Test System & Installation Notes
Xbox 360 External HD-DVD Drive
At only $200 USD, the Xbox 360's external drive undercuts all of the HD-DVD players on the market by a substantial margin. It also comes with a copy of King Kong, and works with your PC on a plug-and-play basis. The testing we've done shows that it has no problem playing back our test DVDs, King Kong (encoded in VC-1) and Transformers (encoded in H.264).
Samsung 245BW 24" LCD Monitor (HDCP Enabled)
To view protected content over a DVI or HDMI connection, the monitor must also be HDCP compliant. The BW245 is a good choice for this review because of its HDCP compliance, good image quality, attractive price, and 24" screen capable of displaying a full 1080p signal at 1920x1080 pixels. The only downside to the 245BW is the lack of an HDMI connection option, but this is a nit-pick for our purposes as there is no quality difference when using the HDCP-enabled DVI input.