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[CHINA] Firms Relaunch Their Own DVD Format

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  • madchinaman
    Chinese firms relaunch their own DVD format Electronics makers say they plan to switch completely to the homegrown standard, EVD, by 2008. From the Associated
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 13, 2006
      Chinese firms relaunch their own DVD format
      Electronics makers say they plan to switch completely to the
      homegrown standard, EVD, by 2008.
      From the Associated Press

      BEIJING — China's top electronics makers on Wednesday unveiled dozens
      of video players made with a homegrown DVD format in a campaign to
      promote a Chinese alternative to foreign technology.

      The format, known as EVD, is part of state-backed efforts to create
      standards for mobile phones and other products and reduce dependence
      on foreign know-how and possibly reap licensing fees if they are
      adopted abroad.

      EVD, or Enhanced Versatile Disc, was first released in 2003, but an
      effort to promote it was dropped in 2004 after EVD players failed to
      catch on with consumers and producers squabbled over licensing fees.

      Now, Chinese electronics makers have revived the campaign on a
      massive scale, saying they plan to switch completely to EVD by 2008
      and stop producing standard DVD players. Electronics makers, film
      studios and retailers are promising to sell EVDs and players.

      The move also adds a new twist to the rivalry between the HD DVD and
      Blu-ray Disc next-generation video standards being promoted by
      competing groups of U.S., Japanese and European companies.

      Promoters of EVD say it provides crisper pictures and sound, bigger
      recording capacity and better anti-piracy features than standard DVD.

      Zhang Baoquan, general secretary of the EVD Industry Alliance, a
      group promoting the alternative format, expressed confidence that
      sales in China's booming consumer electronics market would be strong
      enough to support producers after they stopped making DVD players.

      "By 2008, when EVD replaces DVD, there will be no major impact on
      Chinese manufacturers," he said at a news conference.

      Chinese sales of high-definition TV sets next year are expected to
      grow 60% to 8 million units, driving sales of video players, Zhang
      said. He said producers planned to start trying to export EVD
      machines next year.

      On Wednesday, 54 video players from 20 Chinese manufacturers were
      displayed at a Beijing art gallery. They included models from Haier
      Group, one of the world's top three appliance makers, and TCL Group,
      which owns French television maker Thomson and the RCA brand.

      Chinese companies produce 80% of the world's DVD players under their
      own brand names and for foreign electronics companies or retailers.
      But manufacturers complain that fees paid to foreign owners of
      technology cut into profits in a highly competitive industry.

      At Wednesday's exhibition, film distributors displayed dozens of
      Chinese movies and a few foreign titles including the Hollywood
      thriller "Cellular" in EVD format.

      The industry group says EVD players will retail for about 700 yuan
      ($87), about the same as a DVD player.

      The 20 manufacturers in the EVD alliance account for 90% of DVD sales
      in China, Zhang said.

      Chinese authorities have had only mixed success with earlier efforts
      to promote homegrown standards for the fast-growing fields of mobile
      phones and wireless encryption.

      Last year, Beijing dropped an effort to make its encryption standard
      mandatory for computers and other goods sold in China after the
      United States and other governments complained it would hamper market
      access for foreign companies. In March, the global industrial
      standards body rejected the Chinese system for worldwide use.
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