Red Laser HD Disc?
New York City–based New Medium Enterprises, Inc. (NME) is promoting another approach, one using multi-layer discs read by traditional red lasers, as are found in standard DVD drives. NME claims that its Reflective Multi-layer Disc (MVD) technology enables discs to store data in excess of 100 gigabytes (GB), more than ten times the capacity of a dual-layer DVD 9, with 8.5GB data capacity.
MVD discs have the same dimensions as standard DVDs, but in theory could have up to 20 reflective layers, according to the company. Each layer could contain up to 5GB of data, making MVD discs an ideal medium for the high-density data needed to deliver true HD video. "100GB on an MVD disc is certainly feasible," the company boasts on its website, but "initial MVD products will be more modest; in the range of 20GB and 30GB." MVD discs could be made in 5GB increments, from 20GB to 100GB according to application and market demand.
MVD is a cost-effective solution to the portable HD video problem, NME claims, because the use of red lasers makes player design easy, including the essential feature of making such products backward compatible with standard DVDs.
Low production cost and resulting low prices for consumers would help the market penetration of MVD "as a natural extension of DVD for HD content." The use of red lasers also solves many engineering problems associated with blue lasers, such as "unfeasible stringent tolerances on disc flatness, numerical apertures, tilt margins, etc," NME asserts, and projects that HD disc players built on the MVD model could retail for $200–250 each, with commercial discs delivering two hours of HD video.
Formed in August 1999, the NME owns intellectual property assets about multi-layer disc technology from MultiDisc in London and TriGm in Belgium, and is pursuing long-term development of MVD prototypes and products.