Microsoft Corp. announced last week a few new developments with their multi-media player, the Zune. In addition to expanding its video service to Xbox LIVE internationally, they have confirmed early reports of an upcoming HD version for its next generation.

2009-06-01 - Zune HD

Available in the U.S. this fall, the Zune HD is the first portable media player that combines a built-in HD Radio receiver, high-definition (HD) video output capabilities, organic light-emitting diode (OLED) touch screen, Wi-Fi and an Internet browser.

“The Zune music player is an integral part of the overall Zune experience, and we’re proud to be growing and extending our offering beyond the device,” said Enrique Rodriguez, corporate vice president of the Microsoft TV, Video and Music Business Group. “Delivering on Microsoft’s connected entertainment vision, this news marks a turning point for Zune as it brings cross-platform experiences and premium video content to living rooms around the world.”

The Zune HD is the next iteration of the Zune device family, brining a new level of listening and viewing experiences to the portable media player category.

As mentioned, it will come with a built-in HD Radio receiver, so users can listen to higher-quality sound than traditional radio on the go. Users also will have access to the additional song and artist data broadcast by HD Radio stations, as well as additional channels from their favorite stations multicasting in HD.

A new feature in the new version of the device will be an OLED touch screen interface, allowing users to flip through music, movies and other content with ease, and the 16:9 widescreen format display (480×272 resolution) offers a premium viewing experience on the go.

HD playback is supported for HD video files, a full-screen Internet browser optimized for multitouch functionality, and Wi-Fi is enabled.

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