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The Venturer SHD7000  (Source: Venturer Electronics)
Cheap HD DVD player coming this holiday season

The mainstream consumer is extremely price sensitive – or so it seems when comparing the acceptance of DVD and high-definition media such as Blu-ray Disc and HD DVD.

For the HD DVD camp, its stance has always been on the lower price point of its players. Toshiba has been leading the way in affordable HD DVD players with its entry level players selling for under $300 along with free movies.

The entire HD DVD camp will soon gain the help of another entrant, but one that is known for producing electronics for budget-conscious consumers. Canadian-based Venturer Electronics announced that it will launch its first HD DVD player, the SHD7000, in time to meet the holiday 2007 sales season.

The Venturer SHD7000 will feature all the basic features expected of an HD DVD player, including 1080i video output, HDMI connection, Ethernet connectivity and Dolby TrueHD support.

Although no price was announced by Venturer, the company said in its press release that its machine will be “sold through national retailers with retail prices expected to be one of the lowest among entry-level HD DVD players.”

Earlier this year, a report cited that Wal-Mart was planning a deal to purchase 2 million players produced by Great Wall Corporation in China in a $100 million deal – working out to be $200 per player.

With Toshiba’s recently announced third-generation entry-level HD DVD player priced under $300 – and will likely sport a street price of even less – it is conceivable that budget brands could go even lower.

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By mdogs444 on 8/29/2007 9:44:48 AM , Rating: 5
This is exactly what we need. Budget hardware will start to show fate of the format. I still wont spend $300 on an HD-DVD player, then $25-35 on each movie when an HD-Upconversion works fine, and regular DVD movies are much cheaper.

Perhaps if they sell this at a $150 price point, then bring down movies to under $20 retail, it will start a movement by average consumers.

Enthusiasts are a very very low percentage of the market - so just because certain people viewed the initial $600 PS3, $300 1080i HD player, and $800+ dual format players as "values" - in reality, the average cosumer says "rip off".

RE: Nice
By creathir on 8/29/2007 9:50:00 AM , Rating: 3
This swath of players could be what determines the HD wars...

This actually might be why several recent studios jumped on the HD-DVD bandwagon.

If this goes according to plan, this could be the breakout needed, much as what happened to the DVD format in 1999/2000. (Budget players determined the acceptance of the format.)

- Creathir

RE: Nice
By TomZ on 8/29/2007 12:09:13 PM , Rating: 4
I agree 100% - the format war will be determined by low-cost players that will be sold in relatively high volume. This will in turn drive demand for that media, which will drive demand for more players, etc.

Sony's strategy of leading BD with PS3 was smart, however, they needed to follow it up with high-volume cheap players at big retailers like Wal-Mart. PS3 is not a high enough volume device to itself carry the format to dominance.

Furthermore, I think that Sony's licensing fees are probably enough of a financial disincentive that it gives HD-DVD quite an advantage in the low-cost player market. I've read that the license fees are pretty high ($30?).

Unless Sony changes their strategy, IMO BD is going to be relegated to a smaller niche market with the bulk of sales going to HD-DVD.

RE: Nice
By therealnickdanger on 8/29/2007 10:05:51 AM , Rating: 2
Well, Wal-Mart will lead the way, methinks. We've already seen the impact the Visio brand has on the HDTV market. Make it cheap, sell it cheap, dominate by volume. It's what the majority of people want. While I probably won't ever buy this particular HD-DVD player, the mass-market penetration by Wal-Mart and the ensuing media sales will help bring down costs for everyone. It won't be long before Best Buy starts offering in-house Dynex variations as well.

HD-DVD's only weakness is the combo discs. Sure, I like it that I can play it on both DVD and HD-DVD players, but I wouldn't buy the combo IF they offered a non-combo version. No movie is worth over $30 - but I curiously spend it anyway because I have no alternative. *sigh* Such is life. Rumor has it that Warner is going to re-release non-combo versions of their current combo offerings in November.

