Right after Toshiba Corp. said it would withdrew from the high-definition format war by stopping production of its HD DVD equipment, Sony- and Philips-backed Blu-ray disc (BD) instantly became the winner of the high-def war. But New Medium Enterprises, the company that developed another type of medium that is suitable for storing high-definition movies, says the war still goes on.
“The way is now clear for VMD to be embraced by the industry, our technology is robust and our format is clearly equal to the quality required to deliver a true HD experience for the consumer at a price they are prepared to afford,” said chief executive officer Geoff Russell.
HD VMD format is the third optical disc type to record high-definition movies. The technology is based on multi-layer DVD discs and red laser head. Each additional layer adds approximately up to 5 GB of memory over a standard DVD disc. VMD provides the ability to place up to 20 layers on a single disc with no quality loss in the content stored. This means capacity to record of 100 GB or more without major changes to DVD players, but the disc technology requires new manufacturing process and production lines. Currently the company can produce up to 30GB discs.
NME, which calls its HD VMD format “a successor to DVD”, hopes that it can compete against Blu-ray disc (BD) format that is supported by all major Hollywood studios, consumer electronics (CE) manufacturers and U.S. retailers. By contrast, HD VMD is not supported by any movie production company or CE maker.
To make the matters worse, HD VMD movies announced to be available in late 2007, are still nowhere to be found, there was no a single high-definition movie available on an HD VMD medium at Amazon.com at press time. Nevertheless, the company seems to be confident of its success.
“NME has developed the VMD technology independently and are poised to come to market in several territories in the next quarter. All indications are that VMD can fill the void left by HD-DVD for a hungry production industry and rapidly growing HD-screen enabled consumer market,” said Michael Solomon, chairman of NME.
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