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China Readies Royalty-Free DVD Format

kdawson posted more than 7 years ago | from the this-time-for-sure dept.

Data Storage 183

An anonymous reader writes with an InfoWorld article on China's new attempt to introduce a royalty-free format to rival the DVD. The article is not sanguine on China's chances of getting the EVD format used outside of its own borders (they tried once before in 2003). The submitter is more optimistic, asking: "Is this the future and the effective end of DRM — to be taken and co-opted by nation-states?" From the article: "The DVD player makers plan to switch to EVD (enhanced versatile disk) in an attempt to avoid paying patent royalties on the DVD format, according to published reports. The world's largest producers of DVD players, Chinese electronics companies would use the format instead of standards such as MPEG-4. Last week, 20 top manufacturers including Haier announced their plans to switch from DVD to EVD entirely by 2008, according to a report in China Economic News."

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Cheap hardware? (1, Redundant)

bigtomrodney (993427) | more than 7 years ago | (#17271776)

While on one hand there has been a massive influx of low cost DVD hardware with better features than the big brand names, isn't this a little late? With the high capacities of Blu-Ray and HD-DVD this might be a little late for the West. Then again, if we're all still buying 35 euro DVD players that are playing multi region, DivX and this is thrown in who knows? Hollywood just might be sold on it if they think they can save money along the way on royalties and the like.

Re:Cheap hardware? (2)

ShaneThePain (929627) | more than 7 years ago | (#17272378)

lets hear it for china. The only place where real progress for humanity is being made is in: a NON-democratic country. Democracy is inherently progress-stunting. There ARE alternatives. China is on a greater path.

Re:Cheap hardware? (3, Informative)

jaymzru (1005177) | more than 7 years ago | (#17272634)

I hope this is a joke. China is one of he worst offenders against humanity on earth.

Re:Cheap hardware? (1, Interesting)

ShaneThePain (929627) | more than 7 years ago | (#17272754)

I will be the first to say that china needs to work on its human rights record, which is terrible.
But, ignoring that little hiccup, China is moving at a much faster pace than the U.S. or any of the other demoCRAPtic countries.
China's meritocracy is performing admirably.

Re:Cheap hardware? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17273030)

Word.

Locking people up in prison without due process...
Attacking countries under faulty intelligence...
Killing hundreds of thousands of people by stoking an insurgency...
Let's not mention throwing foreign nations into civil war.

China is without a doubt on of the worst offenders
against humanity on earth. ...It's just not THE worst.

Re:Cheap hardware? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17273446)

and america is one of the worst culprits of war mongering on earth

now let's try to link both statements to how that relates to new media formats.

Re:Cheap hardware? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17274656)

According to Western studies on human rights offenses, yes. Fortunately for those nations that colonized the Western continents, these studies didn't begin until after wiping out the native populations.

"Dear China... (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17271834)

...Good luck with that. Seriously."

Make it backward compaitble, and I'm there! (3, Interesting)

From A Far Away Land (930780) | more than 7 years ago | (#17271838)

Could the Chinese government wind up providing the solution to DRM, through the production of a DRM machine? Now that they control the manufacturing process, it's not hard to imagine them controlling the design process as well, and implementing whatever they darn well please. No doubt the USA would make importation of EVD illegal, but hopefully Canadians would be able to get their hands on them, and create a non-black market for technology people really want.

Re:correction - "DRM-free machine" (1)

From A Far Away Land (930780) | more than 7 years ago | (#17271852)

..."through the production of a DRM-FREE DVD style machine"

Re:correction - "DRM-free machine" (1)

camperdave (969942) | more than 7 years ago | (#17271996)

Is that DRM Free, as in sans DRM, or DRM-Free as in DRM that you don't have to pay for?

Re:correction - "DRM-free machine" (2, Funny)

From A Far Away Land (930780) | more than 7 years ago | (#17272202)

sans DRM, and not DRM made by a company named Sans.

Re:Make it backward compaitble, and I'm there! (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17271860)

Make it backward compaitble (sic), and I'm there!

Erm, the whole point is that they don't want to pay the royalties of the DVD format. In order to be backwards compatible, they would have to do pay them.

Re:Make it backward compaitble, and I'm there! (1)

From A Far Away Land (930780) | more than 7 years ago | (#17271900)

"Erm (sic), the whole point..."

Then they should make it their point to play both formats because I don't want to buy the EVD for each of my DVDs to replace it. Neither would anyone else, so they'll just have to make a machine that does both and isn't legal on the "free market".

Re:Make it backward compaitble, and I'm there! (1)

pipatron (966506) | more than 7 years ago | (#17272724)

They would still have to pay the royalty, if they include a DVD-player there.

Re:Make it backward compaitble, and I'm there! (1)

name*censored* (884880) | more than 7 years ago | (#17274928)

Hopefully if the EVD overtakes the DVD, then someone will pay the DVD royalties (which will have plummeted in cost) and make a marginally more expensive but widely more popular backwards-compatible player. Of course by that point, DVD will be the equivalent of VHS - old hat.

The only problem will be with the early adapters (who, ironically(1), are necessary to make the EVD popular in the first place), who will buy a seperate EVD player and run it in conjunction with their current DVD players, who will lose when they make said backwards-compatible player...

*1; Yes I know it's not true irony, but as far as I know there isnt another word for "unfortunate coincidence that is self-referring/self-generating"

Vocabulary note? (1)

Anonymous McCartneyf (1037584) | more than 7 years ago | (#17275042)

...as far as I know there isnt another word for "unfortunate coincidence that is self-referring/self-generating"
Maybe if we could extend the meaning of "catch-22," that'll help.
(A catch-22 is an unfortunate effect, which may or may not be intended, that is self-referring and self-generating, usually in a paradoxical fashion.)

