VIZIO VBR200W - Blu-ray disc player review:

VIZIO VBR200W - Blu-ray disc player

The rest of the Vizio's connectivity is also standard. Yes, some competing players have two USB ports, but having only one is just a minor inconvenience.

Blu-ray image quality
We didn't know quite what to expect from the Vizio VBR200W in terms of image quality, but it handled itself well, passing a surprising number of test patterns and nearly all of our program material tests. It did stumble on one video-based program material test, which puts it a step behind the best-performing Blu-ray players, but we'd emphasize the difference is minor and for nearly all movies you'll see identical performance from the Vizio VBR200W and competitors. Unless you're a hardnosed videophile, the VBR200's Blu-ray image quality will look very impressive.

All our testing was conducted via HDMI at 1080p/60, with the Samsung PN58B650 display and Oppo BDP-83 and LG BD570 for comparison. For more information on our testing procedure, consult our full guide to how we test Blu-ray players. Home theater enthusiasts can also see more-detailed testing results in our 2010 Blu-ray player comparison chart.

Blu-ray image quality: Test patterns
Film resolution Pass Dynamic range high Pass
Video resolution Pass Dynamic range low Pass
Text overlay on film Pass Luma multiburst Pass
Cadence tests 1/8 Chroma multiburst Pass
Chroma bug test Pass

The Vizio VBR200W passed all of the most important tests, including the Film Resolution test that indicates that it should handle the majority of Blu-ray movies perfectly. The only tests it came up a little short in were the cadence tests, but actual program material with uncommon cadences is so rare that it's not worth considering.

Blu-ray image quality: Program material
"Ghost Rider" Pass "Tony Bennett" Pass
"M:I:III" Pass "NIN Live"; chapter 3 Fail
"Sunshine" Pass "NIN Live"; chapter 4 Pass

The VBR200W did so well with test patterns that we were surprised to see it stumble on one of our program material tests. We did see some significant jaggies on the video-based "Nine Inch Nails: Live" at the 8:10 mark, in the strings of Trent Reznor's guitar and when we looked at the same disc on the Oppo BDP-83, the jaggies weren't there. However, the Vizio did pass with all of the more common film-based movies, and the video-based "Tony Bennett: American Classic," which indicates it won't struggle with all video-based titles. Overall, we'd say the VBR200W's image quality is very good, but die-hard videophiles can find nits to pick if they look hard enough.

Blu-ray operational speed (in seconds)
"M:I:III" | player on 21.70 "POTC" | until movie 85.11
"M:I:III" | player off | quick start n/a "Spider-Man 3" | until movie 72.22
"M:I:III" | player off | no quick start 28.50 "Sunshine" | chapter skip 15.95
"POTC" | past loading 35.35 CNET speed rating (composite score) 74

CNET speed rating (composite score)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
PS3 Slim
Vizio VBR200W
LG BD570

The Vizio VBR200W is the slowest standalone Blu-ray player we've tested this year, although it's still a good deal faster than the PS3 Slim. It was consistently slower than other players in pretty much all of our speed tests, including both movies with simple and complex menus. Still, the differences in load times between players are rarely more than 20 seconds, so those with a little patience will be fine with the VBR200W. It is worth pointing out that after the disc loads, the VBR200W "feels" a little faster than its 74 speed rating indicates, and it certainly navigates menus faster than the Panasonic DMP-BD85K, for example.

In addition to the sluggish load times, our overall experience with the VBR200W made us feel that the hardware was a little less stable than competing players. Once when loading "Sunshine," the VBR200W took an abnormally long time to load the disc and when the image finally came up, it was half-garbled. Adding to the feeling of instability is the loudness of the VBR200W's disc drive, as you can often hear the player struggling to read the disc--it's significantly louder than other players we've tested. That being said, the hiccups and noise weren't deal breakers for us, and we expect many people would accept them as acceptable trad-eoffs for the lower price tag.

DVD performance

DVD image quality: Test patterns and program material
Film resolution Pass "Seabiscuit" Pass
Video resolution Fail "Star Trek: Insurrection" Pass
Text overlay on film Fail "Invite Them Up" Pass
Cadence tests 2/8

The Vizio did a better-than-expected job on our DVD test patterns and program material tests. The only major slip-up came on part of the video resolution test, which it did fail particularly badly, with several jaggylike artifacts appearing intermittently on the test pattern. That being said, our video-based "Invite Them Up" program material was handled with ease by the VBR200W. Subjectively, we'd say the VBR200W's upconversion looked about average; it won't suit image quality enthusiasts, but it should be good enough for most people.

Streaming video image quality

Streaming video image quality
Netflix Good

As with most devices, we saw no major image quality issues with Netflix streaming on the Vizio VBR200W. That gives the VBR200W an edge over the Sony BDP-S570, which suffers from some streaming image quality issues.

Image quality was up to par, but we did notice that its Wi-Fi performance overall was mediocre. It took us forever to load up Netflix movies and even just accessing network-enabled sections felt sluggish. We conduct our Blu-ray player reviews in the same test environment and haven't had any network issues with other Wi-Fi enabled Blu-ray players. When we switched over to a wired Ethernet connection, we didn't run into the same issues.

Power consumption

Power consumption
Standby | quick start off 0.55 W Standby | quick start on n/a
Power on | watching movie 20.50 W Power on | idling 19.15 W
Annual cost; quick start off $1.78 Annual cost; quick start on n/a

Unlike some other Blu-ray players, the VBR200W lacks a quick start mode and therefore uses very little power in standby mode. In comparison, the Sony BDP-S570 has an annual cost of $7.35 with its quick start feature enabled. The downside with the VBR200W is that you don't have the option of faster load times if you're willing to pay the extra cost.

What you'll pay

    Visit manufacturer site for details.

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