China pushes its own blue-laser optical discs

Labels including Warner Bros. will sell films in the format, a competitor of Blu-ray Disc.

Chinese manufacturers hope to sell hundreds of thousands of optical disc players for a locally developed next-generation disc format this year, a spokesman for an industry group promoting the format said Friday.

At least 100 movies from labels including Warner Bros. will be available by the end of the year in the China Blue High-Definition (CBHD) format, a competitor to Blu-ray Disc, said Lu Da, vice director of the Optical Memory National Engineering Research Center at Tsinghua University.

CBHD players cost 2,000 yuan (US$293), about half as much as a Sony Blu-ray Disc player in China. Sales of players and films started this week in 10 major Chinese cities, said Lu, whose center helped design the format.

Like Blu-ray Disc, CBHD uses a blue laser. Its light has a shorter wavelength than that of the red lasers used to read DVDs, enabling it to detect smaller and more tightly packed tracks holding the information on the disc. The extra capacity of discs designed to be read by blue lasers allows them to store high-definition films a DVD could not.

But unlike Blu-ray Disc, CBHD has a physical disc structure similar to that of a DVD. CBHD and DVD discs are made of two layers 0.6 millimeters thick, stacked to form a disc 1.2 mm thick. A Blu-ray Disc has the same total thickness but consists of a 1.1 mm disc beneath a protective layer 0.1 mm thick.

That structure could give CBHD an advantage over Blu-ray Disc since DVD makers could easily upgrade their equipment to produce discs in the Chinese format, Lu said.

But neither format is likely to take off soon in China, where the HDTVs needed to display high-definition content are rare.

About 10 million HD-ready flat screen TVs were sold in China last year, but the number of people actually watching high-definition content was probably below 100,000, said Michael Qiang Zhang, an analyst at In-Stat.

The handful of HDTV stations in China are also too expensive for most viewers, Zhang said.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Owen Fletcher

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Brand Post

More online threats demand more protection.

Save up to $90! Great Deals on Norton 360 antivirus starting at just A$79.99 Get comprehensive protection with Norton 360 including Antivirus, secure VPN, a Password Manager, PC Cloud Backup, and more. All backed by 60-day Money Back Guarantee and 100% Virus Protection Promise.

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Ada Chan

Dynabook Portégé® X30L-G notebook

I have had the pleasure of owning notebooks from Dynabook’s predecessor Toshiba for both work and leisure in the past. Toshiba’s attention to quality of build and design of the notebooks is second to none. The re-branding to Dynabook and the launch of the new range was completed in early 2019. I am pleased to confirm that not only did Dynabook further refine what Toshiba has left off; they have set a new benchmark for the ultra-light notebook category.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?