Zune HD Spec Sheet Reveals Video Format Support, Battery Life (Updated)

What kinds of videos will you be able to play on that luscious OLED screen? And for how long? Your answers: not that many, and for a qualified "up to" four hours. UPDATE: The spec sheet was incorrect, in a good way.

To be fair to Microsoft, iPod video format support is pretty horribly limited, but wide codec compatibility would've been something of a coup for the the Zune HD. As it stands, here's what it can handle:

Windows Media Video (WMV) (.wmv) – Main and Simple Profile, CBR or VBR, up to 3.0 Mbps peak video bit rate; 720 pixels x 480 pixels up to 30 frames per second (or 720 pixels x 576 pixels up to 25 frames per second). Zune software will transcode HD WMV files at device sync.
MPEG-4 (MP4/M4V) (.mp4) Part 2 video3– Simple Profile up to 2.5 Mbps peak video bit rate; 720 pixels x 480 pixels up to 30 frames per second (or 720 pixels x 576 pixels up to 25 frames per second). Zune software will transcode HD MPEG-4 files at device sync.
H.264 video – Baseline Profile up to 2.5 Mbps peak video bit rate; 720 pixels x 480 pixels up to 30 frames per second (or 720 pixels x 576 pixels up to 25 frames per second). Zune software will transcode HD H.264 files at device sync. DVR-MS4 – Zune software will transcode at time of sync.

720p playback will only come by means of an external dock connector—not that the 480 x 272 screen could display it anyway, or that it would matter on a device this size. In any case, this is fine—transcoding video is something we're used to for portable devices, and past Zune software has been serviceable. About that battery life, though:

Music, up to 24 hours (wireless off); video, up to 4 hours* (They've since changed this—see below)

24 hours is plenty for music playback, though it's well under the iPod Touch's (admittedly inflated) 36h claim, and we'll have to see how well the battery holds up during radio playback and, most importantly, web browsing. The video figure is concerning though, not just because it's kinda low, but because that asterisk points down to "320 x 240 WMV9 500 Kbps" video—well below that maximum possible playback quality. Is Tegra a little bit of a battery hog?

UPDATE: Microsoft has come out and said their spec page was incorrect—the real figures are 33 hours of music playback and 8.5 hours of video—better than the iPod Touch on both fronts. As you were! [Microsoft via Engadget]