Does not support all of the latest features
Last modified on Friday, 19 September 2008 08:25
Blu-ray does seem to be looking for a major attempt at a push this holiday season with the rash of sub US$300 Blu-ray players that are starting to make their appearance in the market space.
The latest of these is the new Memorex MVBD-2510, which will be retailing starting at a US$269 price point. The injection of these new lower cost Blu-ray players should start to attract some attention, but while they are being marketed as a “fully-featured” Blu-ray player, the truth seems to lie somewhere in between.
While the MVBD-2510 does offer Profile 1.1 support, which means that it offers “Bonus View” (Blu-ray’s version of picture-in-picture support), it lacks the ability to handle some of the latest profile 1.2 and 1.3 support; this will be necessary for the unit to take advantage of all of the latest features that are being developed in the latest generation of Blu-ray titles.
The MVBD-2510 supports Dolby TrueHD, Dolby Digital Plus, and DTS-HD High Resolution Audio decoding, as well as Master Audio. The HDMI digital audio output can handle 7.1 with 5.1 for the analog audio outputs. The MVBD-2510 can also do full 1080p at 24 or 60 fps.
While the MVBD-2510 might be the low price leader, Samsung, Panasonic, Sharp, Sylvania, and, of course, Sony are all offering players that are either right at the $300 price point or slightly below it.
However, buyers should beware, as if they want their standalone Blu-ray player to support the latest features they are going to want to make sure that they purchase a Blu-ray player that offers the latest Blu-ray profile support, which is currently at version 1.3. We continue to recommend the Sony PlayStation 3 as the best Blu-ray player of choice due to the fact that Sony has continued to upgrade the profile support to handle the latest standard.
While a Blu-ray player with a lower version of profile support will be able to still play all Blu-ray titles, many of the latest special features and new special features that are being developed will require higher levels of profile support in order for you to take advantage of them on your player.
Many retailers still have older Blu-ray players that don’t offer even close to the latest version of Blu-ray profile support that they are stuck trying to move. Make sure you know what you are getting before your put your money down on one of these older models that might seem like a good deal.