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HP debuts HD DVD add-on drive

HP DVD anyone?

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Erstwhile Blu-ray Disc backer HP is preparing an external HD DVD drive, it has emerged. The company's also equipping two of its consumer-oriented notebook and media centre systems with drives that support the next-gen optical disc format.

The HD100 is a read-only unit aimed at folk who want to play back pre-recorded media on their PCs and get data off data discs of various formats. It will also read all the familiar writeable media, including single- and dual-layer DVD±R/RW and all sorts of CDs, but not DVD-RAM, according to HP's own spec sheet.

hp hd100 external hd dvd drive

The unit hooks up via a USB 2.0 connection, but buyers will need to ensure their machine is fitted with an HDCP-compliant graphics card and monitor if they want to watch HD DVD movies at full resolution, HP warned without naming any such products that are.

Alongside the HD100, HP also introduced the 17in widescreen Pavilion dv9000t notebook, a Core 2 Duo-based laptop with an HDMI port. It also unveiled the Pavilion Media Center TV m7600n Series PC, likewise equipped with Intel's latest processor family, plus a TV tuner and 7.1-channel surround sound.

HP didn't say when the products will ship beyond noting a pre-Christmas debut. Pricing was not disclosed. ®

hp hd dvd pavilion notebook

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