Firms say out with DVDs, time for EVDs

By Li Weitao and Wang Xing (China Daily)
Updated: 2006-11-29 08:53

Nearly 20 leading Chinese manufacturers will stop making DVD players from 2008, replacing them with EVD (Enhanced Versatile Disc) players, the next-generation players based on a Chinese home-grown standard.

The companies involved, including Shinco, Amoi, Hisense and TCL, will make a joint announcement of the ban next Wednesday, said Zhang Baoquan, chairman of Antaeus Group and secretary-general of the EVD Industry Alliance, which is dedicated to promoting the EVD standard.

Ending production of DVD players and pumping up EVD production will help the new standard succeed in the marketplace, Zhang said.

All firms involved are members of the EVD Industry Alliance. Antaeus is a real estate developer that has thrown its weight behind EVD in recent years.

EVD will be competing with HD-DVD and Blue-ray standards as DVD technology fades out.

Producing HD-DVD and Blue-ray products, mainly supported by companies in the United States and Japan, would mean high copyright fees for Chinese manufacturers.

The Chinese Government has been backing the EVD standard to try and reduce the country's reliance on foreign technology. Chinese DVD player manufacturers already pay a significant amount of licensing fees to foreign patent holders each year.

EVD in the past year has lacked industry-wide support, with few films being produced in the new standard.

Zhang revealed that Antaeus will announce next Wednesday a joint venture with major TV and film distributors including Zoke Culture Group and China International Television Corporation to enrich EVD-based offerings.

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