Sharp BD-HP25U 3D Blu-ray Player Reviewed

Sharp BD-HP25U 3D Blu-ray Player Reviewed

Adrienne Maxwell takes a look at the BD-HP25U 3D-capable Blu-ray player from Sharp, which has an impressive feature set, even if it is missing a few features, and an impressive price.

Sharp_BD-HP25U_3D_Blu-ray_player_review.jpgThe BD-HP25U is the entry-level model in Sharp's 2011 line of Blu-ray players, with an MSRP of $179.99. We have not performed a hands-on review of this player, but here is a more comprehensive look at its features. The BD-HP25U supports 3D playback, and it includes Sharp's Web platform, with access to Netflix, VUDU, YouTube, and Pandora. The BD-HP25U lacks the supplied WiFi USB adapter you get with the step-up BD-HP35U and BD-HP75U, but it will work with the adapter, should you choose to purchase it for about $50. DLNA media streaming is available, as is Sharp's AQUOS Pure mode: When you connect the player to a Sharp AQUOS TV via HDMI, it automatically adjusts the image for optimal playback.

Additional Resources
• Read more Blu-ray player reviews from Home Theater Review's staff.
• Find a 3D HDTV in our 3D HDTV Review section.
• Explore LED HDTVs and Plasma HDTVs to pair with the Sharp BD-HP25U.

The BD-HP25U's connection panel includes one HDMI output and one optical digital audio output; there are no analog A/V outputs. The player 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 setup menu includes a feature called Super Picture, which is designed to improve the quality of streaming video; no advanced 3D adjustments are available.

The BD-HP25U supports the BD, DVD, CD audio, AVCHD, Divx HD, MP3, and JPEG formats. You can add the player to your home network using the back-panel Ethernet port or by attaching the optional VR-WL25 adapter to the back-panel USB port. The BD-HP25U lacks internal memory to store BD-Live features; you must add a USB storage device via the back- or front-panel USB port, both of which also support media playback. Finally, the player lacks the RS-232 port that you will find on the higher-end BD-HP75U.

Read about the high points and low points of the Sharp BD-HP25U on Page 2.Sharp_BD-HP25U_3D_Blu-ray_player_review.jpgHigh Points
• The BD-HP25U supports 3D playback.
• It has internal decoding and bitstream output of high-resolution audio sources.
• It supports BD-Live and BonusView/PIP.
• The player is WiFi-ready, with an optional USB adapter.
• Sharp's Web platform includes Netflix, VUDU, YouTube, and Pandora. DLNA media streaming is also supported.

Low Points

This model does not include dual HDMI outputs to send separate signals
to your 3DTV and A/V receiver. It lacks 2D-to-3D conversion and advanced
3D image adjustments.
• It lacks analog A/V outputs, so it's not the best choice for someone who owns an older HDTV or A/V receiver.
• WiFi is not built-in; it requires an add-on adapter that costs about $50.
• The player lacks internal memory to store BD-Live content.
• Sharp's Web platform isn't as extensive or customizable as some of its competitors.
• There's no advanced control port like RS-232.

Competition and Comparison
Compare the Sharp BD-HP25U with its
competition by reading the reviews for the Panasonic DMP-BDT110,
Sony BDP-S580,
Toshiba BDX5200
,
and Vizio VBR333.
Learn more about 3D-capable Blu-ray Players by visiting our Blu-ray
Players
section
.

Conclusion
With a street price under $140, the BD-HP25U
represents a very good value for a 3D Blu-ray player with streaming VOD
capabilities. It's a logical mate for a Sharp 3D-capable TV or
projector. Sharp's Web platform doesn't have as many options as you can
get from the competition, but the big-name services--Netflix, VUDU (with
Apps), and YouTube--are here. The step-up BD-HP35U comes with the WiFi
USB adapter and adds IP control, and its street price is only about
$10-$15 higher, which makes it an even better deal. If there's any
chance you might want a wireless network connection in the future, I
recommend you spend a little more now to get the 35U.

Additional Resources
• Read more Blu-ray player reviews from Home Theater Review's staff.
• Find a 3D HDTV in our 3D HDTV Review section.
• Explore LED HDTVs and Plasma HDTVs to pair with the Sharp BD-HP25U.

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