AfterDawn: Tech news

FVD's popularity might rise in China?

Written by Petteri Pyyny (Google+) @ 12 Jan 2005 13:05 User comments (32)

FVD's popularity might rise in China? As western consumer electronic companies, most notably Philips continue their efforts to crack down on Chinese DVD player manufacturers who try to escape from paying royalties for DVD technology, several Chinese and Taiwanese DVD player manufacturers might drop their support for DVD in favor of their own homegrown video format, FVD (Forward Versatile Disc).
The format, which was developed by Taiwanese electronic companies, supported by Taiwan's government, was launched in last year's April and provides slightly higher storage space than the current DVD-Video format, but still uses red laser rather than blue laser (what the "next generation" optical formats, Blu-Ray and HD-DVD, use).

If FVD's support grows in China, it might provide interesting shockwaves throughout the western world as well, as most cheap DVD players are built by Chinese manufacturers and even if their players aimed for western markets would include support for DVD-Video, it seems likely that they'd include a support for FVD as well. First FVD-capable players will launch in Taiwan and China at the end of this month, followed by India, Australia and other Asia-Pacific. Europe and U.S. will get their first FVD players in second half of 2005. The format, obviously, doesn't use DVD discs, DVD structure or anything that has been patented by the DVD Forum member companies.

Source: DigiTimes

Previous Next  

32 user comments

112.1.2005 13:18

So what type of burner would you need, Would a normal one work?

212.1.2005 14:10

most likely, but you'd need a different type of disc. not dvd+r or -r, but maybe DVDxR?

312.1.2005 14:50

interesting idea, but im confused who gets all this royalty money? is it paid to the guys who invented dvd?

412.1.2005 15:23

not necessarily them, but the owner's of the patents.

512.1.2005 16:11

It doesn't matter if all of China,Taiwan, and the india support this format. without Hollywood putting their movies on it, it'll never fly. Atleast not in the USA or Europe.

612.1.2005 18:35

Yes, tanviper, but what's to keep people from simply copying-over their Hollywood DVD to a blank FVD disc? (This would, of course, assume that there would BE recordable FVD discs). I should think that pretty-much any modern-day (and even free) software like DVDShrink, would do the job nicely. Since the FVD holds slightly more data that a present DVD-5, there would be no problem. You could watch all the Hollywood movies you wanted, straight from the FVD, whether Hollywood liked it or not. Trouble is, we can already do that with an ordinary, standard +R or -R disc anyway. And I doubt you'll be able to buy a blank FVD disc for .50c (Canadian), which is what I can get them for here. No...... I think we'd be better off waiting for blank, recordable HD or Blu-Ray discs first. But FVD would not fail just because of lack of Hollywood (pre-recorded) films. When you're talking about blank media (any format), you don't need Hollywood for anything !

713.1.2005 2:10

how about an afterdawn coverage ? someone from the board to try it out ? or drD could get a review machine ?

813.1.2005 6:19

A_Klingon, I agree with you that the "geeks" among us ( I'm one of them) can copy almost any movie to whatever media they want, but the vast majority of people, IMHO, either don't know how to, or don't want to mess with it. If Hollywood doesn't back it, then why would your average user buy it? There not going to buy a FVD player to watch a Chinese’s movie. I sure wouldn't!! The vast majority of people are going to buy the format their favorite movies are put out on. Case in point, VHS. You can hardly find VHS movies anymore. Target, Best Buy, Costco, Circuit City, CompUSA, etc.. Carry more DVD's then VHS, if they carry them at all. Remember BetaMAX? Hollywood didn't support it, so it went away (I’m simplifying it of course, but you get the point) I don't care if FVD can carry more data, that doesn't seem to be a factor in what format to use. You only have to look at the whole BLURAY/HDDVD war to prove that. BetaMAX, from what I understand, had better video then VHS. My 2 cents, Tanviper

913.1.2005 7:42

Quote-(A_Klingon) "...copying-over their Hollywood DVD to a blank FVD disc...I should think that pretty-much any modern-day (and even free) software like DVDShrink, would do the job..." Quote from story- "The format, obviously, doesn't use DVD discs, DVD structure or anything that has been patented by the DVD Forum member companies." Me thinks we'll need some new apps... If the format catches on someone will step up to write them, but they don't exsist as of now.

