The Blu-ray Disc Association, China Hualu Group, and Digital Rise Technology Co., Ltd. held a press conference in Beijing today to announce a new digital audio coding technology, DRA, has been included in the BD-ROM 2.3 specification as an optional audio codec by the Blu-ray Disc Association (BDA). DRA is the audio coding technology developed by Digital Rise Technology Co. Ltd. of China. Today’s announcement means that DRA has become part of the Blu-ray Disc format, the de facto worldwide standard for high-definition optical discs. “The adoption of DRA marks an important milestone for the Blu-ray Disc format as it offers more choices for consumers around the world,” said Mr. Roel Kramer, President of the Blu-ray Disc Association. “BDA has a high respect for China and we are very happy to include Chinese technology in the format.” DRA’s adoption is the result of collective efforts of the engineers in the Audio Codec Evaluation Technical Task Force under the BDA Joint Technical Committee, in close cooperation with the China Hualu Group and Digital Rise Technology Co., Ltd. It is also the achievement of an in-depth, bilateral communication and evaluation process between Chinese companies and the BDA. “We are glad to see that 22 Chinese manufacturers have obtained the Format and Logo License Agreement (FLLA ) for the Blu-ray Disc format, by which they are authorized to use the Blu-ray Disc Format Specifications and Blu-ray Disc Logo to develop, manufacture, and sell Blu-ray Disc products,” stated Mr. Sumitaka Matsumura, Chair of the Blu-ray Disc Association China Task Force. “The Blu-ray Disc value chain in China has been established and is becoming more and more robust with continued joint efforts by BDA members and our partners. We are now very excited about achieving the same type of success with the format in China that we have already achieved in the U.S., Japan, and Europe.” “As the successor of DVD technology, the Blu-ray Disc format represents the world’s most advanced technologies and direction of the optical disc industry,” commented Mr. Chen Runsheng, Chairman and General Manager, China Hualu Group. “I am very happy that a Chinese technology has been adopted by the BDA format. The China Hualu Group will promote the Blu-ray Disc format with DRA technology in domestic and global markets. With such good news, we believe 2009 will be the launching year for Blu-ray Disc business in China.” “With Chinese technologies part of the Blu-ray Disc format, we will benefit from many opportunities in the global market,” said Mr. Zhang Xingang, General Manager of Digital Rise Technology Co., Ltd. “We are extremely pleased that DRA technology has successfully passed the BDA’s technical evaluation and ultimately accepted as part of Blu-ray Disc specification. This is a clear indication that DRA technology has reached an international level. We are well prepared for the upcoming year and expect that the Blu-ray Disc format with DRA will bring to consumers a whole new entertainment experience.” DRA technology was proposed by the China Hualu Group to the BDA in August 2007 and was adopted following two rounds of technical evaluation conducted in the USA and Japan by the BDA. The evaluation process is transparent and open, and follows the same processes and criteria when evaluating other similar technologies.