CBHD / CH-DVD coming to China !!

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DELUCAS

Distinguished Member
Warner Bros. plans to support CBHD, the format war is back on -- at least in China
by Richard Lawler, posted Mar 2nd 2009 at 11:31PM



It seems appropriate that after striking the fatal blow in the war between HD DVD and Blu-ray, Warner is the first to break rank and ally itself with the China Blue HD team. Ready to enter the ordinary Chinese consumer's family, according to Managing Director Tony Vaughan, the Harry Potter series, Speed Racer and others will launch for 50-70 yuan ($7.30 - $10.22) per disc. Excuse us while we pick our jaws up from the floor, but with at least one Hollywood studio in pocket and 1999 yuan ($292) players on the way the son of HD DVD looks remarkably closer to a real Blu-ray competitor (and less like the destined for the scrap heap reject we predicted) than ever. With DVD sales shrinking and Blu-ray not quite ready to pick up the slack, how long until another studio decides the Chinese market has enough potential to publish movies on CBHD? [Disclosure: Engadget is part of the Time Warner family]
 

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A_Venables

Active Member
Does this mean there is a possibility of new titles and possibly players for HDDVD?
 

Andris L

Well-known Member
CBHD is former CH-DVD. Originally it was stated that CH-DVD will be back compatible with HD-DVD hardware so the question is: does it still apply to CBHD?
 

Rsaeire

Member
CBHD is former CH-DVD. Originally it was stated that CH-DVD will be back compatible with HD-DVD hardware so the question is: does it still apply to CBHD?

I doubt it, but I am hopeful. It would be extremely beneficial for us HD-DVD owners, as not only do we have the back catalogue of 500+ HD-DVD titles to chose from, we'd also have the latest releases from Warner, who are one of the biggest movie studios.
 

DELUCAS

Distinguished Member
if my memory serves me correct the players were virtually the same as the ep30 players !!

1 playback though they would have to have english /audio /language menus installed on disks !!??

2 someone would have to make a firmware upgrade for our players !!??

3 need to know what spec these players have !!??

4 i dont think any of that will happen !!?


5 but there are some clever people out there !!
 

Rsaeire

Member
It could be down to an enterprising individual/group who designs a customer firmware that will enable CBHD support on all the HD-DVD players; if a firmware upgrade is in fact required.
 

Wayang

Novice Member
A report in yesterday's press indicated that Blu-Ray has not been a commercial success so maybe this type is a better bet for the future.
 

Bald Monkey

Novice Member
There's lot of different reports in lots of different places.. :smashin:

Can we please keep the discussion to the Original Post and link rather than start discussing BR's success or failure or we will probably have to close this thread as the argument heats up.. :rolleyes:

Don't think this will have any effect on the UK/EU personally. And the idea of a HD-DVD revival is never going to happen IMHO. The chinese version of HD optical discs could well be very different to any other countries to reduce piracy?? :confused:
 

DeadKenny

Active Member
The benefit may be in the Chinese making Blu-Ray players that play many other formats. If they play their format, then chances are they'll play HD DVD also. Much like all the cheap DVD players that come from the far east which play all kinds of stuff including DivX, and these players often find their way into western brands.

Benefit? Well we at least have multi format players (and very high chance the Chinese players will also be easily hackable to be region free Blu-Ray). Better still is China and many far east countries will be more interested in a cheap disc format that doesn't have the high costs (manufacturing and licencing) of Blu-Ray, which means cheap HD DVD imports for us. Will they be English language though?

As for differing the format to avoid piracy. China has shown time and time again that they are willing to copy another product or format with no regard at all for copyright and Intellectual Property. They won't let the piracy issue concern them at all. Warner might be concerned, but then again if the Chinese won't buy Blu-Ray, Warner may think it's better to just let them go ahead with their own format than lose out on real sales (instead of the mythical losses they make up about sales lose to piracy. None of which have been proven to be potential legitimate real sales if the buyer hadn't bought pirate).
 
