capsule review

Memorex MVBD2510 Blu-ray Disc Player

At a Glance
  • Memorex MVBD-2510

    TechHive Rating

    Has a disappointing design and offers unexceptional images, but at least the price is right.

At an estimated street price of $175 (as of 2/18/09), the Memorex MVBD2510 is the least expensive Blu-ray player we've seen thus far. But a poorly designed remote, uncommunicative menus, and acceptable but unexceptional image quality are the prices you pay for saving money.

Like the Insignia NS-2BRDVD, another model we tested for our latest Blu-ray players roundup, the Memorex did a better job displaying images from Blu-ray discs than from standard-definition DVDs; the Memorex actually outperformed the Insignia on standard-def DVD. But its results with Blu-ray Discs were more mixed than the Insignia's.

The MVBD2510 got its best scores on our test scenes from the Blu-ray discs of The Phantom of the Opera and Good Night and Good Luck. I noted that the Good Night scene looked pleasing, while another judge said that the image had better contrast on this machine than on the Sony PlayStation 3 we used as a reference player, but not as much sharpness. I also liked how the Memorex handled the colors in the animated feature Cars.

Overall, however, to me the images were often so bright that I almost wanted to put on sunglasses. I found our test scenes from The Searchers disappointingly rendered, while another judge complained of less detail and "three-dimensionality" compared with images on the PlayStation 3.

The remote's flat shape looks cool--in use it's anything but. The tiny buttons are all poorly placed, with some important ones (Popup Menu, for instance) far from the midpoint, where your thumb is most likely to rest. Buttons like Play and Pause are identified by spelled-out names (in a small font), rather than by the common symbols everyone is used to seeing. Like the Insignia NS-2BRDVD, the Memorex remote has a Resolution button for quickly changing the player's output resolution, but in this case it doesn't work if you're playing a disc.

The on-screen setup menu is attractive, but the icons and text are small, and not all that readable; it doesn't explain much about the menu operations, either. Luckily, the printed instructions, in the form of a quick-setup guide and a 40-page manual, are exceptionally well designed and thorough.

The menu is sluggish, too, with a noticeable lag between command and response--strange, considering that the unit was otherwise reasonably fast in responding to remote control commands while playing a movie.

The MVBD2510 has a USB port conveniently located in the front, behind a tiny, sliding door; you can use it for enjoying photos and music. I noted some strange artifacting on the photos I tried, however.

The player has no BD-Live support. It can, however, decode Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD High Resolution sound tracks.

You expect a no-frills player for $175, and that's what you get with the Memorex MVBD2510. You'll need to spend more money if you want better image quality or a more full-featured player.

This story, "Memorex MVBD2510 Blu-ray Disc Player" was originally published by PCWorld.

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At a Glance
  • TechHive Rating

    Has a disappointing design and offers unexceptional images, but at least the price is right.

    Pros

    • Plays photos and music via USB
    • Well-made documentation

    Cons

    • Lacks on-board decoding of high-def audio formats
    • Poorly designed remote
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