According to China Tech News, the Blu-ray Disc Association (BDA) has approved eleven Chinese firms, ncluding TCL, Malata, and Desay, to begin producing Blu-ray players and discs, starting in 2009.
While some HD DVD die hards pointed to CH-DVD as if it were some kind of phoenix in the form of which HD DVD would rise from the ashes, it looks like even those hopes have been dashed. The BDA points out that since the demise of HD DVD, Chinese manufacturers have been flocking to Blu-ray, and that while the number of members in the BDA has increased to 187, the number of members in the DVD Forum (which backs DVD and HD DVD) has decreased from 240 to 163! The BDA last fall began evaluating Chinese codecs for inclusion in the BD specification. China has made support of the codecs a requirement for any advanced format released in China, and the codecs were the main difference between HD DVD and CH-DVD. This license development could hint at progress in including those codecs to support a domestic BD release in China.
Video Business reports that high-end consumer electronics retailers expect Blu-ray players to begin outselling DVD players as early as this August, riding a wave of increased player availability and lower prices. On a dollar basis, retailer Crutchfield is already reporting that Blu-ray is outselling DVD 60:40, but that’s largely due to the higher prices on BD decks.
The current Home Media Magazine has a product guide which provides an overview and comparison of the forthcoming Blu-ray players that have been announced. It is worth checking out if you’re thinking about buying a BD deck. Personally I wouldn’t even consider a Profile 1.1/Bonus View deck at this point – stick with Profile 2.0/BD-Live – at least BD-Live Ready.