The HD format war continues in China

The Feedster

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Jun 26, 2007
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Just when you think Blu-ray is the one format to rule them all, a new study reveals that while the dust of the hi-def format war has settled in the West, the fight is only just beginning in the Far East.
Analysts at CCID, a Chinese consultation group, have released an article on the changes in China’s DVD industry. It focuses on the manufacturing of hi-def players rather than the production of them.
While China produces 94 per cent of all players made in the DVD market, it manufactures very few. This is something the country wants to change and some Chinese companies might try and do this without Blu-ray’s help.
The country has been independently developing red-ray high-definition lasers, much like the tech used in Toshiba’s failed HD DVD player range. It is a cheaper product to manufacture, compared to Blu-ray (sound familiar?), but the technology is still in its infancy with a lack of factories producing all the components needed to make the players.
This means that Chinese manufacturers have to choose whether to continue working on this innovative technology or bow down to the increasing power of Blu-ray.
Blu dominance
Some Chinese manufacturers have already made the choice, according to China Tech News. The website is reporting that 11 manufacturers have signed up with the BDA (Blu-ray Disc Association) to manufacture Blu-ray discs, drives and decks. This brings the total worldwide Blu-ray makers to 187.
The 11 companies that were granted a patent by the BDA can now begin to create a Blu-ray making industry in China and not have to rely on the importing of players from non-Chinese manufacturers. This will dramatically reduce costs and give the country a certain amount of autonomy when it comes to developing its own HD technology.
Red Vs Blu
While the CCID is claiming that the threat of red-ray technology is a very real home-grown one, now that Blu-ray manufacturing has been given the go ahead it does look like this format war is going down a familiar path. Whatever the outcome, though, it will mean cheaper Blu-ray players for the rest of us.