China Enters Proprietary Red-Laser High-Definition Optical Standard

Wuhan Hi-Tech Holding Group Debuts HD NVD Standard

by Anton Shilov
02/02/2009 | 07:14 PM

The high-definition format war is about to begin in China, but it will not be another battle between Blu-ray disc technology and HD DVD technology as state-owned Wuhan Hi-Tech Holding Group has announced HD NVD (high-definition new versatile disc) format that will compete against Blu-ray and CBHD.

 

There is no secret that China is the world’s largest producer of various equipment, including DVD players. The problem for the country is that it heavily relies on technologies developed abroad, which is not exactly good as pricing of solutions like a Blu-ray disc player is high even for well-developed markets. Both Blu-ray and CBHD (Chinese blue high-definition) technologies were developed in Japan to a large degree, hence, Chinese have to pay the full price for those technologies. The Blu-ray disc association demands $30 fee for every BD player, whereas DVD forum wants $12 for every HD DVD-supporting player, not including other fees as well as copyright protection licensing payments.

With that in mind, state-owned Wuhan Hi-Tech Holding Group began development of the country’s own high-definition video format called HD NVD.

According to media reports HD NVD is based on red laser technology, hence, the devices can be produced using current equipment and replication factories need minor updates. The HD NVD can store 12GB of data, which is considerably less compared to Blu-ray (up to 50GB) or HD DVD/CBHD (up tom 30GB), but is more than storage space of DVD (around 8.5GB).

No actual details are available regarding the HD NVD except of the fact that the technology exists and is largely based on DVD technology. Moreover, no content providers partnering with Wuhan on HD NVD are announced. Finally, there are concerns that modern high-definition movies, especially various extended editions, will not fit onto a 12GB media.

Earlier this year Sony Pictures Home Entertainment opened up Blu-ray replication factory in China. Meanwhile, CBHD standard has not kicked off yet.