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CH DVD Details Revealed, Warner On Board?

Posted by Mehar Gill on August 5, 2008 
Filed Under: Blu-ray, Format War, HD DVD, Studios, Warner



ZDNet China got a chance to preview the CBHD technology a few days ago (CH DVD), it seems the player will indeed be going on sale next month in time for the Olympics in small quantities. The CH DVD Association (Really OMNERC, I think) claims it will “win the war in 2-3 years”, obviously referencing the fight against Blu Ray. Finalized specifications were also revealed, see the pictures below:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/25248217@N02/2721190692/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/25248217@N02/2721190640/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/25248217@N02/2720365457/

As expected the format borrows heavily from HD DVD, including the standard 30 GB disc (which proves my theory that the DVD Forum is up to something with the 51GB discs).

http://www.flickr.com/photos/25248217@N02/2721190422/

The article further talks about a so called “resistance” to Blu-ray in China, stating Chinese consumers are much different from international consumers due to the fact that Chinese consumers buy based on the “performance to price ratio”, VCD being a prime example. Because of these habits they believe CBHD has the advantage in China.

Its been a while since I have seen the CH DVD price point but since it is backwards compatible with DVD’s, VCD’s, and CD’s to boot, could the ratio work in its favor?

http://www.flickr.com/photos/25248217@N02/2720365357/

They also take the opportunity to talk about Blu-ray and BD+ by stating it may slow down the physical portion of piracy but not the online portion. If history “repeats” itself I guess pirates will start downloading Blu-ray/HD DVD/CBHD rips and burn them to said discs. CBHD corporation is also giving people the ability to download and burn the discs themselves, they do this buying ordering the copy of the movie through a special “line” and burning the file to a CBHD. (Is this connected to DVD DL?)

CBHD will not use Microsoft’s HDi system which makes you wonder, what happened to HDi? The only Microsoft product used on the disc will be the VC-1 codec. No details on the availability of region free discs although we can assume they will be. It seems like we could be nearing the death of HDi, unles some sort integration is done with another Microsoft product (such as WMP, or even the Xbox 360!) If so then its a shame, since HDi was capable of producing some amazing stuff in half the time with half the resources of its competitor.

The article also touches on Hollywood support:

It is interesting that in the conference, a reporter asked over and the attitude of foreign film, the host can not be forced, at the scene said there is a well-known abroad on behalf of the film, not only relatively low-profile guests sitting I only….. (Translation error) In this connection the author carefully in the stands in the search, see the Warner Brothers Home Entertainment vice president of China’s shadow, she heard the speech is also host knowing smile, Heh heh, is Warner Brothers in China has helped the HD DVD!?

To sum that up, it basically claims that a reporter asked the speaker about Hollywood support, then the speaker or reporter looked around the room and saw Warner Brother’s Vice President of the China operation who apparently overheard the question quietly laughing to herself. The entire quote did not copy over but the part that was interesting was the director or speaker claimed he cannot comment but a

“well-known abroad on behalf of the film, not only relatively low-profile guests sitting I only.”

In other words their is a Hollywood studio on board with CBHD and odds are it’s probably Warner Brothers, which is odd (Its Conspiracy Time!).

Replication statistics were also revealed, CH DVD has a 90% success ratio which is already beating out SVCD’s ratio.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/25248217@N02/2721190256/

The title above is encoded in VC-1, surprisingly!

I doubt many international consumers will be picking up CBHD players, unless you really miss HD DVD that much, in that case you might want order one (assuming they will ship). Cases were also shown (see below) although these are just temporary and will not reflect the final product.

The original article was translated, I used 3 different programs to translate it so it is pretty accurate. If Traditional Chinese is your specialty, feel free to check my work! The biggest winner today, hands down has to be High Definition Karoke market!

http://www.flickr.com/photos/25248217@N02/2721190186/

If Hollywood studios are indeed on board I highly doubt Blu-ray will win over China, I think it will have to go to CBHD for the reasons stated above. The price point of Blu Ray will have a huge impact not only on the consumers but also the corporations behind it.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/25248217@N02/2720365293/

Surprisingly, the titles actually tell you what codec the film is encoded in, it should be good for reviewers!