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DELUCAS

Distinguished Member
More gumpf


A few days ago, recorded Warner Home Entertainment Co., Ltd. Managing Director Fang Lin (Tony Vaughan) announced that Warner Bros. Entertainment Company will be issued in China Chinese independent high-definition format - the Blu-ray high-definition (CBHD) video programming.

Warner Bros. and New Line Cinema Department of the many masterpieces in the first half of 2009 for the first time in high definition format available in China, including the popular "Harry Potter", "Golden Compass", "Speed racing", "Blood Diamond" and so on. Previously, Warner Brothers has issued a global BD Blu-ray format movies, and thus in China, consumers can not only buy these films CBHD version can also buy their BD Blu-ray version.

"These large areas of unusually high-definition picture quality and sound will be the first to come to China." Fang Lin (Tony Vaughan) said, "Warner has been recorded for Chinese families to provide the most perfect home entertainment experience. This times, we will strive to support high-definition technology in China to implement to enable them to ordinary consumers as soon as possible to enter the Chinese family."

CBHD are in the information industry and, under the guidance of the Department, by the Engineering Research Center of Tsinghua University, CD-ROM (OMNERC) synergy Chinese consumer electronics manufacturing giant TCL, a new Branch, with the side of common development. Supporting this format also includes the domestic well-known Production and distribution companies, record labels such as Chinese Corporation, China Film Group and Huayi Brothers Company.

CBHD is a patented technology in domestic and foreign top one, the Chinese patent pool independently authorized 1080p Full HD optical storage format, suitable for ordinary Chinese consumer market. CBHD player market pricing for the initial 1999 yuan (about 290 U.S. dollars), a CBHD discs will be priced at 50-70 yuan range (about 7.25 to 10.15 U.S. dollars).

It is estimated that in 2009 China has a high-definition TV users will reach 27 million by 2010, will be rapidly increased to 47,000,000, and in 2011 reached 72 million.

Google translation.
 

DeadKenny

Active Member
So whilst discs wouldn't be compatible with HD DVD players, the players may be compatible with HD DVD discs and have access to a source of HD movies in the CBHD format.

Though if they have models based on HD DVD players that already exist, there's always the slim possibility of getting hold of their firmware and modding it to work.

And I'd guess that a PC HD DVD drive would be able to play their discs so long as you can get the right codec software.

Still, by the time it gets anywhere I feel the HD download and/or flash media market will be taking off.
 

DELUCAS

Distinguished Member
mmm.. intresting read !!

Warner Starts HD Format War on a New Front:

China
by David Waratuke — last modified March 30, 2009 04:14
CBHD - Here we go again
With the format war that Warner abruptly ended little more than a year past, the studio has now announced an unfathomable move: revive the corpse of HD DVD in the China Blue High Definition (CBHD) format.

Arstechnica: HD battle on the eastern front? Warner to support CBHD
EngadgetHD: Warner Bros. plans to support CBHD, the format war is back on - at least in China
When I ran across this bit of news, all I could think was that this is some crazy stuff to be sure. After settling in with the victorious Blu-ray to satisfy all my HD needs, I was not expecting another studio backed format war quite so soon.

I am sure all of the early adopters who followed the format war remember the sudden ending when Warner Brothers sucker punched Toshiba with an eleventh hour announcement of Blu-ray exclusivity right before CES 2008. Toshiba’s contingent was still on a plane heading to the show and thinking that they had pulled the Warner coup on the Blu-ray camp. Rumors swirled that Sony outbid Toshiba to keep Fox from switching sides and got agnostic Warner to become a true believer in the gospel according to Blu.

Previously known as CH-DVD, the format is more or less an attempt by the Chinese government to shed Western influence and promote homegrown technologies. Oh, and to avoid the licensing fees that commonly come with Western backed technology, allowing such fees to now be remitted to the Chinese government through the China High Definition DVD Industry Association (CHDA).

