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China creates own high-def optical format; could spell HD DVD/Blu-ray Disc price drops

While western market consumers deal with HD DVD, Blu-ray Disc, and perhaps soon HD VMD, the Chinese market will get its own separate high-definition optical format specific to its region.

The Optical Memory National Engineering Research Center (OMNERC), a laboratory dedicated to optical disc research at Tsinghua University in Beijing, announced last week CH-DVD – which stands for China High Definition DVD – as a new generation high definition DVD format.

Rather than developing a completely new technology, CH-DVD is based on HD DVD technology, which means the employment of blue-violet lasers rather than the red lasers used in regular DVD.

The development and realization CH-DVD technology is supported by the Chinese government. It is currently unclear if the DVD Forum – those responsible for the HD DVD specification – had any part in developing the format. The Chinese group behind CH-DVD, however, is partnering with the DVD Forum and other related bodies to form the China High Definition DVD Industry Association.

Perhaps in hopes of keeping the abundance of piracy in China at bay, CH-DVD is said to adopt an “advanced copy protection technology” that the Chinese government hopes to effectively prevent the spread of pirated copy. It’s unknown if CH-DVD is using a new form of copy protection, though the AACS scheme used by Blu-ray Disc and HD DVD was defeated earlier this year.

The China High Definition DVD Industry Association said that it will “make a big push to launch CH-DVD player into the Chinese market in 2008” and “encourage all related industries to... to make the transition from standard definition DVD to high definition DVD.”

Although the development of a foreign high-definition format may be relatively meaningless to North American and European consumers, the fact that China is formally adopting a blue-violet laser technology could have far reaching effects on production costs of Blu-ray Disc and HD DVD hardware.

Assuming that the optical assemblies for CH-DVD are similar, manufacturers of HD DVD and Blu-ray Disc players may be able to take advantage of the scale of Chinese production. Inexpensive, made-in-China high-definition machines have already been begun showing up on the radar with Venturer Electronics’ HD DVD player along with the hint of Wal-Mart’s own special HD-player deal.

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By Mitch101 on 9/11/2007 11:57:35 AM , Rating: 2
CH-DVD is said to adopt an “advanced copy protection technology” that the Chinese government hopes to effectively prevent the spread of pirated copy. It’s unknown if CH-DVD is using a new form of copy protection, though the AACS scheme used by Blu-ray Disc and HD DVD was defeated earlier this year.

China is all of a sudden concerned over copy protection?

Isnt this the country capable of copying/cloning anything within days? Selling fake drugs that are made from crushed sheetrock and road paint?

Somehow I think CH-DVD spells bootleg movie industry. Not sure how yet but in a few months Im sure were going to hear about large quantities of bootleg HD movies coming from China.

RE: What?
By FITCamaro on 9/11/2007 12:43:26 PM , Rating: 3
Im sure were going to hear about large quantities of bootleg HD movies coming from China.

How will that be any different from today?

RE: What?
By animedude on 9/11/2007 4:11:49 PM , Rating: 2
Higher quality

RE: What?
By Scrogneugneu on 9/11/2007 9:57:05 PM , Rating: 2
So I could buy a 4000$ TV, a 300$ player, and then get FREE PIRATED HD MOVIES FROM CHINA?

Boy, I'm in.

RE: What?
By cheetah2k on 9/11/2007 11:16:30 PM , Rating: 2
Technically speaking no. Here in Hong Kong/Macau, us foreigners call the copies - "Dodgy DVD's" and usually consist of DVD-5 thru to DVD-9 versions. Supposedly DVD-9 is better than DVD-5, but in reality thats a bit of BS and a good excuse to charge HK$10 more per copy.

Most of these in any case are cinema camera versions selling for about HK$20 or ~US$2.50 a pop.

On the odd occasion, you actually get a good copy, but no better than a BT download.

RE: What?
By animedude on 9/12/2007 11:54:20 PM , Rating: 2
Bandwidth cost money.

RE: What?
By MrPoletski on 9/12/2007 9:50:17 AM , Rating: 2

RE: What?
By Vanilla Thunder on 9/11/2007 5:36:38 PM , Rating: 2
Selling fake drugs that are made from crushed sheetrock and road paint?

Were you a victim of a placebo drug purchase in China?


RE: What?
By cheetah2k on 9/11/2007 11:24:48 PM , Rating: 2
I doubt it, but the comment is so true.

Drug copies are so bad in this region that over >10k inocent people are permanently harmed or die from fakes every year.