RE: Nice
By Quryous on 8/29/2007 11:48:15 AM , Rating: 4
When WalMart typically sells tons of standard DVDs for from $5.99 to $9.99, and CostCo, etc., do the same, I think it will be a LONG time coming before I buy my first HD- anything. $30.00, for a MOVIE? You have GOT to be kidding. There is SO much more that you can do with your money than vegetate in front of an overpriced movie. Get them down under $15 and I will occasionally buy one, but if you want serious sales, they have to be under $10. Then, I will START looking at the under $100.00 players.

RE: Nice
By TomZ on 8/29/2007 12:13:43 PM , Rating: 2
You're comparing the prices of apples and oranges. New release / blockbuster HD-DVD's may cost around $30, but $6 DVDs at Wal-Mart are older, less popular movies. The actual cost difference between the same movie in standard vs. high-def format is actually just a few dollars.

RE: Nice
By therealnickdanger on 8/29/2007 2:20:34 PM , Rating: 2
There's no denying the excessive sellthrough power of sub-$10 DVDs at Wal-Mart, but the majority of new releases and special edition DVDs are $16 and up. Most HD-DVDs can be had for under $25, with combos tilting over $30.

Example #1: The Fugutive
DVD - $9 at Wal-Mart/Amazon
HD/BD - $27 at Wal-Mart
HD/BD - $19 at Amazon

The Fugitive is well-known as being a horrible hi-def transfer. This is the movie that represents the small minority of initial transfers that simply suck beyond all measure (although still better than the best DVD transfer). Clearly, this is not worth even the $10 premium for even its cheapest price.

Example #2 - The Departed
DVD - $19 at Wal-Mart/Amazon ($23 for two-disc)
HD - $29/27 at Wal-Mart/Amazon (combo)
BD - $23 at Wal-Mart/Amazon

This transfer represents one of the better video and audio experiences you can have with either HD-DVD or Blu-Ray. HD and BD give you all the extras of the $23 2-disc DVD plus much improved audio and video fidelity. If it wasn't for the combo format of the HD-DVD version, it would cost the same as the BD version, which costs the same as the standard DVD version.

If you focus on the pricing desparity between bargain-bin DVDs and top-shelf MSRP combo discs, you'll never see the value. We won't see $6 BD or HD discs anytime soon, but they are very often competetive with new release DVDs in price, and always superior in quality.

RE: Nice
By Aikouka on 8/29/2007 10:10:06 AM , Rating: 3
Personally, I think the lack of cheaper titles for the hi-def formats is more damning than anything else. I have an HD-DVD player for my XBOX 360 and consequently, I buy HD-DVD titles (rather than renting). There are a few good titles at $20, which seems like a decent price when the DVDs tend to cost $10-15; however, titles tend to be $30 or more. This is simply too high, especially when HD-DVD touted a lower entry cost that merely required machine upgrades/retools.

Sometimes you do get the benefit of extra bonus features, but often enough... you just get the same old features, and sometimes, they're almost all in SD! I think Blades of Glory is one of the few movies I've seen where almost every bonus feature is in HD.

I have a hard time wanting to pay for these when the benefit is just better clarity over an upscaled DVD at 2.5x the price. Although, I do find Amazon to be a nice source for $20 HD movies.

RE: Nice
By therealnickdanger on 8/29/2007 10:56:46 AM , Rating: 2
I would also suggest that you regularly check out and Target B&M stores. I currently have about 35+ HD-DVDs and all (except a couple combos and imports) I have found available for $19-24. Given that most new DVD releases are $15-19, I find the premium worth every penny - regardless of HD extras. Extras have never been important to me, though, I'm all about technical advantages.

RE: Nice
By timmiser on 8/29/2007 4:26:02 PM , Rating: 2
I agree. Most of the HD-DVD's I've purchased have been in the $20 range.

RE: Nice
By CapZap on 8/29/2007 11:01:12 AM , Rating: 3
I'm with Mdogs444. $150 for the player and I won't buy movies until they're under $20. I also need an HD DVD burner for under $200.

