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Thursday, June 05, 2008
China Prepares "China Blue High-definition Disc" Format

The recently proposed Chinese high-def format (CH-DVD) is still alive, despite Blu-ray's domination in the worldwide market. The format has been renamed to "China Blue High-definition Disc" (CBHD) and will be officially announced before the Beijing Olympic Games in August.

CHDVD, a Chinese High-def DVD format based on the HD DVD standard. had been officially announced last September. The format was backed by China High-definition DVD industry Association (CHDA), the Optical Memory National Engineering Research Center (OMNERC) and the DVD Forum.

Recently, the China High-definition DVD industry Association decided to change the name of the CHDVD to a new one, the China Blue High-definition Disc (CBHD) format. The physical format of CBHD includes Chinese-owned intellectual property and it s based on HD DVD.

Actually this is the reason the format received the support of the Chinese gonvernment, which required all candidate high-def formats for the Chinese territory to inlcude intellectual property owned by Chinese companies. CBHD succeeded to have a couple of the Chinese IPs such as China DRM and AVS Audio and Video.

DVD Forum representatives told CDIRnfo that the Blu-ray camp did not agree to include any Chinese IPs in their proposed format for China. As a result, the Blu-ray was not included in the candidate formats.

The new CBHD format is backed by CHDA, which follows the organization scheme of the DVD Forum. The General Meeting and the Steering Committee schemes include the Technical Coordination Group (TCG), the Verification Policy Group (VPC), the Promotion and Licensing Groups. Participants of the various groups include Japanese Memory-tech (Promotion, TCG), Shinco, Shanghai United Optical Disc Co., Ltd (UOD), Warner China, OMNERC and others. Toshiba is also holding the licensing groups since it holds the IPs in the Chinese format.

CHDA held a Press Conference in Shanghai on May 30th. Besides the information provided about the new format, CHDA announced the introduction of the first CBHD prototype players. Three Chinese manufacturers including Shinco and TCL showcased their products.

The first CBHD players and discs will be available in China before Beijing Olympic Game, August 2008, representatives of Memory-Tech told CDRInfo. Many content holders have also confirmed their support for CBHD. China is also expected to start broadcasts of high definition TV programs this year.

On the other hand, the Blu-ray Disc Association seems to be also active in the Chinese market. BDA said that Eleven Chinese disc manufacturers, including TCL, Malata and Desay, have been authorized by Blu-ray Disc Association to produce Blu-ray Discs and disc players next year.

According to the Blu-ray Disc Association?s China Promotions Taskforce, Greg Zhao, each of the manufacturers have now turned to BD development since Toshiba's withdrawal from the HD DVD camp in February this year and BDA's membership has increased to 187.

In China, these 11 companies have signed 16 license agreements with the BDA, which represents a similar amount to Hong Kong-based companies. In total, the Blu-ray Disc Association has already signed over 190 licence agreements.

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