Sharp come back: BD-HP25U

While Sharp has not been as popular as some of the other Blu ray player makers, it has been producing fairly decent Blu ray players. Unlike other major electronics makers, Sharp has been little late to the Blu ray player market. Consequently, they have been somewhat behind in terms of quality and features. Their first efforts were adequate at best and mostly relegated to basic entry level players. While their second generation was big improvement, it was still better to buy other more established brands. In 2011, Sharp introduced fresh line up of Blu ray players to compete with other big manufacturers.

Features

BD-HP25U is the first of five new Blu ray players offered by the Sharp in 2011. With the retail price of $179.99, the BD-HP25U is the entry level model. As expected, the BD-HP25U is Profile 2.0 player fully compatible with BD-LIVE content. As with all the new Blu ray players, it is capable of decoding every relevant audio formats. It can natively decode Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby TrueHD, DTS, and DTS-HD Master Audio. It is also compatible with MP3 file format. The BD-HP25U will play Divx, AVHCD, VR, and MKV. The ability to play Divx and MKV should be a big bonus for people looking for a universal media player. Unlike other entry level players, the BD-HP25U is fully compatible with the 3D contents. Most other manufacturers have opted to forgo 3D compatibility on the entry level players. The internet streaming content is fairly limited compared to other players. It comes with very basic internet streaming contents like CinemaNow, Netflix, Vudu, and YouTube. You can also stream music via Pandora player.

Design

The overall design is similar to other flip down front face designs. The disc tray is located under the front face plate. the LCD and USB is located on the left side of the player. The playback buttons are located on the left side as well. They are placed on top of the player above the LCD and USB port. The connectivity is sparse compared to older generation players. The newer players like the BD-HP25U does not come with legacy connection that are not required by the high definition formats. HDMI, standard audio outputs, RJ-45 Ethernet, and additional USB port are the only options available for connections.

Performance and Video

The overall performance of BD-HP25U is fairly similar to other 2011 Blu ray players. The boot up and loading speed is in line with most other 2011 Blu ray players. While not as fast as some of the players, it was well within 3-8 seconds in booting and loading time. Most users shouldn’t notice any delays compared to other players.

The video performance was competent as well. The usual video defects like moiré, jagginess, and motion blur were all absent from the Blu ray disc movies. Video defects were all absent on three different Blu ray movies. The overall DVD upscaling was somewhat disappointing compared to other players. The overall picture quality suffered compared to other top end Blu ray players. However, it was still better than non scaled DVDs on the high definition television. Overall, there was nothing to complain about in terms of video performance.

Audio

There were no problems with audio decoding. All the formats decoded without any problem. The high definition audio formats all decoded without any problems. The lack of file support other than MP3 was disappointing. I’ve yet to see any player that really had problem with audio decoding in 2010 or 2011 models. You shouldn’t have any problem with this player unless you are trying to decode other file formats.

Overall

This is pretty decent entry level player from Sharp. This is one of few entry level player to support 3D play back function. Priced around $120 at most retailers, this is not the cheapest entry level player. You can definitely find a better player at this price range with more features. While it does support Wi-Fi, you will have to buy a separate dongle. With the Blu ray players all having similar picture quality, it’s the extra features that separate the players from one another. The BD-HP25U comes up little short against other similarly priced players.

Panasonic BD-HP25U Now!

Sharp HE BDHP25U Blu-Ray Disc Player -Black
List Price: $179.99
Sale Price: $69.99
You save: $110.00 (61%)
  Eligible for free shipping!
Availability: Usually ships in 1-2 business days

Description

3D Blu Ray Disc Player, Wireless ready

Features

  • Play back 3D Blu-ray Discs in Full HD 1080p resolution, or upscale your DVDs to a new level of detail
  • Access online BD Live bonus content as well as the latest from Cinema Now, Netflix, Vudu, YouTube, and Pandora
  • Enjoy music, video, and image files from USB thumb drives and networked DLNA-certified devices
  • Add a Sharp Wi-Fi adapter for a wireless network connection, or use standard Ethernet port
  • High-definition, multi-channel audio with decoding of Dolby Digital TrueHD and DTS Master Audio
  • 3D BLU RAY player, Divix HD.

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