Universal Studios and National Geographic Announce Support for CBHD

Posted by Mehar Gill on September 18, 2009 
Filed Under: Blu-ray, Format War, HD DVD, Studios, Universal, Warner

Universal Studios and National Geographic have announced their support for the CBHD format, making Universal the second major Hollywood studio to support the format. Warner was the first major studio to support CBHD. As we have covered before, CBHD is currently outselling Blu-ray with a margin of 3:1 in China.

Also of note, 8 manufactures have requested to join the CHDA, these range from TV manufactures to vendors. The CHDA believes CBHD’s only current weakness is the lack of manufacturer support and believe the 8 companies who applied will help alleviate this situation. The CHDA made bold claims by saying thanks to Blu-ray’s high price the format war was essentially a “game no one played.”

We previously speculated more Hollywood studios would start pledging support for the CBHD format, it will be interesting to see if the format spreads into other Asian territories like the CHDA previously hinted at.

[Via Guangzhou Daily]

Related posts:

  1. CBHD Breaks 100 Release Barrier, Paramount Pledges Support
  2. Warner Bros. Announces Support for CBHD
  3. CBHD Leads Marketshare over Blu-ray in China
  4. CBHD Players Ship In China, Format War Begins
  5. CBHD Wins Innovation Award


13 Responses to “Universal Studios and National Geographic Announce Support for CBHD”

  1. Mi on September 20th, 2009 1:59 pm


    It’s official, this guys idiotic hating of BD has driven me away from your site. Make sure you tell your advertisers.

  2. Mehar Gill on September 20th, 2009 2:01 pm


    How am I hating on Blu Ray? I can’t just report on one format, my job requires me to cover multiple formats.

  3. Shawn on September 21st, 2009 4:40 am

    I can’t remember…are these discs compatible with HD-DVD players?

  4. popeye9000 on September 21st, 2009 10:15 am

    @Mi -
    I’m sorry, I thought this was Format War Central, not Blu-ray Only Central.

    @Shawn -
    These basically are HD DVD players, however they are not compatible, mostly due to the different codecs employed.

  5. Mehar Gill on September 21st, 2009 3:59 pm


    Early reports claim the players are basically re-branded last gen Toshiba HD DVD players. The discs themselves are physically the same but have a different encoding scheme. Not sure how complex it would be to allow HD DVD playback on CBHD players and vice versa.

    Given how Toshiba’s first gen Blu Ray players will not ship with HD DVD support, I doubt anything of the sort will be done with CBHD.

    @popeye9000 -

    I doubt Mi will see your post since they’ve already left apparently.

  6. Tyler Pruitt on September 22nd, 2009 4:14 am

    MI, this story in no way trashes Blu-ray, it does mention a previous story about BD sales lagging in China.

    If we didn’t talk about anything but Blu-ray, how could we still call ourselves Format War Central?

  7. Jonsson on September 24th, 2009 2:34 am


    Mi, I agree, this guy´s pathetic support for format created by a a communist dictatorship is ridicolous.

    Someone living in the freedom of western democracy should have better sense but he have already shown, several time, that this is not the case.

  8. Jonsson on September 24th, 2009 2:44 am

    @Tyler Pruitt

    Tyler, this story supports a dictatorial, single party regime, regime. It glorifies the , not very surprising, fact that a format, supported by said dictatorial regime, outperforms a format that duly won the format war in the part of the world that have a democratic statesmanship.

    I think you should stop supporting dictatorial regimes by allowing this kind of nonsense posts.

  9. Tyler Pruitt on September 25th, 2009 3:16 pm

    Jonsson and MI,

    90% of Blu-ray players are made in China! Where is your outrage about that?

  10. Mehar Gill on September 25th, 2009 4:42 pm

    @Jonsson – There are many Format War Central readers who are interested in technology regardless of where it is made or who produces it. If at first glance you judge something based on it’s origin that is your own reasoning.

    I also in no way target Blu-ray or portray it negatively unless the news story revolves around something negative. My job is to find news relevant to this site and to report on it. Feel free to look through my rather diverse posting history if you like.

    I even run a site of my own dedicated to technology,

    I’ve already explained to you how CBHD was created, how the Chinese government works, how the format wars there work, etc yet despite all of this backed information you still continue to toot the same horn. You really do have no idea how the world works, when people try to tell you something you simply ignore it or call them a shill. I have reason to believe you are nothing more than a troll.

    You talk about propaganda yet at the same time you want me to censor or only post about things that make Blu-ray look good and everything else look bad, where is the logic in that?

    If you continue to feel so strongly about “helping” the Chinese people please do it elsewhere, the Format War Central comment system holds very little political power. Like Tyler says, 90% of Blu-ray players have some sort of connection to China.

  11. Jonsson on September 27th, 2009 10:35 pm

    @Tyler Pruitt

    The figure of 90% could possibly be debated but that’s not really the point. The original article was not about that. If one would write a article about this fact I might post a reply saying what an outrage it is.

  12. squiggleslash on October 10th, 2009 5:19 am

    @Shawn – supposedly CBHD players play HD DVDs, but the reverse is not true due to the codecs and menu systems that are specific to CBHD.

    Specifically, in addition to MPEG-2, H.264, and VC-1, CBHD players are required to support AVS (a pair of codecs actually, as AVS also has an audio portion.) In theory, CBHD discs can be authored with HD DVD codecs, but you then have the problem that the menu systems are incompatible. Finally, CBHD uses an entirely different access control mechanism to HD DVD (and BD)’s AACS.

    On a physical media front, CBHD has a slightly different method of encoding the data onto a disc compared to HD DVD (4-6 modulation, as opposed to HD DVD’s, I believe, 8-12)

    One of the major issues facing anyone trying to do an analysis of the two is that CBHD and HD DVD are both nominally DVD Forum standards (technically CBHD is controlled by a third party, but the standard itself builds on, and is considered, a DVD Forum thing.) The DVD Forum has rules that make it difficult to get at their standards without signing an NDA.

    As I’ve said elsewhere, I can’t get excited by CBHD. CBHD is, in practice, just a really advanced form of region encoding, the studios are releasing it on CBHD because there’s no physical way to make a Blu-ray player or regular HD DVD drive read a CBHD drive, which means there’s never going to be a market for imported CBHD discs in the West. That, in turn, means they can sell them cheaply in economies that can’t afford $50 for a new release. CBHD is not the advanced multimedia platform HD DVD was, it’s not designed to be a neutral hub for content allowing seamless integration of downloaded, recorded, and disc-based media. The access controls are arguably not as extreme and user hostile as Blu-ray (no BD+), but beyond that, there’s nothing particularly commendable about it.

  13. The_Omega_Man on January 16th, 2010 6:36 pm

    I agree with squiggleslash. And I would add, that unless the codecs and/or the encoding format require specific hardware (ASICs) to function, then it should be technically possible to emulate the CHBD format on the last gen. HD DVD players with a firmware change. Now who would do that format change is the question!!

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