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Sharp Unveils Next-Gen Blu-ray Player

Sharp unveiled at CEDIA Expo its next generation Blu-ray Disc player with full BD-Live 2.0 capability, and the ability to stream video content from an Internet video service provider to be named later.

Sharp also revealed the third sound bar system in its lineup — a step-up model with 3.1-channel Dolby Virtual ProLogic Surround, SRS Wow Surround and built-in subwoofer, and a pair of iPod/iPhone speaker docks.

The Blu-ray player, model BD-HP52U, will ship in October at a $349 suggested retail. Step-up features include 2GB of onboard memory for BD-Live support, a new chassis system, JPEG photo and MP3 music playback, and an RS-232 control port for system integration control purposes.

The player will be equipped to stream video content from an Internet service provider, which is expected to be added to the player in November.

Bob Scaglione, Sharp consumer products marketing group senior VP, said the company is currently looking at the possibility of adding bundling promotions including Sharp Blu-ray players and Aquos TVs for the fourth quarter, but has not decided on anything at this time.

Meanwhile, the new sound bar system, model HT-SB500, is slated to ship in December at a $349 suggested retail. The 3.1-channel system is styled to fit cosmetically with Sharp’s family of gloss-black Aquos LCD TVs, and features a built-in subwoofer, plus an output to add-on an external subwoofer if desired.

Inputs include RCA stereo jacks, plus optical and coaxial digital ports. No HDMI inputs are included.

In other product announcements, the company revealed two iPod/iPhone speaker docks, including the DKAP8P, which will ship in December at a $189 suggested retail. It offers a 2.1-channel audio system with built-in battery power for up to six hours of off-the-grid music playback, plus iPod/iPhone battery charging when connected to a wall outlet.

The system includes a magnetized wireless remote control that is styled to double as a front-panel cover for the system when not in use.

Sharp said it will also add later this month the DKAP7P iPod/iPhone speaker dock, which will carry a $129 suggested retail. That system includes a hinged front panel cover that folds up to conceal the controls when not in use, and an E-sound enhanced bass-boosting system.