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Online Retailer to Sell Third-Format Player

26 Feb, 2007 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Seeking a cheaper alternative to Blu-ray Disc and HD DVD, New Medium Enterprises, which markets a low cost high-def optical disc format and player, Feb. 26, announced it had secured a three-year U.S. distribution deal with online retailer PC Rush.

Under terms of the deal, PC Rush will distribute the Chinese-made $199 HD VMD Media Player Duo and $249 HD VMD Media Player Quattro starting in the second quarter.

HD VMD is a 40 Mbps red laser-based format that claims 1080i/p resolution, up to eight information layers per side and can be played on a standard DVD player or on an NME player.

“We are committed to providing U.S. consumers with an affordable and high-quality HD experience,” said NME CEO Mahesh Jayanarayan. “The red laser-based VMD format and players are a natural successor to DVD market, allowing consumers to get high-definition for a fraction of the cost of today's HD DVD or Blu-ray discs and players. Our partnership with PC Rush represents a strong step towards our goal to bring HD VMD to a wide consumer base in the US.”

Last November, London-based NME unveiled a list of Hollywood movies it claimed would be released in early this year in Germany in HD VMD.

The titles included Hostage (Miramax), Wu-Jii: The Promise (Warner Home Video), Reefer Madness and Paparazzi (20th Century Fox Home Entertainment), Sleepy Hollow (Paramount Home Entertainment), Gospel of John Descent (Buena Vista Home Entertainment), Hitters (Hanover House), Shockwave (released in the United States as The Arrival) from Lionsgate, and Island of Beasts.

In a Feb. 21 regulatory filing, NME posted a loss of more than $4.5 million on zero revenue.

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