Xbox 360 to use ATI's H.254 decoder

by: John -
This shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone as the Xbox 360 features a graphics chip from ATI. Microsoft is going with ATI's H.264 decoder for the Xbox 360 HD DVD player. Now I've experienced Avivo's decoding in the various X1XXX cards that ATI has and I must say I was impressed by how well the it worked in decoding video. 
ATI’s H.264 video decoder chosen by Microsoft for Xbox 360™ HD DVD player

ATI’s H.264 decoder brings sharper, more true-to-life high-definition content to homes everywhere

MARKHAM, CANADA – July 12, 2006 – ATI Technologies (TSX:ATY, NASDAQ:ATYT) today announced that Microsoft Corp. has chosen ATI’s H.264 decoder for the Xbox 360™ HD DVD player, bringing users sharper, more true-to-life visuals and smoother playback of high-definition content.  HD DVDs encoded using one of three approved codecs deliver up to six times the resolution of traditional DVDs all on a single disc.  Built on ATI’s Avivo™ technology, the decoder used for the Xbox 360 HD DVD player brings to bear ATI’s considerable multimedia know-how to ensure gamers, home theatre buffs, and casual viewers alike get a more perfect picture from the H.264 format.

“The Xbox 360 gives consumers access to a world of high-definition games and video content through Xbox Live Marketplace. With the new Xbox 360 HD DVD player using ATI’s decoder technology, we’re giving consumers the choice to playback the latest in high-definition movies,” said Todd Holmdahl, corporate vice president of Xbox 360 hardware development.  “HD DVD brings new meaning to the term home theater. When people see the visual clarity and realism that Microsoft and ATI are delivering through the Xbox 360 this holiday, they will be blown away.”

To enable the smoothest H.264 video playback possible, the ATI decoder technology makes use of the Xbox 360’s graphics processing unit (GPU) to accelerate video processing.  The unified shader design of the GPU enables high-end processing techniques such as comb filtering and automatic gain control to ensure that video artifacts such as blockiness or color bands don’t disrupt playback.

“With the Xbox 360 HD DVD player, Microsoft and ATI are pushing the boundaries of high-definition multimedia content,” said Rick Bergman, senior vice president and general manager, PC Business Unit, ATI.  “The decoder technology used in the new drive provides high fidelity visuals unlike anything ever seen before.  This is another example of the close cooperation between our two companies, and the commitment we both share to delivering the most immersive experience possible for audiences around the world.”

For more information about ATI’s decoder technology, please visit http://www.ati.com/technology/avivo.  For more information about Microsoft’s new HD DVD player for the Xbox360 please visit http://www.xbox.com/hddvd.
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