China adopts HD DVD-compatible format as national standard; could trigger HD DVD price plunge

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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nasim4057d ago (Edited 4057d ago )

CHina has adopted an HD DVD COMPATIBLE format NOT HD DVD format.

CHINA's own format is called CH_DVD .

this is nothing as it would neither help nor affect any camp whether BD or HD DVD

The CH DVD players would be launched in late fall of 2008.
By that time a Blue Ray player would be availbale for 100$

AVS is not supported by either BD /HD DVD

you can get a Blue Ray player for as low as 430$

BENQ is releasing a 200$ Blu ray player in NOVEMBER ,2007

by 2008 fall(when CH DVD is launched) most Blu ray players would be priced around 100--200$

ktchong4057d ago (Edited 4057d ago )

There go all the "HD DVD will be dead in 6 months/12months/1 year/very soon" predictions.

Now Blu-ray will never be able to completely defeat and kill off HD DVD, because HD DVD has China - and 25% of the world population - in its pocket.

blackmagic4057d ago

nasim, why do you behave like this? Do you have a reliable link to back up your claim that blu-ray players are going to drop 80% in price over the next year?

According to the article, the CH-DVD players play HD-DVD discs but HD-DVD players will not play the CH-DVD discs. In other words, China has officially adopted HD-DVD as the standard as far as the rest of the world is concerned.

This is another massive body blow to the bd consortium... ouch!

JsonHenry4057d ago

I never took sides in the HD format war before... but I hope Blu-Ray wins. I would much rather make a Japanese company rich than a chinese company(s).

the_round_peg4057d ago

Toshiba, the company that backs HD DVD and is at war with Sony, is a JAPANESE company.

jay34057d ago

That's what i was thinking 0_o

JsonHenry4057d ago

I know that, but if Blu-Ray wins, then China will only be making CH DVD machines for themselves instead of selling them all over the world.

Like a shadow I am4057d ago

If Blu-ray had any hope of ever winning this HD format war, it has now been completely dashed by two breaking news that will hit the mainstream media early next week:

1. China adopts HD DVD as the national HD standard!

2. new and improved 51-gig HD DVD approved for mass production: HD DVD is now bigger than better than Blu-ray!

Imagine how the mass consumers will see these two news, so soon after they've just read about Paramount/Dreamworks has jump ship and abandoned Blu-ray in favor of HD DVD. This format war is more about public perception more than anything.

+ Show (5) more repliesLast reply 4057d ago
Crazyglues4057d ago

And so the war marches on....

cuco334057d ago (Edited 4057d ago )

this 'war' is far from over

this news has already been stated as a big blow due to ch-dvd players being able to read hd dvd disks

and this also confirms that only sony fans are the ones who toot BD as the victor long before the 'war' is over and the masses made their choice

THE_JUDGE4056d ago

does anyone realize that the Chinese bootleg more than they buy? There is over 1 Billion people in China many of which own consumer electronics. Guess how many legal copies of Windows Vista were sold the first week? 246. The chinese don't buy, they bootleg. This really has no effect on the future HD market because people won't be buying the movies, they will be bootlegging them. Money rules and people are paying for Blu-ray.

Meus Renaissance4057d ago

For a moment there I thought the Chinese government signed an exclusivity deal with HD-DVD. That would have made things interesting! But they're developing their own technology, that will be compatible with HD-DVD. It's still a major development but not on the scale I expected when I first read the title.

ktchong4057d ago (Edited 4057d ago )

*not* HD DVD format.

Meus Renaissance4057d ago

I don't know what this exactly means for the format wars in reality. Although this is good news for HD-DVD, to have a "brother" in China, how this does this affect the scale of balance, assuming it actually does? Any guess is just that now - guessing.

blackmagic4057d ago (Edited 4057d ago )

"The newly standardized Chinese HD format is called "CH DVD", and is compatible with HD DVD."

My understanding of that statement is that CH-DVD players will play HD-DVD discs but not the other way around which makes sense if the CH-DVD are essentially the same except with extra copy protection built in.

The biggest implication however is that many chinese dvd plyers are rebranded and sold by many big name manufacturers. It only stands to reason that HD-DVD players would be able to roll off the production lines with minor changes from the CH-DVD players... perhaps as little as a different firmware install.

Edit: article update "HD DVD and CH DVD are compatible, which means HD DVD players (with additional software) can read CH DVD, and vice versa."

Looks like the compatibility is better than I thought...