According to the Xinhua News Agency, Chinese researchers at Beijing E-World Digital Technology — comprised of government bodies and 10 domestic electronics manufacturers — are working on a new standard, called EVD (Enhanced Versatile Disc), that promises five times the image quality of DVD.

Teams in China aim to release full specifications for a higher-end complement to the DVD format next month. The EVD format will be playable only on EVD players and in addition to the higher image quality of DVD movies promises a higher computer data-storage capacity. The first EVD players for home consumers will become available in China next year.

Details about the format, such as storage capacity, compression format for audio and video files and type of reading laser used have so far been kept under wraps. The China-developed EVD standard is among several projects supported by the government in its drive to reduce license fee payments and "shake off dependence on foreign technologies in production", according to Xinhua. An EVD player will cost about $240 (£142), compared with around $85 for the average cost of a domestic DVD player. China-made home DVD players account for up to 70 per cent of the world market. China produced over 30 million DVD players in 2002.


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