Tech-savvy movie pirates are looking to Blu-ray for the latest line in knock-off goods. Unfortunately, like most pirated material, the discs you get aren't Blu-ray at all, but AVCHD copies.
The faux Blu-ray discs that are being created in China bypass the BD format in favour of good ol' DVD. Essentially, the pirates illegally copy legitimate Bu-ray discs, downgrade the quality to 1080i, by way of the AVCHD codec, and record the results straight to DVD.
AVCHD (Advanced Video Codec High Definition) is the same codec used in hi-def video cameras. It compresses hi-def footage, so it can be squeezed on to the likes of an SD card without any spacing issues.
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Just the package
According to those that have seen the Blu-ray rip-offs – and they are currently only available in Asia – the packaging for the discs is emblazoned with a like-for-like Blu-ray hologram and are packaged the same way as a normal Blu-ray disc.
While you don't get the Full HD hi-def goodness of Blu-ray, you've got to admire the ingenuity of the pirates – the process is a long way from sneaking a camcorder into a cinema to record the latest releases in 'shaky' cam.