Originally Posted by psisco
I can't seem to get a response on the website chat guru or this forum regarding the availability of this HD option. Anyone out there????????
I am extremely sorry for the delay. No excuse - just flat missed this. Turns out I'm also the guy on the "chat window" on the website. I hired a firm out of Minnesota for a while that employed a bunch of college students to man the chat window 24/7 but as they could only answer about 10% of the questions and they were trying to handle chat windows from 10 companies simultaneously so response time was slow... My brilliant idea was to "just do it myself" - little did I realize that most of the requests would come between 10pm and 4am - sleepless web pirates....
Regarding HD - I'm a bit hesitant to go deeply into details in a public forum (last time I did I actually got PMs from three other marketing folks scolding me for giving away "secrets") but let me skim over where we are and the issues.
- We decided that going QAM was a waste of time - Zeevee and a couple others (much higher priced) already have it, it does not integrate well with over the air (many tvs dont switch well between), and many TVs don't even have a QAM tuner. ATSC is much more universal.
- MPEG encoding isn't very hard - expensive but not hard, and the best in the world at that does not really talk to small compnies (read <$1B in revenue) so we have a Japanese partner - 720p works great, 1080i is "about to be delivered" (meaning out of our hands waiting for the chip update), and 1080p is "next year" - reasonable for a launch I think
- ATSC modulation also is not hard but to do it cheaply requires dedicated silicon for direct up conversion. It can be done disretely (and has been - works well but expensive - not for consumer use) so a single chip solution is the answer - Our "partner" has had their design in the lab for over a year but recently sold that entire division to another silicon company. Prototypes work ok but production silicon is to-be-delivered.
What does all that mean for production of the upgrade module? in one word, delays. It is still the primary focus but there is no clear delivery time at this point.
I realize this is more detail than the "what day does it go on sale" that everyone would like - sorry but I'm a fan of being open.
Please note, I will likely edit this to get rid of the details in a few days - please do not quote any of the above in a response or question so it will go away when I edit later. Appreciate it.