China pushes its own blue-laser optical discs

Labels including Warner Bros. will sell films in the format, a competitor of Blu-ray Disc.

Chinese manufacturers hope to sell hundreds of thousands of optical disc players for a locally developed next-generation disc format this year, a spokesman for an industry group promoting the format said Friday.

At least 100 movies from labels including Warner Bros. will be available by the end of the year in the China Blue High-Definition (CBHD) format, a competitor to Blu-ray Disc, said Lu Da, vice director of the Optical Memory National Engineering Research Center at Tsinghua University.

CBHD players cost 2,000 yuan (US$293), about half as much as a Sony Blu-ray Disc player in China. Sales of players and films started this week in 10 major Chinese cities, said Lu, whose center helped design the format.

Like Blu-ray Disc, CBHD uses a blue laser. Its light has a shorter wavelength than that of the red lasers used to read DVDs, enabling it to detect smaller and more tightly packed tracks holding the information on the disc. The extra capacity of discs designed to be read by blue lasers allows them to store high-definition films a DVD could not.

But unlike Blu-ray Disc, CBHD has a physical disc structure similar to that of a DVD. CBHD and DVD discs are made of two layers 0.6 millimeters thick, stacked to form a disc 1.2 mm thick. A Blu-ray Disc has the same total thickness but consists of a 1.1 mm disc beneath a protective layer 0.1 mm thick.

That structure could give CBHD an advantage over Blu-ray Disc since DVD makers could easily upgrade their equipment to produce discs in the Chinese format, Lu said.

But neither format is likely to take off soon in China, where the HDTVs needed to display high-definition content are rare.

About 10 million HD-ready flat screen TVs were sold in China last year, but the number of people actually watching high-definition content was probably below 100,000, said Michael Qiang Zhang, an analyst at In-Stat.

The handful of HDTV stations in China are also too expensive for most viewers, Zhang said.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Owen Fletcher

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?