Industry Insiders Q&A MASTER THREAD [separate thread for Xbox/Add On & PS3] - Page 106 - AVS Forum
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Old 03-28-2007, 10:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nightvet View Post

Amir,

What makes this so egregious is the fact that MS had outright stated there would be no HDMI on 360. So much for trusting what MS states publicly.

Absolutely not true. What Microsoft said was that HDMI could not be added to the current Xbox. It's physically impossible. So they did the only thing they could do.

I really feel bad for Amir logging into AVSforum today having all these Xbox questions and he doesn't even work in the Xbox division!


Benwaggoner, I am very intrigued by your statements regarding LOTR: EE being possible on one side. I am still wondering why, then, WB wants to use flippers for Matrix.

I am very curious how this works in the encode. It is my impression that you can use the full capacity of a disc in an encode, but that doesn't mean you couldn't shrink it down considerably without quality loss given the right tools and effort, is that correct?

To help me understand better.... If you were given the job of encoding King Kong with your most current tools, how much smaller than it's current 29GB size do you think you could make it without any loss in PQ?

Proud to always support Blu-Ray studios through Xbox Video Marketplace.
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Old 03-28-2007, 10:36 AM
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Amir a/o Ben

The Universal CHILDREN OF MEN combo disc does not play in HD on my G1 firmware.
First, GREAT film. I'm glad to have it but . . . . I want HD.
My questions:

1 -- For what reasons does the old firmware NOT play this disc.
2 -- What is the rationale for the COMBO disc in general?

To wit;

It plays the Universal logo so why not play the movie . . . I have no problems with the PIP on U-571 and THE BOURNE WHATEVER and TERMINATOR THREE What is it about these CHILDREN OF MEN interactive extras that does not play.

. . . . and then why doesn't the LADY IN THE WATER disc with NO interactive content play on G1 firmware.

Being able to upgrade firmware is a good thing - - being FORCED to upgrade is NOT such a good thing.



What market segment is the combo disc aimed at?

A combo does NOT do us any favors in terms of price . . so what's the reason for it. -- $ 20 for BATMAN BEGINS, $ 36 for CHILDREN OF MEN combo $ 38 for KISS KISS BANG BANG combo. Where is the logic in that?


AND when considered with the release of a separate FULL SCREEN version
the combo makes even less sense RE: the multiple inventory argument . . .

If they want to release a combo disc for what reason do they not just release
ONLY the combo disc. Seems logical and helpful to inventories.

For the record -- I, for one of many, am imore nterested in GOOD content than INTERACTIVE content . . . . and thus far I am underwhelmed . . . . and annoyed that some discs don't play on a 6 month old player . . .

I know I'm running the initial firmware for my HD-A1 [ upgrading as soon as I get the disc] but still . . . . six months and new discs don't play . . . at all.

Not great.

I know you're not marketing guys but I have appreciated your insights into marketing.

best,



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Old 03-28-2007, 10:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by benwaggoner View Post

Yes, that was the above. We also assumed carrying over all the other commentary tracks from the original 4-disc set. Basically, the goal is to provide the complete experience of the first two discs of that set, on one side of one disc, in great HD.

That's probably ballpark right, but you can't precisely predict average MLP bandwidth in advance, since it's intrinsically VBR.

Sweet. Great to hear.

So basically this is the nail the coffin for triple-layer?


Quote:
Originally Posted by DaViD Boulet View Post

Amir,

perhaps the better way to address this question is to clarify if a 16, 20, or 24-bit Dolby True HD track (48 kHz) *could* have been authored on the King Kong HD DVD. If there's room... then great, we've just got a studio not making audiophile decisions and we need to let them know we want lossless audio (as we should get with every HD DVD or BD title... PERIOD).

If there's *not* room to accomodate the lossless track, then regardless of Universal's pattern of providing or not providing lossless, or their intentions with this particular title, that's an important consideration given the limitations of the format.

Any information you can share? Is there space on the King Kong HD DVD to accomodate a lossless audio track in Dolby TrueHD? And at what resolution?