RE: Nice
By timmiser on 8/29/2007 4:28:14 PM , Rating: 1
Might need to actually release an HD-DVD burner first since you can't buy them or buy any blank HD-DVD media to burn on to!

RE: Nice
By omnicronx on 8/29/2007 11:12:21 AM , Rating: 2
The second i see this player at around $200, I am picking one up. Finally an advantage of being Canadian other than bacon.

What i want to know is if it will actually be a cheaper alternative, with the us exchange so low, prices in Canada still have not adjusted to what they should be. So even if this would have been a 250-300 dollar player in the states, my guess is that it will be 300-350 in Canada. It may still be cheaper to buy a player from the states off ebay, or get one on my monthly visit to the dirty buffalo ;)

RE: Nice
By mdogs444 on 8/29/2007 11:15:30 AM , Rating: 3
You do know that the Toshiba 1080i HD-A2 is already $211 with 8 free HD movies with it. So whats the point in waiting for a no-name brand alternative at $200 price point?

RE: Nice
By omnicronx on 8/29/2007 11:49:01 AM , Rating: 1
you do know that the Toshiba 1080i HD-A2 is already $211 with 8 free HD movies with it.
211 American.. plus shipping, plus duty. Essentially i don't want to pay more than $230 including taxes, until then as you said its dvd upconvert for me.

RE: Nice
By ATC on 8/29/2007 12:05:02 PM , Rating: 2 does not have it and doesn't cater to Canadians.

RE: Nice
By omnicronx on 8/29/2007 12:25:58 PM , Rating: 2
Not only that, the HD-A2 still costs $399 at bestbuy along with pretty much any other big retailer in canada. Companies are making a killing in Canada right now with electronics for what the exchange rate it, its really sad that we are not getting any of the benefits at all of the higher dollar, especially since its been $.85+ since 2001-2002

RE: Nice
By ATC on 8/29/2007 3:03:58 PM , Rating: 2
Tell me about it. This is OT, but at least digital cameras don't incur duty importing from from the US and for the most part warranty is usually a north American one so it's fine. But with anything else, we've been getting hosed for a while.

Chalk up one more win in the HD-DVD camp
By 16nm on 8/29/2007 9:50:52 AM , Rating: 4
Good, another cheap HD-DVD player. This is why I hope HD-DVD becomes the standard. I think Bluray should be left for the elite HD camp, sort of like Betamax. I figure the first format to have players under $100 will become the HD standard. Too bad Bluray == Sony == Rootkit == Evil. I do not trust Sony. I think they are an unethical company.

RE: Chalk up one more win in the HD-DVD camp
By mdogs444 on 8/29/2007 9:55:07 AM , Rating: 3
Well, not too many major companies out there scream good "business ethics" or "morals".

By Seemonkeyscanfly on 8/29/2007 10:52:30 AM , Rating: 2
Hmmmm....well most of the big name companies became big companies because of good business ethics and morals. However, it seems when a big US business has outside influence from other countries (mainly China) their morals and ethics are out the door.... Example of companies that have change: Dell, New Egg, Walmart, and now GM is starting (well has been) out sourcing over there - funny how customer service is and has dropped at these companies? There is a ton of companies that have out sourced and lost the ethic, moral - which I believe shows in their customer service (how they handle problems). So, I'd say big business is losing their ethics and morals because of out sourcing verse holding onto tradition values. However, there are still many companies out there with good ethics and morals, just not that easy to find. :)

RE: Chalk up one more win in the HD-DVD camp
By Zandros on 8/29/2007 11:36:53 AM , Rating: 2
In my opinion, that's rather an effect of consumers preferring price over quality. To compete, they have to outsource and reduce service.

Remember that next time, maybe you shouldn't shop where it's cheapest.

