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Manufacturers Aim to Replace DVDs with EVD Standard
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Members of China's EVD (enhanced versatile disc) Industry Alliance will stop making DVD players from 2008 in a bid to replace the foreign DVD standard with homegrown technology on the domestic market.


The EVD industry was on the fast track of development, said Zhang Baoquan, secretary-general of the EVD Industry Alliance, on Wednesday.


China's DVD player output once accounted for 90 percent of the world total, but high patent fees hampered its development, with the number of DVD player producers dropping to fewer than 150 in 2005.


High patent fees for DVD players prompted domestic companies to switch to EVD technology.


Chinese makers must pay the patent licensing alliance of Hitachi, Matsushita, Toshiba, JVC, Mitsubishi and Time Warner about US$5 for each DVD player they produce, drastically shrinking profit margins.


They are therefore eager to promote the EVD standard, to which they hold most of the intellectual property rights, including sound, navigation systems and copyright protection technologies.


In order to ease the pressure from foreign DVD patent holders, China's Ministry of Information Industry last year adopted the EVD technology as the national standard for its electronics industry to rival the digital versatile disk format.


Beijing E-World Technology, a company jointly funded by nine mainland electronics makers, started to develop the EVD standard following a dispute with overseas makers over patent fees for DVD players.


The standard is set as a guideline for the development and production of chips, software, discs and players for high-definition digital video products, according to the ministry.     

Leading Chinese disc player producers, including Bubukao, Changhong and Skyworth, will display more than 50 EVD models next week, said Zhang, who is also chairman of Antaeus Group, a company dedicated to promoting the new standard.


Chinese makers will set the average sale price of EVD players at 700 yuan (87.5 U.S. dollars), roughly the same as a DVD player, Zhang said.


The image quality of an EVD player is reputedly five times clearer than that of a DVD player. Also, the discs can store more data.


Consumers could play their existing DVD collections on the EVD players, and owners of EVD players and high-definition TV sets with USB interface would be able to copy movies at special "EVD stations", facilities in densely populated areas including stores, subway stations and community centers, said Zhang.


It would cost five to eight yuan (US$1) to copy a movie, Zhang said.


(Xinhua News Agency December 1, 2006)


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