'China blazes the trail for video CDs'

(Article Precis, 15/Aug/1998, Issue 2147, p24)
Barry Fox reports that China has earned the support of major international companies for its new 'super video CD' standard (SVCD), including JVC, Matsushita (ie. Panasonic), Philips and Sony.

While the West has chosen DVDs as the future of digital media, China has decided to forego the more costly DVD technology and instead develop an improved CD. The new design encodes video and audio with a higher quality bit stream when there is fast motion or loud sound, saving on data space when signal strengths are low (still picture shots and/or silence). This variable bit-rate method gives very high quality sound and images; since the media is still a CD-type design, the large number of existing CD factories in the Far East can produce the SVCDs in extensive numbers, resulting in a cheaper format.

Note: In order to comply with copyright law, I have ommited some details from the original article. Thus, for a complete insight into the topic covered here, please either consult your local library for the issue concerned, purchase the relevant issue from your local newsagent, or back-order it from the publishers.

Precised by Ian Mapleson, 16/Aug/1998.