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Print 9 comment(s) - last by DingieM.. on Apr 6 at 5:17 AM


Cover art for NIN Halo 22
Nine Inch Nails puncture Xbox 360 HD DVD add-on

Those with Xbox 360 HD DVD players who bought the recently released Nine Inch Nails: Beside You In Time concert disc were let down with the poor performance of the audio caused by a bug in Microsoft’s decoding software.

The NIN disc features a Dolby TrueHD lossless audio track, which promises excellent aural quality for those with the appropriate surround setup. The Xbox 360 HD DVD add-on is incapable of outputting a TrueHD signal, but instead it downsamples the lossless stream into a lossy 640kbps Dolby Digital 5.1 mix.

Even with the downsampling, however, most users report that TrueHD tracks sound better than regular Dolby Digital tracks. Unfortunately, that is not the case for the latest NIN release, as playing the disc in the Xbox 360 HD DVD add-on with TrueHD results in “static popping” and “clipping” noises, taking much away from the experience.

Discussion of the issue on AVS Forum caught the attention of a Microsoft employee, who confirmed that the Xbox 360 HD DVD team aware of the bug and will be addressing it in an upcoming software update.

“We plan on shipping an update to the Xbox 360 HD DVD player in early to mid spring. In this update we will be adding DTS output, improved Audio, and improved title compatibility,” relayed the Microsoft employee, according to what he had heard from the Xbox team. “The variability there is that this is a software project and we are fixing/enhancing a lot of things and we want to make sure we get them right. So it is difficult to give an exact day for the update.”

Children of Men is another recent title that is giving HD DVD owners a headache. Both owners of standalone machines and the Xbox 360 consoles report issues where Children of Men freezes or refuses to play, even after trying multiple, retail exchanged copies of the movie.



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Yeah, we've been waiting...
By therealnickdanger on 4/5/2007 3:36:44 PM , Rating: 5
One of the AVSF insiders has been telling us since November that the update was coming. It is an option that should have been there since the beginning, but whatever. Now I can't wait to see how they handle audio streams over HDMI 1.2...

quote:
The Xbox 360 HD DVD add-on is incapable of outputting a TrueHD signal, but instead it downsamples the lossless stream into a lossy 640kbps Dolby Digital 5.1 mix.

This is somewhat semantic, but the HD-DVD add-on does not do any decoding. The full lossless signal is transfered to the Xbox360 which handles all of the decoding, resampling, and recoding. The add-on performs flawlessly on PCs. This is a software issue with the Xbox360, not the add-on drive.




RE: Yeah, we've been waiting...
By Anh Huynh on 4/5/2007 4:05:26 PM , Rating: 3
RE: Yeah, we've been waiting...
By therealnickdanger on 4/5/2007 4:34:37 PM , Rating: 2
I should have been more clear:

Now I can't wait to see how they handle audio streams over HDMI 1.2 after the masses start complaining about not having true lossless audio.

If lossless can be preserved bit-for-bit via the HD-DVD add-on and a PC, there is no reason it can't be done through HDMI from the Xbox360.

If I had to guess, I would say that Microsoft is intentionally delaying lossless HDMI output until the costs of "competing" HD-DVD players (Toshiba) are reduced. As it stands, the Elite+HD will cost $680 (MSRP), so it's more than the HD-A20 and less than the HD-XA2. They can't have a $200 add-on offer the same features as their much more expensive stand-alones. I bet as soon as the HD-XA2 drops in price this fall, we'll see a Fall Update for the 360 that adds lossless PCM output...


RE: Yeah, we've been waiting...
By Anh Huynh on 4/5/2007 4:48:30 PM , Rating: 2
The plausibility of lossless audio output depends on the HDMI implementation. If Microsoft simply routed S/PDIF to the HDMI transmitter, multi-channel PCM or TrueHD/DD+ audio output is impossible, which seems highly likely since HDMI will output 2-channel PCM only.


Night Mode
By JarrettV on 4/5/2007 4:03:12 PM , Rating: 2
The Xbox360 is essentially stuck in 'night mode' where it compresses the dynamic range so it doesn't wake up the kids. The reason it is stuck in 'night mode' is because Microsoft didn't build an interface where the user can modify the dynamic range control. The specifications state that when there is no interface, it must default to 'night mode'.




RE: Night Mode
By therealnickdanger on 4/5/2007 4:37:24 PM , Rating: 2
They really need to allow users more control over those settings. Also, this whole HDMI "resolution auto-sensing" thing makes me nervous. No thanks!


RE: Night Mode
By Hyperlite on 4/5/2007 5:54:35 PM , Rating: 2
that worries me too. I could see there being some major compatability issues, and a bunch of displays getting set to 480p with no recourse. that would so not be good.


RE: Night Mode
By DingieM on 4/6/2007 5:17:03 AM , Rating: 2
Is this auto-sensing stuff required for every player that has HDMI or only an implementation of the new HDMI port on the Elite?

By the way there is a rumor that the HD-DVD add-on will drop to $130 in price...


really?
By BillyBatson on 4/5/2007 6:25:37 PM , Rating: 2
I bought the HD-DVD version of this and played it through my 360's HD-DVD addon and didn't notice anything wrong with the audio, then again i only have a $200 SONY 5.1 setup so...




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