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Xbox, upgrades!
Written by Daniel   
Tuesday, 15 May 2007 10:15
Xbox 360 Software Update Improves HD DVD Sound Quality, Compatibility
Marcus Yam (Blog) - May 15, 2007 9:00 AM
Daily Tech

How to navigate the new software using the controller
New digital audio settings give a choice for downmixed audio
Control how the HD DVD player will snack on cookies
New functions on the display make up for the lack of buttons on the remote
Xbox 360 HD DVD drive now with better aural pleasure

Last week, the Xbox 360 received its Spring Dashboard software, and today the console gets a software update for its HD DVD add-on peripheral. The most notable in this update are improvements to the player’s ability to decode audio streams.

Prior to the update, the Xbox 360 HD DVD player had difficulties decoding Dolby TrueHD audio, leading some titles, such as Nine Inch Nails: Beside You In Time and Poseidon, to exhibit “static popping” and “clipping” during playback. The new software resolved all such audio issues.

While the HD DVD player supports all audio formats for the spec, the Xbox 360 hardware itself is unable to output the true lossless Dolby TrueHD stream. Instead, the Xbox 360 downsamples the lossless stream into a lossy bitstream that can be outputted via the console’s optical toslink connection. Added in the new software update is a full bitrate 1.5 Mbps DTS and WMA Pro as an option for downmixed audio output, along with the previous 640 kbps Dolby Digital 5.1 option.

Even movies without Dolby TrueHD tracks will likely get a boost in audio quality. The original software for the drive ran the audio in a perpetual “night mode,” which dynamically compressed the range of the soundtrack. The update now gives the user to disable the dynamic range compression, leading to a greatly expanded aural experience... More

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