updated 04:55 pm EDT, Thu August 30, 2007
Sharp BD-HP20S Player
Sharp at today's introduction to the IFA technology show revealed the BD-HP20S, its first dedicated Blu-Ray movie player outside of Japan. The system is one of the slimmest from any company, measuring just 2.7 inches tall, but should provide all the same features as current and upcoming high-end players. Sharp's unit is one of the first to explicitly add Blu-Ray Java support for more advanced commentary and interactive features on a given disc. It also sports HDMI 1.3 with support for Dolby TrueHD, DTS-HD, and deeper colors on certain TVs. An AQUOS Link feature lets the player trigger input from AQUOS TVs and other devices that meet the CEC control standard.
Sharp similarly keeps pace with other top Blu-Ray players with 1080p upscaling of analog DVDs, 24 frames-per-second playback for movies that require the slower rate, and a rapid startup time of just a few seconds that wipes out the delays suffered by previous-generation devices. Sharp has yet to list a price but plans a European release in the fall, and is expected to release the device in the US in a similar launch window or shortly afterwards. [via Blu-Ray]