The CBHD format was developed by the Optical Memory National Engineering Research Center (OMNERC), based at Tsinghua University. The software standard is based on a new codec owned by the Chinese government called Advanced Audio Video Encoding Standard in Information Technology, or more simply AVS. Interestingly, the CHDA/OMNERC AVS Workgroup does have a global membership of companies like ATI, IBM, Intel, LG, Panasonic, NEC, Nokia, Philips, STMicroelectronics, TI, Tektronix, and Sony, many of which are also members of the Blu-ray Disc Association.

The hardware, on the other hand, is basically a slightly modified Toshiba blue laser HD DVD optical drive, containing as much as 90% Toshiba technology. The use of HD DVD based hardware and discs gave CBHD the same production cost advantages that HD DVD enjoyed over Blu-ray. Potential manufacturing synergies, back when HD DVD still existed, would further drive down production costs when the Chinese flooded the market with what were essentially HD DVD drives.

In the aftermath of the format war, most observers dismissed CBHD from ever having any real opportunity to gain traction without Hollywood support. Despite HD DVD’s ultimate demise at the hands of shifting studio backing, the CHDA continued on its way and announced intent to ramp up player production by the end of the year last July. Following through, the CBHD petitioned Hollywood studios for support, but as recently as last August, they were going nowhere fast without any studios showing interest in another format.

Apparently, the little voices in Warner’s head have convinced the studio that another format, an HD DVD based format, is somehow a good idea after all. Accordingly, Warner has announced that in the first half of 2009 they intend to make titles available including some high profile titles such as the various Harry Potter titles, Speed Racer, The Golden Compass, and Blood Diamond.

Why, do you ask, would Warner ever consider such an idea?

CBHD discs and players are cheap to make according to OMNERIC, which claims that retooling a DVD production line to CBHD only costs $800,000 compared to the approximately $3 million that it costs to retool to Blu-ray production, and licensing fees to CHDA are lower, further reducing costs.

Wait, weren’t those cost advantages the basis of the HD DVD advantage in the first place that Warner would forsake when it dropped HD DVD?

Why, yes they were.

Apparently, on second thought, Warner may have decided that a cheap HD format might be the only way to compete with pirates, something China has in plenty. Warner, Paramount, and Fox have been selling DVDs on the cheap in China for about 10 to 25 yuan, which amounts to about a buck and a half to three and a half bucks, putting high quality legitimate copies within the price range of pirate copies that are of dubious and variable quality. According to Warner executives, CBHD disks will be selling for 50 to 70 yuan, or about seven to ten bucks, and players will be available for about 1,999 yuan, which is just under three hundred bucks.

So it looks like Warner needs cheap disks and players to try to keep pirates in check and Blu-ray is not there yet. It also may have helped Warner that CBHD has added additional copy protection beyond just the AASC used by HD DVD. Based on the past success of DRM to stop pirating, I am sure the pirate movies will still flow from China. Perhaps, by giving the Chinese their own little format, the studio is hoping to keep the problem confined to China; at least until Chinese OEMs decide to start shipping players and disks outside of China for a little gray market profiteering.

Not to mention that Blu-ray players will ultimately be produced predominantly by Chinese manufacturers. The BDA may be resisting licensing the Chinese, but to get costs down there will be economic pressure to allow it, and many of the players will say things like Sony, Panasonic, and Samsung on the outside. This means that the Chinese will still have access to Blu-ray hardware as well.

But Warner is apparently still going to release movies on Blu-ray in China anyways.

So, Warner may be bringing it back because it is cheaper than Blu-ray and now the format has the extra copy protection that HD DVD originally declined to give the studios, making it just another attempt by a movie studio to hang onto control of the market in the Internet Age where anything that can be reduced to information flows cheaply through the wires.

