Blu-Ray hasn’t won the HD format war just yet

2 min read


With Toshiba throwing in the towel last year and leaving Blu-Ray as the only HD format left in the Western market you could be forgiven for thinking that it was all over and that was indeed the fat lady singing.

However it appears we all missed something pretty big, over in China they have been pushing ahead with a Chinese HD disc, the CBHD. Last week a Chinese press release was mis-translated and news spread through the Internet that CBHD had a 2% market share lead over Blu-Ray in China with a total market share of 3%.

Well that was entirely incorrect as the truth is CBHD currently has 20% of the market share in China and is 20% ahead of Blu-Ray. Not only that but the gap is increasing and for good reason.

A CBHD movie costs the equivalent of R80 with the Blu-Ray alternative coming in at R300 and this isn’t purely down to the fact that China is full of dirty pirates. These prices are for the official versions of movies.

The big difference comes in the cost of manufacturing of the discs as well as not having to pay the over the top royalty fee’s to the Blu-Ray board.

For now only Warner Bros is officially shipping titles on CBHD (plus other local movie houses) but seeing as China has the biggest population on the planet I wouldn’t be surprised to see the rest of the Hollywood studios taking notice now and when that happens there is nothing to stop CBHD expanding outside of China.

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Same movie, same quality, 70% cheaper… I’m up for that.

Though to be honest I don’t see a bright future for any of the HD physical formats. Digital downloads make more sense and for the countries (like ours) with crummy bandwidth then USB memory sticks are a cheaper and more efficient way of transporting the data.

Source: Arstechnica

Last Updated: August 4, 2009

Gavin Mannion

I for one welcome our future robotic overlords

  • WitWolfyZA

    MS might look into this as well… Any idea what the storage capacity of one of these discs are?

  • Loki
  • easy

    for hd movie you only need a minimum of 4gb.
    of course it does vary, but anything less than 4gb would not be of sufficient quality.

    anyway, i’m skeptical of this cbhd and it would be nice if lazy had supplied specifications of the format. market share does not mean quality.

  • Honestly the specs mean very little to me, the CBHD can hold 15GB of data and after that I get a little lost.

    Check the link below for full details

  • Ozzy

    chinese blue high definition?????

    i like competition, but this sounds dodgy.

    sounds like some kind of blu-ray knock off. :pirate:

  • WitWolfyZA

    You know once i thought about this myself.. Why is Blu-Ray needed? HD movies can easily be 720P on a normal DVD if it was a AVI,MKV,WMV ect.. (without all the bonus feautes obvioulsy). So why tell people buy blu ray its 720P-1080P.

    We all know downloading a HD movie off LIVE is something like 2.5 – 4GB anyways

  • WitWolfyZA

    I up for anything that can give me full hd at this moment, knock off or not

  • easy

    ya for sure, but the both hd-dvd and blu-ray were plugging the extra you can get on their respective formats.
    dvd’s are great, but limited, whereas the value for money is more appealing on the larger formats.

    it is amazing some of the things the whack onto blu-ray discs (and what would’ve been the hd-dvd), but a lot of what is possible is not put onto what we buy locally. maybe the distributors dictate that… i don’t know. bd movies bought in america and maybe parts of europe are far more jam packed with functionality and almost worth while… thats if you into that sort of thing 😉

  • Ozzy

    “I up for anything that can give me full hd at this moment, knock off or not”

    blu-ray is full hd with a higher capacity then cbhd. and its available at this moment 😉 and if you dont like the ps3 due to whatever you can always get stand alone blu-ray player

  • janrik

    Sweet, need to pick one up in China next time we go shopping there then.

    Wonder if you get CBHD writers for PC?

  • WitWolfyZA

    LOL good one. I went to HI FI corp and they said the cheapest Blu Ray player they have is R3500.. I went silent…. Cried a bit, and walked away with my tail between my legs..

    Basically PS3 is the best Blu Ray player hands down

  • WitWolfyZA

    i doubt it… but hey its china after all lol

  • WitWolfyZA

    I for one hate the extras in dvds. I dont care about moving backgrounds on the dvd menu i just wanna see the darn movie. But thats just me :biggrin:

  • easy

    you might not, but movies buffs do.

    i just like hi-def movies, and blu-ray is the only format so far that provides.
    as lazy alluded to in his article, digital content will negate that at some point.

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