back to article ZuneHD en-route to Blighty?

The Microsoft Zune Portable Media Player could finally land in Blighty this year, but as an HD-capable model with an OLED display. Zune_HD A mock-up of how the ZuneHD could look Image courtesy of WMPowerUser A mole talking to website WMPowerUser has claimed that Microsoft’s “ZuneHD” will have a multi-touch display, with 16:9 …

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Stop

erm...

When it comes to TV, I read you need at least a 42" screen to really see the benefit of HDTV. So what's the point of HD on a screen of a few inches? Also I read a rumour last week they were going to drop the Zune?

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Thumb Down

So what?

Archos 5 already does all of that and much more including HDMI out to a big Telly...

Nothing new here and on shite MS hardware too...

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N

Ah ha...

So thats how MS are going to get shot of surplus stocks before they dump it!

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Stop

3d xbox games?

now what the fook does that mean?

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Coat

3D Xbox games LOL.

They can't make a full-blown working Xbox360 yet after 4 years of trying. There really are some cretins about if they think Microsoft can make a MP3 sized player version of a Xbox.

When they say 3d Xbox games, they mean it's got Java or Silverlight support, J2ME like every other mobile phone on the planet...

Anyone else sense this "rumour" has oriignated from the spin-masters at Redmond themselves....

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Unhappy

I wouldn't bother

Apple, Sony, Nintendo etc might get away with slight delays in bringing new tech over here and assuming the $ sign can be straight converted to £, but I can't help thinking that MS have taken the mickey a bit with neglecting the UK from Zune for years rather than months.

Sorry MS, but I know a lot of people who got bored waiting for your product and are now iPhone converts.

Boat. Missed. Well and truly.

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Law
Coat

3D xbox games

I'm assuming this means it should be able to access Live Arcade then (N+, Peggle and others), rather than the "classics" from the original xbox... obviously the brick sat in my living room that has potential to start a fire playing Gears Of War 2 can't be reduced to a hd handheld media player - so those are really the 2 only options for "3d xbox games".

@ Mark - does anybody actually implement J2ME these days?? I've not seen it in the wild for quite a long time...?

Mines the one with my iPhone 3g handset in the pocket... because that can play Xbox 3D games too (supermonkey ball?)... even if it does lack a decent camera, flash, silverlight and Java.

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Anonymous Coward

@Phil K

Agreed - when Zune was first announced I was tempted to import but really wanted to wait for UK release.

I've since tired of waiting, bought an MP3 player and I'm now using a Nokia 5800 for that purpose - MS really did delay too long, and it would take some convincing to buy one now.

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@ 'erm....'

It will have a HD output, so the advantage of HD storage/playback will mainly be relating to plugging it into a big telly - imo quite a nice feature of a personal media player.

Also, the people who tell you you can't see the benefit unless you buy a massive TV are usually trying to sell you TVs so have something of a vested interest in upselling. I have a 32" 1080p Panasonic Viera, and I can assure you that you can tell the difference between SD and HD.

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Black Helicopters

Confidence

How can the buying public have any confidence in new Zune models when it is being reported as a discontinued product line?

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Ian
Gates Halo

By 3D xbox games

I susspect they actually mean 3D XNA games. Which will be a nice little feature.

I'd love to be able to access all the online features of my current Zune. So hopefully when it happens I can finally tie in to the online store.

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Boffin

3d xbox games...

could this relate to either a split screen giving stereoscopic view when held 5 cm in front of your face??

or some kind of half way processor to process the images for HDMI input to a 'normal' TV aka alternating images for shutter glassess? but cant the xbox do this anyway?

boffin+goggles because its 3D goggles...

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Boffin

Er...

So, assuming it's got a HDMI port, the thing may well be able to output at HD resolutions. Fine.

a) Will it actually be able to decode and display HD content? We're talking about something the size of a mobile phone being able to decode 1920*1080p 25fps video (H264?) here. It'll have a battery life of minutes and you'll need an oven glove to hold it.

b) How big a file is a standard (say Sky/Virgin VOD or iTunes) HD film? 8Gb something like? So assuming you have some music and some images on your Zune, you're going to be able to fit about 3 films on the big one if you're lucky.