1013.1.2005 12:04

I agree with tanviper. If popular media (i.e. Holywood movies) aren't produced in this new format, there will be no demand for it. And even if it does hold a little bit more data, that's not much of a reason to switch to the new format, especially with the release of Blu-Ray just around the corner. Gotta give 'em credit for sidestepping those royalty fees though! Way to go China!

1113.1.2005 12:52

Good points all, tanviper (in your post above). I'd be more than willing to bet that FVD will never see the light of day here in North America - the DVD is just too entrenched right now; players at $50 abound; blank media is practically a give-away if you know where to look; and we have more retail and rental titles than we know what to do with. So, in our neck of the woods, *who needs* FVD? I can see it happening in China, though. I don't know how many (retail) Hollywood DVD-releases there are over there in the native Chinese language(s), but I bet that far more Chinese people (a HUGE potential domestic market) would much rather see an at-home Chinese-language movie (Chinese actors; Chinese producers/directors from their own national Chinese content-providers (studios) than the Hollywood stuff anyway. There's an interesting thought, Shiroh. (Review machines sent to AfterDawn for testing/appraisal). That would be way cool!. Of course I don't how how much time or resources A/D has to do this on a continuing basis. (It could become an expected-feature from the members if it caught on in any big way.) "Review this one! NO NO - review *this one* first!! - No no no, review Apple's new I-Pod thingee *first*!" (etc). I think first though, FVD would at least have to become a "going concern" before A/D would consider it, and right now FVD is just an 'emerging' technology at best, in it's most embryonic stage. It could be history by this time next week, and a review wouldn't mean very much. And you make a very good point too, GrayArea: You're right, the *whole* idea behind FVD is to bypass All DVD patents/royalties whatsoever, which would indeed also mean bypassing the DVD menuing system; .vob file structure, etc. So yep, that in itself would require a whole new family of FVD authoring software. (And god only knows what kind of built-in copy protection/DRM the FVD would/will contain that would have to be 'cracked' first). No one's ever heard of an "FVD-Ripper" yet. And this is interesting too... I (sortof) suspect that the dvd-royalty thing must apply to blank media-makers as well. I believe there may be a royalty payment due to the DVD patent-holders if a blank disc carries the stylized DVD-Logo on it's top label. Case in point: A short while ago, I bought a bunch of these inexpensive (fifty-cent) chinese dvds. (Forgive me, but I *think* the manufacturer's name is "Mitsushimi" or something similar - the name does not appear on the disc itself) : The discs carried the familiar, standard DVD-Logo: But *now*, after buying a new batch of these same discs a few weeks ago, I noticed a subtle change: See the difference? (The rest of the label-top was unchanged). It could very well be, that by using the non-official DVD Logo, the chinese disc makers can avoid paying any royalties at all. (Maybe the FVD folks and Mitsushimi disc people ought to team up, eh ? )

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 13 Jan 2005 @ 13:30

1213.1.2005 12:53

I really don't think that China or most of Asia care about Hollywood movies being released on DVD as a defining factor. With over half the worlds population as a captive market, their own movie and television studios and most of their population not being able to afford DVDs or hi-tech equipment any cheaper alternative is bound to be successful. And remember that most of our IT equipment is made in Asia, if they retool their factories to produce FVD players and discs then definitely expect this standard to be widely available and cheaper than DVD as well. I would expect it to be the other way around and Hollywood will be clamouring over the FVD standard so that they can make more money from the Asian market.

1313.1.2005 13:25

anon755, Maybe, maybe not. With a Format war already on with HD-DVD and BLURAY, I would guess Hollywood wouldn't want a 3rd choice added to the mix. That, and if the copy protection isn't good enough on ANY of the neext generation DVD replacments, you can beat that Hollywood wont go near it. Since Asia as a HUGE problem in that area, China is going to have to work with Hollywood before they'll release any movies in that format. -Tanviper

1413.1.2005 16:35

I don't think FVD is going to come here, honestly we already have blu-ray and HD DVD coming out, this is just one of those things that will die out in china itself.

