This weekend my mother decided to replace her old Blu-ray player (can you even call Blu-ray players old at this point?) because something has broken and was causing the red laser discs to not read. Being that the machine was old enough to be clear of warranty we went down to WalMart to see what was available.
WalMart's selection of Blu-ray players was quite limited while we were there. Choices were an LG, Samsung or Vizio. All seemed about the same except the Vizio sported a little icon neither of the other two had, wireless (802.11 n).
We decided Vizio was the right piece to purchase so we headed off home to get things set.
The entire OS seems to be Java based, and for the most part flowed well enough you weren't hindered by the interface. The virtual keyboard on the other hand could use some UI love, but it was decent.
It took only a few minutes to get the old Blu-ray player out and the new Vizio in. It only took another 2 minutes to get the whole thing online. A simply wizard walks you through finding your network and in our case authorizing the device with the wifi key.
After getting the device online we were able to instantly stream some Pandora radio, and I must say the quality is most impressive. The sound was crisp and clear.
We putzed around with Netflix and Vudu, nothing looked great for streaming right away. We will play with that more in the near future, I am sure of it.
Finally we put in a disc and watched a movie. The first thing about this device that is striking is the lack of tactile buttons, instead they are invisible, sensor buttons with backlighting; which except for opening and closing the drawer really didn't bother me, but it did make the player blend in well with it's surroundings. There is a visible light up (red) Vizio logo when the device is turned off.
The player boasts support for Flickr, Pandora, Netflix, Vudu, Twitter, Facebook and more, through the Vizio Internet Apps.
All-in-all the experience with the player has been a good one, and the price was good at $178 (MSRP $199).