Print 26 comment(s) - last by dijuremo.. on Oct 31 at 10:11 AM

Xbox users to get a host of new goodies for Halloween

Microsoft's Fall Dashboard Update for the Xbox 360 is going to be released tomorrow according to Engadget. Microsoft posted a complete list on its Xbox website today outlining 84 updates/fixes to be addressed with the update.

Some noteworthy additions with the Fall Dashboard Update include:

  • HD 1080p video mode support over VGA and component cables.
  • Xbox 360 HD DVD Player support.
  • Stream WMV video from a Windows PC running Windows Media Player 11, Zune software, or Windows Media Connect.
  • Play video from storage devices such as USB flash drives, Xbox 360 Memory Units, etc.
  • Play video from CD or DVD data discs.
  • Set up automatic downloads of newly released Xbox Live Arcade trial games.
  • Support for upcoming release of XNA Game Studio Express (separate download and subscription required.)
  • Stream music, pictures and video from a Zune device.
  • Optionally disable notifications from Xbox Live while watching DVD movies.

It looks as though Microsoft wants to make sure that its heavyweight is fighting form when the PlayStation 3 and Wii drop next month. This dashboard update along with the upcoming HD DVD player, Wireless Racing Wheel, Wireless Headset and Gears of War should make the holiday season quite merry for Xbox 360 gamers.

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Video from data disk?
By Zapp Brannigan on 10/30/2006 2:24:54 PM , Rating: 2
What video is it gonna allow you to play? Is it just gonna be WMV or will it allow you to play Divx/Xvid files as well?
Does anyone know?

RE: Video from data disk?
By sscilli on 10/30/2006 2:43:22 PM , Rating: 3
I wouldn't get my hopes up about anything other than wmv, which sucks because wmv is a crap codec. If it can play xvid/divx that would be great, but what would be really great is AVC/H.264 support. Though I doubt that since Microsoft is backing VC-1.

RE: Video from data disk?
By glennpratt on 10/30/2006 3:36:38 PM , Rating: 2
VC-1 and H.264/MPEG-4 AVC are both mandatory for hd-dvd (or so I hear...). Hopefully come november will have those two, which would darn near make the lack of divx/xvid a moot point.

RE: Video from data disk?
By BigLan on 10/30/2006 2:47:33 PM , Rating: 2
I'd be astounded if it lets you play xvids. I'm betting mpeg1/2 and wmv files. Maybe it'll handle vobs (dvd rips) also.

RE: Video from data disk?
By therealnickdanger on 10/30/2006 3:04:49 PM , Rating: 2
In case none of you have tried it yet, Transcode360 is an AWESOME program if you have your Xbox360 on the same network as a Media Center PC. It will stream just about any video type to your Xbox360 as a WMV. I've used it with great success so far.

I would love to see the new Live dashboard support DivX, XviD, H.264, MVK (or whatever that is)... I understand their reasons not to do it, but the community would thank them relentlessly. The fact that it supports playback of TS files is amazing in its own right.

RE: Video from data disk?
By otispunkmeyer on 10/30/2006 4:21:16 PM , Rating: 2
DivX and XviD would be awesome

pretty much my entire collection of videos is divx or xvid or some varient of mpeg-4. if i can hook up my exteranl hard disk to my 360 and play those, ill jump for joy

im well jealous of my mates meager original xbox....with its 250gig hard disk and that xbox media center OS loaded on it. the thing plays absolutely anythin...even .bin files

Wireless Connector
By Aikouka on 10/30/2006 1:29:41 PM , Rating: 3
I've noticed that most XBOX 360 articles detailing peripherals or updates have left out the Wireless Connector. The wireless connector being the device that hooks up to your PC and allows you to use any wireless device designed for the XBOX 360 on your PC. This device really has my interest as it alleviates buying a new controller for my PC as my aging Gravis Xterminator is quite... well... old and game port connections went out eons ago ;).

So um... anyone heard much about it?

RE: Wireless Connector
By Wolfpup on 10/30/2006 1:47:56 PM , Rating: 2
Haven't heard anything in ages. Personally I much prefer the wired controller. Bought it originally for my PC, but now I use it exclusively on the 360 too. It's a bit lighter, doesn't have that big bulge in the back, doesn't burn through batteries constantly, and it's not irradiating me :D

RE: Wireless Connector
By Aikouka on 10/30/2006 2:00:56 PM , Rating: 2
Haha, the weight doesn't really bother me too much. If anyone asks, I tell 'em it's how I get my daily workout ;). Also, my batteries have been pretty good so far, and since I usually play by myself, I'll just grab another controller if mine dies. Also, I tend to "game" from further away, especially when playing Lumines Live! So, the cordless controller helps with that.

But yeah, that's one reason I've liked the corded controllers so far, seamless interoperability between the PC and the XBOX 360. Hopefully, we'll see that with the wireless controllers soon :D.

RE: Wireless Connector
By IceTron on 10/30/2006 2:34:56 PM , Rating: 1
Sorry, but once I went wireless, i'll never go back to wired controllers ever again.

Oh, and go buy Energizers Rechargable 2500mah lithium batteries with 15 minute charger. Problem solved

Sweet deal...but...
By ajfink on 10/30/2006 9:56:27 PM , Rating: 2
I'm excited about all the new media support. Unfortunately, my TV is -only- able to support 1080i.

PS - In some scenarios, component performs better than both VGA and HDMI. That being said, as long as you are running your cables over a reasonable length, any of them will produce a kickass viewing experience, ;)

no its not
By GhandiInstinct on 10/30/06, Rating: -1
RE: no its not
By Tsuwamono on 10/30/2006 1:32:12 PM , Rating: 3
so go pay 700$ for the PS3

RE: no its not
By NaughtyGeek on 10/30/2006 1:32:54 PM , Rating: 5
What does HDMI have to do with 1080P. 1080P is the resolution, HDMI is a transport method. VGA cables are more than capable of carrying a 1080P signal.

