Vizio VBR200W Blu-ray Player Reviewed
Vizio may be best known for its wallet-friendly HDTVs, but did you know that the company also offers an ever-growing assortment of peripherals to accompany said TVs–from cables to wall-mounts to sound bars to Blu-ray players. The VBR200W ($199.99) is the newest addition to Vizio’s Blu-ray lineup. We have not performed a hands-on review of the VBR200W, but here is an overview of its features. This Profile 2.0 player supports BD-Live Web functionality and BonusView/picture-in-picture playback, and it offers both onboard decoding and bitstream output of Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio. The VBR200W features built-in 802.11n for a wireless network connection, and the player supports the new Vizio Internet Apps platform, which includes access to Netflix and VUDU video-on-demand, Pandora, Flickr, Twitter and more.
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In terms of video connections, the VBR200W offers HDMI, component video and composite video outputs (no S-video). This player supports both 1080p/60 and 1080p/24 output resolutions via HDMI. The VBR200W does not offer any advanced picture adjustments, like noise reduction, preset picture modes, etc. Audio outputs include HDMI, optical and coaxial digital, and 2-channel analog. The VBR200W has onboard Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio decoding, and it also passes these high-resolution audio formats in their native bitstream form over HDMI, for your A/V receiver to decode. The player lacks multichannel analog audio outputs, so the only way to pass decoded high-resolution audio formats is via HDMI.
The VBR200W supports playback of BD, DVD, CD audio, AVCHD, JPEG, and MP3. You can add the player to your home network using either the back-panel Ethernet port or the internal 802.11n wireless module. The VBR200W lacks internal memory to store BD-Live content; a back-panel USB port is provided for this purpose. The USB port also supports music and photo playback. The player lacks advanced control ports, such as RS-232 or IR.
• The VBR200W supports 1080p/24 playback of Blu-ray discs.
• The player has internal high-resolution audio decoding and can pass these formats in bitstream form over HDMI.
• It supports BD-Live Web content and can play picture-in-picture bonus content.
• You can wirelessly connect the VBR200W to your network.
• This player supports access to Netflix, VUDU, Pandora and more.
• The VBR200W lacks multichannel analog audio outputs, so it’s not the best choice for someone who owns an older, non-HDMI A/V receiver.
• This player lacks onboard memory to store downloadable BD-Live content.
• You can’t stream digital media from a PC or DLNA server.
• Vizio Internet Apps currently does not include YouTube access.
• The VBR200W lacks an advanced control port like RS-232.
• This player is not 3D-capable.
The addition of Vizio Internet Apps makes the VBR200W much more competitive with Blu-ray players from manufacturers like Sony, Samsung, Panasonic and LG. In terms of price, Vizio doesn’t have quite the edge here that you see in the HDTV realm: the VBR200W’s $199.99 MSRP is a good value, but this player is not significantly less expensive than similarly equipped models from those other guys. It is one of the least expensive models to offer a built-in wireless network connection; so, if running an Ethernet cable to your A/V rack is simply out of the question, you might want give the VBR200W a closer look.