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New HD Format - HD VMD

Old 03-11-08, 11:13 AM
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New HD Format - HD VMD

I think this was from the NY Times, but it was sent to me in an e-mail so I'm not sure. Sounds interesting and their website has a fair collection (more than the article leads you to believe).

I did a search, so apologies if this is a repost.

Another DVD Format, but This One Says It’s Cheaper
By ERIC A. TAUB
Published: March 10, 2008
No sooner has the battle for the next-generation high definition DVD format ended, with Blu-ray triumphing over HD DVD, than a new contender has emerged.

A new system that is incompatible with Blu-ray, called HD VMD, for versatile multilayer disc, is trying to find a niche. New Medium Enterprises, the London company behind HD VMD, says its system’s quality is equal to Blu-ray’s but it costs less. By undercutting the competition in production, replication and hardware costs, it thinks it can find a market among consumers with less disposable income, particularly outside the United States.

An HD VMD player costs less than a Blu-ray because it uses the red-laser technologies found in today’s standard-definition DVD players. The Blu-ray and HD DVD machines use a more-expensive blue laser system. “We do not intend to take on Blu-ray,” said Shirly Levich, New Medium’s vice president and product development manager, in an e-mail message. “We see VMD as a natural extension of mass market DVD product enhanced to HD capabilities. We shall not rekindle the format war.”

The industry and consumers may not see it that way, given that the company is promoting its price advantages. While Blu-ray players typically cost more than $300, an HD VMD unit is priced at $199. Sales through Amazon are scheduled to begin in five weeks, the company said. No talks have been held with the big-box retailers, like Wal-Mart Stores, to carry the product.

New Medium thinks its secret weapon is Michael Jay Solomon, one of Hollywood’s best-known film distributors, who has been named its chairman.

Although he has yet to approach the studios, Mr. Solomon, a former president of Warner Brothers International Television, said his long tenure in the industry would help him succeed in licensing movies for HD VMD. “It’s a combination of my good experiences and continual relationships,” Mr. Solomon said in a telephone interview from Shanghai, where he was visiting with company engineers.

No matter how cheap a player is, it is useless unless major movies are released using its format. To date, New Medium has come up short. Just 17 movies are available to customers in the United States at the company’s online store, including little-known ones like “The Enigma With a Stigma” and “Kandukondain Kandukondain,” a Bollywood production. Its major suppliers to the American market are Anthem Pictures, Eros Entertainment and SFM Entertainment, all independent distributors. Some bigger movies, like “Apocalypto,” are available in other territories.

Neither Walt Disney, Universal Studios nor Warner Brothers would comment on their interest in releasing movies on HD VMD.

But even without major studio movies, Mr. Solomon thinks the company will be successful. The low cost of producing HD VMD master discs, from which the consumer products are made, and the inexpensive consumer players have attracted the owners of movie rights in China, India and Spain, Mr. Solomon said. He said Australia, China, India, Central Europe, Russia and Scandinavia would be major markets.

“We can sell players for $90 and make a profit,” he said.

In the United States, Mr. Solomon believes that producers of lesser-known movies, like religious organizations and independent filmmakers, will see HD VMD as a cost-effective way to create high-definition versions of their programming.

The Blu-ray camp is unimpressed. New Medium’s price strategy will fail, said Andy Parsons, chairman of the Blu-ray Disc Association, a trade group, because it relies on a false assumption: Blu-ray technology will always be more expensive.

“When you mass produce blue lasers in large quantities, hardware costs will absolutely come down,” Mr. Parsons said. “I’m sure we’ll eventually be able to charge $90 for a Blu-ray player.”

The HD VMD camp “is pitching a solution at a market niche that does not exist,” said Carmi Levy, senior vice president for strategic consulting at AR Communications, a Toronto research firm. “And even if it is a niche, you will never sell enough to make it a business.”

Mr. Solomon dissents. “Our idea is to create a player that people can afford. There is room for the two of us.”

Unfortunately, those consumers who bought HD DVD players that are now orphaned may not agree.
http://nmestore.com/
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Old 03-11-08, 11:30 AM
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I read about this last year and they were saying Costco and some other stores would have them by the end of this year, not that I see it happening.
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Old 03-11-08, 11:55 AM
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Video CDs are wildly popular outside of the US. I see no reason why this wouldn't work in those areas as well.
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Old 03-11-08, 12:45 PM
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I own both Blue Ray and HD-DVD and enjoy both although I like HD-DVD better!

I would only like this to replace BR so that I could surf the internet and post "dead format" in every BR thread!
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Old 03-11-08, 12:51 PM
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Originally Posted by stonewall
I would only like this to replace BR so that I could surf the internet and post "dead format" in every BR thread!
Kiddie swim time is over.
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Old 03-11-08, 12:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Vipper II
Kiddie swim time is over.
I don't have a clue what that means?

