New Medium Enterprises (NME), the company behind the HD VMD, a red-laser high-definition disc format, believes that Toshiba's withdrawal from HD DVD format leaves two successors to DVD: Blu-ray and HD VMD.
The company underlined the advantages of HD VMD over Blu-ray, since their format can be produced by the world's current manufacturing base at a consumer-sustainable price.
The blue laser format has struggled to gain a market foothold and very few manufacturers have acquired the equipment needed to produce 'blue' players and discs. With a market lifespan being shortened by satellite, cable and download, the significant investment required to produce them makes economic viability difficult for manufacturers, particularly in less affluent markets where the high street price will always have to be much lower.
In contrast, as NME's multilayer format is based on existing red laser DVD production technologies, it requires no such significant investment by OEMs, disc replicators and authoring houses.
"The way is now clear for VMD to be embraced by the industry, our technology is robust and our format is clearly equal to the quality required to deliver a true HD experience for the consumer at a price they are prepared to afford" Said Interim CEO Geoff Russell.
"NME, Inc. have developed the VMD technology independently and are poised to come to market in several territories in the next quarter. All indications are that VMD can fill the void left by HD-DVD for a hungry production industry and rapidly growing HD-screen enabled consumer market," says Michael Solomon, Chairman of NME, Inc.
A movie recorded on VMD (Versatile Multilayer Disc) displays a full High Definition format 1080p, namely a picture consisting of 1080 lines and 1920 pixels on each line. Each disc is currently capable of storing 30GB of high-def entertainment. HD VMD players currently cost less than $200. However, NME still needs to catch Blu-ray is studio support.
However, Blu-ray players are also expected to sink slowly to $299 this year from $399 and up and reach as low as $200 next year, according to Sony Electronics CEO Stan Glascow.
Mr Glascow also does not believe that Blu-ray is threatened by cheap Chinese-made players that might step in and undercut prices, since the Blu-ray Association, which oversees the Blu-ray standard, has not given licenses to any Chiense manufacturers.