In addition to this comment on copies - the Chinese are getting so over the top these days, that they are releasing their try hard versions before the actual real versions are released.

Two good examples - The Nokia N95, and the Apple iPhone

It just goes to show that no one is in control.

I also think people will get a big shock during the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. I can already forsee 2 major negative comments from the games - 1. Pollution, and 2. The Rude attitude of the local people.

By nace186 on 9/11/2007 11:20:59 AM , Rating: 2
Sony Blu-Ray have Playstation 3 to push the format, now HD-DVD have China CH-DVD to push it also.

According to Engadget, CH-DVD are compatible with HD-DVD players with minor firmware upgrade.

This format war is far from over.

RE: untitle
By mdogs444 on 9/11/2007 11:26:22 AM , Rating: 2
CH-DVD may make a difference overseas, but wont make much a difference here. Movie studios are still siding with HD, BD, or both. All CH does is make another format compatible with HD-DVD for use in China.

I dont think the "format war" is all its hyped up to be. Regardless what anyone wants to believe, the amount of people that are already siding with one format, as well as the number of people truly interested in High Def DVD's (HD & BD) is a very miniscule number.

RE: untitle
By logaldinho on 9/11/2007 11:44:02 AM , Rating: 3
actually china supporting and building players based on hd-dvd is a huge success for the hd-dvd camp in america. with china switching over to building the blue-violet lasers necessary for hd-dvd players it spells a price drop in the USA combined with the fact that walmart will soon be selling cheap hd-dvd players.

when that happens movie studios will have to follow the market which means hd-dvd ends up getting a huge leg up. all those studios that claim to only support BD will change their tune when they see the hd-dvds flying off walmart shelves.

RE: untitle
By Strunf on 9/11/2007 2:15:07 PM , Rating: 2
If you had read the news you would have noticed that Blu-ray uses the same laser...

And I don't see any reason to think the price of the players will drop just cause China now builds them... if the guys on the HD-DVD or BR camp want to make you pay they will do it regardless of how much it costs them to make the players.

RE: untitle
By dever on 9/11/2007 3:48:47 PM , Rating: 2
Pure genius.

RE: untitle
By Locutus465 on 9/11/2007 9:47:59 PM , Rating: 2
Fair point about the lasers, though china building hardware that is generally HD-DVD compatible en-mass will help with pricing... Ever notice where every single one of your electronics come from?

As far as your comment about wanting to make people pay through the nose... Considering you can already get HD-DVD hardware in the $200 range (not just x-box upgrade, but stand alone as well), I guess you're referring to blueray?/

RE: untitle
By Shawn on 9/12/2007 5:30:39 PM , Rating: 2
sure they both use blue lasers but CH DVD uses the same hardware as HD DVD. the only difference is the video codec.

By omnicronx on 9/11/2007 11:30:03 AM , Rating: 2
And i almost shat a brick when i saw there would be 3 formats.... but now 4? When is someone going to draw the line..

RE: wtf
By masher2 on 9/11/2007 11:56:03 AM , Rating: 3
Never fear. These formats are all nearly identical. All this means is that, if CH-DVD becomes popular, it'll be added to the standard list of formats supported by your average multi-format player.

RE: wtf
By johnsonx on 9/11/2007 12:26:33 PM , Rating: 2
yes, there are already some Chinese-market Video formats that are supported by most players. Indeed, those who make DVD's from TiVo streams to be played on set top boxes can thank the Chinese for the fact that most players play them no problem, even though the video resolution (480x480) is not an official DVD resolution.
I think SVCD is also essentially a Chinese format, though I doubt people use it much any more.

RE: wtf
By theapparition on 9/11/2007 12:42:30 PM , Rating: 2
I think the point of CH-DVD is that it won't be supported over here (easily) as a symbol of China's commitment to stop piracy. Same reasoning behind the "way to late to the party" EVD format. Will it have any effect? I doubt it.
It also has the side benefit (at least with EVD) of less royalties to pay.

RE: wtf
By borowki on 9/11/2007 2:17:38 PM , Rating: 2
EVD actually makes some sense. Using a new video codec over existing discs mean they could have just built it into every $30 DVD player that's shipped. A new China-only format is pointless in this day and age.

By nerdye on 9/11/2007 11:24:39 AM , Rating: 5
With all the new formats that equal battles and endless discussion I'm kinda fealing like supporting wgf-dvd, because "Who Gives a F__K - DVD" is what i'm in the mood for at the moment.

