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QVC debuts Venturer HD DVD player

A snip at just £169.62 (plus P&P of course)

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Updated Venturer's anticipated cut-price SHD7001 HD DVD player went on sale this morning on the QVC home shopping channel for less than was expected. At £162.62 (or two easy payments of £84.96), it's the cheapest standalone HD DVD player on the market.

First announced at IFA, we covered the SHD7001 back in September. Then in November it was announced the QVC home shopping channel would sell the device exclusively.

Venturer SHD7001

Venturer's SHD7001: only available on QVC

According to the presenters, the device is only on sale until midnight tonight. However, we suspect the deal will be repeated again at a later date. The player comes bundled with HD DVD copies of Hulk and Troy, plus a voucher entitling you to five free HD DVDs via a mail-in offer from the European HD DVD Promotion Group.

It also comes with an HDMI cable, though the player provides component-video and composite-video outputs too. There's a 10/100Mb/s Ethernet port on the back for linking HD DVDs to online content, and both digital optical and analogue audio outputs.

Plunging player prices could be the critical factor in revealing a winner in the Blu-ray vs HD DVD format war, as we covered earlier this month. Many consumers are still confused about whether to invest in HD DVD or Blu-ray, and the high cost of players has allowed them to step back from the debate. However, falling prices have brought both technologies within reach of a greater number of consumers, paving the way for a more unequivocal choice of format.

Update: It seems this offer was QVC's "Special Value" of the day, and the Venturer is actually still available on the QVC website, but for the upped price of £206 plus £6.95 P&P.

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