HD VMD joins Blu-ray and HD-DVD in the high definition disk battle.

New player enters HD format war

As if the burgeoning high definition disk sector wasn’t complicated enough with two rival formats, a little known third technology is gaining popularity in Europe.

Two major French film distributors, Seven 7 and Metropolitan FilmExport, have signed up to deliver content using HD VMD (High-Definition Versatile Multilayer Disc) technology. The deal was made with New Medium Enterprises, the proponent of the red laser based technology in the French market, according to Vnunet.com.

20 titles will be available from both firms by September, with five HD VMD releases scheduled every month thereafter. Metropolitan FilmExport has distribution rights for blockbusters such as the Lord of the Rings trilogy.

The main benefit New Medium Enterprises seems to be pushing is the price. The firm claims that its technology allows access to high definition at a lower cost than Blu-ray and HD-DVD, since HD VMD prices are very close to the current pricing of standard DVDs.

New Medium Enterprises is hoping to gain a large slice of the French high definition disk market with a special launch edition of the technology, including a HD VMD player which comes with five free HD VMD movies for around €299.

HD VMD makes multi-layering possible, allowing capacities of 20GB, 24GB, 30GB, 40GB and 48GB. The platform is a true HD 1080p format and is compatible with all HD screens. It supports every existing disc format including CD and DVD (DVD5 & DVD9).

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