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China’s AVS Specifications Available

Posted by Sachin Garg on 4th September 2007 | Permanent Link

Its old news that China has developed their own Audio Video Standard to avoid high licensing fees for MPEG standards. They also rolled out their own version of HD-DVD standard which allows use of this codec on DVDs.

English translation of the standard is now available, along with the IPR policy. Finally something technical that you can get your hands on to feed your appetite. Unfortunately, it is not a freely downloadable document. You will need to fill a form and wait for them to contact you, and possibly also pay some fees.

Just how huge the licensing fee difference can get? Well, the Chinese group had set a price goal of 1 yuan, or 13 cents, for the audio and video compression technology in each video player; this far undercuts the typical $2.50 license fees for the MPEG-2 compression technology used in standard DVD players today.

And if you are like me and are wondering if this codec will ever matter, many top-tier chipmakers are offering support for this codec that will be used in the domestic IPTV, satellite and possibly the cable TV market. Both Broadcom Corp. and Conexant Systems Inc. are working on chips for China’s AVS. They join STMicroelectronics, which already supports the codec in software, and is spinning a hardware optimized version that will be ready by the fourth quarter, 2007.

3 Responses to “China’s AVS Specifications Available”

  1. Peter Ras Says:

    The Conexant/Broadcom/St.Micro decoding what i understand will be doing both AVS and AVC, if i remember well NXP, at the time it was still 100 % Philips, made a contract for a similar decoder with TCL (?) but the whole relevancy of the AVS which was developed mainly because of what had to be paid for DVD related licenses.

    The cost complaint is a joke as the number of players produced and the payments made is just a fraction of what should have been paid, same is expected the STB but perhaps the widening trade gap with the US and Europe as well as the multifunctionality of HD related products combining ip-stb and iptv will make it a whole different ball game as first of all the ongoing HD DVD versus Blue ray battle is a hindering factor and probably outdated

    when China wants to combine the local HD EVD for the local market it will ultimately be confronted with internet related realities which makes it highly unlikely that any hardware specifically produced for the local market will stand a chance as the local Joe Sixpack will not buy “AVS only” and be cut off for 90 % of what he wants to download.

  2. Sachin Garg Says:

    Overall I tend to agree with you that a ‘avs only’ player may not make much sense, but then that just might be ‘our’ perspective from outside.

    At least in US/Europe/India, there is a “english too” culture, which would make a “local only” device dead-on-arrival. For China, I am not very sure. From what I know, china has a very local culture. With not many people caring about english as a language and thus foreign content. For this majority, a avs only codec ‘might’ be all they need. Anyway, I will wait for a chinese local to comment on this ;-)

    btw, I don’t really care if a set of algorithms have the mpeg/jpeg/iso/itu stamp on it. If they are technically sound and get even slightly-good-enough real world support, then made-in-china AVS can be a nice (and cheaper) alternate for some.

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