The BD-HP21U ($300) is the follow-up to Sharp's
BD-HP20U, a Profile 1.0 player
released in 2007. This is a Profile 1.1/BonusView player
, which means it contains the necessary audio and video decoders for picture-in-picture content, but it lacks the BD-Live Web functionality you get when you move up to Profile 2.0. We have not performed a hands-on review of the BD-HP21U, but here is an overview of the player's features. In terms of connectivity, this unit covers the basics but lacks some higher-end options. On the video side, you get HDMI 1.3, component video, and composite video outputs (no S-video). Via the HDMI output, you can pass Blu-ray signals in their native 1080p/24
resolution to compatible display devices. On the audio side, the BD-HP21U offers HDMI, optical digital audio (no coaxial), and 2-channel analog audio outputs, but it does not have 7.1-channel analog audio outputs. The player can internally decode Dolby TrueHD
and DTS-HD Master Audio
, and it can pass these formats in their native bitstream form over HDMI, for your A/V receiver to decode. The player can pass 7.1-channel PCM audio over HDMI. Additional Resources
• Read high end and top performing Blu-ray players from Sharp, Oppo, Samsung, Sony, Sony ES, Denon and many other top brands here.
The BD-HP21U's disc drive supports Blu-ray, DVD, CD audio, and JPEG playback, but not MP3, WMA, or Divx. Because this is not a Profile 2.0 player, it lacks an Ethernet port for quick firmware updates and BD-Live
Web access. There is a back-panel USB port through which you can perform firmware updates.
Sharp has also released a step-up model, the $400 BD-HP50U, which has the same basic features as the HP21U but a slightly higher-end aesthetic with a glossier finish and a powered front door with on-unit controls. More importantly, the BD-HP50U adds RS-232 and IR control ports for integration into an advanced control system, features not found on most players in this price range.
Read Page 2 for The High Points, Low Points and Conclusion