Black Market (4, Insightful)

Mark_MF-WN (678030) | more than 7 years ago | (#17271980)

That's one of the nice things about Canada -- we can freely buy a lot of the things that Americans can't due to retarded embargoes. We have cuban cigars at the store where I work. They're expensive, since they have to be flown in, but we have them.

You know, for a country that spends so much time braying about its love of capitalism, Americans sure do their best to prevent any capitalism from happening. Cubans want to buy and sell their products in American markts? Sorry, no can do. Foreigners want to buy computer chips? Obviously they all just want to make nukes (forget for a moment that the computations are the easiest part of the entire processs, with or without computers...). China makes quality video players that aren't deliberately crippled? That's GOT to be banned -- using a product that you paid money for is supposed to unpleasant. Now China wants to make a quality video player that has even stronger DRM than domestic video players, and isn't encumbered by patent royalties; that's somehow evil as well. Seriously, who are the REAL communists here?

It's sad that "socialist", "liberal" Canada embraces capitalism and free trade so much more fully than Americans, who've been duped into thinking that a "free market" means that you get to choose which state-mandated church you attend while the government works overtime to inhibit competition and international trade.

Re:Black Market (1)

philwx (789834) | more than 7 years ago | (#17272168)

Erm, Cuban cigars is your one and only example I bet. And you guys sure beat the dead horse on it. Embargoes are embargoes, capitalism lives on with or without them imo. While I agree that any problems we have with Cuba are petty and should not be an issue anymore, this post strikes me as lame "we are teh better" nationalism.. If we desperately needed cuban cigars, we could, I dunno, go to Mexico and buy them.

The USA is about regulated capitalism anyway. Unbridled "pure" capitalism would lead to huge monopolies, stifled/complete lack of competition, and extreme corruption. Which would ironically be contrary to the spirit of capitalism.

Re:Black Market (1)

Stormwatch (703920) | more than 7 years ago | (#17272318)

The USA is about regulated capitalism anyway. Unbridled "pure" capitalism would lead to huge monopolies, stifled/complete lack of competition, and extreme corruption. Which would ironically be contrary to the spirit of capitalism.
You got it backwards. It is government interference that leads to monopolies, stifled competition, and corruption.

Re:Black Market (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17272412)

This is often claimed. I tend to believe that monopolies tend to occur in spite of government interference, but I am willing to consider your point of view.

Please explain your assertion, as it relates to non-IP cases. (I think IP is kind of a special case scenario, so I'd prefer to limit our discussion to tangible goods and services, if only for simplicity's sake.)

Re:Black Market (1)

jZnat (793348) | more than 7 years ago | (#17272682)

Standard Oil.

That is all I have to say.

Re:Black Market (1)

nine-times (778537) | more than 7 years ago | (#17272594)

The USA is about regulated capitalism anyway. Unbridled "pure" capitalism would lead to huge monopolies, stifled/complete lack of competition, and extreme corruption. Which would ironically be contrary to the spirit of capitalism.

And yet we still have huge monopolies, stifled competition, and extreme corruption in our "regulated" capitalism.

Re:Black Market (1)

philwx (789834) | more than 7 years ago | (#17272658)

Which underscores the need for regulation..

Free Market (3, Insightful)

Mark_MF-WN (678030) | more than 7 years ago | (#17272948)

I think you're confusing free markets with capitalism. Capitalism is all about monopolies, corruption, and destroying the competition. The entire idea is to take everything you can at any cost. Free markets are a different beast, and are a bit closer to what western nations (and even supposedly "communist" nations, these days) strive for. Capitalism is what we used to do back in the days of wondrous events like potato famines and great depressions.

Going to mexico to buy things that are banned in America? Isn't that evidence that things are fucked? And it's not just cigars; we also import resources (nickel and cobalt, apparently) from Cuba, we can travel there on vacation (which a remarkable number of people I know have done), etc. We actually TRADE with Cuba, in a serious sense. America, meanwhile, posts security guards in the American zones of airports to make sure that Americans aren't trying to board flights to Cuba from other countries. Nice control-freak government you've got there. You should be proud that your ancestors died so that your government can decide where you go on vacation. I'm sure they would think that taking a British cannon round to the face was totally worthwhile to guarantee that their descendants would someday be sent to jail for duplicating a DVD (despite it being explicitly permitted in the constitution) or sharing (which the bible explicitly encourages, if you happen to think that the bible warrants anything other than scornful curiosity) artistic works.

There's a list as long as your arm of tariffs imposed by the US to protect American workers from having to actually compete with the rest of the world. A remarkable number of products can't be exported at all, or only to a handful of friendly nations. Many types of software are completely banned in the US (it's interesting how most Linux distros have a "non-US" repository for software that Americans believe will destroy their economy and completely unhinge people's morality).

Canada has some serious issues regarding free markets; but we're nowhere near as schizoid about it as Americans. At the very least we don't run around screaming about the evils of communism, trumpeting ourselves as the saviours of capitalism, and then prohibit people from engaging in basic reasonable forms of trade. The fact that America violates the free trade agreements that the US itself agitated for ... pretty much says it all.

Re:Free Market (1)

Vinegar Joe (998110) | more than 7 years ago | (#17274370)

"Going to mexico to buy things that are banned in America? Isn't that evidence that things are fucked? Canada has some serious issues regarding free markets; but we're nowhere near as schizoid about it as Americans." Be sure and remember that the next time you want to buy a gun in Canaduh.

