I believe that "eerie" is the word. My 11/30 post, entitled "Son of a...", unexpectedly became foreshadowing. I had mentioned that the warranty period for my Xbox360 was nearing it's end and that I could attempt to bring it's functionality to a close, in hopes of receiving a newer model with the HDMI output port. I decided against this, and ended up only turning it one one time since that post to watch a DVD. Last night, I felt like "enhancing my hand-eye coordination", so I fired up the 360. I loaded my previously saved game, then the screen flashed and went black. Hmmm... could be a power problem, could be the A/V cable connection. I check the cables and restart. Then, the dreaded "red circle of death" appears.
Normally, the lights around the power button are green on startup, but when the "red circle of death" appears, it means that there has been a (typically irreversible) hardware failure. After waiting overnight with no success at restarting the box, I reported the problem to tech support. I have to admit, the Xbox360 tech support was very easy to deal with (so far). They just asked if I had gone through the guides online to try to restart it (i.e. unplug all the cables, unhook the hard drive, etc). They told me that the problem was covered by the extended warranty, and set up the return/repair (or replace) procedure. Total time spent on the phone - less than ten minutes. Unfortunately, however, there is only a very slim chance that my system will be replaced with the newer model featuring the HDMI output port. I will be hoping for the best. For any family members expecting an HD-DVD demonstration over the holidays, it is not likely to happen. Will you settle for a ride in the limo?