Can China Create Interest in Yet Another DVD Format?
Dec 20, 2006
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Twenty Chinese consumer electronics OEMs are said to be ready to launch their own DVD format. Media reports see the move to switch to the enhanced versatile disc (EVD) format as an attempt to avoid paying DVD format licensing fees. The OEMs would use the format instead of common standards like MPEG-4.
A report in the China Economic News said the list of companies on-board for the new format include Haier, China's biggest appliance brand, and one of the biggest makers of consumer electronics products.
China unveiled 54 players using the EVD format and said they plan to switch entirely to EVD format by 2008.
What was left unexplained was how the Chinese OEMs would motivate buyers, and especially studios, to embrace the format in a market already hurting from too many options. Industry watchers say the EVD move has little chance of adoption outside China. No studios have expressed interest in the format. Studios are already playing a balancing act between two new competing new formats, and consumers are impatient with the confusion between Blu-Ray, HD DVD and standard DVD. Without a swell of market interest, combined with large-scale studio support, an exported EVD player will be unmarketable. Even inside China it likely will have little chance of widespread acceptance - China is the biggest maker of DVD-format players in the world.
There have been other attempts by Chinese industry to establish new Chinese standards that compete with global industry- and market-accepted standards. These include S-VCD (Super Video Compact Disc)and a telecommunications standard TD-SCDMA. Both fizzled in the face of disinterest worldwide and an absence of market recognition inside China.
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