A third HD format for DVD emerges

While the Blu-ray and HD-DVD camps slug it out in a pre-launch propaganda war, a third technology for high-definition home video distribution emerged at the recent CeBIT show in Germany.

New Medium Enterprises (NME) is promoting a format called Versatile Multi-layer Disc (MVD) that stores up to 40GB per disc using the same low-cost red lasers found in standard DVD drives, Personal Computer World reported. The MVD player, priced at $150, dramatically undercuts the $499 price tag on the upcoming low-end Toshiba HD-DVD player and $1000 first-generation Blu-ray deck.

MVD uses multilayer recording and offers a choice of 20-, 30- and 40GB discs. The report said 100GB discs are on the horizon.

NME is U.S.-owned, but based in London, and is in the process of a merger with a company called E-World which owns the EVS standard. EVS is the only HD standard in China and is backed by the Chinese government. NME owns 1900 x 1080 resolution standard.

The report said NME is not trying to compete directly with the Blu-ray and HD-DVD formats. The company claims to have 2600 Indian titles, via a distributor called Eros, and about 300 Chinese film titles through E-World. It will initially focus on those markets.

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