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Xbox 360 HD-DVD Interview


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#1 Xbox-Scene

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Posted 29 January 2007 - 07:55 PM

Xbox 360 HD-DVD Interview
Posted by XanTium | January 29 13:55 EST
 
From [H]Console:


To give you an idea of the blood, sweat, and tears that went into the Xbox 360 HD-DVD player, [H] Console brings you an interview with a Xbox Console & Consumer Software team member, Shaheen Gandhi.

* How long did development take?
* We went from no hardware and no software on 360 to a full product in about 8 months. It was a super-compressed development schedule and the quality is just spectacular. There's a longer timeframe when you consider the codecs had existed in code quite a while ago.

* All 4.7 million lines of code not only have to work, they have to be integrated into the Xbox 360 system without breaking anything. How does it all work together?
* The HD DVD playback software is a separate application, just like a game. It lives on the HD DVD player. As such, the player code doesn't affect the rest of the system (other than when it's running). We made some changes to the dashboard to recognize the HD DVD player.

* What prevents someone from using this drive on a PC?
* We have designed and tested the Xbox 360 HD DVD player to be a completely plug-and-play experience when used with an Xbox 360 console. We recognize that certain hard-core users have been able to enable HD DVD playback on a PC using SW and drivers from a variety of non-Microsoft sources. Consumers interested in using the HD DVD player on their PC's should understand this is an un-tested and unsupported configuration, and we will not be providing customer support for any PC scenario around HD DVD playback.

* Hardware wise, how much CPU utilization / overhead is there for a software based HD-DVD player like this? The Xbox 360's multiple core design should handle HD-DVD playback easily, shouldn't it?
* In general, there is always some piece of software that pushes hardware farther than other software has done. The HD DVD player happens to be a stepping stone here. There's still a lot of raw hardware power that's untapped. So, the amount of CPU time we are throwing at HD DVD fits fairly well into the time afforded us by 360's CPU. That hardly means, however, that every piece of code is as efficient as it could be.


Full Interview: console.hardocp.com (2 pages)




#2 bucko

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Posted 29 January 2007 - 08:01 PM

Good two page read. Didn't know they could update the HD-DVD drive firmware, hint, hint.

#3 jdsony

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Posted 29 January 2007 - 08:20 PM

I would have loved to hear them ask why they made it so ugly! Why can't these journalists really challenge people they interview? I want one and may eventually get one but the design team failed so miserably I don't think they should be getting any of my money. I know the function of the unit is the most important factor but someone really dropped the ball on this one. Why oh why did they put the drive on what is the equivalent of 'the side' of the 360? The unit really should have been designed to actually sit under or over the 360 with exactly the same design queues.

For such a well designed system and peripherals I expect much more from them. Come on Microsoft. I know you can do better! I'll gladly help you make a version 2.

#4 appleguru

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Posted 29 January 2007 - 09:01 PM

I didn't realize the HD DVD sw was on the hd dvd drive... I guess that makes sense though, given that it works for users without a hard drive.. it also explains the 'memory unit' that loads with the hd dvd drive when you plug it into a PC.

#5 feflicker

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Posted 29 January 2007 - 09:11 PM

QUOTE
I didn't realize the HD DVD sw was on the hd dvd drive... I guess that makes sense though, given that it works for users without a hard drive..


Apple, the dash is on a flash chip, not the HDD. The HDD isn't related to system functionality at all. It is just used for storage as far I as know... My guess is that the HD-DVD functionality was going to bloat the dash to the point it wouldn't fit in flash, so they had to add another flash chip in the HD-DVD unit itself.

#6 appleguru

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Posted 29 January 2007 - 09:15 PM

QUOTE(feflicker @ Jan 29 2007, 03:18 PM) View Post

Apple, the dash is on a flash chip, not the HDD. The HDD isn't related to system functionality at all. It is just used for storage as far I as know... My guess is that the HD-DVD functionality was going to bloat the dash to the point it wouldn't fit in flash, so they had to add another flash chip in the HD-DVD unit itself.


Right.. the dash is in flash; and while the hd dvd player requires a dash update to work, that update merely allows the dash to interface with the hd dvd player's software, which resides in flash on the hd dvd player... Far less code (and space) than the 4.7 million that make up the player app.

#7 feflicker

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Posted 29 January 2007 - 09:42 PM

Which brings up another point, it might be possible to gain some further information about booting .xex's from flash, instead of an optical disc. It's just one more way we could potentially load a game. The challenge/response that the HD-DVD drive goes through with the dash might yield some important information for our hacker friends out there. And since it is new code, there might be a hole somewhere, who knows.

#8 bikermike69uk

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Posted 29 January 2007 - 10:18 PM

new AND rushed code, so hopefully something can be found, get my hd drive 5th feb

#9 dhrandy1

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Posted 29 January 2007 - 11:28 PM

Looks to me that they would just add support for the player on computers too like they did with the controllers. They would just sell more of them. They always want to limit everything.

#10 no0b123

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Posted 30 January 2007 - 01:58 AM

I really wish I could figure out how to make this thing work on my PC love.gif

EDIT: do you think by an update, the HD-DVD drive could be enabled to play music Cd's and add more features to watching movies like a slo-motion button?

Edited by no0b123, 30 January 2007 - 02:03 AM.


#11 ConteZero76

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Posted 30 January 2007 - 09:58 AM

xex are signed with a public/private key mechanism, so the point isn't find a way to phisically run a xex, it's just find a way to sign the xex or circumvent the signature check.




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