To expand on that question... Is it confirmed that King Kong has a 1.5 Mbps Dolby Digital Plus track? If so, is it safe to say that it likely would have been possible to have a Dolby TrueHD track at 1.4 Mbps average at 5.1 16/48 (although there'd also be a secondary English DD+ track, say at 448 Kbps).

To put it another way, marketing concerns aside, do you feel that the need for TrueHD 5.1 16/48 is overblown, when 1.5 Mbps DD+ is available?

And one last technical question which I think I asked before but if I did, I've forgotten the answer...

Under the mandatory specs of HD DVD, TrueHD 2.0 is required. What does that mean with a TrueHD 5.1 track? I know that all current players fully decode TrueHD 5.1. However, if say a low end HD DVD manufacturer were to include only the bare minimum TrueHD 2.0 support on a player this year, does that mean the player would not recognize a TrueHD 5.1 track at all? Or does it mean that it can somehow partially deal with a TrueHD 5.1 track?

For the sake of disc space, it'd be nice to have the scenario that the only original language track would be TrueHD, instead of having to have both TrueHD and a Dolby Digital Plus track. (I'm suspecting that bare minimum spec players would not understand TrueHD 5.1 at all, since every disc I've ever seen with TrueHD has also had an accompanying Dolby Digital Plus track.)
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Old 03-28-2007, 11:45 AM
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Ben or Amir,
There was a statement in another thread saying the disc authors for the Nine Inch Nails HD-DVD could not do seamless branching on that HD-DVD due to limitations of the format. Since Amir stated that HD-DVD could seamless branching do you have any comments/insight into this issue ?
Thanks in advance
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Old 03-28-2007, 12:10 PM
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Amir,

Now that it's official and I assume you are free to talk about it, any chance whatsoever an upgrade program will be offered to existing 360 Premium owners?
I think there are more than a few folks who would gladly pay a reasonable fee for an upgrade.

Also, will the Elite model decode TrueHD into PCM, and then pass the PCM through the HDMI port like my HD-A1 does?
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Old 03-28-2007, 12:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Meatpopsicle View Post

Absolutely not true. What Microsoft said was that HDMI could not be added to the current Xbox. It's physically impossible. So they did the only thing they could do.


To add to that, here is basically official confirmation from another MS insider (from his blog):

http://ozymandias.com/archive/2007/0....aspx#comments

Quote:


Quote:


Will there be an HDMI cable released for us early adopters? If not that kinda sucks. Also, can one buy the new bigger HD?

Unfortunately there will not be an HDMI adapter released for the original 360. The HDMI spec is basically a 2-way street and requires the specific port on both sides to be enabled. This is why we had to change the box.
Yes, we did announce that you'll be able to buy the bigger HD for $179 at retail.

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Old 03-28-2007, 12:33 PM
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For anybody in the know regarding HD DVD audio formats (Ben?, Amir?):

In a seperate thread, benes made this post regarding some data he's extrapolated from disc analysis:

Quote:
Originally Posted by benes View Post

Lossless audio uses a variable bitrate. But the 16bit tracks usually average out to about 1.5Mbps and the 24bit are around 4Mbps.

To which I squinted my eyes, frowned, and replied:

Quote:
Originally Posted by scaesare View Post

That's odd. Even if there was unique audible data out to the LSB, I'd expect only 50% greater data rate for 50% greater bits. In other words if 16bit = 1.5Mb then 24bit = 2.25Mb. Reality suggests that the lower bits might be even more compressible than that worst-case scenario.

Why do your numbers suggest 50% more bits generates 166% greater bitrate?

What am I missing?

We haven't seemed to be able to come up with a good answer for this. Can anybody shed some insight on this? Is our math screwed up? Or are the assumptions about what's in the tracks and their file sizes incorrect?

Thanks.

-Steve
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Old 03-28-2007, 12:35 PM
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Originally Posted by mobius View Post

Amir, Ben, et al...

I'm also interested in knowing if the 360 Elite's HDMI will allow any of the following: DTS-HD, TrueHD, and/or DD+ output.

