Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Next Gen Game Console News

Some interesting news (rumors are more like it) about the next generation of game consoles:

The PS3 is rumored to cost $400 street and nearly $500 to make.  Meanwhile, the XBox360 is rumored to cost about $300.  If true, that's great news for Microsoft.  Trying to sell the PS3 at $100 more will be an uphill battle and could take the edge of some of the Sony hype.

Meanwhile, AnandTech has some rumors about the upcoming Cell and XBox360 processors which supposedly come from those who have seen the hardware.  While I'm on the subject, here's an older post from someone on the XBox team talking about the 360 vs the PS3.

For the record, I haven't seen the XBox360 yet and have no inside information.

Thursday, June 9, 2005

WMV-HD Is Now Hardware Accelerated

I am please to announce something I find pretty exciting.  Windows Media High Definition Video (WMV HD) is now able to take advantage of hardware acceleration.  Cards from leading vendors such as ATI and NVidia can now assist in the decoding of WMV-HD files.  Depending on the CPU and video card, you can expect to see a 20-40% reduction in overall CPU utilization.  This is often enough to reduce glitching or even allow for playback not otherwise possible.  The acceleration works on WMV-HD streams that are 720p and 1080p.  This includes all of the content (I am aware of ) on the WMV HD DVDs plus most other WMV HD content you are likely to find around.  To take advantage of it, you'll need supporting hardware, updated drivers, the QFE from the link below plus the required DRM QFE (also on the link below).  If you play any WMV-HD and have a sufficiently beefy display card, I suggest you download the update and give it a spin.

Related links:

Microsoft KB Article with the download link.

ATI's Press Release announcing support.

List of supporting NVidia cards.

The Register announcing the release.

AVSForum thread with details and support.


ATI's Catalyst 5.6 Drivers claim support for WMV9 Acceleration.