By Seemonkeyscanfly on 8/29/2007 12:42:51 PM , Rating: 3
I agree 100%, hence why I said, they are still out there just harder to find. Amazing in quality of product difference you'll see when you pay just a few dollars more. Had a friend who bought the cheapest micro way he could find. He had to replace it every 4 months (buying a new one). Finally did not buy the cheapest one, spent $20.00 more and has a working micro way for 2 years now.
Cheap is good for paper, sand, dirt, eating utensil, but not for electronics, cars, homes, and such.

RE: Chalk up one more win in the HD-DVD camp
By TomZ on 8/29/2007 11:59:53 AM , Rating: 2
However, it seems when a big US business has outside influence from other countries (mainly China) their morals and ethics are out the door

Huh? How are the morals and ethics of these types of companies influenced by China?

By Seemonkeyscanfly on 8/29/2007 12:34:02 PM , Rating: 2
Simple, as you outsource jobs, you also outsource management. Now, in some of these companies and really in many cases most of your management is of a different culture...thus different ethics and morals. So, when you boss tells you to do it a different way, you have a two options, his way or find a new job.

RE: Chalk up one more win in the HD-DVD camp
By TomZ on 8/29/2007 12:44:53 PM , Rating: 1
That's an interesting theory, but I don't think it's correct in practice. Companies are outsourcing manufacturing to countries like China - they are not outsourcing management.

In addition, I would also like to address your racial bias which is the assumption that Chinese inherently have a lower level of ethics and morals than people in other countries. That assumption doesn't make any sense to me.

By Lightning III on 8/29/2007 1:10:57 PM , Rating: 3
Tell it to the people who died with antifreeze in their toothpaste or with gluten poisoned dogs or lead paint on their childrens toys or when your eating a barbacue card board bun on the steets of beijing.

I guess the proof is in the wheat gluten

By Seemonkeyscanfly on 8/29/2007 1:28:43 PM , Rating: 2
You missed the point, you can not out source part of your business without it influencing all the business. When you out source labor, you have to out source management not an option. People in general do not work or work as hard when the boss is not around, human nature. So, when you out source labor from US to anywhere management jobs go with it. Then customer service issues that need a responses from these managers (even is the public does not talk to them directly) will have their influence.

For over 10 years I’ve work with many (probably over 100) Chinese companies. Some based in the US some in China. So I’m not using assumption for my bias, I’m using experience. I may also have you a bit confused. It’s not about being good or bad, it about being different then what we (people raised in a tradition US environment) would expect in moral and ethics (again meaning how we handle customer service). US – traditional would be customer comes first, customer is right, take care of the customer, do not up set the customer. In a Chinese based company it is, Company comes first, company is right, take care of the company, do not up set the company, customer should learn from the company.

It’s easy to argue the good and bad for both business logics. I personal favor the US, because it looks out for the average Joe and his hard his hard earned money that he is spending with the company.

RE: Chalk up one more win in the HD-DVD camp
By TomZ on 8/29/2007 1:53:41 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, I see what you're saying now. I tend to see most outsourcing deals following the pattern of an American company contracting with a manufacturer in China to produce product for them. I think these types of deals don't have the kind of spill-over that you describe, and I think the point is that many companies don't collaborate with Chinese companies in such a cut-and-dried way.

By Seemonkeyscanfly on 8/29/2007 3:44:20 PM , Rating: 2
A lot of people will think that, many because that is how the media describes it. Now find someone who will be honest with you and actually imports items (like me :P ) They will tell you, when you import you have to follow manufacture rules on: selling price, volume shipped, who you can sell to, when you can sell, what you can say about the product, and RMA (who, how, and when they are handled). Yes, the US company will do the same thing however the manager in charge of writing the company policy has the end-user in mind 1st. In a Chinese company, the manager will have the company in mind 1st. When a US company out sources to China, there is a new manager in China, and in time there is a new policy written to his standard. Which means the end-user now has to job through hoops to have something replace, where before they could call in and maybe wait a bit, but someone would walk them through the steps that needs to be complete; making the end-user feel completely happy that things will be better verse frustrated and confused if anything will happen at all. Remember ultimately any returned items (RMA) goes back to the place it was made, and if the manufacture in China does not want it, the person you talk to in the USA can not help you. He’ll say sorry, but policy does not let me do that, wish I could help you. We the buyers of any product are subject to the rules of the manufacture that makes the product, if it is made by an US company but in a building in China, then you will follow the rules of Chinese, because the US company now has to follow the rules of the Chinese plant.
If you have ever thought, “Well I use to be able to do this why can I not do this now? This is the same company I’ve bought from in the past, right??” I’d bet you money that company now out source to some other country.

