Originally Posted by sperron
During the HD DVD/Blu-Ray format war, it was put firmly to rest by the Microsoft insiders that ANA/HANA chips are not scalers. The GPU does the scaling. They said that those reporting ANA/HANA chips were doing the scaling misunderstood the info Microsoft had given out.
We'll considering it was Scott Henson who did the interview on the ANA piece that's considered straight from the source and not an "HD-DVD/BR Insider" on a forum. He is currently the Director of Platform Strategy at Microsoft.
I've read the HD/BR piece and someone linked it again the other day. My thought is that scaling in the console for the purposes of HD-DVD might be handled in software or differently from the chip but really, the guy from MSFT comes, throws down a chip on the table and tells you it's a hardware scaler. Then he proceeds to throw it in Sony's face. The idea that no one on the opposing side would even bother to check it out or the rumor of a bold face lie on the basic design was not leaked is ridiculous.
He made a point blank statement and this isn't some outrageous claim as every single HD video device around has one (PS3 excluded) and the original Xbox had to deal with this exact issue when it was in the same boat with fair number of 720p games and only a handful of 1080i ones (no scaler at a time when 720p compatibility was far more rare - they just never really thought out HD back then I guess). MSFT caught all kinds of grief over that and did the obvious thing in remedying it this gen. Tons of threads on this in this very forum back from 2001-2005.
I don't see why this is so unbelievable just because Sony screwed this up (which to me is the unbelievable part since everyone knew about the original Xbox's incompatibility). Every HD device out there has it. This is not an expensive technology. It's stupid not to do it. This chip is exactly where a scaling chip would be in such a device and it's an easy lie to disprove. This isn't rumor, it's a Senior MSFT official going on record in an interview and bringing a sample of the chip so no one had to crack a box open but everyone could verify.
Now obviously I don't make the chip and I didn't solder it into each 360 out there but at this stage it would have been thrown right in MSFT's face.
EDIT - I'll also add that when the HDMI 360s were coming out ANA changed and became HANA. Maybe something to do with Analog vs. Digital or maybe they changed the way its handled but given the timing of the redesign of both chip and video output, one might conclude that it isn't a massive stretch of the imagination that MSFT may actually have put a scaling chip in this device like every other HD device out there and payed a tad extra not to impact performance in any way (which is exactly the result we see). I mean really, if every dogshit upconverting DVD player, cable box, and tuner out there since the late 1990s has a chip in it - it's entirely possible some genius at MSFT decided to not recreate the wheel and go the same route.