Thursday, March 13

Format War Not Over Yet

No sooner has the battle for the next-generation high definition DVD format ended, with Blu-ray triumphing over HD DVD, than a new contender has emerged. HD VMD (versatile multilayer disc).

A new system that is incompatible with Blu-ray, called HD VMD, is trying to find a niche. New Medium Enterprises, the London company behind the HD VMD technology, says that the quality of its system is equal to Blu-ray's but costs less. What does this mean for Blu-ray? They should not let down their guard quite yet.

However, HD VMD is looking good. Although I have committed to digital content from iTunes,, and others, I am partial to the format war. Supposedly, an HD VMD player costs less than a Blu-ray because it uses the red-laser technologies found in today's standard-definition DVD players. The Blu-ray and HD DVD machines use a more-expensive blue laser system.

No matter how cheap a player is, it is useless unless major movies are released using its format. To date, they are struggling. Just 17 titles are available to customers in the United States at the company's online store, including little-known movies like "The Enigma With a Stigma" and "Kandukondain Kandukondain." I haven't heard of these anyway.

Until then, the Blu-ray folks should sit back and relax, but of course, not too much. I think, once they work their way in, they are going to come fast...maybe. We'll see.

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