More info on the Press Conference

Related posts:

  1. Warner Bros. Announces Support for CBHD
  2. DVD Forum Steering Committee Meeting Details Revealed
  3. CBHD Leads Marketshare over Blu-ray in China
  4. Warner Bros. Ends DVD Business in S. Korea, Focus Turns To Digital Downloads
  5. CBHD Players Ship In China, Format War Begins

Comments

13 Responses to “CH DVD Details Revealed, Warner On Board?”

  1. burndive on August 5th, 2008 3:08 pm

    So, will I be able to play the discs on my HD-A3?

    I’m pretty sure the discs will be physically compatible with HD DVD drives, so even if HD DVD players don’t play the discs, chances are, if you have a PC drive, you can get a software player. It’s even possible that CBHD is a subset of HD DVD, merely choosing the cheaper (or fewer) codecs and eliminating other license-bearing features such as HDi.

    That Shinco CBHD player looks suspiciously like a re-branded Toshiba.

  2. Dave Cowl on August 5th, 2008 3:40 pm

    I can’t see why anyone would miss HDi.

    I also can’t see Hollywood releasing in this format, or any of the others for that matter.

    One of the reasons BD was made secure with respect to replication was to have strong control over replication. Hollywood has no reason to give up that protection.

  3. webdev511 on August 5th, 2008 4:04 pm

    @Dave Cowl

    HDi? because it didn’t take a CS degree in order to produce content.

    Hollywood not backing? only if they don’t care about selling to a market of 1 Billion consumers.

    Control over replication doesn’t mean much when someone’s ripping a BD and writing it to a DVD, CBHD or uploading to P2P.

  4. Dave Cowl on August 5th, 2008 4:15 pm

    HDi is like any web language – sure it is easy, but hardly special.

    There are options to author advanced interactivity BDs without having to deal with Java, if you are not capable of competent coding.

    Don’t you mean selling to 100 consumers and having 999,999,900 consumers copy those 100 discs illegally?

    Control over replication means no pressed pirated BDs. That is all it was ever intended to mean. These derived DVDs, CBHD or whatever are recoded and so are not BD quality, where pressed BDs could be.

    Sometimes full BDs show up on line but it will be quite some time before that becomes a common problem due to the bandwidth needed to support that.

    I don’t think Hollywood will go anywhere near this. The legit sales versus the piracy rate will not be worth it.

  5. Mehar Gill on August 5th, 2008 4:41 pm

    Originally Posted By Dave CowlI can’t see why anyone would miss HDi.
    /

    I and many people at Microsoft are offended by that statement :)

    Remember VCD disks? Sure they are almost non existent here but their is a huge demand for them in China. So huge that Hollywood studios have healthy partnerships with local companies to distribute Hollywood films on VCD disks.

    If CBHD will fall victim to massive piracy so will Blu Ray, don’t expect BD+ to last long. I don’t know what the local video market is like but if it appeals to local audiences then I could see CB HD easily taking the market.

    I mean come on guys, do you really think the government will let a foreign product take the market share in China again after they started initiatives to stop such things from happening? Since EVD is practically gone, the battle is down to CBHD and Blu Ray, with Blu Ray you will pay more royalties then you would with CBHD, they will obviously push it.

  6. Dave Cowl on August 5th, 2008 4:51 pm

    VCD is not Blu-ray quality. It is not even DVD quality.

    While CBHD is not Blu-ray either, the quality should be close enough that it is of grave concern to studios regarding illegal copying.

    The article states “CBHD corporation is also giving people the ability to download and burn the discs themselves”

    The format is designed to facilitate piracy… though since HD DVD -R was a failure, it will be interesting to see if the Chinese can make it work.

    In my opinion the whole thing is ill fated. I mean, if price is the only issue, why are they even bothering to go HD? Isn’t VCD or DVD adequate? What happened to EVD? Surely that was more cost effective and close to the quality?

    All the arguments against BD gaining traction in the USA apply many fold to China, especially the cost versus the performance improvement.

    CBHD is going to have to be really cheap for it to gain any kind of traction.

  7. Mehar Gill on August 5th, 2008 5:03 pm

    @Dave Cowl

    Yes I realize that, the reason I gave the example was to show if the local market demands it Hollywood will support it. VCD is much easier to copy then Blu Ray or CH DVD/HD DVD, yet studios still release on it.

    I assume it’s to do with the Olympics, they probably don’t want the world to see them as a a developing country but has a true rival. I mean the CBHD discs are going on sale in a few days in limited numbers.

