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Taiwanese makers of optical disc drives (ODDs) attempted to acquire patents on HD DVD from Toshiba Corp. earlier this year, but the latter decided to turn the offering down, possibly remembering that CBHD (China blue high-definition disc) standard is based on HD DVD. In effect, the move demonstrates readiness of Toshiba to continue the format war against Blu-ray in China as well.

The attempt was made by Taiwan Information Storage Association (TISA), however, it is unclear, which of the ODD manufacturers were ready to invest into HD DVD patents, claims Taiwan-based Economic Daily News news-paper (which article was partly translated by DigiTimes web-site).

It is necessary to note that Toshiba worked together with Tsinghua University and other research organizations in China to develop CBHD, a high-definition format created especially for China. However, it is estimated that more than 90% of CBHD technology is based on HD DVD patents.

The interest of Toshiba and investors from Taiwan towards HD DVD patens is quite understandable: China is the world’s largest market and it yet has to experience high-definition media, as a result, many companies, including Sony, Toshiba and others would like their design to become the next-generation format in the country with the world’s largest population. On the other hand, the reasons for Toshiba to drop the HD DVD biz in Europe and the U.S., but to retain capability to fight Blu-ray in China, are unclear.

Alternatively, Taiwanese ODD manufacturers are interested in getting HD DVD patents in order to be able to promote CBHD and press the Blu-ray disc association so negotiate for lower Blu-ray licensing fees from the organization and get better competitive positions on the emerging Blu-ray mass market in developed countries.

TISA secretary general Tzuang-jen Jeng has reportedly confirmed EDN that the offer was made to Toshiba, but the Japanese electronic conglomerate did not comment on the information.

Tags: Blu-ray disc, HD DVD, CBHD, Toshiba

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