No, that's not a typo. Rising from the ashes of HD DVD, the Chinese version of the format is getting ready to launch. Yup — almost a year after the demise of HD DVD, Shanghai United Optical Disc is set to power up its production line of CBHD by the end of the fourth quarter. CBHD (China Blue High-definition Disc), recently called CH-DVD (China High Definition DVD) is similar to HD DVD, but supposedly with more robust copy protection.
We gotta ask — what are they thinking?
The "new" format will have lower royalty fees, and hardware should be cheaper for disc replicators. Plus, a Chinese format has a built-in audience of billions of Chinese consumers.
The prices of Blu-ray are coming down — both hardware and software, so the feasibility of a new format getting a foothold is pretty slim. Also, without major support from movie studios who are already trying to make Blu-ray a success, the format might die a quick, quiet death.
You gotta give the Chinese credit for not giving up. We could all benefit from that kind of blind optimism. —Leslie Shapiro
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