RE: Chalk up one more win in the HD-DVD camp
By omnicronx on 8/29/2007 4:25:39 PM , Rating: 2
Man.. ill never ask you to write me a report

By Seemonkeyscanfly on 8/29/2007 6:43:17 PM , Rating: 2
Why to short?? :)

By TomZ on 8/29/2007 12:23:20 PM , Rating: 4
Well, not too many major companies out there scream good "business ethics" or "morals".

I think that is a misperception. In fact, I think most larger companies actually do a pretty good job in terms of ethics and morals, when you compare them to the proper definition of "ethics" and "morals." For example, someone who calls a company unethical because they don't like the pricing of their product, or that the company has a quality problem, is not really understanding the meaning of the term.

Lead paint?
By Spivonious on 8/29/2007 9:56:30 AM , Rating: 2
Better not nibble on the player... ;)

RE: Lead paint?
By mdogs444 on 8/29/2007 9:59:28 AM , Rating: 2
I think thats China, not Canada. Right?

But, I wonder if the player comes with a MIR offer for a free Mounty Hat.

RE: Lead paint?
By omnicronx on 8/29/2007 11:05:04 AM , Rating: 3
MIR? are you crazy? carrier pigeons can't carry weight like that... especially in never ending winter, and don't get me started about finding the right igloo... if all goes well we will be upgrading from pigeons to the new telegraph technology everyone has been talking about by Christmas...

RE: Lead paint?
By TomZ on 8/29/2007 12:17:08 PM , Rating: 2
I think thats China, not Canada. Right?

Are you saying that because it's a Canadian company, that they do not outsource their manufacturing to China?

I think the OP is assuming the players will be built in China, which is not unlikely especially considering the price point.

RE: Lead paint?
By omnicronx on 8/29/2007 12:33:47 PM , Rating: 2
I think the OP is assuming the players will be built in China, which is not unlikely especially considering the price point.
They definitely outsource, and they probably always have, thats how the company started ;)

Our highly-automated manufacturing partner in China builds some of the world's best known consumer electronics brands.

RE: Lead paint?
By techfuzz on 8/29/2007 10:12:37 AM , Rating: 2
I like some lead in my paint... makes it much tastier!

RE: Lead paint?
By lumbergeek on 8/30/2007 11:41:15 PM , Rating: 2
Lead in paint hasz so many uses - my favourite is that ikt makes your home heavier, and therefore harderf for a tornado or hurricane to carry it away. The government really screwed us there by taking away our home saving lead.

RE: Lead paint?
By lumbergeek on 8/30/2007 11:44:22 PM , Rating: 2
Did I type that? I type horribly. Sorry about that. Need sleep.

Wal-Mart math?
By FastLaneTX on 8/29/2007 11:05:22 AM , Rating: 2
2 million players produced by Great Wall Corporation in China in a $100 million deal – working out to be $200 per player.

Isn't $100M / 2M = $50?

RE: Wal-Mart math?
By omnicronx on 8/29/2007 11:20:57 AM , Rating: 2
Sure does, his numbers are correct, the calculation is just wrong. They did order 2 million players for 100 million at 50$ a piece. The question is, is Walmart going to sell these players at $300 or are they going to follow their normal business model with high volume and low prices with razor-thin margins. If they follow their normal model, we could be seeing $150-200 players sooner than one would think.

