Enhanced Versatile Disc

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(Redirected from EVD)

The Enhanced Versatile Disc (EVD) was announced on November 18 2003 by China's Xinhua news agency as a response to the popular DVD Video format and its licensing costs (which some considered excessive). It uses an optical storage medium in CD size (120 mm) that is physically a DVD disk with the same UDF file system. China started development on EVD in 1999, because DVD Video (CSS, Macrovision, etc.) and MPEG-2 (Video and Systems) licensing costs were relatively high - reportedly in the range of $13–$20 USD per hardware video player.

On the EVD, the video codecs VP5 and VP6 from On2 Technologies were supposed to be used. These are more efficient than MPEG-2 Video and could enable the disk to store HDTV resolutions, a feature the DVD could not offer when using MPEG-2. With EVD, royalties to On2 for the VP6 codec part of the EVD design were anticipated to be about $2 USD per video player (a moderately lower fee than that associated with MPEG-2 Video). However, a contract dispute rapidly developed between On2 and Beijing E-World (the consortium of companies developing the EVD format). On2 announced in April 2004 that it was not being properly paid and would file multiple breach of contract claims against E-World for arbitration. Approximately one year later, the arbitrator dismissed all of On2's claims and ruled that nothing was owed to On2, primarily because no significant number of player devices had ever been produced by the E-World companies. While the EVD format design including VP6 had been proposed to the Chinese government to become a standard, the effort appears to have stalled at that point and no further progress is evident.

The audio codec was to come from Coding Technologies and was called the EAC (Enhanced Audio Codec) 2.0. It is the successor of a prior design known as EAC and works on the basis of spectral band replication. EAC 2.0 supports mono, stereo and 5.1 surround sound.

The development was supported by the Chinese government and was developed by Beijing E-world Technology (a multi-company partnership including SVA, Shinco, Xiaxin, Yuxing, Skyworth, Nintaus, Malata, Changhong, and BBK), which reported the overcoming of development, chip-design and production problems. The team applied for 25 patents, of which at least seven have currently been granted.

Prototype EVD disks and software players were presented in April 2004. As the disk is physically a DVD disk it could be read with any computer DVD drive. Successful copies were made with DVD-R disks. The number of films ever offered in the format was very limited.

Competitors to the EVD format included HD-DVD and the Blu-ray Disc. Those two formats remain the focus of significant industry efforts.

Very little news has been available about EVD since the contract dispute with On2 broke out in the Spring of 2004. The substance of the subsequent arbitration ruling against On2 a year later makes it appear that EVD is not likely to be a major focus of future industry deployment efforts.

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