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Aquos BD Player Launches

Denver — Sharp used a pre-CEDIA press conference Wednesday to take the wraps off of its first Blu-ray Disc player for the U.S. market.

The player is the first non-LCD TV to carry the Aquos sub-brand.

The slim-profile Aquos BD-HP20U ships this month at a $549 suggested retail. It will output full HD 1080p/24 fps video and includes built-in HDMI 1.3 digital inputs.

Bob Scaglione, Sharp product and marketing group senior VP, said key components of the player were built by Sharp, including the Blu-ray laser, the pick-up beam and the driver unit.

The BD-HP20U also includes integrated system operation of the player and other connected Aquos products using one remote, called Aquos Link.

“Consumers have become comfortable watching high-definition programming, and now they want to transform their entire home theater experience into high-definition,” said Scaglione. “Our new Blu-ray Disc player produces a breathtaking and vivid picture with enhanced audio quality that closely mimics a true cinematic experience.”

The BD-HP20U ($549 suggested retail) player lets consumers realize the powerful next generation of home entertainment enabled by the high-definition Blu-ray format, according to Sharp.  

In addition to an HDMI output, the player has component video output for those consumers who have an HDTV without HDMI. A Quick Start feature enables the player to begin playing Blu-ray movies in less than 10 seconds.

Supported surround sound available via HDMI include decoded Dolby TrueHD lossless audio, Dolby Digital Plus and up to 7.1 channel digital multichannel surround.

The player will support BD-ROM/RE/R discs, DVD video, DVD-RW/R, DVD+RW/R and audio CDs. The player will up-scale standard DVDs via HDMI to 1080p.

The BD-HP20U will be available in a piano black finish that matches many Aquos HDTVs.

In another announcement, Sharp said that in an effort to place greater focus on LCD TVs, it will no longer produce CRTs for the U.S. market after November 2007.

Meanwhile, the company said the suggested retail on its new 65-inch

D64 Series

thin bezel Aquos TV is $8,999 and is available now.