HD VMD: The third format that would not die

Just when you thought the high-def format war was over, the red-laser high-def format HD VMD pops up once again, like a third-tier political candidate, to start it up all anew.

New Medium Enterprises used the backdrop of CES 2008 to announce that its HD VMD players would be shipping into the US market. Unlike Blu-ray and HD DVD, this format uses the old red-laser technology found in standard DVD to produce a high definition picture.


The player would be priced at $199 and would be available through Amazon, PCRush.com, and NMEStore.com. It would ship with two movies, Mother Ghost and Cutting Room.

Herein lies the problem for HD VMD. The format has no major studio support. Only SME Entertainment was listed as a partner, which said it would bring "rare and classic" films and television shows to HD VMD.

A check of NME's site shows only a handful of movies that could have mass appeal: Alexander, Apocalypto, Blade Trinity, Passion of the Christ, Pulp Fiction, and Saw are ones that most may have heard of.

That could be the biggest drawback to the platform regardless of price: although it sports the same 30 GB capacity that is currently available with HD DVD.

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