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ATI Avivo on the XBOX 360

ATI announced today that Microsoft has chosen its implementation of H.264 decoding for the XBOX 360 console. Microsoft has been alluding to the release of HD DVD play back and expansion for the console for some time now, although there was recent skepticism about a HD DVD drive being available for upgrade. Microsoft announced however that there would be an external add-on for playing back HD DVD. According to the press release:

To enable the smoothest H.264 video playback possible, the ATI decoder technology makes use of the Xbox 360's graphics processing unit (GPU) to accelerate video processing. 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.

ATI says that the H.264 codec that will be used in the XBOX 360 will be part of ATI's Avivo technology. The codec will take advantage of the features inside the XBOX 360's ATI-based GPU. According to ATI, GPU features such as shaders will be used to process techniques such as comb filtering and gain control.

Microsoft choice to go with HD DVD was a topic of much discussion when the announcement was made. Despite user disagreements, Microsoft says that HD DVD media is cheaper to implement and because of this, playback devices will penetrate the market more quickly, thus driving down prices. Microsoft says it believes "HD DVD is the clear winner for consumers."




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