Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Could New HD Red-Laser Disc Blow Blu-ray & HD DVD Out of the Water?

Wouldn't it be interesting if, after a year-and-a-half or so of the Blu-ray and HD DVD high-definition DVD formats duking it out for market domination, someone came up with a way to create high-capacity, standard red-laser discs? The existence of such a technology might not be as far off the horizon as you think.

According to Display Daily, a London, England-based company called New Medium Enterprises (NME) Ltd. has developed what it calls the HD-VMD disc (the "VMD" stands for "versatile multi-layer disc") that can store up to 30 GB worth of content using the same processes used for creating standard DVDs.

This means that you can watch HD movies using your trusty, old DVD player (with a firmware upgrade, of course), plus "other off-the-shelf technology". Display Daily reports that, because the discs rely on the same processes currently used to create DVDs, the cost of each disc would be much lower than what one might pay now for a Blu-ray or HD DVD disc (of course it would, in turn, be higher than what you pay for a standard DVD). NME plans to launch a pair of players and discs of the new HD-VMD format next month.

If this technology lives up to its promises, it could mean an end to the format war once and for all. Ironically, it would also bring everyone right back to where we started, with the standard red-laser disc format. Essentially, two camps have been working furiously to find new methods and standards of fitting more information on a disc, offering neat, interactive features, and creating highly-advanced players, only for someone to come out and squash the whole thing by simply finding a way to update the already existing, tried-and-true, method. Of course, we'll just have to wait until next month to see how well HD-VMD performs, and how practical it is to implement. But my question is: why didn't someone come up with this in the first place?

[Photo: The ML 622S HD VMD Multilayer Player from NME Inc. claims to be able to play back high-definition, 1080p content via HDMI, and using the Sigma Designs EM8622L chipset. It can also read all types of disc, including standard DVD, CD, and even MP3 discs; and can playback MPEG-1/2/4, VC1, WMV9, and H.264 video; as well as JPEG and BMP photos. Data transfer rate is 45 Mbps. It is scheduled for availability in the U.S. in Q3 for US$199, and will come in a choice of black, red, grey, or white finish.]

1 comment:

Laser Hair Removal Chicago said...

Blu-ray and HD DVD have pushed the limits of optical storage further than anyone thought possible. But a new technology has emerged which makes Blu-ray’s 50GB capacity look tiny. Mempile in Israel says it’s able to fit an incredible 1TB of data onto one “TeraDisc” which is the same size as CDs and DVDs. That’s 20 times the capacity of a maxed-out dual-layer Blu-ray disc.

The incredible capacity achieved using this new technology is made possible by employing 200 5GB layers, each one only five microns apart. The discs are completely transparent to the red lasers which are used in the associated recorder.