By James Wells

MELBOURNE: Sharp Corporation of Australia announced today that it will enter the local Blu-ray player market in August with a model featuring a piano-black finish to complement its new range of Aquos high definition LCD televisions.

According to Sharp Corporation associate director, Joe Costantino, the new model will offer specifications that rival the other Blu-ray players in the market.

"It will offer 7.1 surround sound and HMDI 1.3 and will feature specifications that meet the market. We are expecting production in July and product to arrive by August," Costantino said.

"The Blu-ray player will complement our Aquos televisions that have been selling far beyond our expectations. We had a milestone month in March which we expect will be reflected in the April GfK data.

"The feedback we have received here at the Harvey Normn expo is that our styling is among the best in the market. Our 32-inch, 42-inch and 52-inch are among the best selling in the range, but it has been our 37-inch model that has exceeded our forecasts. Anyone that says the 37-inch size is dead, it isn’t."