Sharp Jumps Into the Blu-ray Player Derby With its Aquos BD-HP20U

sharpbluray_front.jpgSharp made a bit of news today when it rolled out its brand-new BD-HP20U Blu-ray player at CEDIA, the first one to bear the Aquos name. Sharp calls this pretty little temptress a "slim profile model," and rightfully so. It's tiny-slim. Sharp is proud of the fact that it builds most of the components inside its $usus549.99 player itself, including the blue laser, pickup and drive unit. It'll be available later this month. The company also brags about the player's quick start, saying it can start up and display its first video in 10 seconds or less. But we put a stopwatch on that "quick start," and discovered that it's not so quick after all.


We got a Blu-ray disc and put it into the player, and it took 34 seconds for the first menu to show, not 10. Perhaps this is a preproduction model. Anyway, this is a nice clean-looking Blu-ray player, and it has all the usual suspects, including 1080p playback, HDMI 1.3, and also Sharp's version of the automagic linkup with other components, called Aquos link by Sharp. It lets you load up a Blu-ray disc and it starts up your The Aquos TV at the same time. Seems like a neat idea, but perhaps it's more of an enticement to get you to buy your Blu-ray disc player and TV set from the same manufacturer. Also in the background was sharks a 65 inch 10 AVP LCD flat-panel display, already-announced and now shipping, it still impressive as part of sharks be 64 live. The most startling part of it is its $usus8,999 price, which doesn't sound like much compared to the $usus20,000 the same size TV was selling for just a year ago. sharp_backtoback.jpg Sharp also showed us an clever rotating display (see pic above) where one of its older Aquos TVs was back to back with a new one—with the new one obviously a whole lot thinner, and the bezel also narrower, too.

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