Venturer Electronics, maker of oddball, low cost consumer electronics, is getting into the HD game – releasing the SHD7000 in time for the holidays. All the basic specs you’d expect are there: 1080i, HDMI, etc.
Featuring 1080i video output and an HDMI connection, the SHD7000 is designed to be compatible with the vast majority of HDTVs already in North American consumers’ homes. With Ethernet connectivity to the network , the SHD7000 also allows users to access bonus features from movie studio web servers and unlock special prerecorded content on some HD DVD discs. Dolby TrueHD rounds out the high definition experience by presenting the HD DVD disc soundtrack as it was meant to be heard, virtually equal to the studio master. In addition to its HD DVD playback capability, the SHD7000 will upconvert standard DVDs to near HD picture quality via its HDMI connection, allowing a consumer’s existing library of DVDs to look better than ever. [from VE]
The press release goes on to mention “value” pricing, but doesn’t get into MSRP’s. DailyTech speculates, based on Toshiba and Wal-Mart’s actions, that the price may dip under $200.
The TivoLover’sBlog points out that you may very well not want a Venturer box anyway – its going to be a low cost OEM badge-job from china, sourced by a company with little experience in digital media.
Analysis? The entrance of a low cost, mass market producer on the HD DVD side suggests that the format has reached a mass market tipping point – or at least that someone perceives it as such enough to make a major investment on that basis. Additionally, Blu-ray seems to be emerging as an “elite” spec – high priced, and technically superior – while HD DVD seems to be increasingly recognized as the low cost, everyman format. If you recall, this essentially captures the differences between Beta and VHS – and we all know how that ended.