Too bad piracy is not so rampant here in the West that those of us who buy legitimate copies could get our HD fix for a mere ten bucks.

Oh, wait, it is; at least every time studio lobbyists go to the government to ask for additional copyright enforcement and more laws and treaties to criminalize file sharing so they don’t have to spend their money on civil enforcement. Just get the taxpayers to foot the bill.

So in the final analysis, Warner may believe it has some reasons for bringing an HD DVD based format back from the dead. But as these reasons are ultimately futile, it leaves one wondering exactly what Warner is thinking because reviving the format after the brutal format war does not look like a particularly rational decision.
 

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Brookster

Active Member
This has been bubbling away in the background for some time.

Wasn't Video CD popular over in the East yet pratically unheard of over here except for the Philips CDi machine and a few others that could play them.

I suppose there is a big enough market alone within China itself to warrant its own format.

Will they have english subtitles and audio tracks ;)
 
It's been talked about for more than 6 months now - it's a specific case to far east markets markets where piracy is a way of life apparently and AVCHD pirate discs are the top sellers in the disc market closely followed by opirated CD-R audio discs.
There is no plan to release this outside of the pirate trouble spots like China.
 

Rsaeire

Member
The fact that there is a 10% difference in the optical technology between HD-DVD and CBHD, there is a new video format, AVS, and a new copy protection scheme in addition to the AACS, this format may as well be a completely brand new format. There is next to no chance that this format will be capable of being played back on any HD-DVD player.

As a HD-DVD owner, I held out hope that this new format would be compatible with the existing HD-DVD players, but if anything, this information simply puts the final nail in the coffin for any hopes of that every happening.
 

DeadKenny

Active Member
As a HD-DVD owner, I held out hope that this new format would be compatible with the existing HD-DVD players, but if anything, this information simply puts the final nail in the coffin for any hopes of that every happening.
I think that may be the case, however there is a greater possibility that the other way round is more promising.

e.g. a CBHD player may be compatible with HD DVD, meaning not only would we have future players and support for HD DVD in a back-door manner, but also if we could import such a player we'd have access to a potentially large amount of movies from the CBHD market, all hopefully less restrictive and very likely far less costly than Blu-Ray.

Given the Chinese manufacture most western electronic products, it may also be possible that HD DVD becomes just another supported format in future Blu-Ray players, much like DVD players now support Divx etc (mostly thanks to Chinese manufacturers who feature pack cheap players). HD DVD is not all that dissimilar to Blu-Ray, certainly in hardware terms and if the Chinese are bulk manufacturing HD components which everyone buys up, they may just slip HD DVD support through.

But all wishful thinking :D

I'm still convinced the next step for me after HD DVD is with downloads. I could go Blu but I feel that 5 years from now downloads are going to be really taking off. In the pirate world, there's already a vast amount of quality HD stuff there, all downloadable quicker than it takes Royal Mail to deliver the post. Just needs it to become official with the right infrastructure.
 

lhassall

Active Member
Looks like the Logik Blu-Ray player as well :eek: Nutty piece of kit :thumbsup:

836068.jpg


The Shinco CBHD-9000 looks familiar ;)

file.php
 
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DeadKenny

Active Member
A lot of what the big names from Japan and the west sell are based on Chinese components anyway. Shinco's kit for example is rebranded by many of the bigger names and it's no coincidence the menus tend to look similar ;). Shinco's own brand sometimes chucks in more features than the big name rebrands.

Wouldn't be surprised if Shinco was behind the Tosh HD DVD player anyway.

Anyway, if this stuff is so similar, I'm thinking some kind of compatibility with HD DVD is not all that far fetched.
 
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SLIM

Active Member
Maybe its just a case of new firmware :confused:
 

Viking61

Well-known Member
Picture of another model, the THTF CBHD-0002. Looks pretty much like the EP30 if you ask me.

29_2009051414473543Ulu.jpg
 
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