Why Doesn’t Zune Support HD Recordings?

I was just
reading one of the Zune threads over at The Green Button
and a user
commented that licensing might be the reason why the Zune doesn’t syncing HD recordings.  The idea being if they didn’t license a Dolby
Digital decoder, then they couldn’t convert the audio.  My train of thought went….

Damn, probably right. 
Another feature lost to licensing

Wait, doesn’t Vista Home Premium and Ultimate include Dolby
Digital decoders?

Yeah, but then you would have to limit syncing of HD content
to Home Premium and Ultimate.  Stupid footnotes
no one ever reads.

Oh, but Media Center is only included in Home Premium and Ultimate.

Dang, why doesn’t Zune support syncing HD recordings then?

5 thoughts on “Why Doesn’t Zune Support HD Recordings?

  1. FWIW, there was a registry hack in the old version of the Zune software that would allow recognition and transcoding of recorded TV. However, I do believe it had issues with ATSC. I tried syncing (which basically means transcoding and copying) a couple of my OTA recordings and I remember the results were less than perfect (can’t remember if it stuttered, or if it didn’t work at all). The NTSC recordings worked fine.

    In any case, I might guess that MSFT planned to get credit for this new “feature” without an ounce of real development. As such they may not have bothered to spend the time troubleshooting the ATSC transcoding issue. I’m disappointed by the supposed MCE integration in general.

  2. You are forgetting the rules concerning M$ version and feature iteration numbers. Always divide by 2.

    Zune software version = 1.0
    MCE Sync Feature Iteration = 0.5 (essentially an unfinished feature of a point release)

    When viewed like that Zune and its surrounding software feels like it is right where it should be, no?

  3. @wormhoudt

    No, I feel like I should have gotten MCE sync (including ATSC content) straight out of the box, so I’m even more annoyed that after this significant update I’m still screwed. It’s not that difficult to do it; if i can download freeware that converts it for me then why can’t M…lame.

  4. Adding to what Aaron is saying, not only can freeware applications do it, but two applications included in Vista already do it. Windows Media Player and Windows Movie Maker can both import ATSC (HD) recordings and transcode them to WMV. Windows Media Player will automatically do it and transfer them to Portable Media Center’s (the basis of Zune).

  5. I am guessing the tounge-in-cheek-ness of that post did not come through very well.

    I suppose if I have to explain it, then the joke didn’t really do well. I was trying to make the point that even if it was a 1.0 release I would still be dissappointed with it.

    Personaly I can’t imagine why the Zune requires it’s own syncing software in the first place. Why aren’t the requiste features part of WMP 11. M$ encourages all it’s hardware partners to leverage WMP 11 for media syncing, while avoiding it for their own hardware.

    So the most loyal of M$ customers are required to maintain a pair of media libraries, both in WMP 11 and in the Zune software. A point that has been made by many … you know who you are.

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