Sharp's 2009 Blu-ray line features two new models, the entry-level BD-HP16U and the slightly more expensive BD-HP22U. The primary difference between the two models is the addition of internal memory in the step-up model for BD-Live storage. We have not performed a hands-on review of the BD-HP22U, but here is an overview of the player's features. This is one of Sharp's first Profile 2.0 players, which means it supports BonusView/picture-in-picture playback and BD-Live Web functionality. It also features bitstream output and onboard decoding of Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio soundtracks. This model does not support any type of video-on-demand streaming or download service, such as those offered by Netflix, Amazon, and CinemaNow. The BD-HP22U features Sharp's new AQUOS Pure mode; when you connect the player to a Sharp AQUOS TV via HDMI, it automatically adjusts the image's color base to best suit the TV and switches the TV to the Dot by Dot aspect ratio (for zero overscan).
In terms of video outputs, you get HDMI, component video, and composite video. This player supports both 1080p/60 and 1080p/24 output resolutions via HDMI. The setup menu doesn't offer any advanced picture adjustments, such as preset picture modes or noise reduction. Audio outputs include HDMI, optical digital (no coaxial), and stereo analog. As I mentioned, the BD-HP22U has onboard Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio decoding, and it also passes these high-resolution audio formats in their native bitstream form over HDMI, for your A/V receiver to decode. The player lacks multichannel analog audio outputs, so the only way to pass decoded high-resolution audio formats is via HDMI.
The BD-HP22U's disc drive supports BD, DVD, CD audio, and JPEG playback; it does not support MP3, WMA, or Divx. The back panel offers an Ethernet port for BD-Live features; the player doesn't include a wireless network connection option. You do get 2GB of internal memory for storage of downloadable BD-Live Web content; there's also a USB port to add more storage. The USB port can be used for firmware updates, but it doesn't support MP3/JPEG playback. The BD-HP22U does not have any type of advanced control port, such as IR or RS-232.
Read Page 2 for The High Points, Low Points and Conclusion