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Thursday August 13, 2009 4:58 am

It’s official: Zune HD launching September 15, $220 16GB, $290 32GB


Zune HD Platinum

That’s right, has finally let the cat out of the bag on all the info we’ve been craving, and we’ve got the full scoop for you right here. First and foremost, the Zune HD goes on sale on September 15, and will be available in 16GB and 32GB size capacities. The two units are identical in every way, other than storage capacity, so let’s run down some of those specs.

  • Built-in HD Radio receiver
  • 720p HD video output through a premium dock (costs extra)
  • OLED touchscreen: 3-3-inches, 16:9, scratch-resistant glass
  • Built-in 802.11b/g Wi-Fi
  • Web browser
  • NVIDIA Tegra low-power HD processor

The Onyx Black 16GB Zune HD will sell for $219.99, while the Platinum Silver 32GB model will sell for $290 - compare that to the $299 and $399 prices for the 16GB and 32GB , respectively. If you aren’t down with black or platinum, wait until September 15, and you’ll be able to pick from five other colors through the program. We’ve got even more specs for you after the cut, but if you’ve heard all you needed to hear and want to pre-order the device immediately, head on over to Amazon where you can find the 32GB Silver Zune HD, as well as the 16GB Black model.


Alright, now let’s talk about battery life on the Zune HD. Microsoft says that the Zune HD battery is good for up to 33 hours of music playback (with Wi-Fi off,) up to 8.5 hours of video. Charge time is 3 hours when plugged into a computer to charge over , while plugging in directly into the AC adapter brings charge time down to 2 hours.

We also have details on how much content the Zune HD can hold:

  • 16GB Zune HD: Up to 5 hours of high definition video from Zune Marketplace, or 48 hours of video optimized for device, or 4,000 songs, or 25,000 pictures.
  • 32GB Zune HD: Up to 10 hours of high definition video from Zune Marketplace, or 48 hours of video optimized for device, or 8,000 songs, or 25,000 pictures.

Zune HD Silver


And now, let’s talk about supported codecs. First, audio. Here are the types of files you can play on your Zune HD:

  • WMA Lossless: 2 channel up to 768 kbps and 48 kHz.
  • Advanced Audio Coding (AAC-LC) (.mp4, .m4a, .m4b ) - .m4a and .m4b files without FairPlay DRM up to 320 Kbps; CBR and VBR up to 48-kHz.
  • MP3 (.mp3) – Up to 320 Kbps; CBR and VBR up to 48-kHz.

Next up, Zune HD video support:

  • Windows Media Video (WMV) (.wmv) – Main and Simple Profile, CBR or VBR, up to 3.0 Mbps peak video bit rate; 720 pixels x 480 pixels up to 30 frames per second (or 720 pixels x 576 pixels up to 25 frames per second). Zune software will transcode HD WMV files at device sync.
  • MPEG-4 (MP4/M4V) (.mp4) Part 2 video[4] – Simple Profile up to 2.5 Mbps peak video bit rate; 720 pixels x 480 pixels up to 30 frames per second (or 720 pixels x 576 pixels up to 25 frames per second).  Zune software will transcode HD MPEG-4 files at device sync.
  • H.264 video – Baseline Profile up to 2.5 Mbps peak video bit rate; 720 pixels x 480 pixels up to 30 frames per second (or 720 pixels x 576 pixels up to 25 frames per second). Zune software will transcode HD H.264 files at device sync.
  • DVR-MS – Zune software will transcode at time of sync.

So there you have it, all the details you need on the upcoming Zune HD. It looks like Microsoft has done a hell of a lot of work to make sure this thing is an amazing device. We know it’s been popular to knock on Zune ever since it launched, but seriously, it’s time to get over that and realize that this is a top-notch portable media player.

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