China Blue High-Definition (CBHD; Chinese: 中国蓝光高清光盘; alternatively "China High Definition DVD") is a high definition optical disc format announced in September 2007 by the Optical Memory National Engineering Research Center (OMNERC) of Tsinghua University in China. The format is a derivative of the HD DVD, a medium created by the DVD Forum designed to succeed regular DVDs. Although HD DVD was scrapped as a result of losing the format war to Blu-ray, CBHDs continued to be produced and marketed, though only in China.
Originally called CH-DVD, CBHD is a joint venture between the DVD Forum and OMNERC. Development began in 2005, and an early prototype was demonstrated in 2007.1 In 2008 during the DVD Forum's 42nd Steering Committee Meeting, the DVD Forum gave OMNERC the permission to edit HD DVD specifications.1
The format as of 2013 appears to have faded into oblivion as far as international use is concerned. Most of the initial hype around the format was from upset vocal HD DVD proponents that were hoping they could cheaply import CBHD discs and avoid moving to the Blu-ray format. The CBHD spec although based on the HD DVD spec has been changed enough so its discs are not compatible with HD DVD players. The format has been developed to remain in China and the content providers have decided to make Blu-ray the official HD video disc for the rest of world.
Development of CBHD, heavily based on the HD DVD standard, was greatly helped by Japanese engineers. In particular, Hisashi Yamada, former Chief Technology Fellow at Toshiba's Digital Media Network, often referred to as the "father of DVD," has played a key role in China's plan to create its own high-definition consumer video format.2
CBHD differs from HD DVD in several key areas. CBHD uses the PRC government-owned AVS video codec, DRA audio codec,3 and a new copy protection system, DKAA, as an alternative to HD DVD's and Blu-ray's AACS.4567 CBHD's developers claim that the format contains more copy protection features and is part of a big push by China to fight piracy in addition to reducing their reliance upon foreign patents with their associated royalty payments.8
Like HD DVD, CBHD discs have a capacity of 15GB single-layer and 30GB dual-layer and can utilise existing DVD production lines.9
In early March 2009, Warner Bros. announced that they would be supporting the CBHD format, launching with titles including the Harry Potter series and Blood Diamond, with discs selling for between 50 and 70 yuan (roughly $7.25 to $10.15).10 According to an August 2009 television story by TV-Tokyo, CBHD was outselling rival Blu-ray by a margin of 3 to 1 in China (due to heavy advertisement and favored backing from the government).11 In September 2009, Universal Studios and National Geographic announced their support for the format.12 Also adding support for the format are Paramount Pictures (US), Celestial (HK/CN) and BBC/Discovery (UK/US).13