Did you see the news? Yesterday, Microsoft announced that there will be a new Zune released later this year: the Zune HD. Besides the “HD” component, which will deliver HD Radio and HD video, the new Zune will also feature an OLED screen with multitouch capabilities.
If you’re unfamiliar with HD Radio, it’s basically terrestrial radio but broadcast in digital instead of analog. A lot of traditional radio stations broadcast simultaneously in HD Radio along with their analog signals. You can see which ones do so in your area at hdradio.com.
The other major HD feature in the new Zune is support for playing back HD video from the Zune to an HDTV. The Zune will connect through an HDMI docking station to hook up to your TV.
Speaking of the big screen, Zune content will also be available on your TV through another platform: the Xbox Live Marketplace. The new Zune-branded service will soon occupy the first slot in the Xbox user interface, taking over the existing video marketplace. However, details on how this integration will work won’t be revealed until the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) next week.
The Zune HD’s OLED screen will be great for watching video with its 16:9 widescreen display (480x272 resolution), especially since OLED delivers richer colors and blacker blacks than an LCD screen. Even better, the screen will offer multitouch capabilities which can also be used in the new full-screen web browser.