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New Medium Enterprises, the developer and supplier of HD VMD – the third high-definition video format – hardware and content said that instead of November it would start to sell movies in HD VMD format in January. In a separate news-release the company said that it sold in ten thousands HD VMD players to a central European distributor.

“Due to unforeseen global demand from our distributor partners in our 6 initial regions, our individual titles will be available from January 1st 2008. However, we are already taking pre-orders for Bundle Boxes with the delivery date from December 1, 2007,” a spokeswoman for NME said. 

HD VMD format is not supported by any major movie studios, like Blu-ray or HD DVD are; as a result, NME has to rely only on itself when it comes to content availability. One of the major concerns about HD VMD is ability of NME to license and provide enough high-definition movies to its customers.

HD VMD format is the third optical disc type to record high-definition movies. The technology is based on multi-layer DVD discs and red laser head. Each additional layer adds approximately up to 5 GB of memory over a standard DVD disc. VMD provides the ability to place up to 20 layers on a single disc with no quality loss in the content stored. This means capacity to record of 100 GB or more without major changes to DVD players, but the disc technology requires new manufacturing process and production lines. Currently the company can produce up to 30GB discs.

Separately, NME announced that it had sold of ten thousand of HD VMD players for Central Europe to FKH Electronic, who will be distributing its 1080p HD VMD Multilayer Players to retail outlets in Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic and Slovakia. This initial order is valued at $1.3 million. The order will complement the HD VMD film content currently available in Central Europe, the company said.

It is possible to pre-order HD VMD ML622S and ML777s players from NME for $199 and $209, respectively, through Amazon.com. At press time, neither standalone HD VMD players, nor HD VMD bundle boxes were available from Amazon.com.

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