Sunday, September 2, 2007

Third High Definition DVD Format to Come This Fall

The ongoing war between Blu-ray and HD DVD high-definition video formats is heating up as appropriate players become more affordable. While the end of the battle is still far ahead, there is a small company from
London, England, which plans to offer truly affordable high-definition format called HD VMD already this fall.
New Medium Enterprises unveiled its first HD VMD (Versatile Multilayer Disc) player at IFA trade-show in Berlin along with the short list of movies to be available for the player this fall. The company, which positions its standard as “The New Definition of High Definition” promises affordable prices and widespread availability, but remains tight-lipped over the movies portfolio it is able to release.
NME’s ML622S player that is capable of DVD and HD VMD playback has recommended retail price of €179 ($243) and offers video playback encoded using MPEG-2/MPEG-2 HD, VC-1 or H.264 codecs in up to 1080p (1920x1200, progressive scan) resolution with up to 45Mb/s bitrate along with Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital Plus, DTS audio.
The London-based startup launches its HD VMD technology worldwide in October or November with a competitive player and content bundle box which will include 5 new HD VMD titles for Australia, France, Iceland, India, Poland and Scandinavia. The company says that HD VMD’s “growing list of film content” includes “blockbuster films from Hollywood, Bollywood and International titles worldwide” including 16 Blocks, Apocalypto, Passion of the Christ, Lord of War, Lucky Number Slevin, plus the award winning children’s series, Lazy Town.
HD VMD 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 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. HD VMD is not supported by any major movie studios, like Blu-ray or HD DVD.

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