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I got this BD player free with my 46" LCD tv as a deal.
There is one major flaw that the player has, and it's well known since I have looked around on Google, and have experienced this problem myself, hence, why I have had to get another BD player, a Panasonic one, which I chose. But I will tell you about this flaw lastly.
The presentation looks nice, the glowing blue Blu Ray sign when a disc is inserted looks pretty but the size of the player is not exactly the smallest.
Performance wise, the player is great, it outputs 1080p/24hrz picture and it's stunning.
If you want to connect audio with either optical or coaxial cable, you only have one choice and that's optical.
It cannot decode DTS-HD audio, the best audio you will get from this is PCM. Not to say that's bad but it's nice to have a choice of audio to decode.
The player has a very slow start up time when you plug in the player and, again, a very slow load time once you insert a disc.
You connect your HDTV to the player via standard HDMI cable.
Now, the big flaw that should, rightfully so, decide the fate of this player is the 'incompatible disc' error!
I had this player for around 6 months before it started acting up on me and there is no cure for this problem.
When you put a disc in, the player tells you it's incompatible and spits the disc back out!
It will still play DVD's fine but it just doesn't want to play BD's after a certain amount of time.
I have no idea what makes the player suddenly give up on reading BD discs like that but it is a common issue with this model.
And because of this problem, I am asking people to steer clear of this one unless you are in the mood to get two BD players within the space of approximately 6 months to a year.
Quite simply, avoid!
As this was one of the first blu ray plaers I have to be honest that I did not expect it to be the greatest Blu ray player. However I was pleasantly surprised when I opened up the packaging and put it on for the very first time. This blu ray player has some great features such as 'Full High Definition' playback and 'Dolby True HD Sound' so you are able to get the best out of the blu ray's that you purchase. The first blu ray that I tried was 'The Matrix' and what a way to begin my blu ray collection. I put it on along with my 19 inch Samsung HD TV and I was blown away. The very first things I noticed was the detail in colour and the detail in the character's skin. By this I mean you can see skin tone clearer and you get see little details such as spots, scars, sweat, etc. This was not seen on the DVD of 'The Matrix' because I decided to comapre the two and the blu ray won by miles. The only problems I have had with this player is the fact some blu rays freeze for around 5 seconds and then play again but this is due to the fact this is an earlier blu ray player. However I have been told that you can now download a firmware update via the Sharp website in order to solve this problem on some of the blu rays.
The Sharp BD-HP20 is a budget Blu-Ray disc player. You can purchase one for around £300 on Amazon, or for around £70 - £100 cheaper on ebay.
The machine itself is very stylish with a shiny silver frontage. The main display is shown through this reflective surface, which makes for an impressive looking machine. The downside to all this shininess, is that it collects dust incredibly quickly due to static.
The remote control is well designed and has all the buttons in accessible places. All the feature needed can be found on there, including an open and close button for the disc tray, and a zoom controller.
Picture quality is excellent when using Blu-Ray discs, and the BD-HP20 can output Full HD pictures at 1080p - obviously you'll need a Full HD TV to make the most of it though.
Colours are lifelike and vibrant and sharpness is excellent. If you're using this product with an older tv, which cannot support a 24fps mode, then scenes which involve camera panning may look a little juddery. This isn't really a fault of the machine, as it's geared up to be used with the latest equipment.
When playing standard DVD's, the picture quality is good also - some reviews have said the upscaled quality is a bit soft, but I don't find this. Besides, you can always increase the sharpness on your TV.
The player does not come with an HD cable, which is a shame as they can be costly to buy. I would recommend using a cable from the Fisual Hollywood range, which balance cost and quality nicely.
The other downside is the length of time it takes to start playing a disc. It's roughly a minute before you can even open the DVD tray after you switch the machine on. Reading the disk takes even longer.
All in all, even with its weaknesses, I would say that the picture quality alone makes this the best BD player in its price range.
A lot of people don't understand that Blu-Ray discs are different to DVD discs in many ways. Last year my family got a HD TV like millions of other people as the prices went down after the world cup. Our old DVD Player was good but we couldn't take full advantage of the quality so decided to get a Blu-Ray player.
What Is It?
The Sharp BD HP20S is a Blu-Ray and DVD player for HD TV's. This was recently released (around 6 months) so is one of the most recent technology on the market for HD quality films. This will play Blu-Ray discs and DVD/CD discs which will be explained later in review.
What Is Blu-Ray?
Blu-Ray is one of the newest technologies on the film/music market to get the highest quality possible. The first difference between Blu-Ray and DVD's is the actual quality of the film, DVD is good but Blu-Ray is brilliant. The picture quality, sound quality and overall performance is simply breathtaking. Blu-Ray does cost more per disc (sometimes up to 3 times more) than a DVD but I feel it is worth getting that quality. Blu-Ray discs have to hold a lot more memory so need special lasers so cannot be played on a DVD player. Blu-Ray discs also have special coatings, so it makes it difficult to get damaging scratches and finger prints. For new films, Blu-Ray is the step forward if you want the best quality movies.
Why Buy It?
