Your post reminded me that I haven't announced my purchase on Dec. 9th of the new HP Pavilion m7690n Media Center with HD DVD drive.
I'm still very new to it and have to read manuals, etc..., but I've checked out how HD discs play and it's flawless! Very smooth with no dropped frames at all. It doesn't use PowerDVD or WinDVD that I can tell. It seems to be a proprietary player from HP. I could be wrong about that. Like I said, I haven't had much time to play with it yet and am still setting the computer up.
The unit came with 'The Bourne Supremacy' HD DVD which was a total surprise to me and a very pleasant one at that. So I have that one and 'Serenity' (which I'd purchased a while back when I demo'd the HD-A1) to use for now.
CPU usage has been as low as 36% and does go higher but not by much and it fluctuates. Fan noise is a bit of a disappointment and I'll be investigating that. The culprit seems to be a case fan at the back of the tower, just underneath the power supply. I already am planning on switching to a fan with lower dbs if needed. All in all I'm very impressed with this HD DVD drive and it's operation. It's not too slow either. Much faster than I remember the HD-A1 was. No handshake problem with my Monoprice HDMI 5 x 1 switcher.
The 22" widescreen monitor that I also bought at the same time is HDCP compliant. It doesn't appear to be on the list on the Nvidia website but HD movies play over DVI beautifully. When comparing regular DVD on this same monitor the difference is easily seen so I know that I'm getting full HD.
I briefly checked it out of course on my Optoma H78 projector and was absolutely thrilled. I could have shut everything off and been satisfied just viewing the FBI warning screen and the Universal screen where the studio's moniker glides horizontally around the globe.
I hadn't seen any reviews yet on the forum so I thought I'd post this mini one.