One of the big reasons that Blu-ray isn't gaining the same traction as DVDs (aside from the required spend on compatible hardware and cost of both the players and movies) is the fact that there have been several different, confusingly named standards. While we've been over it before and know the differences between the different BD profiles, it still bugs the hell out of us to see a product launch that announces that it's "Final Standard Profile" when there's nothing "Final" about it. Which is exactly what the latest player from Sharp does.
The Sharp BD-HP21X offers "Final Standard Profile", which lets you watch Picture-in-Picture during playback of your Blu-ray movie. There's no BD-Live support for those of you with compatible BD-Live movies (like Iron Man), meaning you'll never be able to access all that extra downloadable content unless you buy a new player.
It's not all bad - there's a quick start mode and the player only pulls in 0.5W of power in standby, but for the same price as this $499 unit you can pick up Sony or Panasonic's latest players which do do BD-Live. And that's where we'd suggest you put your money, if you're in a Blu-ray buying mood.
New Sharp Blu-ray Disc Player features Final Standard Profile technology
Sharp Corporation of Australia has announced the release of its latest HD Blu-ray Disc Player (model BD-HP21X) with Final Standard Profile for Picture in Picture function, to add yet another dimension to home theatre entertainment.
Along with superb image clarity, the BD-HP21X's Picture in Picture (PinP) function and secondary audio allow users to watch and listen to a second picture on a 'sub screen' within the main screen.
This pop up screen function can be activated while watching any Blu-ray movie disc with additional content, typically an actors' or director's interview and/or commentary - a must-have option for dedicated movie buffs!
The Sharp BD-HP21X also features a range of advanced features to enhance the home theatre experience including 1080P/24Hz output from Blu-ray disc and spectacular 7.1 sound reproduction via HDMI. It also includes the convenience of an extensive range of playback formats including BD-ROM/R/RE / DVD video / DVD-R/RW / DVD+R/RW / Audio CD and CD-R/RW.
Connectivity to other equipment is easy and efficient thanks to a range of terminals including HDMI 1.3 out, component video out, video out, Audio out L/R and optical digital audio out. As well, Aquos Link compatibility provides integrated and effortless connection with Sharp Aquos LCD TVs using just one remote control device. Other features include Sharp's Quick Start function, jpeg playback and expandable memory via USB stick.
Measuring just 430mm (W) x 68mm (H) x 335mm (D), the player is designed to fit seamlessly into either a wall unit or TV stand, and in keeping with Sharp's forward thinking environmental initiatives uses a low 0.5 W of power in normal standby mode.
With its combination of advanced features, slimline contemporary design and stylish piano black finish, the BD-HP21X Blu-ray Disc player further cements Sharp's reputation as a world leaders in home entertainment technology.
The new Sharp BD-HP21X is available now from leading electrical retailers at the RRP $499.