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  (Source: Engadget)
Zune HD can be pre-ordered today

Microsoft is holding steady at third place in the MP3 player market well behind Apple and behind second place SanDisk. Microsoft is still trying to woo customers to its Zune PMPs and has officially announced pricing and availability for its latest Zune player.

The Zune HD specifications and rumored pricing were leaked this week and today Microsoft has made pricing official. Redmond will be offering the 32GB Zune HD for $289.99 and the 16GB version will sell for $219.99.

Microsoft is taking pre-orders on the platinum 32GB Zune HD and a black 16GB Zune HD now online. The Zune HD devices can be purchased in stores on September 15. The pre-order devices are in the platinum or black colors only, but the device will be offered in five different colors and have ten different art engraving options.

The Zune HD is the first Microsoft PMP to offer a touch screen. While the specs on the HD leaked a while back, Microsoft has officially confirmed them the Zune HD will offer a HD radio receiver, HD video output, an OLED 3.3-inch screen with 480 x 272 resolution, integrated Wi-Fi, and a full internet browser. The device also runs the NVIDIA Tegra HD processor.

Along with the debut of the Zune HD device will come a slew of new accessories as well. The Zune AV Dock will connect the HD to your TV with 720p capability and will sell for $89.99, the Zune HD AV & Power Pack will sell for $49.99 and connect the Zune HD to the TV and keep it charged.

There will undoubtedly be a slew of other accessories coming from third-party vendors as well to lure money out of the pockets of new Zune HD owners.



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Not True 720p Output Afterall
By ltcommanderdata on 8/13/2009 7:30:51 PM , Rating: 2
http://arstechnica.com/microsoft/news/2009/08/zune...
quote:
Video Support: Windows Media Video (WMV) (.wmv) - Main and Simple Profile, CBR or VBR, up to 3.0 Mbps peak video bit rate; 720 pixels x 480 pixels up to 30 frames per second (or 720 pixels x 576 pixels up to 25 frames per second). Zune software will transcode HD WMV files at device sync.
MPEG-4 (MP4/M4V) (.mp4) Part 2 video3- Simple Profile up to 2.5 Mbps peak video bit rate; 720 pixels x 480 pixels up to 30 frames per second (or 720 pixels x 576 pixels up to 25 frames per second). Zune software will transcode HD MPEG-4 files at device sync.
H.264 video - Baseline Profile up to 2.5 Mbps peak video bit rate; 720 pixels x 480 pixels up to 30 frames per second (or 720 pixels x 576 pixels up to 25 frames per second). Zune software will transcode HD H.264 files at device sync.

So the Zune HD will not actually have true 720p output afterall. The hardware will only support video up to 720x480 which is basically 480p. It'll upscale to 720p for output. They might as well have upscaled to 1080p and promoted that.




RE: Not True 720p Output Afterall
By ltcommanderdata on 8/13/2009 8:38:57 PM , Rating: 2
Well the Zune HD does support H.264 video in 1280x720 afterall. The current Ars article now lists 1280x720 support as part of H.264. Seeing that I copied the direct quote from the Ars website, it might be that they updated it.


RE: Not True 720p Output Afterall
By imaheadcase on 8/14/2009 2:00:55 AM , Rating: 2
Um, if you look at the actual pictures of the zune it says down in the bottom in small print about not supporting true 720p.

480 x 272 no ways equals 720p any way you slice it.

It does support output with a dongle to 720p. But again who the frack would do that in the real world.


RE: Not True 720p Output Afterall
By Smilin on 8/17/2009 10:55:37 AM , Rating: 2
My current Zune is sitting in a dock next to my reciever (wirelessly connected to pc upstairs). It looks like crap trying to output some 320x200 (or whatever) video to a 56" HDTV.

So I'm looking forward to having the 720p ability.

I also do NOT want 720p on a 3" screen either. What's the point?


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