New Xbox 360 dashboard video playback issues reported

The recent Xbox 360 dashboard update may come with a load of new video apps--but apparently, video playback itself has been borked by the recent firmware upgrade.

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The recent Xbox 360 dashboard update may come with a load of new video apps--but apparently, video playback itself has been borked by the recent firmware upgrade.

The new dashboard forces video content to be run at "limited range RGB levels," versus "full range" RGB as the console previously did. The end result is a washed out look that has many videophiles quite unhappy.

Eurogamer's Digital Foundry blog has damning evidence, concluding that "the video player in the new interface doesn't work properly any more." Tests comparing Xbox 360s before and after the update show that colors are far less pronounced after the update, and blacks become more like grays. The site concludes that this "bug" highlights far more video compression artifacts due to the system's faulty color reproduction. "Macroblocking that would be otherwise be less apparent within darker colors is now more readily visible."

Digital Foundry used Photoshop color level histograms to analyze output from Xbox 360 systems before and after the update, and noticed "a standard limited vs. full range RGB comparison." The report doesn't offer any solutions, because while adjusting monitor settings can help video playback, gameplay (which is unaffected by this glitch) would then be adjusted correctly as well.

We've contacted Microsoft to see if there are plans to correct this bug with a future system software update.

From The Chatty
  • reply
    December 19, 2011 6:30 AM

    Andrew Yoon posted a new article, New Xbox 360 dashboard video playback issues reported.

    The recent Xbox 360 dashboard update may come with a load of new video apps--but apparently, video playback itself has been borked by the recent firmware upgrade.

    • reply
      December 19, 2011 6:44 AM

      I had multiple cases where the Netflix app crapped the bed. First I got "Output protection" errors. Fixed that by unplugging everything and starting over. Then, sound on certain shows would cut out, stutter, and come back after about 30 seconds. Happened 3 times over a half hour period. Haven't had time to play around much beyond that. I watched another show for about 30 minutes with no problems. All of this started with the new update.

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      December 19, 2011 8:15 AM

      Well, so far I haven't had any major issues nor have I noticed any difference in video playback of any kind. Then again, my HDTV isn't the greatest so I probably wouldn't notice it anyways. And while the new interface has some little quirks here and there, I think it is pretty cool overall and I like that the Kinect integration is more unified throughout (especially the voice recognition stuff). Then again, I like messing with new technologies and such.

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      December 19, 2011 8:30 AM

      i use this all the time and never noticed.

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      December 19, 2011 8:32 AM

      I've heard it only happens when you have your color settings incorrect on the system... plus, who uses wmvs?

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        December 19, 2011 11:26 AM

        I would disagree since the only people who have really noticed are those that actually take the time to calibrate their TVs. Blacks definitely look grey to me no matter what the video source is on the 360 (outside of games).

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          December 19, 2011 12:57 PM

          Again, that was only what I've heard, so I can't say for sure. The color settings I meant weren't TV calibration settings though - there are settings on the 360 that allow you to change the color format.

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            December 19, 2011 2:55 PM

            I know that. I am saying that people who do not even take the time to calibrate a TV probably are not a good source for being able to tell if colors are fucked. However those that do most likely also know to have their settings set properly.

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      December 19, 2011 8:37 AM

      Netflix does this weird gradual decompression rather than seemingly determining the quality based on your internet connection like it used to.

      The video looks like shit at first and gradually just gets better. Not sure why they changed the app so much, its a turd now.

      though I will say it IS a major improvement on the iPad.

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        December 19, 2011 9:52 AM

        They are using adaptive decompression. It should improve seamlessly, but it sucks that it starts at YouTube 240p levels.

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      December 19, 2011 9:03 AM

      have they also confirmed that HDCP is fucked up for a ton of users?

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        December 19, 2011 10:32 AM

        I get an HDCP error when launching Netflix. I'm using a HDMI --> DVI cable to hook it up to my Dell u2311h monitor and it worked fine before the update. The monitor is HDCP compliant, not sure about the monoprice cable but it worked fine before.

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          December 19, 2011 11:01 AM

          Take your system all the day down, including unplugging the tv/monitor. That solved issue one for me. Issue two, the sound problems, persist for certain titles.

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          December 19, 2011 1:43 PM

          I had to change my resolution from 1080p to 720p to fix it

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      December 19, 2011 9:36 AM

      the youtube app plays videos with the audio slightly out of sync for me, also it never plays HD versions of the videos, even though HD videos load really fast on my laptop

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        December 19, 2011 9:37 AM

        the whole interface for searching for videos on there is also horrible, and it's not possible to view new videos from your subscriptions, you only get an alphabetical list of channels you're subscribed to, which is useless