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DVD Forum kicks off HD DVD region-coding scheme

Open market set to close

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The DVD Forum, the organisation which oversees the DVD and HD DVD formats, looks set to introduce a region-coding system for the next-generation optical disc technology next year.

The moves was signalled in May this year, when the Forum set up a working group to "develop a specification and enforcement plan for RPC [Region Protection Coding] on HD DVD Video, including region map and requirements in consultation with the studios".

That will disappoint many consumers who hoped studios would abandon the largely unpopular region-fixing system introduced with the DVD format. To date, HD DVDs have not been tied to a specific region.

That should change next year, it emerged yesterday at a DVD Forum meeting in Japan.

Rival format Blu-ray Disc also has a region-coding system, though it encompasses fewer regions than the DVD approach. ®

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