NEW SHARP BLU-RAY PLAYER

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Aug 10, 2019
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Is the new Sharp blu-ray player any good,I know it was reviewed alongside the Toshiba hdep35 and was awarded 4 stars but just need advice on if it`s worth buying before I buy.Also it has a "service"terminal on the back,is this a usb port to allow firmware updates the same way my HDEP30 has an ethernet port?Would be very grateful for the help,cheers.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
I bought one of these and I really like the player. It plays BD discs beautifully (as one would expect), loads discs quite quickly (thanks to its 'quick start function') and produces damn fine 1080p pix from regular DVDs. It's actually much better than my upscaling Pioner DV-600 player (but not multi-region, obviously).

I've had no issues playing potentially problematic BD discs like Die hard 4.0 or Spiderman 3. Some DVD's though (only from Buena Vista) have had some issues, usually from the menu.

The sound quality is excellent via optical (5.1 only) but the clever thing is it's (I think) the only player to have an on-board DD TrueHD sound decoder. Connect to your amp via the 5.1 outputs and you have true HD, uncompressed sound through your amp without paying for new AV kit.

On the downside, the facia display is small and you need the remote to do anything as there are no controls on the front apart from eject. It's also a bit noisy in standby (a function of the quick start setting), but less so than a V-box or Sky HD box.

All that said, it looks lovely, too....

As far as the port goes, all I can say is that it's there. The manual offers conflicting explanations. I will speak to Sharp and post direct from the horse's mouth.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Thanks fella,appreciate the help,speak soon.Am also interested in Samsung bdp1400,does anyone know if this has ethernet port or similar?
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Bot bot and Casca, I think a few points need to be clarified on some of the BD players, present and future!

Casca - I think it's good to hear about peoples' experiences with players, as reviews can only go so far. The actual day to day running is probably just as important to potential buyers.

As bot bot pointed out, some of the reviews of the Sharp BD-HP20H were good, but not outstanding. There was particular reference to it's upscaling abilities. My advice would be to audition the player first! It is after all down to personal prefence and perception! Reviewers are only human after all!

The Sharp BD-HP20H is not alone in being able to decode Dolby TrueHD. The Pioneer BDP-LX70A, Samsung BD-P1400 and Sony BDP-S500 can also internally decode and output Dolby True HD (via HDMI).

However, only the Pioneer BDP-LX70A and Samsung BD-P1400 can decode and output DTS-HD Master Audio. The BD-P1400 can only do this after the firmware 1.1 update. This can be done by ethernet or by DVD-R/RW. Given that all 20th Century Fox and New Line Cinema (Rush Hour 3) titles have DTS-HD MA, then this is a must. Both players can output all HD audio formats via HDMI or via 5.1 phono outputs. Disney encode LPCM 5.1 on their BDs, so the 5.1 phonos come into their own! Disney also encode DD 5.1.

Note, the Sony BDP-S500 can decode DTS-HD MA but it down converts to DTS 5.1. Maybe there is a firmware update available?

Note, firmware updates don't need to be through ethernet, as most players can accept DVD-R/RW updates.

Like the Sharp, our Samsung has played every disc faultlessly, including all extras. Rush Hour 3 has picture in picture, and the Samsung decodes that with no problems either! Who needs profile 1.1?

Having read lots of reviews about the Samsung, I would never have believed how good it was going to be. Perhaps there is a good reason to let the USA and Japan have products first, iron out their bugs and we get the finished article!!!

If having lossless HD audio is important to you, then the Pioneer and Samsung are the only current UK players to cater for your needs. Given that the Samsung can be purchased for as little as £249 then it's got to be considered a bargain! We paid £319 back in October, which was a good price then. We are absolutely thrilled to bits with it.

If Profile 1.1 and 2.0 is important to you, then just a short wait and there should be quite a few new models coming out from April onwards.

Panasonic DMP-BD30 (well received in the US), new Panasonic DMP-BD50 (Profile 2.0), Philips BDP7200 (first one for the UK), Sharp BD-HP50H (Upmarket model - possibly also a model '30' replacement for the '20') and the new Samsung BD-P1500 to replace the BD-P1400.

As reported on here, Samsung have a dual format BD-UP5000 out in the US. This could be released in the UK or more likely the BD-P5500 will come to the UK in May. Beware though, the current BD-UP5000 doesn't have 5.1 phono outputs, so HD audio is only available via HDMI.

There are also models from Denon and Marantz in the pipeline, but expect them to be pricey. I would guess that newer models from Philips, Samsung, Sharp and Panasonic will start out at £250-300, but prices will drop quickly, especially on the internet and through a famous pile them high and sell them off cheap high street chain!

All the specifications and information provided above are given in good faith. Having downloaded all the manuals and product guides for all BD players, I hope I have reproduced the information accurately. Please do check the information before buying!

