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Geek Buys a HD DVD machine and takes it to bits!

Not so long ago, Toshiba introduced one of the first HD-DVD players on the market. A bold move considering that there are currently not many movies available for this format, but they will be coming thick and fast.

Now, you would expect a company as big as Toshiba, with a multi million pound development budget to create a player that had its own patented on chip player system based around customised CPU's and the like. Companies do this so that they can protect their development costs from copycats in the far east.  So you would expect that these machines would use none standard system parts.

This seems not so. After all, imagine if you wanted to create your own HD DVD player, you could do it using a standard pc (say a Pentium 4 for speed) and a standard HDDVD PC drive, a good quality graphics card and lots or ram! That will just about do it.. at least I think so!

However, seems I am not the only one, because this seems to be exactly what Toshiba has done!

A man called Lorin Thwaites (lets call him Mr Geek) living in America has bought one of these lovely Toshiba units and instead of plugging it into his Plasma, he decided to open it up. He has found some very interesting things which he has details in his blog but essentially this is what he has found:

All in all, some very standard components, basically a PC in a HD-DVD player box. 

So what does this mean for the possibility of hacking the HD-DVD format? well, we don't know and won't know for a while but if companies see fit to use standard components, and even more interestingly, standard linux operating systems to drive thier machines, it may be easier for the hacker to work out how the copy protection works. Happy days!

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