NME has released the first HD VMD player and is now available to purchase on Amazon. HD VMD, unlike HD-DVD and Blu-ray, uses current DVD technology to store and play HD movies. A regular DVD has one layer for around 5GB or two layers for almost 10GB. HD VMD uses four layers for around 20GB. They also say that they can reach ten layers for 50GB, which is pretty much what Sony claims for their Blu-ray discs.
There aren’t many downfalls for HD VMD but a major one might be the lack of Hollywood movie studio support. The launch title are Hostage, Apocalypto, Pulp Fiction, Babel, Saw II and Saw III. These movies are more independent movies. You can’t have a successful format without any content, especially without big summer blockbuster movies. Also, I can’t find HD VMD movies to buy them. Amazon which sells the player doesn’t seem to have any movies.
Another downfall, which might be important to the early adopter that would buy this, is that it doesn’t support the higher quality surround sound like Dolby TrueHD. This might be because of the four layer, early VMD disc’s size as TrueHD is uncompressed and takes up a lot of space. The later ten layer disc might include it.