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High Def XXX Vol. 1


Studio: High Def Home Entertainment » Review by Don Houston » Review Date: 2/27/06


XCritic's Advice: Watch On Demand

High Def XXX: Volume 1

High Def XXX/Liquor and Poker Productions

Genre: Vignette

Director: None credited

Cast: Pason/Red Heaven, Kris Slater, Lucy Lee, L'il Bit More, Dave Pounder, Julie Night, Dino Bravo

Length: 70.5 minutes

Date of Production: 4/26/2003 & 4/27/2003

Extras: There were no extras, just a standard and WMV-HD version of the movie.

Condoms: None

Audio/Video Quality: High Def XXX, Volume 1 was presented with a choice of a "High Def" version and a standard version that would play on any regular DVD player manufactured at this time. The High Def version does not refer to the upcoming HD-DVD or Blu-Ray DVD systems but a somewhat intermediate step in the evolution of the quality wars we'll be seeing all too soon. The most common way to play such a DVD would be with a very specialized player or through the use of Windows Media Player 9.0 or above (which was what I watched the better quality picture in). The company said this about the computer requirements of this version: "The recommended Minimum Requirements for playback in High Def from a computer are: Windows XP or Media Center Edition or newer Operating System; CPU: Intel 2.5 GHz or AMD XP2200+ or higher; 4x AGP video - NVidia or ATI with at least 64Mb RAM or more plus the latest drivers updates; Screen resolution of at least 1280x1024 (or 1280x720 if you have a 16x9 monitor); and ... Windows Media 9 Player is required." My computer exceeded those standards by a healthy margin and had absolutely no problems playing the show but if you're in doubt, you can always fall back to the standard version (which averaged about 4 Mbps as opposed to the ~50% increase in resolution rate for the High Def (not to be confused with HD) version.

Okay, now that you're thoroughly confused with the technical aspects of the dual natured disc, you want to know what it actually looked like: the real test of any DVD. In general, it looked pretty good with some grain and video noise present but nothing that would kill the viewing pleasure of the scenes. The lighting was even, the composition of the shots led me to think a seasoned porn director or cameraman was at the helm (even if not credited) and the cast looked very nice. Keep in mind that while the relative newcomer to the WMV-HD format, Pirates, looks a lot better, it had the benefit of an extra couple of years of technology behind it (though the Blu-Ray version is said to be incredible), and this was the first of the porn movies made using the format according to the manufacturer. The audio was in stereo but left out the vocal track so all there was to listen to was a couples bit of fluff generic music.

-- sponsored by --

Body of Review: "December 1, 2003: High Def XXX announces the release of the first ever adult DVD in full High Definition resolution! Simply entitled "High Def XXX, Volume 1" this DVD utilizes cutting-edge technology to provide both standard definition (NTSC) and high definition on the same DVD, on the same side - play it in standard definition on any set-top DVD player; play it in a PC using Microsoft's Window's Media 9." That was the press release that came out a few years back that started the porn revolution for higher resolution DVDs, even if it only meant a couple of baby steps up from the true next generation technology. The company website explained the use of the Microsoft technology like this: "Utilizing cutting-edge technology, we are now able to deliver the first true Adult High Def DVD's in the world. Although many others claim to have 'shot in High Def' - we both shoot and actually deliver in High Def. How does it work? First, High Def DVD players are now available! Connect one to your HDTV, and you get the full experience, full High Def! But even if you don't yet have an HDTV or a High Def DVD player, you can still watch the High Def version on your PC (minimum of approximately a 2.4GHz PC). And - most of our titles are actually hybrids, which also contain a standard def version of the title, so you can still watch it on any regular DVD player. Our DVD's contain both the standard definition (NTSC) version - automatically recognized and playable on any regular DVD player - and the High Definition version, both on the same side of the same DVD. The High Def version must be played through a computer. (Set-top / standalone High-Def capable DVD players will be available within about the coming year.)" Today's review of the company sampler, High Def XXX, Volume 1, was not without a few minor flaws, as evidenced by the disclaimer on the website that pointed out: "Our first DVD is slightly flawed. NOT the video - rather, there was a minor error in the menu programming, so the high def video doesn't play full screen automatically - rather it plays in a Windows Media Player window. In order to see full screen resolution, simply "alt-enter" on your keyboard! Our future titles have this fully resolved, of course." The fix worked and I thought the four scenes shown were pretty good looking, if not as cutting edge as they might've been back in 2003. Here's a quick take of those scenes by cast and action, noting that no condoms were used by the males:

Scene One: Pason/Red Heaven, a busty, attractive redhead, was up first as she prepared the bedroom with numerous candles in her camisole and other black lingerie. Her lean figure was enhanced nicely by the clothing and fans will be pleased to see her sweet little ass separated by the thong riding up her crack. Kris Slater was her partner for the scene and the two of them kissed playfully when he entered the room, as if from hard day's work. She undressed him in this 18:32 minute long scene, kissing him before slowly engulfing his penis in her willing mouth. He got to snack on her crack as the music played in the background, fingering her in the 69 position the two favored as she continued to please him orally. She sat on his face for some extra oral attention and then the two screwed vaginally in a few positions, favoring her on top but settling in on a romp on the rug where they kissed as they screwed. It provided a 6341k bits/second rate for those keeping track. In general, it was decent couples fare but nothing exceptional by most porn standards.

