Sharp AQUOS BDHP21X

Sharp's budget AQUOS BDHP21X Blu-ray player has good looks and performs well. However, there are competing entry-level Blu-ray players that offer more bang for your buck.

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Sharp AQUOS BDHP21X
  • Sharp AQUOS BDHP21X
  • Sharp AQUOS BDHP21X
  • Sharp AQUOS BDHP21X

Pros

  • Good Blu-ray movie playing quality, good DVD upscaling, nice design

Cons

  • No Ethernet port for BD-Live

Bottom Line

Although the Sharp AQUOS BDHP21X Blu-ray player provides good image quality and decent DVD upscaling, the lack of an Ethernet port for BD-Live is a shame. Other budget Blu-ray players offer the same level of quality and better features for a lower price.

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Sharp's budget AQUOS BDHP21X Blu-ray player has good looks and performs well. However, there are competing entry-level Blu-ray players that offer more bang for your buck.

The Sharp AQUOS BDHP21X Blu-ray player looks good and offers decent picture quality, but unlike competing entry-level Blu-ray players like the Samsung BD-P1500 and the LG BD300 it doesn't support BD-Live.

The Sharp AQUOS BDHP21X's black-painted aluminium chassis gives the Blu-ray player a solid feel and is stylish enough to fit in with any home theatre system. The more expensive Sharp AQUOS BDHP50X Blu-ray player has a very similar look.

Like the Sharp AQUOS BDHP50X, the AQUOS BDHP21X lacks an Ethernet port and BD-Live support. Firmware updates are done via a USB port on the rear of the Blu-ray player, but don't expect to plug a USB storage device laden with movies and music into this Blu-ray player and have it play — it won't recognise anything except BD data and update files.

Fortunately the image quality produced when playing Blu-ray movies was excellent. Every shot in Pearl Harbour was nicely detailed. Action sequences were smoothly rendered and there was no juddering or jaggedness during the dogfights.

The DVD upscaling was also decent for a relatively cheap Blu-ray player. Although image noise in dark scenes was quite noticeable, there was also a good level of clarity and artefacts were uncommon. The Sharp AQUOS BDHP21X doesn't upscale as well as the Samsung BD-P1500 Blu-ray player, but it is better than the Panasonic DMP-BD35.

The Sharp AQUOS BDHP21X has an HDMI 1.3 port that carries 1080p visuals and 7.1-channel sound as well component out ports. A digital optical out port provides 5.1-channel audio.

The bundled remote control works well and is easy to use. The only issue we had was the narrow angle of the IR beam which means that you must point the remote directly at the Blu-ray player every time you press a button.

It took a fairly lengthy 47.46sec to play a movie, but changing scenes is seamless.

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