Tag Archives: hd-dvd

HD DVD is dead, long live… CBHD

Always thought that China would never accept Blu-Ray due to the high cost of licensing, and thus high cost of discs and players.

Well, China has been attempting a few formats over the last few years that are under their control and don’t require them to fork out on cost fees to licence holders outside their country. The latest is CBHD. Formerly known as CH-DVD and rebranded probably following the demise of HD-DVD. New photos have emerged of the players and there’s a stunning similarity to certain Tosh HD DVD players!





Apparently CBHD is almost identical to HD DVD with the exception of the licensed components, so mainly the codecs used. How similar their own codecs are is yet to be established, but it does mean the discs will be incompatible with HD DVD.

What does that mean for the rest of the world? Probably not much initially. HD DVD owners however may find that a firmware hack to turn their players into CBHD players is not beyond possibility, opening up the player to the CBHD stock of titles (which Warner has already signed up for at least).

The more interesting possibility comes down to the fact that Chinese manufacturers make the base components for a lot of western kit that gets re-branded into known names with Japanese logos on them (with inflated prices). This means the potential some day for multi-format players that could play everything and probably support HD DVD/CBHD as well as Blu-Ray and others. Much like how cheap DVD players these days support a wide array of formats, old and new. Hopefully like DVD players, region free hacks for Blu-Ray will be widely available (the lack of which is the major factor that stops me buying Blu at present).

Doesn’t do anything for reviving HD DVD in the west, though does open up a market in cheap discs from China. I suspect there will be a number of restrictions to prevent export though as Hollywood would rather the rest of the world pays the massive premium for Blu-Ray instead (at whatever the local maximum price is thanks to region controls).

(sources: avsforum, avforums)

Region Free DVD on Toshiba EP30 HD DVD Player

Following on from the EP35 region free mod, those clever guys have worked out a way of making the EP30 region free for DVD also (remember that HD DVD was always region free, this is for DVD playback only).

It’s a lot more complex than the EP35 mod unfortunately and a “dirty hack” as they put it. Be warned, you could brick your player, so only proceed if you feel happy with a dirty hack and the risks involved. Hopefully an easier mod will pop up later.

Details here: http://www.avforums.com/forums/hd-dvd-players/861280-ep30-region-free-firmware.html

Region free DVD on Toshiba EP35 HD DVD player

This wonderful device for budget HD movie watching, whilst was always region free for HD DVD discs, can now be made region free for SD DVDs with some modified firmware. This means upscaling of your DVD collection to 1080p regardless of DVD region. 🙂

Many thanks to those involved in getting the mod working.

To get this to work you need to apply some firmware that has the region free mod in it. The firmware currently available is version 1.3, which is older than latest firmwares available. However once the mod is applied, you can safely update to new official firmware releases without losing the region free status.

Also, if you have more recent firmware (up to 4.0 at least), you can roll back to the modified 1.3 and then re-apply firmware updates.

More details over at the AV Forums: EP35 Region Free Firmware

Note that RCE encoded discs require an extra handset hack as follows:

1) Turn on player
2) Open tray, put disc in tray but don´t close
3) Push T.search on remote
4) Push 1, 3, 9 and “Region number” (e.g. 1 for US discs)
5) Push T. search on remote.

You will see TEST on your player

6) Press PLAY on the remote

When player is turned off, this setting is cleared.