First Sub-$200 HD DVD Player Announced: Venturer SHD7000

Click to viewIs this it? The HD DVD stake into Blu-ray's heart that will signal a start to the resolution of these next-gen DVD format wars? We tracked down a price on the upcoming Venturer HD DVD player and discovered it to be $199, the magical price that everyone's been waiting for.

The SHD7000 will play back HD DVDs at 1080i, support Dolby TrueHD have HDMI output. It's fairly similar in functionality to Toshiba's low-end DVD player, but since it's from China, Venturer's able to cut the price down to the sub-$200 point. It doesn't qualify for the 5 free HD DVD movies like Toshiba players do, however, so that one still may come out ahead while the deal is still going on (or 8 movies, if you got in the Amazon deal. Calculating $20 per disc, the Toshiba player would actually be only $78 if you factor in the savings on those movies.

If Wal-Mart gets ahold of this by the 2007 holidays, well, it's going to be hard for Blu-ray to recover. [Venturer]