China moves from DVD to EVD

China, the world's biggest maker of DVD players, moved Tuesday to create its next-generation rival -- the EVD -- the first step toward creating a possible new national industry standard.

Beijing E-world Technology Co. Ltd., the corporate entity of a government-backed consortium of businessmen and academics, and two DVD manufacturers unveiled the indigenous, higher-definition Enhanced Versatile Disc. "It's not a question of whether we walk the EVD path. It's a question of how fast or slow we go," Hao Chieh, president of E-world Technology which designed the new standard, told Reuters. But analysts doubt that EVDs would be widely adopted in the rest of the world even if China were to adopt it. The move aims to reduce the drain of what domestic DVD makers consider exorbitant patent royalties they must pay to a group of mostly Japanese electronics conglomerates. It also aims to avoid over-reliance on foreign technology and could transform China from a mere copier and global factory to an innovator in audio visual technology.

Hao is convinced domestic DVD makers will switch to EVD because royalty payments totaling 2.7 billion yuan, or $325.3 million, have eaten into their profits. Talks also are under way between domestic DVD makers and the foreign conglomerates to pay royalty for DVDs sold in China. But EVD may not knock DVD from its leading position just yet. The Ministry of Information Industry will set up a task force this month to deliberate whether to adopt EVD as the new national industry standard, a ministry spokesman said. There was no timetable for a decision.

Neowin / CNN