Blu-ray Players

Vizio VBR231 Blu-ray Player with Wireless Internet Apps

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In Use

Once the Vizio was up and running in my system, I went ahead and began my testing with Netflix. The Vizio implementation of Netflix allows for 2.0 audio and HD image support, but it does not allow you to search for titles. It uses the common Instant Queue and Category Browse navigation that most players have used for the past couple of years and we are familiar with. Once I started to watch my usual test clip (The Iron Giant) there was a good amount of stuttering and flickering over horizontal pans. Detail was good and I didn’t notice any noise beyond what is usual for Netflix, but it would perform better with dramas than with action films with this issue. Watching an episode of Arrested Development, the HD image was nice and detailed for streaming, and I didn’t notice the motion stuttering that I do in The Iron Giant.

Vizio also included support for Vudu, which isn’t as popular as Netflix but offers superior image and audio quality. Browsing the trailers that they had available in HDX, the 1080p image with Dolby Digital Plus audio looked and sounded better than anything from Netflix, but you also need to have a higher quality Internet connection to watch without a lot of buffering. I found performance over wired Ethernet was good, but over wireless I ran into more buffering issues, though this has been true of all wireless players I have found. If you like to use Vudu for high quality streaming films, then the Vizio will make a nice player for it.

Vizio VBR231 Home Theater Blu-ray player

Moving onto Blu-ray content, I watched the recent release of the classic Fiddler on the Roof. It’s certainly not a film you will be dragging out to show off how amazing your home theater is, as they purposely went for a diffused look to the image, but it did win the Oscar for Cinematography in 1971. The image here came across well, with the Vizio outputting 1080p24 and the warm, rich colors of the Technicolor process coming across. It also sent over the new 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack to my processor perfectly in bitstream or PCM formats. Compared to players from Oppo or Sony, the Vizio was a bit slow to load, though still much faster than players from a couple years ago.