Scene Two: Lucy Lee, a skinny Asian gal with a deep tan, pale bleached blond L'il Bit More, and good old Dave Pounder, were up next in a harem scenario lasting 18:20 minutes. The gals did some lesbian kissing and rubbing but the main attraction was when they started working him over, particularly the double teaming of his shift with their tongues. The bit rate was almost identical at 6342 bits/second but this scene looked somewhat better to me on the computer. When I played the standard version on my regular DVD player, the aspect ratio looked to be substantially different (perhaps 1.66:1 or even closer to full frame) but such was not the case in the "high def" version advertised on the cover. In any case, oral antics made up the lion's share of the sex and each gal got some vaginal screwing in with Lucy being by far the more active of the two before he unloaded his semen on her back. For the record, there was some PTM with variations but it was again strictly couples fare.

Scene Three: Julie Night, way back when she had blonde locks of hair and a more youthful look, was up next as she sat at the kitchen table in some white and pink lingerie. She was obviously waiting for her partner, staring at a bottle of booze that was almost empty, eventually answering the door to find Dino Bravo ready to tussle with her on the couch. She undid his pants and started blowing him nicely enough, and as a gentleman, he held her hair back to give her better access to his throbbing shaft. The bit rate was 6318 bits/second and the action appeared to be in slow motion during the 22:37 minute scene. She was the most active rider of the show, looking very much into the sex rather than just collecting a paycheck for her work although to be fair about it, she has provided a lot more heated work in recent months. Fans will appreciate that she also did anal with him (and he pounded her completely) before he rubbed out a load onto her abdomen.

Scene Four: Pason/Red Heaven, looking lovely in a light blue bikini, was up last in a solo masturbation sequence outside as she oiled herself up and otherwise teased the camera. The scene lasted only 10: 49 minutes and had a bit rate of 6320 bits/second as she diddled herself on the chair, by the hedges, on the brick wall, and in the modern hammock (with a vibrator no less). In all, it was kind of limited for me more from the lack of an audio track using vocals than anything else but fans will love that they get to see this scene in the better looking format on their computer.

Summary: High Def XXX, Volume 1 was available fairly cheaply and was worth getting if you're a fan of the cast but otherwise, the best it should get for a rating is Rent It. The picture might have been in higher resolution than most porn DVDs but needing to view it on my far smaller computer monitor using WMV-HD (and allegedly showing a 720p picture), I could name a number of standard titles that due to stronger lighting looked better to my eye. I'm sure the real high definition version will look spiffier but that's not what we're talking about today. I did find some of the company website information a bit misleading, as though they were promising the kind of HD that hasn't come out yet but if you read between the lines, the information they gave served more as a primer than anything else, telling the world the basics: "From a consumer perspective, there's HDTV (High Definition Television) coming into more and more homes - especially as the prices drop and more content becomes available. HD-DVD's will of course help to accelerate this!

From a production standpoint, High Def content - such as ours or many of the television shows you see on TV - plus even more and more of the movies that you watch - are shot in High Def. There are High Def 'cinema' cameras, which more closely match the look and feel of film - specifically they are "24p" which means that it's shot in 24 frames per second (as is movie-film) and it's progressive frame (there aren't the little lines going across the screen as with interlaced); also the color response of these cameras more closely matches film. There are also High Def cameras that have more of a 'video' look - very crisp and sharp and lifelike with 60 frames per second of video. These are great for sporting events, travel, reality shows, etc. Typically 'fiction' is considered to look best in 24 fps - that's probably because people are so used to seeing that look 'on the big screen.'"

Soon enough, the true HD wars will commence, and the battle lines are already shaping up to become the next VHS Vs. Beta format war. Until things settle down a bit, using proven technology like this DVD does might make more sense than shelling out a lot of cash for a player and titles that could become obsolete within a few years. Check out the disc, and the upcoming WMV-HD discs I review over the next few days, but don't expect a whole lot from it as an opening salvo in the HD wars.

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You can email me with questions at Houstondon @ hotmail.com if you have any constructive criticism of the review too. :) Also you can follow me on twitter @HoustonDon



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