Sharp AN-PR11500H review

Home cinema made easy? That's the appeal of Sharp's slick AV stand

Sharp AN-PR11500H
Besides the DVD player, the Sharp AN-PR11500H also conceals a USB port for accessing picture, sound and video files

TechRadar Verdict

A good idea, and simple enough to set up, but the sonics just aren't right with this system


  • +

    Clever way of hiding big speakers

  • +

    Room-filling bass

  • +

    Clear dialogue channel


  • -

    Unconvincing surround sound

  • -

    Bulky design

  • -

    No HDMI input

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Sharp has come up with another sneaky way of smuggling a complete home cinema system into the living room; build a TV stand with a DVD player, multichannel amplifier and surround speakers inside.

The electronics of the Sharp AN-PR11500H fits flush with the front of the stand, so you just see the slot and display, flanked by the two driver arrays.

The concept is smart, because most people still tend to use TV stands rather than wall-mounting
– and where better to locate your kit than right underneath the screen?

Sturdy build

A short run of HDMI cable (included) is all that's required to get going, and the hefty structure provides the perfect place to conceal two subwoofers. And you are still left with enough shelf space to put your set-top box and games console.

It's a pity the stand itself is a rather clumsy, angular design (it looks like it belongs in a pub) because it feels very sturdy and well put together. The two subwoofers are on hinges attached to the tabletop, so while it seems like a hellish self-assembly job from the box, you don't actually need a screwdriver at all. It's simply a case of unfolding the legs and popping the shelves in place.

The MDF panelling is painted black, as are the grills for the speakers. The electronics and glass surfaces are all glossy black, too, so the whole thing sort of disappears in dark room. The long and narrow shape will suit any screen size up to around 60in very comfortably.

Dodgy picture quality

Besides the DVD player, the Sharp table system also conceals a USB port for accessing picture, sound and video files and digital audio inputs at the rear for connecting whatever components you put on the shelf.

Surprisingly, given all the spare room inside the stand, there's no accommodation for an iPod, but you do get two mic inputs for karaoke.

DVD picture quality is slightly grainy and the upscaling here only goes up to 1080i, which isn't such
an issue as few rival systems do a particularly good job of boosting the picture up to 1080p, anyway.

The onscreen graphics aren't as slick as the rival players, though, and the low-budget remote control is
crowded with buttons. Amazingly, there's even a shift button to double-up functions.

Limited speakers

At least setting up the sound is a no-brainer, with all the speakers already accommodated and ready to go.

Being built into a big, heavy cabinet is an added advantage too, reinforcing the bass from the twin subwoofers and the four front-firing drive units. The result is satisfyingly full and resonant with a reasonable amount of treble detail and plenty of room-filling bass.

The trouble is, it doesn't project well and speakers sound best when the tweeters are on ear level. So unless you're lying on the floor, you're not in the sweet spot. In short, this solution is a nice idea, but it's flawed by poor design and limiting speakers.

Jim Hill

Jim is a seasoned expert when it comes to testing tech. From playing a prototype PlayStation One to meeting a man called Steve about a new kind of phone in 2007, he’s always hunting the next big thing at the bleeding edge of the electronics industry. After editing the tech section of Wired UK magazine, he is currently specialising in IT and voyaging in his VW camper van.