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New optical disc standard vies for position

A new DVD format may be elbowing its way into an increasingly crowded market. The format, dubbed VCDHD for Versatile Compact Disc High Density, has been introduced jointly by three businesses – Sprout CD of Ukraine, Russia-based Antrop-Studio, and the Dutch firm VDL ODMS.

It is not a true contender in the next-generation hi-res formats battle, though. It rather seems to be positioned as a cheaper alternative to standard DVD so far as it does not require the expensive DVD license to be produced. It is apparently targeted to Eastern Europe, in places like Russia and the Ukraine.

VCDHD is said to holds up to 4.7GB in its current state, but the makers say that the disc used with blue laser technology can accommodate a capacity of up to 15GB.

The disc is a mere 0.6mm thick – half that of a standard DVD.

Advantages of VCDHD over DVD, according to the developers, are the "reduction of errors in the beginning of the information zone" which is possible by an improved manufacturing process and overall improvements in the geometry of the disc.

The materials used in manufacturing these discs are also said to not only make the media more reliable, but also to reduce the production time from 6-9 seconds it takes to manufacture a DVD to about 2 seconds to make a VCDHD disc. The rejection level is also decreased to about 1% compared to current processes.

The first title for the new format, Prorwemos, is a Ukrainian action movie priced for a $4.50

Story filed 03.04.06

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