RE: no its not
By Wolfpup on 10/30/06, Rating: -1
RE: no its not
By Doormat on 10/30/06, Rating: -1
RE: no its not
By therealnickdanger on 10/30/06, Rating: 0
RE: no its not
By aos007 on 10/30/2006 5:10:41 PM , Rating: 2
The first thing is, most sets can't resolve full 1920x1080 in the first place. Those few (very expensive ones) that do, usually only accept it through HDMI. Quite often those sets do not even have VGA inputs or can't accept the full resolution through it (e.g. Sharp D62, Sony V2500). And sets accepting 1080p through component input are very rare as far as I know (which is sad).

This 1080p thing is important for people who want to use the HD-DVD attachment. It is not needed for gamers at all, unless you believe that xbox360 does a better scaling job than your TV (which it might).

But such a high resolution over VGA is not really something to be excited about. Remember running even 1600x1200 on your old CRT? Not very sharp picture, was it? You'd need a hell of a cable and hell of a good electronics to have VGA look like HDMI (I might be wrong on the extent of difference but I can't believe it would be much of an improvement over what we had few years ago - the limit is physics, not chip speed). Component on the other hand, even though analog, should fare better (but hardly anything accepts it).

But if HD-DVD content was recorded in 1080p, then 1080i will be all you need anyway, as TV can do inverse telecine transform and present you with full original 1080p exactly the same as if it came via 1080p. Only games would benefit from 1080p but x360 does not have enough power to do so (as almost no video card does).

RE: no its not
By willow01 on 10/31/2006 12:09:58 AM , Rating: 2
I am currently using a Dell 24" (1920x1200) using vga on my work computer. The image compared to DVI-D is negligible (I have to look very closely) although I could imagine on anything larger it would start to look a lot worse. On other pc's around the place it is quite noticeable (for me anyway) over vga but using a more recent video card and analog it is much better.

Does anyone know if hdmi will be added with the HDDVD drive coming, if they are going to be doing hdcp somehow I guess they would need to.

RE: no its not
By brystmar on 10/31/2006 4:54:46 AM , Rating: 2
the funniest thing about alot of the 1080p-capable TVs out there is that they cannot accept 1080p over HDMI. only sets using the latest rev (v1.3) HDMI connector can accept a 1080p HDMI signal.

so, the only way to get 1080p content to almost every 1st and 2nd 1080p-capable RPTV was to use VGA :)

RE: no its not
By IMPoor on 10/30/2006 1:38:26 PM , Rating: 2
you don't need hdmi to send a 1080p signal. Sure its not digital but analog is fine unless your using crappy or long cables. The component cables that come with the xbox are more than adequate to produce a 1080p signal. You must be a sony fanboy. Just kidding, sort of.

Anyway I am really looking forward to accessing content off of data DVD/CDs. I also assume that a usb flash drive would be exchangable with a USB external Hard Drive. If I am correct this update will be awesome. I can't wait.

RE: no its not
By ogreslayer on 10/30/2006 3:56:00 PM , Rating: 2
I think his point was more that you can't send 1080p into TVs using component cable. Not as a analog/digital problem but the fact that most TVs that have 1080p don't take it via the component jacks.

This is gonna be a problem and anyone looking to get a 1080p TV should do heavy research, assume that they must have HDMI or wait to see how the dust settles. Sony TVs do not accept 1080p over component yet. However, Samsung as of now has some models that do and some models that do not. Sharp does not support 1080p over anything other than HDMI, and Mitsubishi is the same through HDMI but allows for VGA if the TV has the input.

RE: no its not
By GhandiInstinct on 10/30/06, Rating: -1
RE: no its not
By ViperROhb34 on 10/30/2006 6:52:55 PM , Rating: 2
You sound like a madman.. possibly a Sony fanboy who has almost sexual jealousy over what quality is better..

The REAL truth is most people wouldnt know or be hard pressed to see 1080p differentiated from 1080i since 1080i when displayed properly on superior codecs such as what HD-DVD uses really has no quality difference.

Real life example here. Using Component with Bluray disables its quality - yes thats true- but the quality is still above regular DVD ! ! What does this mean to avg Joe - 80% of the world still watching on regular TV sets?
It means since it looks better then 480p DVD.. they won't be able to see any loss or benefit at all !

Another real life example. Most Current HD-TV sets do not even come close to displaying the REAL MAXIMUM resolution of HD-DVD or Bluray.. While many set support 1080i, and some support 1080p.. very few actually show all those pixels even if they can support the format..

RE: no its not
By glennpratt on 10/30/2006 1:52:01 PM , Rating: 2
This is a good thing... no HDCP sounds good to me. (I don't have a compliant display anyway. I have a 1080p projector with VGA only.

RE: no its not
By dijuremo on 10/31/2006 10:11:16 AM , Rating: 2
This is a good thing... no HDCP sounds good to me. (I don't have a compliant display anyway. I have a 1080p projector with VGA only.

This is a bad thing for movies that are protected with HDCP. They will not play at full resolution (1080p) unless the HDCP negotiation goes through. Since there is no HDCP support on VGA or Component outputs, then it means that you will never be able to play 1080p content that is protected with HDCP on your Xbox 360. Otherwise, Microsoft would have to hack HDCP in order to do so and that would be illegal. So in the end, you can only use 1080p on the games.

I also read something about the 360 not having enough frame buffer memory to keep 2 full 1080p frames, but that was said by a Sony guy, so I am not sure how much that matters.

In any case, on the movie side of things, Ps3 - 1, Xbox 360 - 0

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