Thanks

I just wanted to expand on this: Will the 360 Elite be able to decode any of the advanced codecs? If not, is the 360 Elite HDMI v1.3, in order to pass the bitstream?

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Old 03-28-2007, 12:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaViD Boulet View Post

Amir,

perhaps the better way to address this question is to clarify if a 16, 20, or 24-bit Dolby True HD track (48 kHz) *could* have been authored on the King Kong HD DVD. If there's room... then great, we've just got a studio not making audiophile decisions and we need to let them know we want lossless audio (as we should get with every HD DVD or BD title... PERIOD).

If there's *not* room to accomodate the lossless track, then regardless of Universal's pattern of providing or not providing lossless, or their intentions with this particular title, that's an important consideration given the limitations of the format.

Any information you can share? Is there space on the King Kong HD DVD to accomodate a lossless audio track in Dolby TrueHD? And at what resolution?


It's so frustrating that so many of the studios producing oustanding HD DVDs seem so reluctant to provide lossless audio.

Also, please echo our sentiment to any studio contact you have to leave Dialog Normalization set to off (-31 db) for all lossless encodings. It's counterproductive to encode a bit-for-bit copy of the master and then force data-recaluclation from the output of your Dolby Decoder so you can never achieve bit-for-bit accuracy. Also, 16-bit encodes from 20 and 24 bit masters are not "lossless", they merely avoid psychoacoustic data compression artifacting. Lossless is a comprehensive term that should mean "bit for bit". Anything less than a bit-for-bit copy of that original PCM master is NOT Lossless.

Using the HD-DVD of Kong given away with the HD-DVD drive in the UK...

Total disc size in bytes is 29,939,531,776. Very close to 30,000,000,000 which in the storage world is usually the number taken to be the capacity of 30GB, which is not the binary number for 30GB...

PowerDVD reports the main soundtrack as being 1536kbps, which at 188mins run time gives 2,169,990KB or thereabouts as the number of KB for the English soundtrack in constant bitrate DD+. The main HD-DVD folder contains two large files, one 14,131,165,185 bytes, the other 14,580,510,720 bytes, giving a total of 28,711,675,905 bytes.

Ther are five non-English soundtracks that are a whopping(!) 384kbps DD+ each, short changed or what, that would amount for another 2,707,200KB. I gues you're just unlucky if you don't speak English and are into sound quality.

This disc contains no extras, and the subtitle MAP files are very small a few MB in total.

If you said a TrueHD track was 3.0Mbps average then if you chop any other languages you might fit it on. Of course if you wanted French, German, Italian, Spanish and Japanese people to experience even 1.5Mbps DD+ then you would appear to have a problem.

Perhaps the HD-DVD insiders can tell us how longer films with better soundtracks AND IME will pan out here.
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Old 03-28-2007, 01:06 PM
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Quick note you all. I am on my way to a 2-day meeting with almost no time to access the net. If I can squeeze in a few minutes I will. But otherwise, I will be checking back in on the weekend.

For now, a few comment. You all asked for HDMI on 360. So we offered it. Folks asked for larger storage for their movie downloads. You have that too. I hardly know of anyone who asked us to make a super expensive console with a built-in blue-laser drive that far fewer people would want to buy . So we didn't do that. Today's announces adds another playback platform for HD DVD given our customers more choices on this front also.

If you bought an HD DVD drive for the 360, your investment is fully protected as that drive will work just as nicely with Elite.

And yes, both Elite (and the spring update of the console) will have video settings to dial in PC or "video" levels for VGA output.

On HDMI cable for current box, I have always poured cold water on anyone suggesting this. Search back here and you see that in numerous places. So if there were expectations set on this, it was not because of me . Analog output from current 360 is still a superb way to get HD gaming/video out of the box. Don't let people make you think you have to have HDMI just for the sake of it.

Last but not least, our commitment to HD DVD remains stronger than ever. As is the case with studios who publish on HD DVD (exclusive or otherwise). No one should read anything into this announcement on Elite, other than us moving forward to offer even broader set of playback solutions for our customers. And even better multimedia performance for people who wanted digital output and more storage.

