Sharp BD-HP22U Blu-ray Player Reviewed

Sharp BD-HP22U Blu-ray Player Reviewed

Sharp's new BD-HP22U is a Profile 2.0 Blu-ray player with BD-Live and BonusView support. You also get internal high-resolution audio decoding, internal storage for BD-Live features, and the new AQUOS Pure mode that automatically adjusts the image to suit an HDMI-connected Sharp TV.

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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).

Additional Resources
• Read more Blu-ray player reviews by HomeTheaterReview.com's staff.
• Explore television options in our LED HDTV and Plasma HDTV review sections.

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


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Highs Points
• The BD-HP22U supports 1080p/24 playback of Blu-ray discs.
• The player has internal Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio decoding and can pass these formats in bitstream form over HDMI. 
• It supports BD-Live Web content and can play picture-in-picture bonus content.
• The player has 2GB of internal memory for BD-Live downloads.

Low Points
• The BD-HP22U lacks multichannel analog audio outputs, so it's not the best choice for someone who owns an older, non-HDMI A/V receiver.
• It does not support playback of the MP3, WMA, or Divx formats.
• This player does not offer any type of VOD streaming function, nor does it feature a wireless option for connection to your home network.

Conclusion
The BD-HP22U's feature set is on par with other players in the sub-$300 range. It lacks perks like VOD streaming and wireless network connectivity, but it sports the must-have features we look for in a new Blu-ray player.

Additional Resources
• Read more Blu-ray player reviews by HomeTheaterReview.com's staff.
• Explore television options in our LED HDTV and Plasma HDTV review sections.

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