Next gen optical device prices are speculated to be taking an early pricing dive.

HD DVD and Blu-ray entering mass market?

Venturer Electronics has announced it plans to release a cut price HD DVD player- named the SHD7000-in the third quarter. The player is speculated to have a retail price of in between $150 to $190. Reports on many tech websites suggest that cheaper HD DVD players may be coming soon, yet Venturer appears to be the first company to formally announce a launch.

The Venturer SHD7000 comes with an Ethernet port and a HDMI port that has potential to output video at 1080i. The SHD7000 also comes with onboard Dolby TrueHD decoding, however it is still unclear whether the model will be able to decode multichannel Dolby TrueHD soundtracks.

The press release states that the SHD7000 will be able to upconvert regular DVDs and play standard audio CDs.

VideoBusiness has reported a $199 MSRP for the HD player, however, Robert Spalding, a poster on the AVS Forum claims to have an e-mail from Venturer saying the retail price will be closer to $150. A player costing as little as $150/£75 could have a massive effect on the ongoing format war, as Blu-ray players still retail for an average of $500/£250.

Sony has joined the companies producing Blu-ray players, announcing a £300 player as well as a high-end option. Customers who purchase either player in the UK will receive a copy of the Spiderman High Definition Trilogy on Blu-ray Disc.

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