C'mon Sharp -- we're cool with your $350 BD-HP21U Blu-ray player not supporting Profile 2.0, but are you seriously trying to pass off a has-been deck for a whopping $450? The AQUOS BD-HP50U, also announced today at CEDIA, boasts Profile 1.1 compatibility, built-in RS-232C / IR ports, HDMI 1.3 and the company's Quick Start feature. Anything there worth the $449.99 asking price? Nah, we thought not. Check the complete (uninspiring) release after the break.


SHARP" INTRODUCES SECOND-GENERATION AQUOS" BLU-RAY DISC PLAYER WITH ADVANCED FEATURE SET

Delivers Full HD 1080p digital output, BD-ROM Profile 1.1 support and advanced custom install features

MAHWAH, N.J. – Sharp expands its Blu-ray family with the availability of the AQUOS® BD-HP50U Blu-ray Disc player that provides Full HD 1080p digital output. When paired with an AQUOS HDTV Liquid Crystal television, the BD-HP50U enables consumers to enjoy the latest Blu-ray Disc titles, as well as standard-definition DVDs, in the highest resolution possible.

The BD-HP50U houses several features that enable custom installations. The player can be managed by external control systems via the built-in RS-232C port. An IR input allows the unit to be controlled wirelessly through a remote sensor. The player can then be placed out of sight in a cabinet or closet for a custom installation. Additionally, a stylish powered front door includes on-unit controls and resonates high style design and quality.

The BD-HP50U supports BD-ROM Profile 1.1, which allows consumers to view additional content available on Blu-ray titles – including movie trailers, special subtitles, and director commentary – without stopping the movie. Additional content available on Blu-ray discs includes games, subtitles and audio tracks.

"The interactive features of the Blu-ray Disc format bring a new level of enjoyment to the high-definition movie experience," said Bruce Tripido, associate vice president, Entertainment Products Division, Sharp Electronics Corporation. "With the new BD-HP50U, consumers can tap into supplemental information without leaving the movie."

The BD-HP50U comes with state-of-the-art HDMI" 1.3 digital output, which allows users to send the highest resolution video and audio signals possible to an AQUOS TV via a single cable. The player supports next-generation audio and video options available via HDMI 1.3, including x.v.Color, which expands the range of colors available. The BD-HP50U also supports Lip Sync, which automatically adjusts audio and video signal processing times to remove lip synch errors.

The BD-HP50U is compatible with the latest high-definition digital audio formats. The player outputs the most advanced lossless surround-sound formats including Dolby® TrueHD and DTS HD via HDMI digital output. The player also decodes Dolby Digital Plus, which provides optimum surround sound for appropriately equipped receivers. Additionally, the player boasts Sharp's proprietary Quick Start* feature, which takes viewers from disc loading to viewing in less than 10 seconds. JPEG Viewing lets users view their favorite digital images from their CD collection on screen in a slide show format.

The BD-HP50U outputs 1920 x 1080 video at 24 frames per second, matching the frame rate of the original film. This feature eliminates the need for frame-rate conversion that can cause motion artifacts on film-based material and degrade image quality. Sharp's built-in AQUOS LINK™ feature allows users to seamlessly control HDMI-connected products via an AQUOS LCD TV screen using a single remote control.

The player is compatible with a wide range of formats including BD-ROM/RE/R, DVD Video, DVD-RW/R, DVD+RW/R and audio CDs. Key components of the BD-HP50U, including the Blu-ray laser pick up assembly and drive unit, were built by Sharp, reflecting the company's goal of creating exceptional products from high-performance devices.

Pricing and Availability
The BD-HP50U is available now for a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $449.99

For more information on Sharp's full line of home theater products, contact Sharp Electronics Corporation, Sharp Plaza, Mahwah, N.J. 07495-1163, or call 800-BE-SHARP. For online product information, visit Sharp's Web site at sharpusa.com.