What? Another HD Format?

Dennis Faas's picture

If you're already confused about the high definition movie market, what with its HD-DVD and Blu-ray formats, then it's going to get a little more muddled for you. That's because China, quickly evolving into a technology titan, has developed CH-DVD, based on Toshiba's HD-DVD platform.

Last week, the Optical Memory National Engineering Research Center, or OMNERC, announced the development of CH-DVD, which stands for China High Definition DVD (no surprise there). Crafted in the laboratories of Tsinghua University in Beijing, CH-DVD beckons the HD-DVD magic by employing the blue-violet lasers associated with the latter and Sony's Blu-ray. For the record, that ugly DVD you've been looking at all these years uses red laser technology.

As you might expect, the Chinese government strongly supports CH-DVD. In addition, the group behind CH-DVD will be partnering with the HD-DVD specification group DVD Forum in order to create the China High Definition DVD Industry Association.

Now, if all of this sounds like jibberish, prepare for an interpretation. CH-DVD exists, in all likelihood, to clear up the massively popular black market in China. Piracy there runs rampant, be it in building cheap hardware or popular media like movies, games, and software. CH-DVD, the Chinese government hopes, will provide "advanced copy protection technology" that will nurture legitimate products in the field. (Source: dailytech.com)

Chinese residents should see their exciting new format hit the market next year. The government and the format's supporting groups are pressuring everyone to jump aboard with statements encouraging "all related industries to... to make the transition from standard definition DVD to high definition DVD." (Source: tgdaily.com)

So, what's it mean to you, Mr. North American?

If China's on board the high definition bandwagon, even if it is a splinter format, the production costs for the technology could plummet as a result. Heavy Chinese production means more supply, and more supply means HD-DVD or Blu-ray for you, by 2008, for less.

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