HD VMD, New HD Format
It's bad enough there are two competing HD formats. Many consumers have not bought into either format, fearing they would be stuck with a Betamax redeaux. It's late to the game, but a new company has introduced a new, cheaper HD format, but will anyone care?
Next month, New Media Enterprises' 1080p set-top players, which use the HD VMD (Versatile Multilayer Disc) format, will go on sale on Amazon.com and in stores such as Radio Shack and Costco for around $150--about half the cost of the least-expensive 1080p HD DVD player, and perhaps a fourth the cost of the least-expensive Blu-ray player. The movies that work in them are similarly inexpensive.
Rather than the blue laser used in HD DVD and Blu-ray players, HD VMD will use the red laser used in the conventuional DVD players, which explains its price advantage. Also, the format supports up to 7.1-channel Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital Plus, and DTS audio output, though it will not offer the high-bit-rate Dolby TrueHD or DTS Master Audio surround-sound codecs.