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HTC Confirms March Driver Fix

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HTC will release an update for its handsets in the wake of heavy criticism (and even Class Action) for not enabling hardware video acceleration - but it's not the update we wanted...

Speaking to DailyTech, HTC spokesman Eric Lin told owners the company is planning to give them a software patch which will boost many features on the Touch series of TYTN II (above)/Tilt, Mogul/XV6900 devices, but not enable the fabled ATI Imageon hardware video acceleration.

As a former HTC TyTN owner (another device that suffered from a lack of Imageon activation) I can speak from experience that this does drastically effect screen responsiveness - especially when redrawing the screen as it switches between portrait and landscape orientation - so this isn't really satisfactory news.

As could be expected it all comes down to money with HTC not prepared to pay the additional licence fee to ATI required to make use of Imageon. It will however dig deep to get this feature working on future models.

If you're happy with HTC's alternative attempt at placation check out the long official statement from Lin below. On the other hand, if you're fuming then best look away now...

"HTC DOES plan to offer software upgrades that will increase feature functionality, over the air wireless speeds and other enhancements for some of the phones being criticized, but we do not anticipate including any additional support for the video acceleration issues cited in customer complaints. It is important for customers to understand that bringing this functionality to market is not a trivial driver update and requires extensive software development and time.

HTC will utilize hardware video acceleration like the ATI Imageon in many upcoming products. Our users have made it clear that they expect our products to offer an improved visual experience, and we have included this feedback into planning and development of future products.

To address lingering questions about HTC's current MSM 7xxx devices, it is important to establish that a chipset like an MSM7xxx is a platform with a vast multitude of features that enable a wide range of devices with varied functionality. It is common that devices built on platforms like Qualcomm's will not enable every feature or function.

In addition to making sure the required hardware is present, unlocking extended capabilities of chipsets like the MSM 7xxx requires in-depth and time consuming software development, complicated licensing negotiations, potential intellectual property negotiations, added licensing fees, and in the case of devices that are sold through operators, the desire of the operator to include the additional functionality. To make an informed decision about which handset suits them best, consumers should look at the product specification itself instead of using the underlying chipset specifications to define what the product could potentially become."


It's why I switched to an iPhone…

Update: HTC has made a second far more promising statement. Fingers' crossed:

'Some of our top engineers have investigated video performance on our devices and have discovered a fix that they claim will dramatically improve performance for common on-screen tasks like scrolling and the like. Their fix would help most of our recent touch-screen products including the Touch family of devices and TYTN II / Tilt, Mogul / XV6900. The update is in testing and we hope to release it soon. However this fix is not a new video driver to utilize hardware acceleration; it is a software optimization. Video drivers are a much more complicated issue that involves companies and engineers beyond HTC alone. We do not want to lead anyone to believe they should expect these.

To explain why we are not releasing video acceleration instead of the optimization I offer you our official statement... "HTC DOES plan to offer software upgrades that will increase feature functionality, over the air wireless speeds and other enhancements for some of the phones being criticized, but we do not anticipate including any additional support for the video acceleration issues cited in customer complaints. It is important for customers to understand that bringing this functionality to market is not a trivial driver update and requires extensive software development and time. HTC will utilize hardware video acceleration like the ATI Imageon in many upcoming products. Our users have made it clear that they expect our products to offer an improved visual experience, and we have included this feedback into planning and development of future products.

To address lingering questions about HTC's current MSM 7xxx devices, it is important to establish that a chipset like an MSM7xxx is a platform with a vast multitude of features that enable a wide range of devices with varied functionality. It is common that devices built on platforms like Qualcomm's will not enable every feature or function. In addition to making sure the required hardware is present, unlocking extended capabilities of chipsets like the MSM 7xxx requires in-depth and time consuming software development, complicated licensing negotiations, potential intellectual property negotiations, added licensing fees, and in the case of devices that are sold through operators, the desire of the operator to include the additional functionality. To make an informed decision about which handset suits them best, consumers should look at the product specification itself instead of using the underlying chipset specifications to define what the product could potentially become."

Link:
DailyTech Report

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