|A few days ago I decided to try out Microsoft's High Definition movie rental service out on the Xbox 360. It's a relatively new service (for us in the UK anyway) and there are only 25 movies up there to choose from, which I'm guessing is a reflection of this whole thing being a bit of an experiment.|
There are some issues with this model for HD content. First of all, the download size is quite large. I picked the Zodiac film (about the Zodiac killings, based on a true story) as my test film. It's not a special effects heavy film, but as I own a number of HD DVD's from when I picked up the attachment for the 360, I've learned this doesn't matter too much. Films like Serenity looks simply awesome in HD but other HD DVD's I have like a View From Space (an hour of footage filmed by astronauts heading to the international space station) are also very, very good. Plus I had heard from a couple of friends that it is a good film. It weighed in at about 6.9gb, a fairly large download, but fairly small for HD content. HD DVD and Blu Ray hold around 20 gb (or more).
Anyway, I watched the film and enjoyed it's twists and turns, but overall, thought I had picked totally the wrong film to test the service out with. That is, until I read this: Don’t believe the low bit-rate ‘HD’ lie. It turns out that the film didn't really look HD because it isn't at all. It's compressed more highly than a regular DVD!
DO NOT USE THIS OR SIMILAR SERVICES.