RE: Wal-Mart math?
By omnicronx on 8/29/2007 11:24:48 AM , Rating: 2
I forgot to mention, i think that 50 dollar per unit price tag was just for the blue laser HD-DVD core, not the entire machine. Walmart will still have to pay someone (could be an oem) to manufacturer and assemble the player itself, which is why we wont be seeing $99 dollar players anytime soon, in case you were wondering ;)

RE: Wal-Mart math?
By mdogs444 on 8/29/2007 11:26:09 AM , Rating: 2
As well as shipping & distribution costs from china to us to stores.

RE: Wal-Mart math?
By Parhel on 8/29/2007 12:23:07 PM , Rating: 2
It depends how badly the HD-DVD proponents want to win the price war. It's common practice for video game consoles to sell at a loss, so why not HD-DVD players? In addition, they could offer cash incentives to manufacturers that could push the price down significantly.

RE: Wal-Mart math?
By TomZ on 8/29/2007 12:25:38 PM , Rating: 2
No, HD-DVD makers will not sell players at a loss (except Toshiba, maybe), because they are not really stakeholders in the "format war." They'll simply produce whatever type of player there's demand for.

Sony, however, is in a far different position. And even in their case it is not clear they are accepting losses on their players (apart from PS3 which is priced at a loss for other reasons).

By jedisoulfly on 8/29/2007 10:19:59 AM , Rating: 2
I found this about 2 weeks ago. I have not seen it anywhere else yet. no burning but just wanted to share

RE: blu-ray-rom
By mdogs444 on 8/29/2007 10:23:56 AM , Rating: 2
Definately comin down in price, but you can get a bare HD drive on ebay for under $100.

Overpriced HD-DVD/Blu-ray players
By jbfulgencio on 8/29/2007 3:15:56 PM , Rating: 2
I´m from Brazil and, when I was traveling in US, I choose to buy a HD-DVD player. I payed $350 for the HD-A2 from Toshiba. The most cheaper blu-ray was at $700. It was so foolish to buy a $700 blu-ray player instead of a $500 playstation 3. So, I got the HD-DVD.

Later, a got the information that the playstation 3 was cheaper then the cost of production, because of the blu-ray technology. So, Sony is really paying for theirs consumers to use the playstation 3 and blu-ray players. I think they are making a huge mistake.

At the same time, Toshiba is selling players at a better price now ($226 in amazon) and they are making money with it.

I always believed that, because of the low costs of production, HD-DVD will win. Now, with Paramount, Dreamworks and Nintendo Wii´s help(they are crushing the Playstation 3 in sales), it´s just an easy bet. Except by the case that Warner supports Blu-Ray only.

By Korvon on 8/29/2007 5:32:45 PM , Rating: 2
Woah. How did the Wii get into an HD conversation? There is just a standard DVD drive in that little white box. ;)

By androticus on 8/29/2007 8:45:33 PM , Rating: 2
Still irrelevant.

Only some HD movies come on HD DVD, because of the studio split.

I am not going to buy a player, regardless of price, until either:
1) all studios support at least one of the formats
2) all (mainstream) players sold are hybrid players.

I would be interested in a poll that addressed this question -- I bet at least a large minority, if not a majority, of people don't realize that all HD movies are not available in both formats.

RE: Irrelevant
By mindless1 on 8/30/2007 2:38:47 AM , Rating: 2
Studios will follow the money. Once a significant enough consumer base has HD instead of Blueray, they'll swallow their pride and see how much money they'd lose if they don't adapt to the market.

This'll be great, but...
By cubdukat on 8/29/2007 6:21:15 PM , Rating: 2
...what will the picture quality be like? Will there even be any quality?

Even the best HD disc can be degraded by the hardware. All anyone has to do is look at the Samsung BDP-1000 before the firmware update. True, a lot of the early Blu-Ray transfers were really bad (Click, anyone?), but having them presented in a sup-par way to boot didn't help.

But if Venturer can produce a player that gives picture quality comparable to the low-end 3G Toshiba player at a lower price, I for one will hold my nose and rush off to Wal-Mart to get one.

"When an individual makes a copy of a song for himself, I suppose we can say he stole a song." -- Sony BMG attorney Jennifer Pariser

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