Got to run.

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Old 03-28-2007, 01:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick Graham View Post

Amir,

Now that it's official and I assume you are free to talk about it, any chance whatsoever an upgrade program will be offered to existing 360 Premium owners?
I think there are more than a few folks who would gladly pay a reasonable fee for an upgrade.

No Microsoft-sponsored upgrade path confirmed here: http://www.majornelson.com/archive/2...360-elite.aspx

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Old 03-28-2007, 01:41 PM
 
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You all asked for HDMI on 360. So we offered it.

I think many of the people that asked for it are owners of the CURRENT 360 (some of the 10 million of us). So are you saying MS will not be offering us this choice for our systems? Many of us want to buy the HD-DVD add-on but will not do so unless it gives us lossles surround audio as well (still not clear if the Elite will offer this either).
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Old 03-28-2007, 01:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amirm View Post

If you bought an HD DVD drive for the 360, your investment is fully protected as that drive will work just as nicely with Elite.

It'll work nicely, but will we get lossless sound over HDMI? Or will it even support sending the high-def encoded audio as in the 1.3 spec?

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Old 03-28-2007, 03:15 PM
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the hdmi spec for the Elite is 1.2a. (so I read somewhere), So TrueHD and DTS-HD MA is not possible. The question is. Can it pass uncompress LPCM like Toshiba?
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Old 03-28-2007, 03:19 PM
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Originally Posted by casper77 View Post

the hdmi spec for the Elite is 1.2a.

Source?

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Old 03-28-2007, 03:48 PM
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Amir, with your set-up at home (the main speaker set-up, not the 15k headphones) what is the best aural experience you've had with Blu-ray and what is the best aural experience you've had with HD DVD?
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Old 03-28-2007, 04:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by madshi View Post

A question to the Blu-Ray insiders:

Would you consider adding HD trailers (at least 720p) to http://www.blu-raydisc.com/ for all available Blu-Ray discs? Having trailers for all discs available for download would be great, cause it would help choosing which discs to buy. Sure, I could watch those 320x200 trailers on the web. Or maybe those 480p trailers on apple.com, but honestly - these trailers are hurting my eyes. Yes, there are some HD trailers available on apple.com, too, but only for some newer movies. And the encoding seems to be lacking (lots of banding in foggy scenes etc).

Thanks!

P.S: The HD DVD side seems to be on its way for such an offer. There are still lots of trailers missing, but most discs say "trailer coming soon". Looks good!

I can mention this to the folks that manage this site, but it would be much easier to address this at a studio level using the links that point back to each studios products.

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Old 03-28-2007, 04:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mentho View Post

Source?

the info can be found on page 2 of this link.


http://editorials.teamxbox.com/xbox/...-Announced/p1/
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Old 03-28-2007, 04:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaViD Boulet View Post

I second the desire to see high-definition trailers. For a chance, I would *enjoy* previews instead of do my best to avoid them.

Paidgeek,

thanks for taking to heart our request for no dialog-normalization with your Dolby TrueHD encodes!

Question, when you get a chance, could you comment on the possibility for using the 2nd video stream on Blu-ray for 3-D capability? It seems to me that since BD can provide full 1080p24 quality on the 2nd video stream (and has the bandwidth to do a fine compression of both primary and secondary video streams that share the same "pipe"), it would be an incredible way to get high-fidelity 3-D encoding because you could support both 1080p24 streams side-by-side on the disc. A firmware-updated BD player could matrix them into a single 1080p48 stream for output for those with synchonrized LCD shutter glasses, or possibly a high-end BD player with dual HDMI output could power two projector devices for high-end 3-D projection.

In any case, have you heard of any source consider this application for 3-D encoding? I realize Sony may not have the world's largest library of 3-D movies, but I'm wondering if you've heard conversation about this or ever considered it as a possibility for the format in general.

thanks!

