Researchers to develop China-only version of HD-DVD

Chinese researchers plan to develop a China-only version of the HD-DVD that will support a locally developed video compression technology.

In a bid to cut costs for local electronics makers, Chinese researchers plan to develop a version of the next-generation HD-DVD optical disc format specifically for China that will include support for a locally developed video compression technology, called AVS (Audio Video Coding Standard), according to a researcher involved with the project.

The DVD Forum, which oversees the development of HD-DVD as a next-generation DVD format, gave its approval last week for a feasibility study to be conducted on the proposed China-only HD-DVD standard.

Development of the Chinese HD-DVD format could be finished by the end of next year at the earliest, with the first commercial products likely to hit the Chinese market in 2007, said Lu Da, deputy director of the Optical Memory National Engineering Research Center at Tsinghua University, in Beijing.

By comparison, the first HD-DVD products that support the main HD-DVD specification are expected to hit the market before the end of this year.

The China-only version of HD-DVD will be largely similar to the standard international version of HD-DVD, with a few modifications, including support for the AVS video compression technology, Lu said. "That is the principal difference," he said, noting that many features of the format, such as the disc capacity, will remain the same.

In addition to AVS support, the China-only version of HD-DVD will include support for MPEG2, MPEG4 and Microsoft Windows Media Video 9 (WMV9), Lu said. Chinese electronics manufacturers will be able to choose which of these formats they want to support. If they choose not to support all of the formats, they will be able to reduce the cost of producing HD-DVD players by lowering their licensing costs, he said.

The AVS video compression technology is being developed in China as a cheaper alternative to video compression technologies developed oversees, which some Chinese electronics manufacturers have said are too expensive for them to license. The AVS Workgroup of China, the group promoting the standard, has previously said that adoption of AVS by Chinese manufacturers could save them US$1 billion in licensing fees over the next 10 years.

In addition, Chinese content producers are expected to adopt the AVS video compression technology, Lu said. Adding support for the technology to HD-DVD will support these plans, he said.

Many details of the China-only HD-DVD standard remain to be ironed out, including what types of discs will be offered under the format, Lu said. One possibility is that a ROM version for prerecorded content and an R version for users who want to record and store content will be made available, he said.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Sumner Lemon

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?