Re:Black Market (1)

redcane (604255) | more than 7 years ago | (#17273274)

Of course upon your return you could be fined or thrown in jail. w00t for the free market.

Re:Black Market (4, Interesting)

theshowmecanuck (703852) | more than 7 years ago | (#17272424)

It's sad that "socialist", "liberal" Canada embraces capitalism and free trade so much more fully than Americans.

[sarcasm]That's right... that's why I can't buy satellite signals from Direct TV complete with HBO[/sarcasm] (both of which outshine any Canadian offering). The Canadian government won't let Canadians buy American TV services directly and there is an outright ban on HBO (they don't want to put pressure on Canadian companies and TV stations to force them to finally offer a good products for a good price).

You see we're all about a competitive market up here. Same reason we're only now starting to see cell phone number portability being implemented at phone companies, and why I have to wait up to 8 months for an MRI even though the one at the local hospital isn't being used more than 8 or 10 hours a day because they can't afford to pay the staff to run it... while not allowing private companies to use the machines who are willing to PAY to for the privilege of giving their customers faster access. BTW, the government frowns and disallows companies from buying their own machines and offering these services. One of the reasons the only health care system in the G8 that we are above is the U.S. health care system... which is on the bottom. Don't brag about shit if it is not all as true as you make it out to be.

That said, I agree that Canada is WAY more capitalistic than almost every American thinks. Just because we have a failing single insurer health care system and believe in paying for safe injection houses instead of water filtration plants (Vancouver's 2 weeks of boil water advisory because a rainstorm screwed up the water system for 2 MILLION people) doesn't mean we don't like capitalism. It just means we don't want to sell American products to Canadians because that would make us uncomfortable when we were America bashing. Meanwhile, we would rather have a 60 billion dollar trade deficit with China who will sell us anything and won't buy a damn thing from us except lumber and oil (if we would sell it... which the liberals here would be OK with because they have no problem with the trade deficit or China's human rights abuses since they are trying so/too hard to be understanding of their values while forgetting our own). Yeah yeah and a few other token things they buy... 60 Billion dollar trade deficit. People here don't want to get on China's bad side because we don't want to lose out on that big potential market. But so far all it has us is 60 billion dollars deeper in debt every year... and that is just from Canada. Time for some equalization. Starting to rant against idiotic notions that trade with China is all good... must stop now.

watch next week (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17272906)

The high level economic talks with the US and china which are going on right now are down the shitter, bad. I know this news from the past couple days barely registers with the "gaming" crowd here, but the adults who watch things can verify what I am alleging, at least the signs are there. There is NO happy news coming out of those talks now, none, because china has everyone by the short and curlies now-something they didn't 20 years ago but DO now. china is sitting on over a trillion bucks which *they don't freekin want anymore* because they don't trust it anymore. Everyday they sit on it it drops in value, a huge amount, and no one outside a few fed governors knows how much realistically. And to top it off the dimocraps are making huge noises in public about slapping huge tariffs on everything from china in the new year (20 years too damn late to make any sort of difference at all now because they already shipped the factories and machine tools out. Do people understand that yet? Gone, out the door, buh bye!Idiots.) The buck is gonna tank next week, start a much bigger fall, as china divests into precious metals and tangibles like energy supplies, weapons, food, raw materials-anything they can get their hands on to get rid of that stuff. The wall street pirate shills and the Fed will go secret double overtime printing up more IOUs and propping up the phony stock market with worthless paper purchases, like they have been doing, post all sorts of feel good soothing sounding articles. Morons. Did you catch the latest all the really big guys are bailing out of the market? Only putting back one dollar for every 63 they are pulling out? CLUE TIME.

Me, dumping more Fed notes (mostly the rest of my stash) into PMs as soon as I can monday when my broker opens. Probably gonna restock the pantry and score some more ammo too, just because. I have seen humans in emergency OH SHIT THIS SUCKS situations, the veneer of civilization is quite thin. Quite. I may try to lock in a price tomorrow, watching the news tonight late for some more clues. I bet the canuckistanian dinar tanks along with the fednote, just a smidgen slower because you guys asre sitting on a lot of nice raw materials. Play it smart, canada will be a powerhouse into the next century. go for the fast profit now and you'll go broke and be serfs for your new overlords, the ones who speak english as a second language, and no I don't mean the quebeccers.

Bottom line-Worrying about stupid hollywood movie players is such a *minor* concern right now. It's right up there with wondering who the next "TV Champ" is in big time wrestling. People are going to really need to get their priorities straight as this crash unfolds. If people need to get shipments of electronics or other manufactured items in to keep their businesses running they better do it real soon now.

Re:Black Market (1)

Fulcrum of Evil (560260) | more than 7 years ago | (#17273524)

I have to wait up to 8 months for an MRI even though the one at the local hospital isn't being used more than 8 or 10 hours a day because they can't afford to pay the staff to run it... while not allowing private companies to use the machines who are willing to PAY to for the privilege of giving their customers faster access. BTW, the government frowns and disallows companies from buying their own machines and offering these services.

Okay, I'll never get an MRI anyway, but I don't get this: why is Canada so fucked in the head on this? I like socialized medicine, where everybody gets a base level of care, but I want the option to get additional coverage. The big win for this scheme is that there's no real question of whether the hospital will get paid for most things (and more people will see doctors, reducing the emergency burden further). Anyway, why is it that Canada won't let someone open up Joe's MRI and sandwich shop?

