In response to the overwhelming interest in these products, Fire International has made the decision to combine the functionality of the HDTV Game Player and HDTV DVD Movie Player into one great-value application. The result is that one of the most eagerly anticipated PS2 upgrades will be known as XPLODER HDTV PLAYER.
Scheduled for UK release on September 1st 2006, with an RRP of £29.99 (€49.99) the Xploder HDTV Player will be available to buy from the online store at www.xploder.net
International distribution will also begin in September, with availability from all regular Xploder / Blaze stockists. Regular updates will also be posted on www.xploder.net to inform consumers of local availability of the Xploder HDTV Player.
Fire has also prepared an FAQ document (see below) which has been created in response to the many enquiries received about how the HDTV Player works.
Xploder HDTV Player FAQs
What is Xploder? And who are Fire International Ltd.?
Fire International (Fire) develops, manufactures and supplies worldwide a comprehensive range of console and PC based media management and video game enhancement utilities under the Xploder brand-name.
Fire’s Xploder technology powers the GameShark brand for Mad Catz in the US, Xterminator for Gametech in Japan and the Xploder software that is bundled with the Lexar Gaming Edition PSP Memory Stick Duo, amongst others.
Proprietary products include: Xploder Movie Player and Music Studio for PSP, Xploder Media Centre for XBOX 360, Xploder Media Centre for PS2, Xploder Cheat Saves for Nintendo DS and Xploder Media Centre for iPod, and more…
As an MPEG4/AAC licensee, Fire provide advanced media conversion of video and music for use on PSP, Xbox 360, PS2, DS, Mobile Handsets and iPod as a single access point.
Is the HDTV Player changing the code within games so that they display in HD?
No, the Xploder HDTV Player does not change the code within games. It enables progressive scan, so instead of outputting odd/even fields it outputs 448/512 lines to the CRT output.
Does the HDTV player use additional hardware?
The Xploder HDTV Player does not use any additional hardware in converting the signal; it is purely a software product. The disc does comes bundled with a PS2 component cable for the HDTV output, and a VGA Adaptor cable is available separately for those who wish to use a VGA connection.
Does using the software slow games down?
Games render at their native resolution - therefore Xploder HDTV Player does not take-up any additional processing power.
The PS2 hardware isn't capable of outputting 720p and 1080i
Contrary to popular belief, the PlayStation 2 can output 480p, 720p, 1080i modes via a Component cable. In addition the PS2 supports the following VESA modes (via VGA adaptor): · 640 x 480 (60,72, 75, 85hz)
· 800 x 600 (56, 60, 72, 75,85hz)
· 1024 x 768 (60, 70, 75, 85hz)
· 1280 x 1024 (60, 75hz)
Will games suffer from stretching and distortion?
The 480p mode is recommended for optimum performance on most PS2 games. Some games may experience distortion in the higher resolution modes.
Doesn’t my HDTV already up-convert lower resolution signals to High Definition, regardless of the source?
Displaying interlaced video on progressive displays (LCD, Plasma) results in motion artefacts called “combing”, the Xploder HDTV avoids this by sending video frames in progressive mode (where possible).
Do the games have to be formatted in HD?
No, the games do not have to be formatted in HD to be used with the Xploder HDTV Player.
You can't increase the quality of the source.
Progressive mode sends twice the number of lines per frame (game permitting), so the resolution is increased vertically (interlaces games need 2 screen updates, or twice the amount of time to send the same video data).
There has been a lot of reference to up-converting/up-scaling and de-interlacing. Which of these best describes the HDTV Player?
Progressive mode and up-scaling best describe the method used by the Xploder HDTV Player.
Does the device interpolate (or add pixels).
The Xploder HDTV Player does not interpolate. It works by enabling progressive scan output, so instead of sending half the lines per frame it sends all of them. This has noticeable improvements in movement, especially on HDTV sets; artefacts such as combing are no long present. The software does not create extra lines (or interpolate).
Will this work with all PS2 games?
We have already successfully tested Xploder HDTV Player with hundreds of games, however there may ultimately be a small number of games that the Xploder HDTV is not compatible with due to circumstances outside of our control. Our comprehensive testing programme will continue as new games are released.
How does the Enhanced DVD player for PS2 work?
Like the Games Player, it works by enabling progressive scan output, so instead of sending half the lines per frame it sends all of them. This has noticeable improvements in movement, especially on HDTV sets; artefacts such as combing are no long present. The software does not create extra lines (or interpolate).
Can I play DVDs in 720p and 1080i?
Yes, DVD movies can be played in 720p or 1080i modes. However for optimum playback on most TVs 480p mode is recommended.
Is there a loss in image quality on DVD playback?
No, there is no loss in image quality on DVD playback, in fact playback is visibly more crisp and significantly enhanced.