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China and Taiwan to develop royalty-free DVD standards

Written by Petteri Pyyny (Google+) @ 29 May 2002 14:09 User comments (9)

Nineteen Taiwanese electronics companies have quietly decided to develop their own DVD (Digital Versatile Disc) standard, dubbed as EVD (Enhanced Versatile Disc). The new format will be compatible with similiar Chinese effort called AVD (Advanced Versatile Disc), but EVD's storage would be appx. 1GB higher for dual-layer discs.
Both standards' players would play regular DVD discs and would use similiar red-laser technology what DVD currently uses (instead of blue laser technology what upcoming Japanese Blu-Ray uses). Analysts estimate that Taiwanese and Chinese efforts will eventually merge as one competing standard to current DVD standard.

The reason behind the whole process is very simple -- money. Chinese DVD player manufacturers are refusing to pay licensing fees for their players to companies who own patents on DVD technology (which include Japanese Sony, Japanese Pioneer, European Philips, Dolby Labs, Thomson Multimedia, etc). Licensing fees are currently appx. 20 to 25 percent for $100 DVD player. Same thing happened in early 1990s, when companies who developed VideoCD format (Sony, Pioneer and Philips) which became an instant success in Far East, tried to get Chinese player manufacturers to pay for the patents -- Chinese government simply organized a joint venture which eventually developed royalty-free SuperVideoCD format.

It is still unclear what differences the new format(s) will have. Some are saying that the video will be stored in HD format with some other than MPEG-2 compression format.

Interesting -- I'm fairly certain that these discs wont have CSS or Macrovision copy-protection :-)

Full article from EETimes

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9 user comments

129.5.2002 14:19

No political opinions from Far East, please -- I'm too tired of that right now.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 29 May 2002 @ 14:20

Petteri Pyyny (pyyny@twitter)
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229.5.2002 23:25

If it's compatible with DVD, won't they still have to pay royalty fees? Atleast if they advertise the compatibility..


Jari Ketola
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330.5.2002 0:27

Ketola! *Great* to see you in there again!! I received an unsolicited email the other day from an obscure source: " *** New Miracle DVD Device *** Ah-So, JOE! We haff developed new Miracle Rekording Machine! Easy To Assembly!!!! Unit uses new PINK laser teknology! Plays dvd, vcd, svcd, xvcd, laser disc, minidisc, dvd-r, dvd+r, dvd+rw, mp3-disc, 8-track tape cartridges, blue-laser, red laser, orange laser, white book, red book, green book, polka-dotted book, Sony PlayStation, and analogue cassettes with special add-on adaptor!!!! VELLY VELLY EASY TO USE !!! When recording, unit strip out MacroVision, SafeAudio, Region Code, Digital Right's Management, fingerprints and scratches! Special feature remove all FBI warnings and movie trailers. Unit uses new 1/2" discs, and can hold 72 dvd movies! One-Touch recording control record anything, anytime, anywhere. Special Offer: All new units come with coupon for your choice of 8 FREE dvds, and one-dozen egg rolls! (Should I respond?) -- K.A. --

430.5.2002 0:46

Hi there Klingon =) The proprietary pink-laser technology sure is promising, but hasn't quite lived up to the hype - yet. I've heard that especially polka-dot book 8-tracks cause huge difficulties on units equiped with the DTS 6.2 decoder and the Shock-the-Sofa(tm) subwoofer booster. You might still want to take a look at the unit. Aren't we all, afterall, fascinated by technological advancements? It might take years before the Miracle Rekording Machine, although German made, hits the streets here in Europe...


Jari Ketola
Administrator
http://www.AfterDawn.com

530.5.2002 1:20

ROTFLOL =) Krhm.. Back to biz.. Anyway, I assume that they would still have to pay the royalties, if they would face a Western court, but by claiming that "ok. Our system just _HAPPENS_ to play also this not-so-advanced capitalist-created ancient disc format, but just by an accident -- it's really aimed to play our EVD discs which don't have anything to do with your standard -- even the MPEG-2 header has one byte which is set different and therefor doesn't comply with any MPEG-2 specs. And you would ask us to pay royalties because of this? Not gonna happen." Obviously all SVCD players support VCD as well, but none of the SVCD player manufacturers pays the licensing fees, since this is just an "additional feature" or something :-) ...or, as PRC is now member of WTO, they might try to get western/Japanese manufacturers to support their format as well and balance the royalty streams between China and rest of the world.


Petteri Pyyny (pyyny@twitter)
Webmaster
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630.5.2002 1:33

I still think that blue-laser will dominate. But Ketola is right, technology is fun!

730.5.2002 7:01

dRD, Yeah, I suppose it's just the DVD logo they have to pay for. And probaly MPEG2 license fee, which, I believe, is included in the price of the MPEG2 decoder, so that's no biggie. Dunno really. I've never read the DVD license agreement =)


Jari Ketola
Administrator
http://www.AfterDawn.com

830.5.2002 7:15

The logo you get when you comply with DVD Forum's stuff -- Macrovision, CSS, etc crap. And that costs around $10 per player or so. The MPEG-2 decoder thingy was something around $2-5 per player. Full specs for the licensing costs for $100 player are listed in the EETimes article anyway.


Petteri Pyyny (pyyny@twitter)
Webmaster
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91.6.2002 11:55

That was a very interesting EETimes article. A (bit) exciting but a lot exasperating too. I can only imagine so many new "splinter" formats being introduced or announced before people finally throw their hands up in utter frustration. (Oh, incidentally, Nick Page said that obtaining a legal license to manufacture a dvd player requires....."a security payment of between $750,000 and $1 million, which would be forfeit if [[any restriction]] of the license was ever breached. Additionally, it is said that the DVD CAA (a supposed non-profit industry association) would also require a 6% royalty fee on all sales...." Well, despite China's human-rights' controversy, I am grateful to them for the vcd format. My computer rarely spends a 24-hour period without scrunching-up a dvd in the background (TMPGEnc), so I would like to see, perhaps, a happy marriage between their new-&-compatible standards <A>dvanced <V>ersatile <D>isc, and <E>hanced <V>ersatile <D>isc -- the specs of which *already* outshine dvd-r by 1 GB per disc !! (And all this to come by years'-end? Awesome!) Complex royalty issues aside, I'm just worried about what Digital Rights' Management and copy-guard-like restrictions the Chinese will be making inherent within the new format. I pray to god that neither EVD or AVD will do to general consumers what the DVD has done to us. I hope the developers will never become as GREEDY as the DVD consortium, and be fair to everyone. I'm also keeping a (distant) eye on Blu-Laser technology. It would seem that honest, genuine High-Definition video and blue-laser technology go hand-in-hand very well together. (One compliments the other). But disturbing to me is that the same people, more or less, who developed the most convolutedly-obtuse system in the world (the DVD) will also be dictating blue-laser's specifications. I don't think that bodes very well for the consumer. I.E. : Matsushita/Philips/Samsung/Sony/Sharp. The original Blu-Laser Group. How many of these are part of the original DVD Consortium? [[EETimes: "These companies said they would conduct the work outside of the DVD Forum." ]] But how much will they be influenced BY it? Interesting times ahead, yes, exciting too, but very exasperating as well for the consumer until a major shakedown of formats occurs. My 2c worth. -- K.A. --

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