Another key factor in this solid performance is the strength and purity of colours, which makes the Monsters Inc.'s dazzling palette look suitably vibrant. Expansive contrast and solid blacks give it a reasonably filmic quality.
However, the Sharp doesn't handle live action material with the same level of assuredness. We loaded up Children of Men and the images seem fairly noisy, while the opening shots of I Am Legend lack the emphatic precision that you get from some other players.
It does fairly well with the Silicon Optix HQV disc, removing nearly all traces of jaggies from the edges of rotating bars during the diagonal filter test, but the corner boxes on the Film Resolution loss test pattern exhibits significant strobing and there are obvious moire artefacts during the camera pan across Raymond James stadium.
The Sharp's DVD upscaling capabilities are good rather than great, displaying our test discs with reasonable punch and vibrancy. And provided your sound system is up to scratch, you can get some excellent film sound quality out of this player, particularly when playing Dolby TrueHD or DTS Master Audio tracks. Although it's not the most musical or insightful CD player we've ever heard, it's fine for casual listening.
Many people will inevitably be sucked in by the Sharp's rock-bottom price tag, but we'd advise caution before fishing out the credit card. Even at this low price you should expect basics like MP3 or DivX playback, perhaps even a USB port that can read typical multimedia formats, but the BD-HP22H lacks all of these things. And even if that doesn't bother you, you can get better performance and faster disc loading from similarly priced players like the Sony BDP-S360 or the LG BD300 - although to be fair the Sharp's pictures are still impressive.