Sharp rolls out two new Blu-ray players, but both are Profile 1.1

Sharp has announced two new Blu-ray players at CEDIA, but both are limited to Blu-ray Profile 1.1, instead of the newer Profile 2.0 standard.

Earlier this year, Sharp introduced the BD-HP20U , which was the company's first Blu-ray player and at the time offered the fastest load times of any standalone Blu-ray player, loading up discs in as little as six seconds. Sharp is now following up on its initial player with two new models--the BD-HP21U and BD-HP50U--which both offer the quick start feature and relatively low prices tags. Let's take a look at their key features:

Sharp BD-HP21U

Key features of the Sharp BD-HP21U:

  • Blu-ray Profile 1.1
  • Onboard decoding for Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio
  • Quick start option loads discs in 10 seconds
  • Deep Color support
  • Available now, with a list price of $350

Sharp BD-HP50U

Key features of the Sharp BD-HP50U:

  • RS-232 port
  • Bit stream output for Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio, but only onboard decoding for Dolby Digital Plus
  • Available now, with a list price of $450

Out of the two players, the BD-HP21U looks more attractive to us. We're disappointed that the player doesn't support Profile 2.0 , but it does decode both high resolution soundtrack formats and the quick start option is nice--although with last year's BD-HP20U, it caused the player to consume more power. While custom installers might be attracted to the RS-232 port of the BD-HP50U, we were disappointed to see that it actually dropped onboard decoding for Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio and costs $100 more. Altogether, we think both players will face tough competition as Sony's BDP-S350 offers Profile 2.0 and a super small design for $400, and of course the PS3 is available for the same price.


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