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Wednesday, November 23, 2005
FVD Player on Sale in Taiwan

Taiwan-based Kolin, a manufacturer of LCD TVs, LCD monitors and electrical home appliances in Taiwan unveiled the KVD-1080, the company's first FVD player.

The device is a DVD player based on Taiwanese red-laser (650nm) FVD (forward versatile disc) standard, and is currently on sale in the Taiwanese market at a recommended retail price of NT$7,999 (US$240), as reports from Taiwan.

The high-definition FVD player features a resolution of 1920?1080, close to the levels claimed by the HD-DVD and Blu-ray Disc (BD) standards, Taiwan Kolin pointed out. During the initial sales promotion period, the KVD-1080 will be packaged with an HDMI (high-definition multi-media interface) connection cable and three 1080i FVD movie discs, Taiwan Kolin noted.

The FVD format is an alternative to Toshiba's HD DVD and Sony's Blu-Ray formats for HD contant. The format has been jointly developed by ITRI and Taiwan Advanced Optical Storage Research Alliance (AOSRA), an organization made up of 29 Taiwanese optical storage companies. The FVD recorders use a red laser so they are compatible with the DVD. However, its physical format is completely different from DVD's, so it is not subject to royalty charges for DVD patents.

A single side single layer FVD disc can hold capacity 5.4 to 6.0 GB. It also uses Microsoft WMV-9 video compression technology to store up to 135 minutes of high-definition programs. Other features include movie/still menu selection and picture-in-picture display. It offers navigation functions that current DVD standard is unable to achieve. Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) is also adopted to provide a copy protection mechanism.

So far, companies supporting the FVD format include leading optical-disc makers CMC Magnetics, Ritek and U-Tech Media and optical-disc-drive makers Lite-On IT, BenQ, Quanta Storage, Mustek Systems and Actima Technology.

Other CE vendors, including Sampo, Tatung, Teco and Westinghouse, have placed orders for the products.

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