Prayers have been answered for those that use the Xbox 360 HD-DVD drive on a laptop/PC and use PowerDVD Ultra. SlySoft have released AnyDVDHD (wonder why they did not call it AnyHD-DVD?), the HD-DVD supported version of their well known piece of software. Firstly I should state that even though I am firmly against DRM (Digital Rights Management) of any kind I am not concerned with the ripping facility that this piece of software offers. What I am interested in is the features that this software offers. Firstly, it removes HDCP so that those with non-HDCP compliant displays can watch HD-DVDs; secondly, it disables annoying menus/intros; thirdly, and most importantly for me, it allows the playback of Studio Canal titles which, without this software, will not currently play on PowerDVD Ultra and The Hulk which is another problematic title. There are numerous other features offered which are detailed on the SlySoft website.

Since installing the software I have noticed that HD-DVDs are played smoother on an external, I am sure that this is a HDCP issue related to my LCD TV that has thankfully now disappeared. I watched La Haine last night, expect a review to follow shortly. AnyDVDHD is a must have for those who play HD-DVDs on their laptop or PC. It removes all user prohibitions and allows a much more user-friendly experience. It is also backwards compatible with DVD and removes any region coding. Hopefully they provide Blu-Ray support in the near future.

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