China readies Blu-Ray competitor
People's techromancers revive HD-DVD
Some Chinese consumer electronics companies are good and tired of signing royalty checks to foreigners for a new generation of high definition optical discs, but are they too late to make a change?
Shanghai United Optical Disc today announced it has completed the first production line for China Blue High-definition (CBHD) disc format, a new competitor for Blu-Ray. DigiTimes reports via enorth.com.cn. Volume production will begin in the fourth quarter of 2008 for the China market initially.
Oh dear, it appears someone buried their old HD-DVD player in an cursed Micmac Indian burial ground. Sometimes dead is better, folks.
CBHD, formally known as CH-DVD, is a Chinese version of Toshiba's now-deceased HD-DVD format. Added to CBHD is various Chinese-made and approved technologies such as advanced copy protection and the ability to use a government owned DRA audio and AVS video codec.
CBHD obviously faces considerable challenges - namely Blu-Ray which enjoys a significant head start. Entry-level Blue-Ray players have also sharply declined in price as the format gained traction worldwide and HD-DVD became extinct.
CBHD also doesn't have the backing of any major Hollywood studio. (Not that a lack of blessing has historically injured Chinese home movie sales.)
The advantage of CBHD is manufacturing price. Apparently, a production line of DVDs can be fitted to make CBHD discs for a mere $800,000, compared to the $3m needed to do the same for Blu-Ray.
Vendors also pay a royalty of 55 yuan (about $8.10) to make a CBHD player, which beats Sony's Blu-Ray fee.
The benefits for end-users? That kind of talk has no place in an HD format discussion. Have you learned nothing from the previous format war?
But before CBHD is written off as DOA, consider that China is a very big market with plenty of room to grow. China is also becoming less inclined to accept tech taxation without representation.
HD-DVD's last gasp may stir interesting new winds. ®
A hit in China, elsewhere, probably not
The real advantage will be that the players for CH-DVD will be quite cheap [which will force BlueRay players to drop prices]. The Chinese government will definitely bach CH-DVD over the imperialist designed [but probably Chinese made] Blue Ray players.
Problem is that with no Hollywood or game company backing, what will they be used for? It is suppost to have better copy protection. But to protect what if you can't get a game or movie on it?
And remember - don't lick them!
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@A J Stiles
It's been many, many moons since the VHS/Betamax war. Yes, the porn industry swayed that battle in the favour of VHS, but a little thing called the intertubes has been invented since then. It is made of 99% porn, and 1% fail.
This battle is already won. Done and finished. Look in a shop next time your in your local town center. There has already been a very large investment in BluRay, far too much for it to ever fade away again. It is here to stay, and over the next 3-5 years, DVD's will start to dwindle just like VHS did.