Microsoft to Bow Zune HD Device, Link It to Xbox Live27 May, 2009 By: Erik Gruenwedel
Microsoft Corp. said it is updating the Zune portable media player by linking it with the Xbox Live video marketplace, in addition to launching an HD model later this year.
A HD-compatible output will let Zune HD customers play back supported HD video files from the device through a separate HDMI connection directly to an HDTV in 720p resolution.
The device, which includes an HD radio receiver, features an OLED touchscreen interface that allows users to flip through music, movies and other content on a 16:9 widescreen format display (480x272 resolution).
Zune HD includes a full-screen Internet browser and is Wi-Fi enabled, allowing for streaming of more than 5 million songs from the Zune music store.
“This marks a turning point for Zune as it brings cross-platform experiences and premium video content to living rooms around the world,” said Enrique Rodriguez, corporate VP of the Microsoft TV, video and music business group.
Separately, Microsoft has linked Zune with the 17 million member Xbox Live platform allowing access to third-party online games, movies and music.