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Images courtesy TGFCer
The Xbox 360 Elite drum beat grows louder

Xbox 360 Elite systems have been caught in the wild on a Chinese production line. Xbox 360 Fanboy has images of racks of black Xbox 360 units taken from a Chinese video game forum.

The images not only show the sleek, black exterior of the Xbox 360 Elite, but a close-up image shows the 120GB hard disk drive (HDD) fitted atop the console.

Further confirmation of the Xbox 360 Elite came over the weekend from Dean Takahashi of the The Mercury News. Takahashi was the first to break the news of the Xbox 360's upcoming IPTV service.

Likewise, promotional materials from Gamestop have been spotted which detail the 120GB which will be made available as a stand-alone upgrade for current Xbox 360 owners.

While the new black exterior and 120GB HDD may be headliner features of the $479 USD Xbox 360 Elite, the addition of an HDMI port and an HDMI cable are also added bonuses. Two features that are reportedly missing from the Xbox 360 Elite, however, are built-in WiFi and an internal HD DVD drive.

Engadget notes that the Xbox 360 Elite will be available in limited quantities sometime this Spring and that Xbox 360 Premium systems will get Elite-spec hardware (sans black finish) sometime in late Summer/early Fall. The price is expected to remain at $399 while price cuts are expected to help clear out the existing stock of Xbox 360 Premiums with the smaller 20GB HDD.

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By rudyv1 on 3/26/2007 8:21:28 PM , Rating: 3
No one is bothering to ask what version of HDMI this new Xbox360 will sport!

Also, will it be able to decode or pass Dolby TrueHD or DTS HD Master Audio?

What about 'deep color' support

HDMI doesn't mean much unless it's implemented properly

By Munkles on 3/27/2007 8:04:42 AM , Rating: 2
Unfortunatley thats not even close to true. Like so many technologies before it, what lies under the surface matters not simply that its there and exists is enough.

Most "home theatre" guys cant even tell you the difference between HDMI v1.1-1.3 let alone what the difference between dolby digital, DTS, True HD, Dolby Pro Logic I/II etc.

Its a valid question to wonder what this will support but in the end the answer will be meaningless as it will just become another bullet point at MS next keynote speach in X07/E3 07.

Then again, truth be told I frankly dont care which it is just so long as I can have only one cable connected to my TV instead of 5. Im not a big fan of clutter.

By Spivonious on 3/27/2007 9:51:46 AM , Rating: 2
I've never had the opportunity to compare versions of HDMI, but I imagine you're right and the differences are slight at best.

There is however a huge difference between Pro Logic and Digital, even more so if you use the optical cable versus the digital coaxial. I've A-B-ed them, as well as S-Video vs. Component vs. DVI. DVI is easily a 10x better picture. I noticed no difference between S-Video and Component.

By exdeath on 3/27/2007 10:42:29 AM , Rating: 2
I'm running a 30 foot run of high quality shielded component video cable that is high bandwidth rated for 1080p. Each channel is its own 75 ohm broadcast grade cable.

The result is that 720p or 1080p over component is ALMOST as good as HDMI. On up scaled material like DVDs or compressed 720/1080 HDTV sources you can't tell the difference between component and HDMI. Scaling and codec quantization noise in the data itself is the dominant factor. The only time you can tell a difference is when you have real time 1:1 graphics like a PC.

S-video on the other hand I don't see as being any better than composite, it just sucks… esp. over 30 feet which it was never intended for…

With audio I can tell the difference between Dolby Digital and DTS, in much the same way one can hear the difference in 128kbps and 320kbps in MP3s. The scene with the rain hitting the leaves in Saving Private Ryan always comes to mind as my first experience differentiating the two. It’s a good spot to listen for the difference, provided your audio gear is not the bottleneck. DTS is crisper and more defined.

Also copper or optical makes little difference for me at all by the highest volume levels, but again, that’s only with high quality analog equipment. On the other hand with crappy equipment like the PS2, the untouched optical pass through is 100x cleaner than the analog output. Try them both with the PS2 paused or idle and you don't even have to have the volume more than 50% before you start hearing the hum in the PS2’s analog output. The optical out is silent. I don't imagine any of the current consoles have audiophile grade audio decoding and output, so definitely optical in that department, if only for the raw unmolested PCM pass-through to a real decoder and DAC and not the $10 ASIC they put into the consoles for 5.1.

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