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.
Same movie, same quality, 70% cheaperâ€¦ 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.
Last Updated: August 4, 2009