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New VMD HD disc format to launch this year

May 15th, 2006 · No Comments

Just what the world needs: another high definition format hopeful. UK based New Medium Enterprises (NME), says that it will introduce its own HD variant, VMD (Versatile Multilayer Disc), into the US and Asia this autumn.
The announcement follows replication and technology deals with Eindhoven-based optical disc replicators VDL-ODMS and Chinese compression technology outfit MPEG Technology.
Unlike and , VMD uses conventional red laser technology, and claims to be easily accommodated into existing DVD players and disc replication facilities. The approach is not unique. VMD joins HVD (High-Definition Video Disc), another red laser technology currently embraced on players from Neodigits, and Microsoft’s Windows Media Video/HD. The first players will be produced by China’s Beijing E-World.
The VMD specs are impressive. The format can deliver up to 1080p, with a 40 Mb/s bitrate playback. Discs are multi-layered, with 5GB on each layer. A maximum of twenty layers is said to be possible. It’s also fully backwards compatible with DVD and CD.
Executive VP of North America Jeff Burrow (previously with digital US satcaster DirecTV) says the technology isn’t competitive with Blu-ray, more it should be seen as a step-up for DVD.
NME has been actively promoting the VMD format at both CeBit and Cannes. It also signed up software support at the content and distribution festival Marche du Film, earlier this year.

Tags: HD DVD and Blu-ray · High definition TV · Trade

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