Re:Black Market (1)

Dun Malg (230075) | more than 7 years ago | (#17274338)

I don't get this: why is Canada so fucked in the head on this? I like socialized medicine, where everybody gets a base level of care, but I want the option to get additional coverage.
If "the rich" are allowed to buy their own additional medical care at private clinics and hospitals, then you'd see an exodus of the best and brightest doctors to the higher-paying private system. This leaves the "public" system full of the leftovers, the Dr Nick Rivieras. You basically end up with an even worse version of our county hospitals here in the US. A few dedicated idealist doctors toiling in a great vat of underfunded mediocrity. That's the theory, anyway.

Re:Black Market (1)

Fulcrum of Evil (560260) | more than 7 years ago | (#17274832)

Simple solution there: increase the supply and cull the Nick Riviera's of the world. Of course, we've got a system where everything is private - if some level of insurance was provided to anyone who could fog a mirror (and many who can't - this is a hospital), would all the hospitals run away? In your real life example, would allowing people to pay for use of the big magnetic donut drive the best away from the public sector? Would it allow the hospital to buy another big magnetic donut, or would they not, since 'they' only use it half the time anyway (never mind the people renting it).

I get that you probably don't buy this argument, but it's really irritating. Perhaps we should be looking at sweden or denmark for our model healthcare.

Re:Black Market (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17274478)

Anyway, why is it that Canada won't let someone open up Joe's MRI and sandwich shop?

Err... You can, and people have. http://www.canadadiagnostics.ca/ [canadadiagnostics.ca] That's just one of many. Do the google thing.

sell the lumber (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17274616)

All the shiny white snow reflects heat back into space, trees in the north cause global warming. [newscientist.com]

Re:Black Market (1)

L0rdJedi (65690) | more than 7 years ago | (#17273420)

They have Cuban cigars around here too (LA and San Diego area). It is the importation of Cuban cigars that is illegal, but the seeds can be imported all we want. So the stores import the seeds and grow the tobacco here. Problem solved.

So much for your example.

Re:Black Market (1)

lokiomega (596833) | more than 7 years ago | (#17273638)

So if I grow French grape seeds in Montana I have a French wine??

Re:Black Market (1)

msobkow (48369) | more than 7 years ago | (#17273520)

I agree it's nice to have a government that remembers their place in society, especially the legal contracts that took all those decades to work through the system. :)

If the Chinese manufacturers didn't participate in the DVD and follow-on format specification meetings, then they obviously have to pay royalties or license fees to use the format.

But there is nothing illegal about them creating a competing format. There are already two competing DVD follow-on formats -- who is to know in advance which will "own" the market, or how a shared market will end up divided by the globe?

On the bright side, I'm sure it pisses off the *AA to no end that they can't force every country to follow US law. Awww. Guess you'll have to compete on a level playing field with competitors in the target markets, or wrangle enough agreements with foreign partners or divisions to try and force your views.

It blows me away how little some foreign investors know about the law in the markets they put their money into, relying on their local government's connections and leverage instead of doing research.

Re:Black Market (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17273882)

> That's one of the nice things about Canada -- we can freely buy a lot of the things that Americans
> can't due to retarded embargoes. We have cuban cigars at the store where I work. They're expensive,
> since they have to be flown in, but we have them.

As opposed to cigars from the Dominican Republic, which are brought in by semi?

Re:Black Market (1)

alshithead (981606) | more than 7 years ago | (#17273918)

"Americans" don't "do their best to prevent any capitalism from happening". I think that many "US" companies do their best to make sure that the rules fall in their favor. "Americans" that I know mostly want a good product for a fair price...no matter where it comes from. Unfortunately, in the US many, if not most, politicians are beholden to special interests. Businesses have the deepest pockets and therefore the politicians legislate in their favor. Let's not bash all of the folks of a country when they really don't have a say in the matter. Most US citizens would probably have things be different if they could. Our opinions are lost in the background. Sad, but true.

The Chinese have a chance (1)

elucidnation (800825) | more than 7 years ago | (#17272026)

We may see the Chinese embrace open source, in part because it is more in tune with the communitarian nature of their society, but primarily because it will give their mass maunfacturers a competitive edge. There is a built in tension between hardware manufactures and content providers---the easier it is for a platform to share content, the more consumer appeal that platform has. Embracing royalty free formats is in keeping with the open source philosophy----even if their motives are entirely opportunistic.

Good Idea But... (1)

Swimport (1034164) | more than 7 years ago | (#17272046)

Even if 25% of the installed dvd players supported this it wouldnt be enough for many companies to release products using the format. I would however love to see a royalty free format. Every time I buy a dvd player, dvd software, or even a movie im paying a royalty. Enough is enough. They should focus on a next generation format. With their large percentage of the manufacturing base, they could have a lot influence. I cant believe im on China's side for once.

Are disks readable on Data DVD readers? (1)

billstewart (78916) | more than 7 years ago | (#17272064)

There are different kinds of backward compatible out there
  • Can you play existing DVDs on an EVD player? (No, they're not paying the royalties for the codec, and maybe other components.)
  • Can an EVD player read the data format for existing DVDs so you can send the data to a computer that has codecs? (Probably not, but maybe?)
  • Can you install new firmware, either by downloading or plugging in a chip, to add new data or codec functions in the future and stay forward-compatible? (If they're smart, yes, because somebody will leak the codecs and formats to make it DVD-backward-compatible :-)
  • Can you play EVD disks on a DVD player? (Presumably the player won't have the codecs, though some may have royalty-free codecs.)
  • Can you read EVD disks as data on a DVD player, so your computer can play EVDs using software codecs? (That's the second interesting question - it makes it possible to sell EVDs to a market where people don't have EVD players.)
  • If most of the EVDs are in Chinese, does it matter that the only players are in China or sold mailorder to overseas Chinese speakers? (Probably not.)
  • If the point of royalty-free formats is to make the players cheaper, will $20 external EVD players be cheap enough that anybody who wants to play EVDs will buy a player along with their first EVD disks?

