…and I say "take on" loosely, although this is going to be interesting to watch.
A company called New Medium Enterprises (NME) has manufactured a "low-cost true high definition solution" that uses standard red lasers found in today’s CD and DVD players. The format is called "HD VMD" or High Definition Versatile Multilayer Disc.
According to NME’s website…
"HD VMD is a true HD format with 1920 x 1080i/p resolution, up to 40 Mbps bit rate playback, DVD up-scaling so users can watch their existing DVD collection and achieve premium picture quality through their HD TV monitors. The HD VMD player is suitable for playback on all HD-capable display devices and will support existing optical disc formats: CD, DVD (DVD 5 & DVD 9). HD VMD players also feature Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) and all region codes for greater film viewing flexibility."
So, pros. We’ve got low-cost, region free, and backwards compatible. Cons? Ah, content. The Achilles heel of any new format. There’s a whole lotta nothing right now except for a few older movies like Pulp Fiction.
"Most of the other movies are either lesser-known independents, older films or Bollywood features from India. It’s doubtful that the company will be able to garner support from most major studios, given their already significant investments in the other HD formats," according to technabob.com.
Who knows? This might catch on in other countries and it might be able to develop a DivX-like following here. Only time will tell. Don’t think that HD DVD player prices won’t soon fall below $200 across the board, though. Blu-ray should eventually catch up as well.
hd vmd players hit stores for under $200 [technabob]