RE: wgf-dvd!
By cpeter38 on 9/11/2007 1:06:49 PM , Rating: 2
I'd give you a 6 if I could !!!

Ahhh the power of China
By Darkskypoet on 9/11/2007 4:51:31 PM , Rating: 2
In case one forgets, it was Chinese manufacturing that put a dvd player into every North American and possibly European household.

So Enter CH-DVD... More then likely pretty much identical to HD-DVD where it counts. Manufacturing of players. Considering also that once they start (if it hasn't happened already) manufacturing the lasers and associated parts that they don't already manufacture; the price of multi format (read blue laser) players will fall through the floor. If they are so inclined (bribed by one consortium over the other in the only currency that matters tech transfer) THEN PERHAPS you'll see one format gain easy support over another with the flood of players that will hit from the chinese mainland. If not, the CH DVD spec simply legitimizes the use of HD-DVD tech for domestic and export use. Which coincidently allows for Blue Ray player manufacturing as well.

Most Japanese companies manufacture in china already, and the ability for the Chinese to counterfeit nearly any technology or other manufactured good that exists in the world is legendary.

Thus this format is a nice way to legitimately build HD and blue ray capable multi-format devices that would simply require some firmware to play discs other then the CH-DVD standard.

Way to go China! Congrats on your beautiful accelerating Industrial Revolution. Your industrial prowess will bring many millions the same materialistic happiness we enjoy over here.

RE: Ahhh the power of China
By cheetah2k on 9/11/2007 11:31:12 PM , Rating: 2
And congrats China, for programming all those China made iNTEL CPU's, DVD players, TV's etc with hidden "shut-down code" to bring our lives to a grinding hault when they decide to invade....

RE: Ahhh the power of China
By Darkskypoet on 9/12/2007 9:12:06 AM , Rating: 2
LoL... Yes. Cause that would make sense. Why invade a country when you can simply own it? Invading is messy, and expensive to boot (Iraq anyone). Far better to simply buy it chunk by chunk overtime.

As well, with he amount of U.S debt owned by China... If they really wanted to do damage there are far better economic ways to do so.

Invading is so yesterday... Besides, shhhhh. your not supposed to tell any one ;)

By Captain Orgazmo on 9/11/2007 6:20:52 PM , Rating: 2
I don't really get why a new disc format is even needed at this time: commercially pressed DVDs can hold 9GB, and cost pennies, and the drives needed to read them are damn cheap ($15 new for PC drives - read only that is). Encode the movie in H.264 or VC-1 and audio in AAC or Vorbis or something, and you can easily fit a 2 hour movie in pure 1920x1080P60. Heck you can even fit 1440x1080P30 (anamorphic) encoded in x264 on a regular DVD-R. An integrated H.264 encoder like those found on the AMD/ATI HD 2400/2600 video cards costs less than $50. So a player capable of playing such a format should retail around $100 (even including HDMI connectors and royalties and such).

By Captain Orgazmo on 9/11/2007 6:24:42 PM , Rating: 2
"integrated H.264 encoder"

-Whoops, meant decoder. Specifically referring to ATI's UVD (a hardware decoder chip which offloads much of H.264 decoding from the CPU).

By kmmatney on 9/12/2007 1:14:12 AM , Rating: 2
I think such a format would confuse everybody - DVD disks that are encoded in such aa way that they won't work in any existing DVD players. Best to make a new disk format at the same time as changing everything else.

Watch out
By LCC2286 on 9/11/2007 12:09:31 PM , Rating: 5
for the high lead content.
I kid I kid

New format? More like copy format
By jvc920 on 9/11/2007 1:59:27 PM , Rating: 3
Leave it to the Chinese to copy something and put their name on it. Their way of stopping piracy of DVD’s, thats just too funny.

By DeepBlue1975 on 9/11/2007 8:02:00 PM , Rating: 2
I think I've read somewhere about a new breakthrough among china's physics scientists:

They are talking about something called "Chinetic energy", which equals a half of the chimass times the chisquare of the speednese.

By Sungpooz on 9/11/2007 5:06:26 PM , Rating: 1
Perhaps in hopes of keeping the abundance of piracy in China at bay, CH-DVD is said to adopt an “advanced copy protection technology” that the Chinese government hopes to effectively prevent the spread of pirated copy.

Perhaps in hopes of confusing the terrorists, The United States invaded Iraq.

Bit Torrent
By acer905 on 9/11/07, Rating: 0
"The Space Elevator will be built about 50 years after everyone stops laughing" -- Sir Arthur C. Clarke

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