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The HD-VMD Format


HD-VMD is a high-definition (1080p) DVD format released in August 2007 by New Medium Enterprises (NME, www.nmeinc.com). It is marketed as "the world's first low-cost True High Definition", with it's main selling point being that it uses existing red-laser technology and is therefore much cheaper to produce.

The name VMD stands for Versatile Multilayer Disc, NME's proprietary technology.

The huge hurdle that HD-VMD faces is obvious: Arriving late to a format war in which HD-DVD and Blu-ray have already gained a lot of ground. The major studios are likely to be very difficult or impossible to win over to the HD-VMD camp. The titles offered by HD-VMD are sparse and weak in comparison to the other formats.

However there is one thing very much in the favour of HD-VMD: Consumer ignorance. If enough people buy the players without realising the dearth of available content, studios could reconsider and offer support. However, given the state of affairs between the currently competing formats, inviting a new competitor to the market seems like a long-shot.

HD-VMD has a very tough time ahead.

Specifications at a Glance

Capacity: Up to 30GB on a single side
Compression: MPEG-2 and VC1. Possibly H.264 in the future.
Max Video Bitrate: 40Mbps (45Mbps theoretical)
Audio: Up to 7.1-channel Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital Plus, DTS audio output
Compatibility: HD VMDs, DVDs, CDs, MP3 CDs, plus a few miscellaneous formats.

See also:

Author: ,  Originally published: 2007-09-10