Take a look at any HD-DVD thread here or anywhere else and I think perhaps you will see what I am talking about. Of course you may or may not be able to read or write english, good luck either way, Kiddie!
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Old 03-11-08, 12:58 PM
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Originally Posted by stonewall
I own both Blue Ray and HD-DVD and enjoy both although I like HD-DVD better!

I would only like this to replace BR so that I could surf the internet and post "dead format" in every BR thread!
Its Blu-ray and HD DVD.
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Old 03-11-08, 01:04 PM
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Originally Posted by GizmoDVD
Its Blu-ray and HD DVD.
Well, Blue-Ray and HD-DVD sounds better, try it!
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Old 03-11-08, 01:05 PM
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Originally Posted by stonewall
I don't have a clue what that means?
It means that the time for childish tantrums such as yours is past, and that the forum moderators have been trying to discourage such actions.

The war is over. Move on.

As to whether "HD VMD" will ever see availability in any major US retailer, well, let's just say I have my doubts.
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Old 03-11-08, 01:11 PM
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Originally Posted by RoboDad
It means that the time for childish tantrums such as yours is past, and that the forum moderators have been trying to discourage such actions.
Yes. No more of this, Stonewall.
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Old 03-11-08, 01:18 PM
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How is HD VMD any better than HD DVD? They sound about the same and look wahat happened to HD DVD.
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Old 03-11-08, 01:27 PM
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Exactly. What studio would seriously entertain the idea of supporting this format now, especially so soon after the last format war? And without full studio support, it will never be more than a VCD-style niche product, serving some international markets but never accomplishing much more.
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Old 03-11-08, 05:57 PM
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Coming out on DVD, Blu-ray and HD VMD on ___________.

This is going to confuse "J6P" to no end.
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Old 03-11-08, 06:26 PM
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Originally Posted by stonewall
Well, Blue-Ray and HD-DVD sounds better, try it!
Try what? Wouldn't those spellings be pronounced exactly the same?
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Old 03-11-08, 08:00 PM
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Originally Posted by RoboDad
Exactly. What studio would seriously entertain the idea of supporting this format now, especially so soon after the last format war? And without full studio support, it will never be more than a VCD-style niche product, serving some international markets but never accomplishing much more.
Again, VCDs are anything but "niche" outside of this country.
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Old 03-11-08, 08:13 PM
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I give a big thumbs down to any new formats for the next few years. I don't think we need to even consider another format until the next step in high definition resolution comes along and is affordable to more than just the wealthy.
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Old 03-11-08, 08:35 PM
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Bah, this is the real next gen HD format.

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Old 03-11-08, 09:28 PM
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Originally Posted by dsa_shea
I give a big thumbs down to any new formats for the next few years. I don't think we need to even consider another format until the next step in high definition resolution comes along and is affordable to more than just the wealthy.
High-Deaf

You won't believe your ears

(on a side note, HD VMD discs are extremely limited in offerings, and are just as much as Blu-ray movies, which range around $17--unless Blu-ray titles do the "bad thing" I've been talking about). CH DVD, however...

Last edited by DVD Polizei; 03-11-08 at 09:33 PM.
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Old 03-12-08, 02:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Draven
Again, VCDs are anything but "niche" outside of this country.
Which is why he said "...serving some international markets but never accomplishing much more."

VCD may be commonplace is Asia, but so is piracy. And VCD's are the easiest thing in the world to pirate. Just because you see them everywhere, doesn't make them very profitable. And the reason why VCD's are so popular is because they can be produced dirt-cheap. If DVD Polizei is correct and VMD's pricing will be similar to Blu-ray, I would expect them to die a quick death in Asia/pirate-land.
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Old 03-12-08, 09:00 AM
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I'll buy if they've got BOGOs and Multi-Disc Rebates
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Old 03-13-08, 09:23 PM
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From what I've heard, the VMD doesn't even hold as much space on a disc as an HD-DVD. This makes me vary wary of just how good the image quality would be. And would there be any space left for next-gen audio formats?
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Old 03-13-08, 09:41 PM
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Originally Posted by hauntnut
From what I've heard, the VMD doesn't even hold as much space on a disc as an HD-DVD. This makes me vary wary of just how good the image quality would be. And would there be any space left for next-gen audio formats?
A bigger % of people care about Picture Quality, not Audio. That 42" Westinghouse 1080p TV they bought for $999 will provide a decent enough picture for them...but they may not be willing to invest in a $300+ sound system (even a HTIB).
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Old 03-13-08, 10:19 PM
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You pay less you usually get less. I wish I had four hands so I could give HD VMD four thumbs down.
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Old 03-13-08, 10:35 PM
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Originally Posted by dsa_shea
You pay less you usually get less. I wish I had four hands so I could give HD VMD four thumbs down.
I don't know...If I could buy one for $99...I would. Just a neat little piece of equipment and getting some decent titles not available on either format (if they ever materialize).
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Old 03-15-08, 09:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Superman07
...says its system’s quality is equal to Blu-ray’s but it costs less
Isn't that the system that we call HD-DVD? (And we saw how that worked out.)
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