Breaking news: a new unexpected development coming out of China is shedding light on the reason that might have prompted Paramount and Dreamworks to jump ship and abort its support for Blu-ray. On September 7th, 2007, China officially dropped the bomb on the HD format war:
A consortium of Chinese university engineers and globally recognized manufacturers, in cooperation with the China High Definition DVD Industry Association (CHDA) and backed by the Chinese government, have reached an agreement on a standard specification for a blue-laser, hi-def disc, (note: not Blu-ray,) which is based on and fundamentally compatible with HD DVD with only minor adjustments, which will utilize the Advanced Audio Video Encoding Standard in Information Technology (AVS) codec developed by the Chinese government.
The newly standardized Chinese HD format is called "CH DVD", and is compatible with HD DVD. As China begins to roll out and adopt its own new "CH-DVD" players for the home market, China can also produce HD-DVD players for the rest of the world, at prices that can best be described as, "Chinese." For the embattled HD DVD, this dramatic turn of event has cemented its place and secured its future in China.
The new "CH DVD" format was developed by the Optical Memory National Engineering Research Centre, an optical disc lab at Tsinghua University, in collaboration with the DVD Forum, developers of the HD-DVD format.
This new HD DVD-based format was co-developed and is officially endorsed and supported by the Chinese government.
The physical format of CH DVD is based on HD DVD and will have similar storage specifications, but the new format includes Chinese-owned intellectual property such as advanced copy protection technology as the Chinese government attempts to curb rampant piracy and control information in the country.
This means that a Chinese-produced CH DVD disc will not play in an HD DVD player in the US. However, a Chinese CH DVD player will play their CH DVD format as well as regular US and EU HD DVD releases.
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