Though we don't yet know of a UK release date for Sharp's Blu-ray recorders, at least the company has finally managed to bring a player to our shores. Priced to rival Sony's BDP-S300 at £399, some smart design and a good feature set ought to make the Sharp BD-HP20H a decent alternative.
Importantly, the player is compatible with the new (-ish) Blu-ray Java standards, so any future discs featuring interactive aspects should work fine - which can't be said of many older players. Full 1080p playback at 60 and 24 fps is supported too, with DVD up-scaling also on hand. Output is via an HDMI 1.3 port and 5.1 channel Dolby TrueHD and DTS HD audio make it into the mix.
The HP20H also has a 'Quick Start' function, which Sharp claims will reduce the long start-up times many players suffer from. All told it's not a bad feature set for the price, although compared to a similar spec HD DVD player you are still paying more. If you want to get your hands on one they should be available from next week, which will be a blow to Sony as its devices aren't expected out for a while longer yet.