at least according to a company called NME (New Medium Enterprises). Well, thats not entirely true, VMD is targeting the Indian & Chinese markets for high-definition players. They have developed a proprietary VMD (Versatile Multilayer Disc) format which they claim they can mass produce at a price point akin to todays standard def dvd players (i.e. ~£100). I was given a demonstration of this technology at the end of last week and have to say I was quite impressed at their offering. They plan to use the red laser (and hence keep costs down) with a disc that has 4 layers with future versions having up to 20 layers. The discs they use are transparent, kind of odd when I first looked at one. They say that the transparency allows seemless playback between layers (eradicating the problems many of us have with layer change). By using multi-layers they can store much more data per disc than current discs. They currently have 20-40gb discs in production and they have 50gb in the lab using red laser. Interestingly, they said when blue lasers kick off they should be able to utilise these to get to 100GB! The presentation was given via a VMD player onto a large projector screen where they had clips from CBSs HD promos. They also gave an extract of Spartacus which they claimed was visually lossless from the 35mm original. The player was not complete and therefore encoding was done via a PC. This seemed a bit dubious to me , but they were adamant that it was from the player. To satisfy my curiousity mid-way through a viewing I hit the eject button and the picture stopped accordingly. At least it wasnt a fake! Regarding pq, well I've seen a few HD demonstrations and this was up there with the best. In fact, if you put Blu-Ray v HD-DVD v VMD, I think you'd have a hard time trying to spot the 'technically inferior' VMD. I felt it was quite an interesting proposition. Although the presentation could have been more professional, you have to remember the company is not a giant and its technology is brand new. They will be displaying it at the upcoming CEBIT show if anyone is interested. Did I mention that it is fully backward-compatible too!