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China prepares to unleash HD DVD army

June 28th, 2007 · No Comments

The Chinese army is preparing to march. The steering committee of the DVD Forum has now rubber-stamped an agreement with the Optical Memory National Engineering Research Center of China, which effectively gives a green light to the creation of an HD DVD variant for China’s local market. Under the agreement, the country gets a unique version of the HD DVD specification which is close enough to the standard used elsewhere for Chinese makers to develop widely compatible disc players, made inexpensive through huge economies of scale. It’s unclear yet what the real impact of cheap HD DVD players pouring from Chinese vendors will be, but Universal’s Ken Graffeo believes it could mark a turning point in the hi-def format war. “Hardware drives software. Why do you think they give away the razor? It’s because they want you to buy the blades.”
Inexpensive players are seen as key to broadening the appeal of high def packaged media. Toshiba recently saw its player sales soar by as much as 70 per cent when it dropped the price of its entry-level deck. Andy Parsons, spokesman for the Blu-ray Disc Association, was less impressed, claiming the ratification of a Chinese HD DVD standard would have little relevance in the worldwide market.

Tags: Corporate · Trade

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