AfterDawn: Tech news

China released its EVD specs

Written by Petteri Pyyny (Google+) @ 18 Nov 2003 15:01 User comments (17)

Today China released the final specs of its competitor to DVD-Video disc. China calculated the timing of this week's major technological announcement very well. Currently DVD Forum is trying to solve locked situation where it has to choose either HD-DVD which is based on AOD disc, developed by Toshiba and NEC, and BD-ROM, which is based on Blu-Ray disc, developed by various consumer electronics companies, including Sony, Pioneer and Philips.
China's own digital video disc format is called Enhanced Video Disc or EVD. Format uses blue-laser discs, just like AOD and Blu-Ray do, but the exact capacity is not known at the moment. The most interesting part of the disc's specifications is in its video compression method. EVD uses proprietary video codecs developed by American On2 Technologies, called VP5 and VP6 that deliver significantly better video quality with lower bitrate levels than the MPEG-2 used in DVD-Video discs (and in proposed BD-ROM format) does and competes well (and according to various tests, also beats it at least in some cases) against MPEG-4's latest video compression method, called H.264 that proposed HD-DVD plans to use. EVD will be able to use HDTV resolution natively, which should also boost the plans to launch a nationwide HDTV service in China in near future.

China's main motivation in developing its own standard was to avoid royalty payments to American, Japanese and European consumer electronics companies that hold most of the patents involved with DVD-Video discs. However, choosing an American company to deliver the video compression method seems a bit weird against this goal, but according to On2, the deal was relatively cheap for Chinese government anyway. Manufacturers who wish to use EVD in their players have to pay $2 for each player to On2, but On2 doesn't collect any royalties whatsoever from sold EVD discs, which is a huge bonus compared to the current DVD-Video patent situation.

China exported 20 million DVD players in 2002, accounting for more than 70 percent of the world DVD player markets and it is obvious that there's a need to reduce the royalties if possible flowing out of China. Chinese government is currently negotiating about plans to set the EVD as China's national standard for digital videos and movies. However, costs are a problem; EVD players are expected to cost $230 in China and average Chinese DVD player costs only $96 in China.

More information:

EE Times

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17 user comments

118.11.2003 17:22


This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 19 Nov 2003 @ 0:08

218.11.2003 23:05

That´s sounds really impressive, but EVD is a project that could emerge within a year or two. When will we see the technology you mentioned?

319.11.2003 0:08

fedrive: Seriously, next time you post the same useless hype to any of our news comments, I will ban you -- you promote your company's non-existing products using our news commentary feature, which is totally unacceptable.

419.11.2003 4:33

quote: EVD uses proprietary video codecs developed by American On2 Technologies, called VP5 and VP6 that deliver significantly better video quality with lower bitrate levels than the MPEG-2 used in DVD-Video discs (and in proposed BD-ROM format) does and competes well (and according to various tests, also beats it at least in some cases) against MPEG-4's latest video compression method, called H.264 that proposed HD-DVD plans to use. end quote: Well all we will need now is the software codec so we can play these (after we get a Blu-ray drive). I'm all for a higher capacity DVD recordable format (If that is what they are trying to deliver).


Intel 440BX MB, Dual Intel 1.2Ghz P3's, 2GB RAM
TDK 440N, 390GB ATI AIW 8500DV Win2k Srvr

519.11.2003 4:39

strcruzer: But the problem is really to find a one standard, no one wants to have a new Beta vs VHS fight again, where you end up having a device that can't play movies rented/bought from your local video store because your device is supporting format X while the rest of the world decided to choose format Y instead :-) Eventually Hollywood is the one who makes the decision anyway -- whichever format they decide to release the movies to, will most likely win (unless they mess things up with useless DRM like they did with DIVX).

Petteri Pyyny (pyyny@twitter)

620.11.2003 14:31

Go go China!!

Everyone is entitled to their own true opinion. Either respect that or don't.

722.11.2003 15:35

Really confusing! Three weeks ago: And now this: Can one believe any of these news anymore?

823.11.2003 0:47

So HD-DVD provides better image quality by using discs with larger capacity and a new codec. Blu-Ray also offers better quality but only by increasing disc space? What about image quality, which of the two formats provide better image quality?

923.11.2003 3:48

Quality depends on used datarate. One cannot say that dvd has a good or bad picture quality, because it varies with diffrent movies. Ex. with AVC one gets same quality than with mpeg2 with only 40% of the datarate. So with AVC a very good 1920*1080 picture might have a datarate of 8Mbit/s. Both these new discs could handle that datarate well enough...

1025.11.2003 7:26

toke8: It seems that DVD-Forum doesn't really know yet what they want and what they ultimately will decide is really upto them.

Petteri Pyyny (pyyny@twitter)

1128.11.2003 4:08

Well, I think that problem is that 10 of 18 seats in the steering comittee are held by a company that represents bluray. Before they voted down the proposal for hd-dvd twice, but now they changed their mind. I think bluray people thought that it would be good for overall bisnes to get AOD on the market by x-mas 2004, because BD would be ready only x-mas 2005. Otherwise chinese EVD would take the market before BD. Anybody heard avout hd-dvd's codec and any news about recordable hd-dvd?

1228.11.2003 6:49

I thought Blu-Ray was available in asia already?

1328.11.2003 10:01

BD is available, but they are very limited prereleases. They just finished 0.9 version of BD specs and there aren't many factories that can produce the discs. AOD is more ready so there is possibility that it could hit the massmarket also in States & Europe at x-mas 2004. You need something like 100 million discs for that...


1429.11.2003 2:06

I don´t see why they just don´t combine the two technologies. DVD´s are doing fine right now, I haven´t heard anyone complaining about the quality. Obviously there will be a time to switch to higher capacity and better quality, but do we really need that now? The members of the DVD forum should stop with their internal competition. Combine HD-DVD´s H.264 codec and Blu-Ray´s larger disc-capacity. Voilá! Very high quality video and excelent capacity. Is it that hard to get along?

1529.11.2003 5:03

Combining good sides would be nice, but they are really in a hurry to do that or otherwise EVD will take the market. Combining standards would take even longer time than getting out either of the formats. After all it was a good thing that EVD appeared to make some competition in the field so the others were forced to have some co-operation. EVD's problem is another propiertary codec, which is owned by one company.


1615.12.2003 4:06

I see both ups and downs to this. The up is that there will be a single company to go to if problems arise with the codec. That will mean fixes can be done MUCH quicker and without hastles. There can be no pointing fingers for a year and no fix done. The downside is the monopoly factor, but hey, MS is not that bad of a company, why would anyone else be? (MS will buy them anyways) And if I understand this correctly, they have around 25-30 gig on a blu-ray disc, using a red laser.. right? So if they combined the technologies then that could theoretically be 60-70gig on a single disc? I don't care if that takes an ENTIRE year more, THAT WOULD HANDSDOWN BE ACCEPTED BY ALL, and in the long run, everyone would win. Lastly, NOW is the time to worry about quality, and sound.. not later. You put it off now, and a year down the road, when it comes time to finally change, that is ANOTHER DVD player you have to buy.. yet ANOTHER copy of your fav movie to get... I personally don't look forward to spending ANOTHER $250 down the road... then another $3000 for a new DEvd collection....

We the willing, lead by the unknowing, have done so much for so long with so little, that we are now capable of doing everything with nothing.

1715.12.2003 5:35

Blu(e) ray (of laser) red? Well...


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