David,

There is no built-in support for 3d in the format, but it should be possible to support this using 720 60p encoded video. I can't think of a way to do it with 24p since there is no 48p support. This sort of thing has been experimented with in DVD (to limited effect) and I am sure it will be revisited in Blu-ray. Just have your aspirin bottle close by....

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Old 03-28-2007, 04:28 PM
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Any BD Insiders care to explain what wrong with FOX? Are they reconsidering their Blu-ray support?
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Old 03-28-2007, 04:32 PM
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Ben, or any insider,

What is the size difference between a 480 mpeg2 transfer, and a 720 vc1 (or avc) transfer? Going by Xbox Live 720 transfers, they seem roughly equivalent. Is there a great difference in cost?

If they are close, could 720 be a fair compromise for extras on a disc (if the source allows)?

I am thinking of High Def Digest's review of Children of Men:
Quote:


Sadly, all of the supplemental material is presented in standard definition and looks exactly like the extras on the standard-def side of the disc. Encoded with the MPEG-2 codec, nothing has been done to enhance the look of this content, and it simply seems lazy on the part of the studio. There's a reason we're paying more for this edition -- I wish that value extended to the extras on the disc.

I am also thinking of the furor over the announcement by Warner that all of the extras on The Ultimate Matrix Collection will be 480. If they really want use regular dvds for extras to reduce costs, couldn't the same material fit using advanced codecs at 720?

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Old 03-28-2007, 04:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DVD_sanchez View Post

Any BD Insiders care to explain what wrong with FOX? Are they reconsidering their Blu-ray support?

They are working extremely hard to resolve the security issues that have stalled some of their releases.

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Old 03-28-2007, 04:58 PM
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Originally Posted by paidgeek View Post

They are working extremely hard to resolve the security issues that have stalled some of their releases.

So it has to do with the AACS issues?

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Old 03-28-2007, 05:01 PM
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So it has to do with the AACS issues?

AACS and BD+

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Old 03-28-2007, 05:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paidgeek View Post

They are working extremely hard to resolve the security issues that have stalled some of their releases.

Is this because of the HDDVD and Blu-Ray disc rips which are out and about on P2P networks? Are a lot of studios having to put a lot of work into fixing this? Is that the main reason for various delays?
I ask because if it's that much effort and time to update the security; surely this is going to have to be done on a constant basis. Are we going to get studios having a month delay every time the content protection is broken?
I know why they are doing it but to be honest I can see it as a entirely pointless 'money sucking' exercise. It's going to be broken every time.
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Old 03-28-2007, 05:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paidgeek View Post

They are working extremely hard to resolve the security issues that have stalled some of their releases.

paidgeek:

Thanks for your contributions here.

How come these security issues have not stalled releases from other BD studios? Is this a case of Fox being more conservative than other BD studios? Any information you can provide would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 03-28-2007, 06:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paidgeek View Post

AACS and BD+

Are you saying that FOX is not going to release any more titles until they can get BD+ working? That might be a while..
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Old 03-28-2007, 06:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roma_victor View Post

paidgeek:

Thanks for your contributions here.

How come these security issues have not stalled releases from other BD studios? Is this a case of Fox being more conservative than other BD studios? Any information you can provide would be greatly appreciated.

Id like to echo this good question. Do other studios not care or are you not giving the whole story when you say they are stalling due to AACS/BD+?
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Old 03-28-2007, 07:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Kampf kobold View Post

As a HD-DVD supporter, why Microsoft didn`t include a HD-DVD drive in the Xbox360 Elite version? The first sign Microsoft to support Blu-ray in the future?

I'm more concerned that it is not being offered in 'Black' like some of the other accessories (Play and Charge, Controller, etc). Are they just giving up on it? It would seem they'd offer it in black since the Elite has HDMI. I'd think the add-on would benefit most from the new connection.

EDIT: To be clear, my question is: Why isn't the HD-DVD Add-On being released in black? Or is it ... just not yet?
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Old 03-28-2007, 07:11 PM
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Originally Posted by mentho View Post

Source?

Yes please ... ? Can someone confirm the HDMI version for the elite? It would seem silly if it was anything but v1.3.
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