Skip to main content

Zune HD, iTouch Bring HD to Tiny Screen

HD screens usually come in big, bold sizes, but their presence is being felt in the other direction, as well. Microsoft’s announcement in late May that it will take on Apple’s iTouch with its own Zune HD provides some vital competition in the growing (no pun intended) small-screen arena just in time for the advent of ATSC Mobile TV from broadcasters.

While neither the upcoming Zune launch nor the iTouch is expected to include chips to enable the ATSC mobile scheme in the very near future, the Zune will now provide one more potential mobile device for mobile TV. (In fact, nearly all Apple i-products these days have video capabilities, notably the 3G iPhone.)

Coming next fall, the Zune HD with flash memory will boast a touchscreen like the iTouch, and will include software to play HD movies, surf the Internet, as well as contain (and NAB will love this one) an HD Radio tuner. (It also likely will be the first really small portable device to include “HD” in its name.)

Microsoft plans to begin offering the Zune video service starting next fall in North America and several European markets.