    I don’t remember the exact price points but from what I read a while ago the CB HD discs should be selling for about $10-20USD with the players close to or under $200USD. I think their were some legal disputes that forced EVD to not launch until 2008, unfortunately for EVD CB HD and Blu Ray are also launching in 2008. EVD is inferior to CB HD yet sold at the same price so the ratio is thrown off.

    @burndive

    Its a possibility I guess, I’m no expert on the matter though if it is possible for a update to read past the added security layer they should work without a hitch. If its a hardware issue then it won’t work. CB HD actually supports more codec’s then HD DVD.

  8. Dave Cowl on August 5th, 2008 5:31 pm

    Originally Posted By Mehar Gill@Dave Cowl

    Yes I realize that, the reason I gave the example was to show if the local market demands it Hollywood will support it. VCD is much easier to copy then Blu Ray or CH DVD/HD DVD, yet studios still release on it.

    The point is they don’t care if that gets copied cos it is crap.

    The same cannot be said about these newer formats – they are potential for high quality pirate products. ‘True rival’ argument applies.

    Anyways, just stating my view – it will be interesting to see if anyone will buy a this stuff. It seems kinda pricey for what it is and considering the audience.

    It could indeed be just an effort to ‘save face’.

  9. Mehar Gill on August 5th, 2008 5:35 pm

    @Dave Cowl

    No don’t worry I understand where you are coming from, I am pretty anxious to see how this format war will go since their are 3 competitors and of course a government that is picking favorites.

  10. Belard on August 5th, 2008 6:00 pm

    @Mehar

    “performance to price ratio”, VCD being a prime example”

    Huh? VCD was always crap. It was/is substandard to VHS with only 352×240 because of high compression and low res. It would be another 2-3 years before DVD showed up on the market. That was also ALMOST a format war between SONY and Toshiba – who combined both aspects of their tech into one.

    VCDs only hold upto 80mins of video, so typical movies titles require 2-3 discs.

    Reason why VCD was popular in China and Aisa in general (other than Japan) is because they were still mostly a 3rd world country. Very few people had VCRs. VCD players were a lot cheaper and the enviroment of dirty and humidity. The cheap costs of CD-Rs also meant it was far easier to pirate the movies.

    The whole point of CH-DVD is to help prevent piracy. A lot of people who travel to Aisa can pick up Hollywood movies for $1 and then bring them back to Europe or USA. By making CH-DVD a Chinese ONLY format for the locals, it would be a useless export. Also, China doesn’t have to pay on-going royalties for Blu-Ray since Chinese govt. owns the CD-DVD tech. This is why HDi is DEAD on CH-DVD, they dont want to pay MS money to use it. So for many people – plain ordinary DVD type menu system will work fine. You put in your movie, press PLAY or options. Not much else is needed.

    And yes, the player does look like a Toshiba. It would make sense to save money be recycling current parts.

  11. Mehar Gill on August 5th, 2008 6:14 pm

    Originally Posted By Belard

    The whole point of CH-DVD is to help prevent piracy. A lot of people who travel to Aisa can pick up Hollywood movies for $1 and then bring them back to Europe or USA. By making CH-DVD a Chinese ONLY format for the locals, it would be a useless export. Also, China doesn’t have to pay on-going royalties for Blu-Ray since Chinese govt. owns the CD-DVD tech. This is why HDi is DEAD on CH-DVD, they dont want to pay MS money to use it. So for many people – plain ordinary DVD type menu system will work fine. You put in your movie, press PLAY or options. Not much else is needed.

    You realize a majority of that paragraph makes no sense at all, what do Blu Ray royalties have to do with the government owning CD DVD (I assume you mean CH DVD) tech? The reason has to why HDi was not used in CH DVD is not explained by anyone, the government didn’t make CH DVD they didn’t pick and choose anything. It was a Chinese organization and Toshiba (Along with the DVD Forum) that created CH DVD. The basic layout of HDi was simple as well, it was basically like what many DVDs had, the only difference is the implementation (i.e, when a movie is playing) and the way it is accessed (So you can see the options immediately without being transitioned to a new screen).

    I never said VCD was good, I said it was popular.

  12. Michael Madden on August 6th, 2008 5:04 pm

    @Dave Cowl

    the vaunted Copy protection on your BD discs has been cracked so anyone can make a copy of it. I have no need for BD so I am not copying anything.

  13. Mehar Gill on August 7th, 2008 10:07 am

    http://www.cdrinfo.com/Sections/News/Details.aspx?NewsId=23437

    Their are some more pics of some CBHD players, the first one looks really…..retro?

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