Serious kudos to them if they can make a proper, practical HD video decoding device that's battery powered and you can fit in your pocket but for now I remain a bit sceptical.

Jon

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Law
Gates Horns

RE: Er...

Trust me, if they did manage to get all that into a battery powered media device and the hardware worked flawlessly, they will still lock the thing down and DRM the crap out of it to the point of being completely unusable...

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Tom
Silver badge
Joke

Perfect combo

Bundle MS Flight Sim with it.

Maybe add a Bob T-Shirt for the first 5 buyers.

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if it looks like that

i'd buy it in a heartbeat. the slim looks of chrome,steel and the black backside.

time for apple to make something that looks like that , instead of their plasticy bubble gum droplet shaped stuff.

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Silver badge
Stop

Why the DRM?

The Zune doesnt have anymore DRM than any other 'popular' media device. In fact it has less.

Quit with the DRM FUD.

DRM hasnt stopped me doing anything on my PC or Zune. In fact my Zune has over 300 DRM free albums stored on it.

Only Freetards need fear DRM, some folks need to calm down.

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Law
Flame

RE: Why the DRM?

Well I've been stung by DRM so many times for being a paytard that I actually became a freetard for a number of years to avoid issues like having to re-rip my entire cd collection when I changed from a net minidisk to a creative zen player, and so have spent years avoiding itunes/windows media player..... until the last year. Recently, I've begun buying tracks through amazon, itunes, and a few other sites - why? Because now I don't have to fear another lock-in because of crappy DRM.

The last I heard (a while ago admittedly) the previous Zunes had DRM issues... and also, DRM usually means people like me who use 3 different operating systems can't use all my computers to connect to a device... I only use windows for work, I use osx for around the house and storing/backup my files - and I use Linux for my media center at home... my music is mirrored between my media center and macbook pro - so drm prevents me from using my legally bought music in the way I want to... DRM is/was a major ball-ache for ipods, zunes, sony things and a few other players... so to claim only freetards need fear it is just stupid - drm only serves to lock in people who BUY music, under the guise of "fighting piracy"... but now it's being cut from the majority of online stores I am really hoping that devices like the Zune and the ipod will follow and stop sticking it on their media players, requiring specific software and drivers, and instead, just show up as a generic hdd instead, because that's basically all it is anyway.... but hey, you are entitled to your opinion, just don't call mine FUD because YOU have never been stung by it! :)

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Jay
Gates Horns

Better late than never?

From the people that gave you Vista etc...

On a slightly more serious note, what's suddenly changed to make the UK/France (not even Europe!) a viable market for Microsoft's portable media player? I'm with Phil above, if they couldn't be bothered before, then we can't be bothered now, esp as we've probably gone out and purchased better devices from other companies.

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Ian

To clear up some misconceptions.

The HD playback is more about being able to playback to an external TV. Indeed it's not that great to be able to have HD support on a small screen but it is nice to know you can plug it in and have full HD playback on a large screen.

The games stuff will be to do with XNA game studio. The latest versions of XNA can create games that deploy on the PC, 360 and Zune from a single code base. As someone pointed out up above the games it's referring to will likely be the likes of Geometry Wars, N+, Braid and that sort of thing but possibly also classic XBox games.

As for the Zune being listed as discontinued well, yes, the original iPhone is discontinued too as is the Playstation 1. That's what happens when new products come out. If an old product is discontinued it doesn't mean the entire product line is discontinued, there is a distinct difference between one product in a line and the whole line being discontinued. As Microsoft is releasing a new version of the Zune it seems pretty clear that it's only the old model that's discontinued and not the full line.

Finally, regarding DRM, those comments are rather stupid. I hate DRM as much as the next guy but the Zune has been relatively DRM free compared to the likes of the iPhone and in fact all of Apples products. Even Google's android phones implement a level of DRM arguably worse than that of the existing Zune. It's hard to see how the new Zune could be any more restrictive than any of Apple's products, the new DSi, the PSP or many other mobile products out there that are DRM'd to hell. Yeah DRM is likely, but it's not going to be any worse than most other products out there.

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Stop

@ Jonathan White

a) Will it actually be able to decode and display HD content?

Sure. The NVIDIA Tegra mobile platform will have this capability

http://www.nvidia.com/page/handheld.html

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