Re:Make it backward compaitble, and I'm there! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17272252)

I know you're all excited about it because it could lead to you getting free shit (which is all 99.9% of slashdotters care about), but that isn't why China is doing it.

What, and blaspheme the Free Trade God? (1)

Travoltus (110240) | more than 7 years ago | (#17274068)

Ban EVD from America? Won't someone think of the investors!

Now here's an interesting math question.

If the RIAA/MPAA bullet train shot out of Wall Street down the global Commerce Railway in 1997 and the Chinese EVD bullet train shot out of Beijing to careen down the Silk Road... ... how long will it be before these two trains collide?

God, it's nice to see the Devil and Satan going mano y mano...

Re:Make it backward compaitble, and I'm there! (1)

NitsujTPU (19263) | more than 7 years ago | (#17274672)

No doubt the USA would make importation of EVD illegal.

Why?

Re:Make it backward compaitble, and I'm there! (1)

Anonymous McCartneyf (1037584) | more than 7 years ago | (#17274970)

The DVD format was created and supported by some of America's favorite content providers; they are getting the royalties. The HD-DVD and Blu-ray formats are also supported by content providers. (Blu-ray very much so.) It is already known that the MPAA has more influence over politicians than one might expect. This might be another area for them to influence.
On the bright side, maybe some companies will move manufacturing jobs back into this country to make DVD and hi-def players. Or at least the makers of DVD players might outsource to countries that are known to pay their workers.

Re:Make it backward compaitble, and I'm there! (1)

bigdavex (155746) | more than 7 years ago | (#17274694)

If they make the player backward compatible with DVD media, they would have the same liabilities regarding royalties as making a normal DVD player. So I don't think there would be any point.

It's all about the money. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17271854)

""Is this the future and the effective end of DRM -- to be taken and co-opted by nation-states?""

No. This is an economic end-run around the DVD forum.

It doesn't matter what it's about (1)

HangingChad (677530) | more than 7 years ago | (#17273810)

No. This is an economic end-run around the DVD forum.

Economics probably play a big part in the decision, but really it doesn't matter why they did. It's more significant they CAN do it. They make all our DVD players, who's going to tell them they can't? A country that owes them 100's of billions of dollars? Hahahaha! Right.

I predicted this would happen years ago when we outsourced almost all our electronics manufacturing to the Asian rim, though I didn't see this coming. I'll bet the MPAA is reaching for the antacids tonight. Makes sense when you think about it. Also makes me wonder how many electronic components in our military hardware are manufactured in China or Korea.

Hey, Microsoft, you're next! HAHAHAHAHA!

People's *VDs (4, Insightful)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 7 years ago | (#17271856)

Even China's "avant garde" [reference.com] attack on formats which don't fill China's mafia government Treasury is behind the vanguard of the Internet. The way to do half of what China is trying is to just release the DRM-free EVD format on the Web. Codec plugins, players, and encoded content (all open source so we can tell the Chinese haven't included any trojans). Even dual DVD/EVD-R HW, so we can backup our DVDs to EVDs, with PC connections so we can move our content across the Net. EVD would quickly dilute DVD, especially if cheap Chinese HW preferred EVD for features like sharing.

The other half, which that strategy wouldn't do, is lock us into some Chinese format instead of DVD. We might not pay Chinese crony corps royalties this generation, but there's no way to stop them from using some lockin on the next gen, like when they increase density for HD-EVD, or some other creepy strategy they learned from the current Euramerican masters of the game. Releasing the format as a data format in open source rather than a HW format (ie. discs only) means that their attempt to upsell would be just another fork, which the rest of the world could ignore in favor of anyone's alternative upgrades.

I think DVD Jon [wikipedia.org] should start giving code to some real "maverick" Chinese manufacturers right away.

Lets do it ! (0, Redundant)

johnjones (14274) | more than 7 years ago | (#17271858)

ok lets do it

I'll buy a EVD player

no DRM great back to VHS.. I'll even pay a bit extra for the option it can play my old DVD collection

Frankly blueray etc can just plain go away...

regards

John Jones

Re:Lets do it ! (1)

Bob of Dole (453013) | more than 7 years ago | (#17272256)

Back to VHS? Did you ever try to copy a VHS tape?

VHS had (well, has) very effective DRM. (Although technically it was ARM)

Re:Lets do it ! (1)

Vegeta99 (219501) | more than 7 years ago | (#17273752)

Not if your old crap VCR didn't have the automatic gain adjustment! =)

I did have a few wally-world type VCRs that were pretty good at ignoring Macrovision

Re:Lets do it ! (1)

Aqualung812 (959532) | more than 7 years ago | (#17274278)

It couldn't have DRM (Digital Rights Management), IT WAS ANALOG!

If you're talking about Macrovision, anyone could walk into Radio Shack (back when the salesmen actually knew about radios) and get a device for less than $20 that would ignore the gain control from that. Macrovision stripped, and you had a pretty good copy.

However, with VHS and all analog devices, your copy of a copy had flaws. If you did it right, maybe very small flaws.

