Installing Vista: My Personal Hell

[Update June 29: Problem solved! Also updated h/w config to 1G of RAM as it should have been]  Short story: installing Vista for me was a catalog of problems, some mine and some not. It started out with not being able to open the box, and went downhill to include weekend-long unsuccessful installs, bricking my PC,…


Living With Vista: My First Few Weeks

Well I finally switched to Vista on my main dev machine at work. Its a Dell Optiplex 745 (detailed specs at the end) and installing Vista was trivial: I did a clean install via RIS from the corporate network. The default installation includes Office, so I had to add Visual Studio 2005, then its SP1,…


HD DVD: Audio Mixing, and why you don’t need HDMI

There has been much confusion over multi-channel audio and HD DVD, so I thought I would try and explain how this works. As a side-effect you’ll see why you don’t need HDMI for the highest quality audio, and why you certainly don’t need HDMI 1.3 for audio. DVD: The Original Way   To start with, lets…


Terminator 2 on HD DVD

Thanks to the fact that there is no region coding on HD DVD, you can now get the Director’s Cut of T2 on HD DVD, encoded with VC1. Previously the theatrical version was only available on Blu-Ray in the USA (in 20th Century MPEG2 format). As Canal+ were involved in the original movie’s creation, I…


When it hits the fan: Restoring Windows XP via ASR

My main HD appeared to be failing, so I got a replacement drive and attempted to firstly clone, then ASR Restore my Windows XP installation to it. I am a veteran of umpteen OS installations, but this is the first time I’ve ever actually needed to do a full restore. It wasn’t pretty, and here…


Why HD DVD is more technically advanced than Blu-ray

Since forever it seems that there is this idea that Blu-ray is “more technically advanced” than HD DVD. This was based on Sony’s PR as far as I can tell, so now I feel it is necessary to call out the gaping holes in Blu-ray to prove how much more technically advanced HD DVD is…


Fixing Letterboxed Widescreen content on HD DVDs

HD DVD obviously rocks on HD content, but the SD content on the discs often grates me as it is displayed as widescreen content with black bars on the top and the sides. This happens because the original content (usually Extras) came from old fashioned DVD, and was 16:9 content letterboxed into a 4:3 frame….


Xbox 360 HD DVD Update Now Available

[Player version list now moved to separate post] As of 2am this morning, the latest software for the Xbox HD DVD player is now available via Xbox Live (and will be posted on in due course). The three teams involved (HD DVD, Xbox and the Codec folks) have all been hard at work for…


Matrix coming to HD DVD (only)

At last: on May 22 we get the Matrix on HD DVD, according to Remember when The Matrix was released on DVD? It was pretty advanced in its day, so I’m expecting a similar step forward for the HD DVD version.  Of course no stand-alone Blu-Ray player can do secondary video playback, so the…


Sonos: The Perfect Network Music Player?

I have posted a review of the Sonos network music player on my personal site. If you have any feedback or questions, please use this blog entry.