1513.1.2005 18:07

I would almost certainly guarantee the the FVD format will be able to read/play current standard pressed DVD's - hence the need for studio support is irrelevant. Commercial DVD's are not + or - format - they are pressed not burnt. FVD will merely add an additional option for reading and burning DVD's.

1613.1.2005 20:55

Assuming the new format takes off, you still have the compatability issue. The standalone player to connect to your tv as well as a pc compatible drive which would be more important since eventually, someone would design software to convert fvd to dvd making the standalone player unnecessary. It's still too early to say. How advanced is the technology and marketing? How many homes do they anticipate changing over to the new format in the next 1-5 years. It all depends on how profitable it would be to the developers.

1714.1.2005 1:57

I would almost certainly guarantee that the FVD format will be able to read/play current standard pressed DVDs.
It would seem that you are right, colw. In the second paragraph of the DigiTimes link this thread refers to, there appears (to me) to be conflicting information relating to whether or not Chinese manufacturers are going to have to pay DVD royalties. On the one hand it says, FVD is, however, completely different from DVD in physical format, and it is not subject to any royalty charges for DVD patents. Then it says, And since the FVD standard is compatible with the DVD format ... Huh ??? I had assumed that if a set-top player could playback DVD content, it would have to contain DVD technology, and that requires royalty payments, does it not? So if I decide to start up a new company that uses the new SDD ("Super-Dooper-Disc") format I just invented, and I include standard DVD playback capability, wouldn't I still *have* to pay royalties for the DVD part of the machine? I would think so, but hey, if not, then maybe I could also throw-in FVD and EVD compatability as well! (Nothing like getting a free piece of the Asian pie, eh?) To tell you the truth, I don't even know if the Legal Beagles themselves know what to do with all of these upstart formats floating around. As a consumer, I don't know what to do either! (Nah....) I think we'll all be better off just waiting for those cute lil' high-density Blu-Ray discs to take over !
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 14 Jan 2005 @ 2:01

1814.1.2005 2:49

Perhaps we can look at it this way. DVD- is the official DVD format. DVD+ was developed by a group of companies seeking to avoid royaly payments to the DVD- developers. Hence we have dual format machines that handle both formats (not sure what the royalty situation is with these). What is to stop another group developing triple format burners? Playback units (standalones) are neither - or + format - the disks for these machines are pressed, not burnt. As such there is nothing to stop a developer from building a machine that is capable of playing standard pressed DVD's and DVD's in a new format.

1914.1.2005 5:32

It's a consumer market, (1 example me)(2example you) The average person on the street doesn't give a ..damn. They in the past just wan't to see a vidio, it was a tape, of VHS or was it that other thing??? I fancy blu-ray to take the market..cuz folk remember colours better than numbers. gringle on ad-about.

2014.1.2005 6:06

Also any pratt, with half a brain, would/could have anticipated this situation; like all the the rippers in the world, seek to .. balance the books, help feed those that need bodily and mental food. nope sorry folk 'Tis a colour thing Blu Ray (with a hint of grey.) The Western world will accept. Now changing the subject I have an original version of Blade Runner. Yep forget the Smarmy Director Cut.........Crap I think it's bloody brilliant. (the original VHS)that is. And all I can say is if I offend the Odd person from time 't times' then I apologise; I'm sure it's within my ability to often offend a lot.

2114.1.2005 9:16

Gringle- "I fancy blu-ray to take the market..cuz folk remember colours better than numbers." Where's the numbers in "HD-DVD"? ;-) "Blu-Ray" does have a nice ring to it though...

2214.1.2005 14:47

I think blu-ray will take over too. DVD+R sucks so bad, I acidentally bought 50 a long time ago imation brand and they don't even burn they're so shitty. DVD-R has always worked for me and DVD+R hasn't ever worked in any DVD application whether DVDDecryptor or DVD Shrink or Nero. I'm sure most of it has to do with the fact that Imation made a shitty ass disc, pisses me off, I have 50 of them, I love verbatim DVD-R though. HD DVD will end up like laser disc did, blu-ray just has such a greater capacity. FVD sounds like junk and will never westernize.

