above the Xbox 360 HD DVD drive shows up as a TOSHIBA DVD/HD X807616 USB Device. Installing with the default drivers in Windows 7 works without issue. So really the HD DVD device itself is simply plug and play on Windows 7. The issue is finding solid software that will actually play the HD format on Windows 7 which is what is described below.
Investigate Software To Play HD DVD On Windows 7:
After researching on the Internet for applications that would play the HD format all roads seemed to point to Cyberlink’s PowerDVD in some form. I happened to have a legit copy of PowerDVD 7 on the desktop that I was testing the Xbox 360 HD DVD player on however it would not play the HD DVD from the external HD DVD rom drive. I figured it must just not have the HD plugin required to play this format DVD. I also read that ripping the HD DVD content from the HD DVD itself to the hard drive would allow it to be played however this was unsuccessful as well. Next I attempted to use a version of PowerDVD that definitely included the HD codecs required which was PowerDVD 6.5 but all this did on Windows 7 was crackle and display a black screen. After trying PowerDVD version 6.5 I attempted to install the latest and greatest PowerDVD version however this did not recognize the HD DVD format. At this point I gave up on PowerDVD since I had tried 4 different versions all without success. It turns out that Cyberlink removed HD DVD support from PowerDVD version 8.X and above.
Install Arcsoft TotalMedia Theatre 3 Platinum For HD DVD’s On Windows 7:
Finally I ran across TMT3 or TotalMedia Theatre 3 which allowed for a trial download. After downloading the software I followed the default installation instructions which were straight forward. It recognized and played the HD DVD in the Xbox 360 HD DVD Rom drive immediately. I did have one minor issue though where TMT3 had an issue with the Dolby Digital Plus Audio Decoder so I was unable to hear any sound. The warning message is displayed below.
TMT3 Dolby Digital Plus Audio Decoder Warning:
As you can see at the top right corner of the warning message there is an Upgrade link that redirected to Arcsoft’s web site to purchase the TMT3 software. I was hesitant since it was not working properly in the trial version however I went ahead with the purchase since it was the first application I had attempted to use that would even play the video. Sure enough after installing the complete version of TotalMedia Theatre I was able to watch HD DVD’s on my Windows 7 Ultimate 32-Bit computer without any further issues. I suggest TMT3 Platinum for anyone trying to play HD DVD’s on their computer.