Microsoft has released an Xbox 360 HD-DVD emulator for film studios and disc authoring companies, enabling content to be tested before committing to burning an expensive HD-DVD disc.
The emulator is amongst the first commercially available and eliminates the current trial-and-error process of testing HD-DVD titles.
"We are committed to supporting and advancing the HD-DVD ecosystem, and the new Xbox 360 HD-DVD Emulator reflects these efforts by providing developers with the software-based tools they need to efficiently deliver the highest-quality content," commented Jordi Ribas, general manager of HD-DVD at Microsoft.
"Microsoft developed the Emulator to help save studios and post-production houses time, resources and costs involved with the creation of HD-DVD content, and let them focus on what really matters — pushing the envelope with the format," he added.
Microsoft is charging a one-time licensing fee of USD 2,999 to download the emulation software.
As well as allowing users to test layout, menus and the behaviour of interactivity on a disc, the software also offers detailed reports to pinpoint any problems requiring debugging.
"The authoring process for HD-DVD is more complex and expensive than the process for standard DVD, and as with any new technology, it can require a lot of time and resources," offered John Harrington, CEO of NetBlender.
"In the process of working with the new Xbox 360 HD-DVD Player Emulator, we were able to cut the number of test discs needed per month from roughly 200 down to 50, saving more than 100 work hours per month.
"This positively impacted our business essentially overnight. We estimate we will recoup the low cost of the tool in less than one monthâs time," he revealed.