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China unveils home HD disc format for the Olympics

Reports have been circulating citing Chinese research firm CCID Consulting that suggests the country is developing red-laser based high-definition disc technology. However, it would appear that this is not new and may be referring to the multi-layered EVD format the Chinese worked on for a while, but have since abandoned.

In reality, China is set to launch officially its own high definition disc format on 8 August for the Olympics. A demonstration took place last week.

The CH-DVD format, recently renamed China Blue High Definition (CBHD), was developed by the China High Definition DVD Industry Association (CHDA) and the Optical Memory National Engineering Research Center (OMNERC) at Tsinghua University in close collaboration with the DVD Forum with whom review approval authority remains as CBHD is based on HD DVD. The key difference lays in the modulation code – 8-12 Mod for HD DVD, 4-6 Mod for CBHD. The format uses a codec (Advanced Audio Video Encoding Standard in Information Technology) that is owned by the Chinese government.

Though the high cost of Blu-ray makes it unlikely to develop rapidly or even successfully in China, so far, 11 domestic manufacturers have joined the Blu-ray Disc Association, and thus given a licence to use the BD patents which will allow them to manufacture Blu-ray discs and players.

Some observers note that the main problem with Blu-ray in China is AACS licencing, the high price of which may act as a deterrent.

Story filed 01.06.08

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