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Blu-ray Disc body grants licences to Chinese firms

Cheaper players en-route?

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The Blu-ray Disc Association (BDA) has granted licences to 11 China-based manufacturers, potentially paving the way for a wider selection of hardware based on the HD format.

According to a report by DigiTimes, Masayuki Kozuka, general manager for Matsushita Electric Industrial’s storage device business and himself a BDA official, let slip the information during a recent high-tech trade fair in China.

Format and Logo Licence Agreements, according to the BDA, allow licensees to use specifications solely to develop, manufacture and sell BD products. It also allows for use of the BD logo.

It’s thought that the BDA has granted such licences to a range of companies, including China Hualu Panasonic AVC Networks - a joint venture between Panasonic and the China-based Hualu Group - and Desay.

The licences are rumoured to cover Blu-ray research and development, alongside production and marketing of Blu-ray discs, players and drives. Volume production, as a result of the 11 licences, is rumoured to begin in 2009.

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