Re:Lets do it ! (1)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 7 years ago | (#17274466)

no DRM great back to VHS.. I'll even pay a bit extra for the option it can play my old DVD collection

It's funny that I scanned the first group of posts and didn't see anybody else mention the 'D' word. The studios want DRM. The studios control which format the movies will be released on (i.e: no VHS of Ep III). Therefore, I would assume that all other issues are big fat moot points. The studios aren't going to release movies in a format that they can't control.

Sounds good but China is worrying (3, Interesting)

WiiVault (1039946) | more than 7 years ago | (#17271866)

This EVD concept sounds cool at I like the fact that it is royalty free. At the same time I'm weary of anything proposed by such a huge human rights abuser. I also wonder if the loss of chinease DVD market will affect our cheap 20$ Wal-Mart DVD players?

Re:Sounds good but China is worrying (1)

j35ter (895427) | more than 7 years ago | (#17272020)

At the same time I'm weary of anything proposed by such a huge human rights abuser.

But at the same time you buy Chinese goods at Wal-Mart & Co.?

It's a matter of cost. (2, Insightful)

Gordonjcp (186804) | more than 7 years ago | (#17271878)

If the EVD players are sitting on the shelves in ASDA for £24.95, the public will buy EVD players and demand EVD discs. It's just that simple.

Not convinced? Then look at where the el-cheapo DVD players come from now...

Re:It's a matter of cost. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17271914)

Thank you Sir. Your logic is flawless.

Re:It's a matter of cost. (1)

westlake (615356) | more than 7 years ago | (#17272074)

If the EVD players are sitting on the shelves in ASDA for £24.95, the public will buy EVD players and demand EVD discs

and if the only legit import EVD pressings available are out of Hong Kong and Bollywood? with soundtracks in Mandarin and Hindi? no James Bond, no Harry Potter?

the format has no market in the West unless Western content can be licensed. on a massive scale.

Re:It's a matter of cost. (2, Insightful)

Gordonjcp (186804) | more than 7 years ago | (#17272232)

Right. So if you cannot get cheap Chinese DVD players any more - because they're making EVD now instead, and in fact EVD is cheaper because they're not paying a licence fee - the cost of players goes up. So, there are less people buying DVD players, less of a market for DVDs, and people buy the cheap EVD players and buy pirated EVDs that are straightforward dubs of DVDs for a couple of quid a time from a guy down the flea market.

Either way, the DVD Consortium needs to stop pissing consumers off with region coding and other shit. That, and the movie industry needs to realise that falling sales aren't (entirely) due to "piracy" - they are because people don't really want to see American Pie 27 XTreme and watch all the same boring crap again.

It's the content, stupid! (3, Informative)

Tyler Eaves (344284) | more than 7 years ago | (#17271942)

People, by and large, do not care about the DRM or region coding on DVDs. It doesn't effect them. The DRM on DVD's is quite mild compared to much of what is floating around. Unless the major studios and distributors supported this (not likely) this will never gain anything even resembling market success.

Re:It's the content, stupid! (1)

kanweg (771128) | more than 7 years ago | (#17272018)

Perhaps people don't care, perhaps they do. I don't know. I do know I DO. I want all my stuff legal. But my Mac allows me to run my own region only (yeah, I can change a couple of times, but then he ends up with the one that refuses to play my other DVDs). I want to have a movie (Tucker, the man and his dream). I have ordered it at a store, but can't buy it here in Europe. In the US it is available, but then I have the DVD region problem. The only solution, which I don't want to consider, is to pirate. I welcome anything that leads to competition, and hopefully the end of DRM, because it only bothers honest people.

Bert

 

It's the region-free players, stupid! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17272086)

"The only solution, which I don't want to consider, is to pirate. "

I guess you must think slashdot is full of idiots (you may be right), but here are some region-free players [google.com]

Re:It's the content, stupid! (1)

bky1701 (979071) | more than 7 years ago | (#17272244)

Save an iso image and mount it. Or reburn it... I think you can change the region in the ISO. There may also be a way to hack the hardware into being all regions (ie DVD-rom BIOS flash).

Re:It's the content, stupid! (1)

jZnat (793348) | more than 7 years ago | (#17272744)

In RPC2 drives, I think the drive outright refuses to read an out of region disc.

Re:It's the content, stupid! (1)

serialdogma (883470) | more than 7 years ago | (#17272310)

You could try VLC [videolan.org] or another software player that uses libdvdcss, but I think mac DVD drives implement the RPC2 region lock-out so it might not work.

Re:It's the content, stupid! (1)

jamar0303 (896820) | more than 7 years ago | (#17274420)

The joy of pirated DVDs- 0-region so it reads on anything (well, sometimes it gets stuck in the drive because of a couple of imperfections, but a paper-clip hook will pull it out of the slot just fine).

Re:It's the content, stupid! (1)

ben there... (946946) | more than 7 years ago | (#17274840)

Check out the Mac forum of rpc1.org [rpc1.org] . There are a few apps and the possibility to flash your firmware to make it region free. I'd try the apps first.

Re:It's the content, stupid! (3, Informative)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 7 years ago | (#17272156)

In Europe, a significant number of DVD players are hacked to allow playing US DVDs. US DVDs are imported because the EU versions are too often inferior quality or delayed from the US release.

I wanted to get an EVD (or was it HVD?) player back when they tried it, but there were less than ten discs in Chinese that I could find online, and I could not find any information on subtitling. At any rate, the JVC D-VHS format was more successful than EVD/HVD.

Re:It's the content, stupid! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17272588)

The content? Bwahahahaha! Dude, you seriously think your average Chinese consumer cares whether the content is properly licensed from Hollywood or not? As long as EVD can get content from the same channels as most Chinese DVDs do, that's not going to be a problem.

