NME Debuts HD VMD Player at CEDIA5 Sep, 2007 By: Chris Tribbey
A VMD player
DENVER — Sony Electronics and Toshiba America Consumer Electronics were both expected to make new product announcements to close out the first full day of the CEDIA Expo on Sept. 5, but they were beat early on when the U.K.'s New Medium Enterprises officially launched its HD VMD (Versatile Multilayer Disc) player and disc for the U.S. market.
Boasting a $199 price point for its initial player, HD VMD is expected to debut in stores this October, offering a HD 1080p picture from discs that store 15 to 20 GB and eventually as much as 30 GB on one single side, according to the company. The HD VMD uses a red laser technology, and can handle 7.1 audio, and offers a 45MBPS bit rate for video, and DVD upconverting technology. Video codecs handled include MPEG-2, VC-1, H.-264, and audio codecs include DD, DD+ and DTS. USB ports, card readers, HDMI and Internet connections are included. NME claims the production costs for HD VMD is significantly lower than that of Blu-ray Disc and HD DVD. The company has made no statements regarding agreements with any U.S. content providers.
“U.S. consumers have waited for an HD solution at DVD pricing; and with HD VMD, we believe we have met this desire through a stellar quality, high-definition disc and player at a price point that almost anyone can afford,” said NME CEO Mahesh Jayanarayan, in a press release. “With the launch into the U.S. market this month and an accelerating rollout of HD VMD content and retail distribution partners, we plan to drive adoption of HD in the home.”
NME wasn't the only company to come out swinging early at CEDIA:
“By introducing three unique lines of flat panel displays … NEC provides consumers with display options for every room in their home,” said NEC Display Solutions EVP Pierre Richer, in a press release. “These displays bring together NEC's award-winning innovative video technologies and world-class product quality for unsurpassed viewing experiences.”
“But the video side of the ubiquitous portable's capabilities has eluded effective usefulness in any sort of high-performance environment — until now. With the Meridian iRIS, Meridian can offer astonishingly good big-screen playback on today's HD displays, from an affordable device that features simple, ‘dock-and-hit-play' usability.”
SRP is $379 and it's expected in the U.S. in November.