When we bought our HD TV, we didn't even think we would need anything else. We had a freeview box and a DVD player from our last TV and took advantage of the christmas HD TV deals. When we got the TV our DVD player was starting to pack up a little (we had it for 5 years!) and the picture quality wasn't at its best. So we did some research and went to a lot of places t find how to get better quality picture. We came across this product as it was one of the most recent ones in the range and we were able to see how good the picture was using a demo one instore. Other reasons for buying one are to replace an old DVD player, and you have a new TV. To be ahead of the times (a lot of people like the be 'ahead' of technology) and if you love a cinema atmosphere and want the best quality films possible.
Where To Get It/Price
Myself, being really the only person to use the computer, did some price comparisons and found out that they were not cheap. Some were asking £400+ for a Blu-Ray reader, but this has hundreds of unnessicary features. However I found Dixons which was offering £250 for DVD/Blu-Ray combo. This was still very expensive so we waited a couple of weeks and I did more research. I then found this product on Amazon, used for £160 boxed. So we ended up saving >£90 which was a big bonus. Most if not all electrical stores will sell Blu-Ray players but this one has little extras which I will explain in review later on.
I chose Amazon and I had contacted the seller and got Amazon to check he was reputable seller. I would recommend go stores like Currys, Dixons or independent electronic stores. They can also give you advice what is suitable for you.
After finally picking the Sharp BD-HP20S as our new Blu-Ray player, it arrived in the post a week later. Nice modern box, very stylish and sleek. Also very cosily packaged so no damage at all inflicted on the new toy. As the only really technical one in the family it was my job to set it up. The box came with the cables needed so I attached everything up at the back and turned on AV1 onto the TV. That was it The instructions were very easy to use and I was happy with the amount of help offered. Setting up is very easy, even if you haven't anyknowledge of technology You just need to be able to follow instructions!
What I noticed when the player arrived in the post, was it was quite heavy. Ciao says it is around 7kg which would be right. It is not light, and would not be portable at all. However the design of the actual player is very good. The main theme is black, with a gloss over it to make it look sleek and stylish. It has a grey bar on the front to make it stand out more. The buttons look very high tech and easy to read. It looks really nice underneath the black Samsung TV. The remote looks like any other controller really, has blu-ray and DVD buttons but is easily marked. Very good signal quality between remote control and player, which was the problem with our last DVD player. Excellent design but weight is a bit of a problem when setting up.
We had already bought a Blu-Ray disc "Harry Potter and the Order Of The Phoenix" so I was desperate to try it out. I got the controller out of the box and got 2 triple A batteries and was ready to go. I started it out and clicked eject and put the brand new disc in. Very quiet little machine doesn't seem to make much of a noise when loading up. It then started like any other movie and as soon as the first set of titles came out, you could already see the huge difference in quality.
I sat back and it reached the menu. I decided to just to straight to it and start off the actual movie and not watch the features. Wow...!
The first scene came up and the picture quality was outstanding! It was so crisp and clear and with the lights off looked outstanding. It was a little scary actually. The sound quality was 5 star +, we don't have surround sound but it was still incredible. It was such a huge difference from our DVD player. After watching the film I left it for a day to watch a DVD on it.
Right so I tried one of my DVD's on it. My mum had just bought Elizabeth: Golden Age (Review coming soon) on DVD so it was worth trying it out. So ejected Harry Potter and put that in. I used to controller to change it to DVD mode and it was ready to go. Again, the quality was much higher than the last DVD player, not as good as Blu-Ray obviously but the picture was much more colorful and sharper. The Sharp BD HP20S really did its job exceptionally.
Reading the Product info giving by Ciao, they seem to make out that there is not to much features and extras with this product. But who cares if it doesn't have internet, we'll leave that to the computer! But it does have some feature which should be mentioned. It has a DVD-R/W playback (so home videos on discs etc) and CD-R/W for burned on music. It can play back photos, on photo disks to the highest quality (a fantastic way to look at your holiday snaps etc.)
It is very energy efficent, if it is not used for around 5 minutes (not playing a movie or on the menu screen) it will go to sleep and you can just click a button on the remote to wake it up. Nice features for a family Blu-Ray player. We were not looking for something that has thousands of features, like other Blu-Ray player which cost much more.
The main feature is the quality. Wow, it is something. Picture quality is simply breath taking, you really feel like your there in the film. It is so clear and colorful throughout. Sounds is amazing, Harry Potter soundtrack sounded amazing on it! The Blu-Ray player looks really nice alongside the TV and looks modern and stylish. I love the fact it actually improves the quality of DVD's as well, as I could see a difference between the two. It also fundementally takes advantage of the HD tv, and really makes it that bit more special. Excellent quality, will blow you away.
The weight of the player is a bit of a negative point. It doesn't matter when it is sitting there, but when setting up can be annoying and quite irritating when lifting up. The price as well, it is a lot of money to spend on a player, and I got mine at a discount as well. It really is something that needs to be thought about before buying. There is also a limited amount of extras, even though I'm not to bothered by that, it would be nice to have them as standard.
This really is an excellent player. It however doesn't reach the 5 star status as it is not perfect, and does have one or two faults. But you can't take away from the very high quality of this product. I would recommend it to buyers who are interested in buying a Blu-Ray player, Sharp are to me, a very reliable brand. They have shone with this product and I am very impressed. Hope I have given you some insight into the Blu-Ray world and that you might consider it.
Also posted on www.ciao.co.uk