Xbox 360 HD-DVD News

Δεβελέκος Στράτος

AVClub Addicted Member
17 June 2006
ATI providing H.264 decoder solution, denies integrated HD-DVD 360

Microsoft has selected ATI Technologies to provide the H.264 decoder for the forthcoming Xbox 360 HD-DVD player add-on, ATI announced today. The H.264 codec is popular and many HD-DVDs are encoded in the format, making ATI's decoder's job an important one. ATI is building its 360 HD-DVD contribution upon its AvivoT technology, a product of the company's considerable experience in multi-media applications.

For the smoothest H.264 playback possible, ATI's decoder technology employs the Xbox 360 GPU to accelerate video processing. According to ATI, "The unified shader design of the GPU enables high-end processing techniques such as comb filtering and automatic gain control to ensure that video artifacts such as blockiness or color bands don't disrupt playback."

Todd Holmdahl, corporate vice president of Xbox 360 hardware development, commented, "With the new Xbox 360 HD DVD player using ATI's decoder technology, we're giving consumers the choice to playback the latest in high-definition movies. HD DVD brings new meaning to the term home theater. When people see the visual clarity and realism that Microsoft and ATI are delivering through the Xbox 360 this holiday, they will be blown away."

The announcement confirms Microsoft's previously stated plans to bring an external HD-DVD add-on to the XBox 360 this holiday season to blunt the Playstasion 3 built-in Blu-ray functionality. Inquiries as to whether ATI might also be working with Microsoft in developing the rumored Xbox 360-with-built-in HD-DVD player produced this statement from ATI: "The only HD-DVD drive for the Xbox 360 is the external model for which ATI is providing its H.264 decode technology
Last edited:

Δεβελέκος Στράτος

AVClub Addicted Member
17 June 2006
Xbox Live's Major Nelson invited three members (Albert, Todd, Murph) of the team behind the upcoming HD-DVD add-on on his latest podcast.

Some points they talk about:
* Why Microsoft chose HD-DVD over Blu-Ray (you heard that story 1000s of time already though) and what people think about the 2 formats.
* Addon will connect with Xbox 360 via the (back) USB port. The addon will have 2 extra USB outputs to compensate the one you lose connecting the HD-DVD addon (so you can still connect WIFI-adapter (mounting space will also be there) and the upcoming camera on the back of console).
* USB-Concerns: USB2 has more than enough bandwidth for HD content.
* Software challenges:
-Neat UI to toggle between 2 drives (internal DVD and HD-DVD) for controlling eject/play and so. You can also control the HD-DVD player with the standard Xbox 360 remote control. See screenshots of the new tray-UI here[].
-Interactivity-layer: Make all HD-DVD interactivity (XML/jscript) added to discs by the content provider/publisher work.
-data: 1gigbit/sec
-Port all content protections and codecs over the Xbox 360 (which MS has for windows already, but due diff. CPU on Xbox 360 it took some time).
* Major Nelson saw a demo of it - so it kinda works already, but it's still in development ;)
* Xbox 360 guide will work when you watch HD-DVD movies too.
* Plug&Play: Just plug it in to start using it. Only difference will be a small UI change to the DVD-tray area in the 4 blades of the Xbox 360 dashboard that will allow you to toggle between the internal DVD and HD-DVD player.
* Major Nelson Question: "If I play PGR3, can I put an audio disc in my HD-DVD player and listen to soundtracks?". They answered this wasn't possible now, but they will be able to update the drive software over Xbox Live, so who knows ;)
* HD-DVD drive is manufactured by Toshiba. Industrial design was all done by Microsoft.
* Addon also have the "double concavity". Will match with Xbox 360 in both vertical and horizontal position.
* HDMI/DVI-talk ... it starts well with "Here's the truth". But well, in typical MS PR-style ... we get anything but the truth:
-They say it doesn't really matter what connection you use
-HDMI is "just another port, it's another way to plug video in your TV", "instead of 3 cable there's just 1 square-rectangle cable
-They saw devices were component output was better then the HDMI, it all depends on quality of cable/signal/decoder/TV.
-All (HD)TVs have component, not all of them have HDMI/DVI.
-... so basicly we still know nothing (if/when/how the Xbox 360 will or will not get HDMI)
* For testing they go to big home-theatre stores early in the morning and test the device will all systems available in the store.
* Price of the addon? They don't want to tell yet ... but they said it'll be, without a doubt, the cheapest HD-DVD you can buy! (I'm guessing they are referring to TV HD-DVD players and not HD-DVD PC drives here ... so that means it'll be below the 500usd Toshiba player)
* Addon will be "very affordable option to opt-in, check it out with not a lot of risk and we're not betting our whole console on an unproven media format" (PS3 Slam)
* Early HD-DVD players take a long time to boot-up. What about the Xbox 360 HD-DVD Addon? "We're doing a lot better" (background laughing)
Last edited: