Xbox 360's HD-DVD uses 4.7 million lines of code

As a result of the complexities of decoding HD DVD audio and video content, as well as providing a user interface and DRM, over 4.7 million lines of code went into the HD DVD software. The external HD-DVD drive can play H.264, MPEG2 and VC1 videos. There is no hardware HD DVD decoder chip set on board the Xbox 360. As a result, the HD DVD subsystem is almost entirely written in software. It's one of the most demanding applications written for the 360 to date, using up all six of the system's hardware threads.

Shaheen Gandhi, an Xbox 360 engineer, said: "At the moment, the player software pushes Xbox 360 harder than any other (save, perhaps, Gears of War during some particularly busy parts of the game)."

News source: Team Xbox

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

Half-Life 2's graphics on Xbox 360

Next Story

Microsoft Office 2007 RTM Screenshot Gallery

21 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

Its not that hard to imagine lol. But seriously though its good that its pushing the 360 to the limit. If it didnt why build it to that specification its like buying a ferrari and driving it 10mph everywhere. Youve got to open it up sometimes. Of course the code will be optimized anyway its not like its running on a calculator, Then I could see the problem

It's funny how everyone here assumes that this could've been done better and that it's too much code. God, some people are soo foolish and misinformed.

Yes, because we all know Microsoft has a history of excelling at code efficiency. It's not the amount of code that's been written, it's how well it works and the fact it pushes the incredibly powerful Xbox 360 to such limits it's quite obvious there is still work to be done.

Why is it "obvious theres still work to be done"? Playing HD movies on many pc's is taxing enough for the system with many not being able to play a 2minute HD trailer smoothly. Movie playback is a very very processor expensive task and pushing it all to software isn't going to help. I'm not referring to old Pentium 2's either. Many pretty decent systems simply struggle at this task.

If it had been done in hardware then the story would be different but theres likely many reasons as to why it wasnt done in hardware starting with the fact the Xbox doesn't include the hardware to do it and possibly a cost factor too.

Lastly does it really matter if it uses a few threads? It's not like you'll be playing a game as the dvd runs. Give it 6 months and I'm sure many of the games will be taxing the system just as much as this and GoW are now.

If they did that, then that means the raw video would go from the player to the console over an unencrypted channel, which anyone could use to pull movies off the disc. I don't think the movie industry would be too happy about that.

Over 4.7 million lines?

...
/* 4.699.997 Bill Gates Rulz */
/* 4.699.998 Bill Gates Rulz */
/* 4.699.999 Bill Gates Rulz */
Set Active HD_DVD=1;

IMHO 7 millions of line of code is equal to 7'000 worker hours, not counting debug. So in a 1 man work its equal to 3 years.

I'm sure they could have done a better job than this. From what I remember the Toshiba HD-DVD players are just PC's in a box (using the Pentium 4, running some Unix based operating system).

too much code just to play an (stupid?) movie. And the worse part, is that this might short the life of your xbox 360.

Quote - ThePitt said @ #4
that this might short the life of your xbox 360.

How? I fail to see how it would do so significantly.