Review: Sharp BD-HP20U

Sharp chose the blue pill-make that the Blu pill-and ended up a winner in the high-def DVD format war. Of course, so did Sony, Samsung, and Panasonic. But slowpoke players from those companies take anywhere from 60 seconds to (seemingly) 8 weeks just to spin up and reach the title menu. The fleet footed BD-HP20U, however, fires up from standby mode to opening credits in just 15 seconds. When we hooked the player up to Sharp’s own 1080p-pumping Aquos LC-46D64U, the player made colors dance and explosions sing. But rabid spec-checkers will almost certainly bemoan the practically obsolete Blu-ray profile 1.0, which leaves out interactive features like picture-in-picture. You can update the BD-HP20U’s firmware, but not its profile. Show of hands: anyone care? The war is over; it’s time to enjoy the spoils.

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