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Sunday, January 16, 2005
Philips crackdown on DVD royalties issue may benefit FVD players

According to DigiTimes, Philips Electronics has taken action to prevent DVD players made by Chinese makers who refuse to pay royalty fees, from being imported to the US and Europe.

according to Der-ray Huang, deputy director of the Opto-Electronics Systems & Laboratories (OES) under the government-sponsored Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI), the leader in developing the forward versatile disc (FVD) standard, a Taiwan-developed DVD standard. This will likely be a favorable development for the FVD market, and should boost sales, Huang said.

FVD is, however, completely different from DVD in physical format, and it is not subject to royalty charges for DVD patents, Huang emphasized. And since the FVD standard is compatible with the DVD format, Philips' crackdown may afford business opportunities for FVD players sold into China's main export markets for DVD players, Huang said.

Following the 2005 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) on January 6-9 at Las Vegas, FVD players will be formally launched in Taiwan and China at the end of this month, on schedule, Huang said. The players will then be marketed in India, Australia and other Asia-Pacific markets, and finally in the US and Europe in the second half of this year, Huang noted. In the US market, FVD players are to be sold bundled with digital TVs where demand is growing fast, driven by the complete switch over to digital TV broadcasting in the US, scheduled for 2007-2008, Huang added.

In addition to support from Taiwan-based optical disc drive makers, including CMC Magnetics, Actima Technology and Tatung, FVD players have also been adopted by several drive makers and providers of digital content in China, Huang said.

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