Monthly Archives: June 2005

Xbox 360 On The Horizon

Microsoft’s upcoming Xbox 360 video game console has received a fair amount of press recently. Of course, the only thing I could possibly care about is the multimedia (specifically, full motion video) capabilities.

The media is supposed to be standard DVD. That means that standard DVD-ROM drives should be able to read the raw sectors. Though some kind of DRM is a distinct possibility, and plausible given how centrally-controlled the whole system is. Things such as DRM should be field-upgradable since online support comes with the unit.

Microsoft makes much of the fact that the console and all games will support HD resolutions. Since I doubt that FMV will go away anytime soon– regardless of the capacity to render real-time 3D cutscene animations– I wonder what video codecs will be used? Bink? According to RadGameTools’ site, Bink already supports the Xbox 360. I did not know Bink was already designed to handle HD material. Microsoft’s own WMV3/WMV9/VC-1/VC-9 should be an obvious contender as well.

According to the Xbox 360 spec sheet, it is also supposed to be able to serve as a basic entertainment center at least by allowing the user to rip music onto the internal hard drive.

Sprechen Zie Linux?

I really ought to mention that I will be giving two presentations at LinuxTag, the premier Linux event in Europe:

Yep, I represent the “Loose Confederation Of Multimedia Hackers”. Distinguished. Anyway, the title of my main talk is clearly inspired by this blog. I plan to present an overview of different techniques used to get at proprietary algorithms needed to implement free software, including, but not limited to, binary software reverse engineering.

The second talk, an evening event, is another of my “Trash Multimedia” presentations where the audience gets to see where multimedia went right and wrong. The emphasis here will be on technologies that were reverse engineered.

So come one, come all! Also, I am by no means the only multimedia hacker scheduled for this event. Some other multimedia-related talks: