I want to purchase the X-box HD DVD player for my 360 to be able to watch the planet earth series but I was told by my friend that it would be worthless to do so if i do not own a HD TV with 1080P, the TV I own is only 1080I
Is he full of crap or is there some truth to this?
An HD-DVD will still look a crap-load better than a normal DVD even if you don't have full 1080p. The vast majority of people with HDTVs don't own 1080p sets but it doesn't stop them from enjoying movies in HD format. Do you have HD cable or a built-in ATSC tuner? If so then HD-DVDs will look even better than that. The HD-DVD add-on is definitely worth considering on your TV. I say go for it.
That's a really nice TV. Personally, I think if you don't get some type of HD player then you wasted $2,000. You can try a test if you like. Switch your XBox 360's output to 480p and play your favorite game. Then switch it back to 1080i and see if you notice the difference. It should be pretty drastic.
Also, keep in mind that visual quality is not the only advantage HD-DVD has over standard def DVD. You also get more special features on your discs. I'm a huge Superman nerd and when I bought the Superman Returns HD-DVD I was shocked at how much extra footage was on the disc. You just can't get that from DVDs.
Think of it this way: You bought a $2,000 TV and a game console that cost $300 - $400. Let's say you spent $2,500 when all is said and done. For less than 8% more you can enter the world of HD players. The choice is yours. It just seems like a waste to me if you don't use such a great TV to its fullest potential.
There are some people who say that they cannot tell a difference between component/RBG video and DVI/HDMI. I thought I was one of them until very recently. I had to remove my HTPC from one of my HDMI ports (connected via DVI to HDMI adapter) and connect it to my TVs RBG port in order to make room for the Playstation 3 I plan to buy sometime this week. After the switch I noticed that everything was slightly less defined when running through an analog cable. Especially text. I'd say that VGA connections are very near the same quality as digital but there is definitely a difference to be seen if you look for one.
So even if you don't need HDMI in order to run 1080i I would still recommend it if you have the capapbility of using it.