Versatile Multilayer Disc

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Media typeHigh-density optical disc
EncodingMPEG-2 and VC-1
CapacityStandard: 20 GB (4 layer), 5 GB per layer
Developed byNew Medium Enterprises
UsageHigh-definition video

Versatile Multilayer Disc (VMD or HD VMD) is a high-capacity red-laser optical disc technology designed by New Medium Enterprises, Inc.. VMD was intended to compete with the blue-laser Blu-ray Disc format and had an initial capacity of up to 30GB per side.


At CeBIT in March 2006, NME demonstrated a prototype VMD player and announced that it was expecting to launch the format in the third quarter of 2006. At the Custom Electronic Design & Installation Association trade show in September 2007, NME exhibited two players set for release in October 2007. Twenty US titles were available at launch time, including some from Icon Productions, Paramount Pictures, Walt Disney Pictures, New Line Cinema, DreamWorks SKG, Lionsgate and Weinstein Co.. NME also signed a deal with Bollywood production company Eros Group who intended to release 50 Bollywood features on the format.

The two initial players to be released were the ML622S and the ML777S. The ML777S included USB ports for connection to external storage devices and a media card reader.[1]

The manufacturers hoped to sell the format as a lower cost alternative to other optical technologies.[2]

On 13 June 2008 Geoffrey Russell, the Interim Chief Executive Officer of New Medium Enterprises, Inc., notified the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission that the company would be terminating the registration of the company, and that NMEN would cease filing reports with the SEC. The date of effect of this action was 90 days after 12 June 2008.[3] In August 2008 in the UK, New Medium Electronics Limited, New Medium Entertainment Limited and New Medium Optics Limited notified Companies House of their applications for voluntary striking-off.[4]

In October 2008, the technology behind HD-VMD was revived by companies Royal Digital Media, Anthem Digital and DreamStream to produce a new 100GB optical disc. Anthem Digital's chairman Michael Jay Solomon was the former chairman of New Medium Enterprises.[5][6] As of December 2010, Royal Digital Media, Anthem Digital and DreamStream web sites were no longer available.

Technical specifications[edit]

Disc format[edit]

The format uses approximately 5 GB per layer,[7] which was similar to standard DVDs. Standard VMDs can use 4 layers, for 20 GB of storage. The rarer 8 and 10 layered discs store 40 GB to 50 GB, respectively.[8] One manufacturer listed up to 20 layers on a disc being possible in the future.[7]

The Blu-ray Disc uses a blue-violet laser, rather than VMD's red laser, which means Blu-ray can store more information per layer. This format has so far only utilized 1 and 2-layered versions. In January 2007, Toshiba announced development on a triple layer HD DVD (TL51) that would have had a capacity of 51 GB. Hitachi announced a 4 and 6 layer version of Blu-ray as well, capable of 100 GB and 200 GB respectively. A standard 4-layer VMD stored 20 GB, which was comparable to a 1-layered HD DVD (15 GB) and 1-layer Blu-ray Disc (25 GB).

Content format[edit]

The HD VMD format is capable of HD resolutions up to 1080p which is comparable with Blu-ray and HD DVD. Video is encoded in MPEG-2 and VC-1 formats at a maximum bitrate of 40 Megabits per second. This falls between the maximum bitrates of HD DVD (36 Mbit/s) and Blu-ray (48 Mbit/s). There is the possibility that VMD discs may be encoded with the H.264 format in the future.[1]

The HD VMD format supports up to 7.1-channel Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital Plus, and DTS audio output, though it will not offer Dolby TrueHD or DTS-HD Master Audio surround sound codecs.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "HD VMD to Battle Blu-ray Disc and HD DVD". PC World. September 8, 2007.
  2. ^ Another DVD Format, but This One Says It’s Cheaper - New York Times
  3. ^ New Medium Enterprises, Inc., Form 15, US Securities and Exchange Commission
  5. ^ RDM's revives HD-VMD with DreamStream encryption Archived February 7, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ Solomon Heads Up Global Digital Studio
  7. ^ a b NME - New Medium Enterprises - HD VMD, High Definition Players and Movies Archived December 25, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ NME fleshes out 40GB HD VMD discs, hardware, still prepping for launch - Engadget

External links[edit]