2315.1.2005 2:25

I want to see a home (computer) recorder that will store one full-length Hi-Definition movie on a wafer-thin .5 gram flash memory card. Then I want a small set-top playback unit that will accept 1000 of these little cards, each in it's own tiny slot. (1000 hi-def movies - sure beats a 5-Disc changer, huh?) Every time you open the access door and insert a new flash card, a thumbnail image will be added to the player's built-in Menu. You will be able to select which movie you want to watch simply by choosing it with your remote-control's up/down keys. Each blank flash card (which will cost about $5 from your local Radio Shack store), will also let you record 10 (regular) dvds, all selectable from a sub-menu. (And after the doctors release me from Ward 3 of this Institution, I may actually *see* such a unit) !

2415.1.2005 22:47

Blu-Ray? No way. HD-DVD is going to be the thing because people can easily decipher the acronym without any help. We're all familiar with HD and with DVD. My question is: Isn't both Blu-Ray and HD-DVD the same thing? they both use a blue laser to get a more accurate read of each byte on a disc, allowing the information on the disc to be much more compressed. So can't there be only one patent? If so, who has it?

2516.1.2005 19:12

Like today's DVDs, HD DVD sandwiches data between two foundation layers, each 0.6 millimeters thick. The foundation, or substrate, layer of Blu-ray discs is 1.1 millimeters thick. The data sits on top of that, followed by a bit more substrate and a hard coating. This design allows machines to focus the laser on smaller spots than with HD DVD.HD DVD is designed to hold 15GB on a single-layer read-only disc and 30GB on a dual-layer read-only disc. HD-DVD also specifies a 20GB rewritable disc. Read-only and rewritable Blu-ray discs are designed to hold 25GB on a single layer and 50GB in a dual-layer arrangement. Backers of the Blu-ray format also are researching the possibility of four to six data layers, which would boost capacity to up to 150GB on a single disc. ----cnet news There isn't any sign of HD-DVD having the capacity, because of less focus, including more than two layers. HD-DVD is more practical than blu-ray for movies, but DVD is more practical than HD-DVD for movies also. Blu-ray is aiming at the gaming industry. HD-DVD is just a high capacity DVD even though we can already have a perfect movie on DVD+R DL. From where the projections stand now, the gaming and data transfer industry should use blu-ray and movies should stay on DVD. HD-DVD is impractical for anything, when blu-ray and DVD can handle each end and if worse comes to worse a single-layer blu-ray can hold 10GB more of your "high definition" also known as "Bullshit" than HD-DVD.

2616.1.2005 22:11

O.k., so if Video Games are likely to be on Blu-Ray and Movies HD-DVD will our consoles be unable to play movies? Not that it matters. why should we waste our precious lenses on such things?

2716.1.2005 22:15

Bad wording on my last post, basically my quesion is, Will Blue Ray Players be able to read DVD's? with the blue laser and all.

2816.1.2005 22:19

Wait a minute !!!! if Video Games will be Blu Ray and movies not (which makes sense to me). The will a comercial grade Blu Ray burner even be available? Please God, Don't take away my ability to back up my games !!!!

2917.1.2005 7:10

Blu-ray burners and blank media are already availible in Japan for a good deal of money. By 2006 they should come west and be decently priced nothing less than $500 if your lucky. Most of companies supporting blu-ray have already designed a burner that reads and writes DVD and Blu-ray. Commercial grade blu-ray burners are already availible in Japan for $2,000. But by the time they come west they will be much cheaper and much smaller, but will not be "commercial" in the sense that they will be slower than the $2,000 ones. Remember when DVD burners were big $$$ now an internal dual layer burner is $70, it'll be the same with every new electronic thing. It is not decided what format each industry will take, gaming and movie, but Sony's next installment of the Playstation is going to be blu-ray. As far as movies and computer media, that's what the major computer and movie corporations are debating right now.

3017.1.2005 7:12

Xbox, in competition with Sony, is considering HD-DVD.

3119.1.2005 11:14

Don't you guys think this FVD stuff is a little late in the game?

3222.1.2005 0:15

Yes, I think so. FVD may or may not survive very long in Asia regardless of how many machines have already been manufactured. But in North America - when compared to the undeniable advantages of either Blu-Ray or HD-DVD, the FVD really IS a case of too little too late.

Comments have been disabled for this article.

Latest user comments

News archive