Just when you thought the HD DVD/Blu-ray format war was starting to work itself out, here comes something called “HD VMD.” Yeah, it sounds like something you might get prescribed an ointment to treat, but it’s actually just another HD format.
Although this new format doesn’t have the backing of any major studios (yet) the company that produces the format says it’s cheaper to manufacture than HD DVD or Blu-ray.
“Blu-ray is running $3.40 a unit, and HD DVD is $2.50 — it’s hard as an indie to get into that marketplace,” Adelman says. “It’s coming down to manufacturing, and we think HD VMD is a fantastic format.”
New Medium Enterprises… CEO Mahesh Jayanarayan believes these kinds of value enticements will be hard for some content creators to ignore.
“In the first six months we are giving free authoring tools to studio partners to make our content popular in the format,” he says. “Many production houses can’t make the investment with (Blu-ray or HD DVD). We want to make the industry feel comfortable with high-def.”
Of course, consumers have to feel comfortable, too — New Medium plans to debut its HD VMD players at under $200, with European retailers, including Tesco in Poland and Boulanger in France, selling the device from $150 to $199.
This crap should be hitting our shores by September, according to Variety. Our advice? Stay away! Format wars are bad! Never forget our war-cry: “Remember the Betamax!”