That kinda points out the real flaw in EVD vs. DVD. EVD just isn't that much more compelling over DVD. Even with the licensing fees, that's a one time cost. The actual DVDs still sell for like a dollar a pop. DVD is already cheap in China.

Re:It's the content, stupid! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17272976)

People, by and large, do not care about the DRM or region coding on DVDs.

People who travel, or are learning foreign languages, or who live in regions where the studios don't bother releasing much, do care.

I have legit DVDs I have bought while travelling in Singapore, Hong Kong, US and others I have bought while living in New Zealand, UK and Japan. A few years ago, this wasn't a problem, I owned a region-free DVD player, and was technically compentent enough to track down and install a firmware hack for my PC's DVD drive. Now that I've built up a fairly substantial DVD library, I buy a new PC and find it has an RPC-2 drive with encrypted firmware. Well fuck you MPAA, I'm now a bittorrent convert.

Re:It's the content, stupid! (1)

jamar0303 (896820) | more than 7 years ago | (#17274448)

In HK would have it been so much trouble to cross the border and get some region-free DVDs?

Re:It's the content, stupid! (1)

metamatic (202216) | more than 7 years ago | (#17274050)

I'm not so sure about that.

I'm not buying HD-DVD or Blu-ray until I can get a region free player.

My family have region-free DVD players, because we like to be able to send each other disks as gifts.

There may be a lot of Americans who never watch any non-US TV or movies and don't know anyone outside the US, but people in the rest of the world travel more.

irony (2, Insightful)

oohshiny (998054) | more than 7 years ago | (#17272004)

It's kind of ironic that China should restore free enterprise and free market competition by providing an alternative to the artificial DVD oligopoly.

G'luck (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17272032)

The consumer wont buy any DVD player if there is no content. And since Sony owns a bunch of movie studios, g'luck

Nation-states?? (1)

posterlogo (943853) | more than 7 years ago | (#17272054)

What is this, the pre-20th century or something? Nowadays, we call them "COUNTRIES".

Re:Nation-states?? (1)

hey! (33014) | more than 7 years ago | (#17272132)

Nope. Countries -- states -- nations. All different things. One is geographic, the other political, the other cultural.

Sorry, we were being pedantic here, weren't we?

Pastel-states?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17272254)

Only for those who think all three are distinctly seperate entities.

Re:Pastel-states?? (1)

Cheapy (809643) | more than 7 years ago | (#17273978)

It should be noted, that they all are distinctly separate entities.

Academic (2, Interesting)

Kev_Stewart (737140) | more than 7 years ago | (#17272190)

Haier is a fairly arrogant company to start with. I once found a critical safety defect in one of their refrigerators, yet they wouldn't accept it until I'd sent them a video demonstrating the obvious defect. That was a few years ago when I was inexperienced at dealing with Chinese companies.

What I didn't know back then was that Chinese businessmen will often make bold statements knowing full well that it's bullshit. He knows that YOU know it's bullshit too - yet it's considered rude to call him on it.

I think there's an element of that in the statement about using their own DVD format. It's just a spot of chest beating IMO. Many Chinese business people that I've spoken to seem to think that pretty much all disc formats will be dead in a few years anyway.

In my case, the dear old DVD is merely a way of transporting the movie from the store to my hard drive. Once it's on there I never open the DVD case again. As hard drives get bigger and cheaper it's easy to imagine more people storing/viewing their movies this way.

Re:Academic (2, Interesting)

Charcharodon (611187) | more than 7 years ago | (#17272842)

Stop imagining, it's already happening now. I've set up over 20 media computers this year for friends. Just did one today, and have three more that are waiting for me to come over and show them how it's done.

Even outside of the PC things are happening in the now. The next gen Tivo's are on the way, that are not only set up to record scheduled shows, but download and store on demand content as well.

The new format war was already being won while HD-DVD and Blue-ray were still in the crib. I can see media centers going mainstream once 1TB drives hit the $200 mark sometime next year.

Re:Academic (1)

jamar0303 (896820) | more than 7 years ago | (#17274460)

They're too used to dealing with things the Chinese way- you have to yell and swear at them until they cave (or bring the media down on them- that works quite well here in their native market). For that matter, here it's possible (and almost customary) to haggle on prices for things like that (if you can't get a discount on that fridge, get some free stuff thrown in) so if you got it at full price you were probably taken for a ride.

Re:Academic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17274554)

"What I didn't know back then was that Chinese businessmen will often make bold statements knowing full well that it's bullshit."

Because white people never do that.

Open source EVD codec? (3, Interesting)

jelle (14827) | more than 7 years ago | (#17272208)

My main question is, is there an open source EVD codec available anywhere? A 'Royalty free codec' with the goal of fast widespread adaptation should be accompanied by such a thing, shouldn't it?

Re:Open source EVD codec? (2, Informative)

ettlz (639203) | more than 7 years ago | (#17272324)

Theora [xiph.org] .

Re:Open source EVD codec? (1)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 7 years ago | (#17272620)

After a little research, it appears Theora is probably able to play on EVD players, but Theora is a superset of VP3 and will eventually contain information that will make it not play on EVD players.

Re:Open source EVD codec? (1)

Wesley Felter (138342) | more than 7 years ago | (#17272914)

Theora != VP6.

There already IS! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17272936)

The format is NOT VP6 like the old EVD, this one uses a format called "avs". There is currently a codec in beta called "CoreAVS" that can already play these streams!

Please explain how it this oping to succeed? (1)

I_LV_MSFT (743090) | more than 7 years ago | (#17272304)

To avoid paying royalties (the major goal behind the format), the players should not inclue support for MPEG2 etc. So you will need to buy the new EVD media, because old DVDs will not work.