Finally, for those who might wish to know, the English 'surround' audio provided by the studios on their discs is as follows....

Warner Brothers - DD 5.1 / DD 5.1EX and LPCM 5.1^

^ Led Zeppelin Song Remains - DD TrueHD 5.1 and DD 5.1

MGM/Columbia/Sony - DD 5.1 and LCPM 5.1*

* Close Encounters Of the Third Kind DD True HD 5.1 and DTS-HD 5.1

Disney/Pixar/Buena Vista/Touchstone - DD 5.1 and LPCM 5.1

20th Century Fox - DTS-HD 5.1 only

New Line Cinema - DTS-HD 7.1 only

Eagle Vision (Music) - DTS-HD 96/24 5.1 and LPCM Stereo

Columbia/Sony Music - DD 5.1 and LPCM 5.1
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Checked withn Sharp. Updates/Upgrades will be available and loadable via disc. The USB is for their engineers, apparently. Odd...
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Does that mean there is a firmware upgrade to give the machine DTS-HD High Res and Master Audio?

If so, that's truly excellent news!

This is the sort of additional information that we think should be in product reviews (if the information is known and/or provided by the manufacturer).

HiDef audio is the next development of all the products, and standardising 'decode all' has got to be the way ahead!
 
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Anonymous

Guest
So if I bought say the Samsung bdp1400,to perform firmware update I`d have to download the update from the company site,burn this to a blank dvd,then run this disc through the player?
 
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Anonymous

Guest
The issue with DTS is a financial one. When DVD first came out not every player was able to decode or output DTS. Similarly most DVDs don't carry DTS tracks even though they exist for the theatrical version. This is because the licence fees charged by DTS are seen as an extra expense that will be difficult to recoup. Conversly, it would in principle be easier (and cheaper) to produce a lossless DTS track for a high definition disc as opposed to the extra compression expense for the DVD release.

Sadly (and I speak as a DTS enthusiast) DD is the standard that most people understand and use. DTS is still a rarity and an extra cost. Many manufacturers (both hardware and software) will avoid it for that reason alone.

Oh, and here's a question for the technically minded amongst you. Given that both DTS and DD HD versions of the track are 'lossless', would there be any discernable difference?
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Bot bot - The Samsung BD-P1400 comes with an ethernet port, so firmware upgrades can be via the internet or via burning a DVD-R/RW. A friend has recently purchased one and he said that it decoded DTS-HD Master Audio from day one, so maybe later shipments have the firmware update as standard? I noticed that Samsung, who are now adverting the '1400' on their site, have included compatability with HD audio codecs in the specifications! Maybe you won't need firmware 1.1 after all?

The firmware upgrade is S/W: 071026.01_XEF (v 1.1) - i.e. version 1.1 (26th October).

Our player was shipped with S/W: 070906.01_XEF (v 1.0) - i.e. version 1.0 (6th September).

The whole process by DVD-RW took only 15 minutes. I understand that Samsung say allow up to one hour by ethernet!

Casca - Thanks for the info on DTS licence fees! Although it appears obvious to me now, the thought never occurred to me that the studios should pay to use DTS and DD. Maybe because I didn't know anything different, but I was definitely a DD 5.1 fan! When DTS 5.1 started to appear on DVDs, I thought, oh well, just another surround system, so I was a little bit reluctant to try DTS 5.1. Some DVDs started to come with only a DTS 5.1 soundtrack (in addition to the standard DD Stereo or LCPM stereo one), so I started to do comparisons. As a matter of personal opinion, I think it varies from disc to disc and that nearly all soundtracks are impressive whatever system is employed.

One thing my wife pointed out was that both DTS 5.1 and LPCM 5.1 appear to be set at lower levels to DD 5.1 and that appears to mean that both DTS and LCPM have a bit more room to breath, or are less prone to reaching a ceiling / distortion! On BDs, we prefer to select DTS-HD or LPCM if available. The Polar Express (WB US) is the only BD we have that has only a DD 5.1 option. In spite of this, the sound is one of the best DD 5.1 applications we have heard!

One of the best soundtracks we have heard is the Elton John 60 Concert. The options available are LPCM 5.1 and LPCM Stereo. A set of six phono connections or HDMI 1.3 is needed, otherwise all you will get is stereo! Maybe it's possible to convert LPCM to bitstream through optical/coaxial, I don't know? Anyway, the LPCM 5.1 sound is so clean, it feels like you are there! If you like Elton John, then it's 198 minutes of sight and sound heaven! It's a shame there wasn't a DD 5.1 or DTS 5.1 option surround for those without six phonos / HDMI. Perhaps all the BD-50 GB capacity was taken up by the breathtaking sound and picture, so there wasn't enough room for another soundtrack? The level of detail resolved in the video, is almost spine chilling. Elton has gone for very colourful set and this has been captured in all it's glory!
 

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