If there is no Encription (often called DRM here), there will be no support from any holywood studio. What am I supposet to play on this glorious device?

Overall the format possibly has a chance in countries with large Indie movie production like India and China, but I dont see it working in US/Canada/Europe (no offence whoever I missed).

Re:Please explain how it this oping to succeed? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17273994)

That was possibly the faggiest comment in the whole thread.

Extremely good argument against closed media.. (1)

binary_ftw (1028638) | more than 7 years ago | (#17272332)

If the shift away from the DVD format happen as soon as 2008 (No chance, since the demand would still be strong for years) it would illustrate in an excellent way how closed media formats are really risky to 'invest' in. The last shift were hardly noticeable, since VHS were.. well.. nobody in their right mind had 300+ movies lying around. And the VHS as a media, well.. it had room for improvement. Right now there's no immediate reason that people would accept that their shelf-loads of DVDs should not play on a next-generation player.

If this went through, it'd really open some up some eyes.

EVD vs HD/Blu-ray DVD? (4, Informative)

NekoYasha (1040568) | more than 7 years ago | (#17272346)

The EVD "hype" has been here (in China, that is) for like, ages.

It is interesting that though the Chinese media has a lot of news about EVD's being better than DVD and being a national pride (as present international standards are mostly made by western countries and companies, China desperately needs its own standards to be more powerful in the intl market), there are seldom any mention about how exactly is EVD better than other formats, i.e. the technical specs. Moreover since EVD is less known outside China (and maybe inside China too - the computer magazines here talks about Vista and Blu-ray and HD but seldom EVD) compared to western Hi-Def formats, I am made curious: how is EVD, and can it do 1080p?

A quick search dug out a quite official-looking site for EVD: (Chinese only... apparently they have an English version, but the database is down. Note I'm not making any assurance that this is indeed the official site).

From several articles on the site we can see that the EVD standard uses DVD discs (format D5 and D9) as media - wow, I didn't know that, no wonder never have I heard the data capacity of EVD -, supports 720p and 1080i (not as much as the western Hi-Def formats), and utilizes MPEG2 and ExAC (custom audio coding standard) as compression algorithms. And there is, indeed, a copy protection scheme.

The site also metioned about a even lesser-known NVD and a Taiwan standard, FVD .

When I first heard that they've made a format called EVD, I thought that "it's just 'DVD++'". Today I know that E officially stands for Enhanced. But to me, it's just DVD++.

EVD vs DMCA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17272444)

At any rate, if we're making our backups from EVD (i.e., you purchased the DVD but you make a copy of the EVD for your backup) then we aren't in violation of the DMCA, right?

As a current resident of China (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17272764)

I can't believe that the EVD is going anywhere. In Beijing, at least, there are DVD hawkers on every corner, and 2 or more DVD stores in most neighborhoods. It could be that my own precious Chinese made DVD player (which plays everything- any region DVD, VCD, CD, DivX, MPEG-2 and 4...) also plays EVD. But considering that the main source of DVDs on the market are foreign films, pirated as bit-to-bit copies off the original DVDs, I doubt that many new films will appear in the new format. (Actually, you can also get original DVDs meant for the Korean, American or Japanese Market that have failed their quality control, and get routed to the Chinese stores. But they usually start skipping at some point...)

There are factions within the Chinese government who want to force industry to follow international copyright law. But there are also nationalist factions that consider it a loss of face, or a waste of perfectly good source material. I would guess that it was the nationalists who were touting EVD over DVD, as a way of neutralizing the issue, and possibly as a way of reducing foreign cultural and economic influence.

The long and short of it is, if the government (the guys that matter) actually decides to do this, it will happen, overnight. If only some faction within the government is pushing it, it will only amount to propaganda.

Where is the EVD Specification? No mention of DRM. (2, Insightful)

GodWasAnAlien (206300) | more than 7 years ago | (#17273428)

I will believe it is a Royalty-Free, Open standard when I see it.
I have seen some mention of China releasing the spec, but is that to vendors only?
And is there really no DRM?
I will buy an EVD player and some discs if they are HD, and the specs are open, and no effective DRM is used. After all, I want to play the discs in Linux or whatever future device I want.
Otherwise, I'll stick with the last effectively-open standard, DVD.
DRM or private specification is the path of the Laser Disc.

Royalty-Free DVD Format != Cheaper for Consumers (2, Interesting)

nighty5 (615965) | more than 7 years ago | (#17273602)

Just remember that this is all about the manufacturers and not the consumers.

Whatever savings are made in the use of EVD or some such will be digested into a larger profit for the manufacturers.

Not saying its a bad thing, at the moment the market is so competitive that manufacturers make an abysmal profit margin.

Considering a large majority of the players are made in China, its no surprise.

The biggest challenge for China isn't the technology for the politics behind it, with the very powerful corporations who own the rights to DVD will lobby to the governments to stop EVD from becoming anything important. Its all about the content, and the holders of it.

No Chance (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17274358)

Nice to see stupidity by the Chinse Communist Party (and I use the term loosely) finally screwing up their massive industrial growth.

Let's hope their standards last longer than all the other cheap crap China produces.

And they'll never get the content licensed, will they?

Why don't they keep the DVD standard and tell the patent holders to go screw themselves. This is China. What are they going to do? Hell they already pirate the movies. Would love to see Prohibited Users Operations dropped. I get so sick of sitting through the annoying stupid distributer logos repeeatedly keen on stealing 15 seconds of your life.
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