Memorex MVBD2510 Blu-ray Player Review


Memorex MVBD2510 Blu-ray Player

Memorex MVBD2510 Blu-ray Player

MSRP $269 , Street Price $169.99 from Target


  • First-class packaging and presentation- does not come across as a cheap product at all
  • Solid build quality and attractive design.  With the high quality packaging, it makes for a gift with a lot of appeal
  • Excellent image quality from Blu-ray Discs, good DVD upscaling performance
  • Internal decoding for Dolby TrueHD means this player provides almost 100% support of the lossless audio formats used by Blu-ray
  • Multichannel analog audio outputs make this a great match for older receivers
  • Excellent value and a perfect match for those on a budget, especially those who do not have an HDMI receiver


  • Remote could be designed better- some buttons are in awkward places
  • No speed demon, just average load times with Blu-ray Discs
  • Response to remote control skip and pause commands commands lags a little compared to other recent players.  Menu navigation is quick, however, even during playback
  • No support for BD-Live Internet features or DTS-HD Master Audio (but you should not expect them for the price!)
  • Trouble with playback with the For Your Eyes Only Blu-ray Disc from 20th Century Fox, a title known to be troublesome with most other players.  All other titles (including other James Bond movies from Fox) played fine.  A firmware update to fix the problem is said to be on the way.

Review update posted 7/30/09: Memorex has posted a firmware update that fixes compatability issues with certain discs.  Installing it should be considered a most!  You can download it along with installation instructions on Memorex’s site.

Memorex firmware update 7/30/09

The Memorex MVBD2510 Blu-ray player made headlines recently when offered it for under $150 delivered during on a one-day-only sale. quickly followed suit and the player has been available from Target for $169.99 ever since.  A few weeks ago I wrote a newspaper column recommending this player based on its price and feature set, having faith that the Blu-ray format has come along enough that we no longer have to worry about players with widespread incompatibility problems and glitches, as we saw in the early days of the format.  I requested a test player about the same time I wrote the column and Memorex’s PR firm soon sent a box containing a new Memorex MVBD2510 Blu-ray player.  I’ve spent the past week putting it through its paces and am pleased to report it seems to be a solid player and a good buy, though future support is unproven as Memorex is a new player in the Blu-ray arena.

Player Capabilities

The MVBD2510 is a Profile 1.1 Bonus View Blu-ray player.  It can:

  • Play Blu-ray Disc movies in high definition through its component outputs (up to 1080i resolution) or HDMI output (up to 1080p resolution)
  • Play picture-in-picture Bonus View content contained on Blu-ray Discs
  • Upscale DVDs for better image quality on HDTVs
  • Decode Dolby TrueHD lossless audio tracks
  • Decode DTS-HD High Resolution audio, a very high quality audio format that is not lossless
  • Play Uncompressed PCM lossless audio tracks (strictly speaking it is not decoded)
  • Decode Dolby Digital and DTS surround sound
  • Transmit decoded audio through its multichannel analog outputs, allowing those with older, non-HDMI receivers to enjoy high quality sound from Blu-ray
  • Bitstream Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio over HDMI to a receiver for decoding
  • Play videos, music, and digital pictures from a flash drive connected to its USB port
  • Wide disc compatibility: BD-ROM, DVD-ROM, DVD, DVD-R/-RW, DVD+R/+RW, DVD-R DL, DVD+R DL, CD-ROM, CD, CD-R/-R.  (Given Memorex sells a lot of recordable media, it is nice to see them put their money where their mouth is, here!)

The MVBD2510 cannot:

  • Decode DTS-HD Master Audio
  • Access BD-Live Internet content

As you can see, the MVBD2510 does not ask you to give up very much given its price, and its capabilities are unmatched at anywhere near its price point.  Most users will not be interested in connecting their players to the Internet anyway and DTS-HD High Resolution is found on every disc with DTS-HD Master Audio, so you will get fantastic sound quality with every disc you put in the player, Master Audio decoding or not.

Unpacking the Unit

Memorex has provided a first-class experience here from the moment you open the box.  Surprising how a budget brand can do this, when bigger, better known manufacturers chintz out.  Like Avis, I guess Memorex just has to try harder!  If you are giving this as a gift, it is sure to make a very good impression on the recipient.  Lots of style points here.


Opening the box continues the good impression.  Documents are in a folding cardboard pouch, seen in the center here.


 Player out of the box, with documents, remote and cables.  No HDMI cable is supplied, so get one for under $5.00 from


 Owner’s manual and other supplied documents.


 This 3-step setup guide was well illustrated and easy to understand, making it clearly the best of the included documents.


Player and remote.  There’s a brushed gunmetal blue metal trim piece across the front, a nice touch.


Remote control.  Commonly used playback buttons are placed a little differently than other players I have seen.


A USB port is hidden under a cover on the right side of the player.  It is used for playback of videos, music and digital photographs contained on a USB drive.


HDMI and component video outputs, digital audio outputs and stereo analog audio outputs.


 Startup screen.

Multichannel Analog Outputs and Blu-ray’s High Definition Audio Formats

Blu-ray offers high definition sound quality that can match the studio’s original master tapes, but it is not as simple as just plugging your player into your old receiver with a coaxial or optical digital connection.  Most consumers do not yet have an HDMI receiver with high-def audio decoding, and many of these people with older, but functional receivers do not have any interest in replacing them before their time.  If your surround sound receiver has multichannel analog inputs (most do) then you can get a player that decodes the high-def audio internally and sends the signal from analog outputs- just like the Memorex.


 The multichannel analog outputs are what set this player apart from any others selling for close to the price.


Use ordinary RCA cables to connect the multichannel outputs to your receiver’s multichannel analog inputs (shown above.)  Get high-definition sound from Blu-ray without buying a new HDMI receiver!


Speaker setup menu

When you use the multichannel analog outputs you must go into the audio setup menu to configure your speakers.  The Memorex has a more basic setup screen than most other surround sound devices and is easy to work with.

The two most prominent players on the market that decode audio internally and transmit it through multichannel analog outputs are the Panasonic DMP-BD55K and Sony BDP-S550.  They support BD-Live Internet content and DTS-HD Master Audio, so they are even more capable than the Memorex – for a price.  Both players have a suggested retail price of $399, far more than the current going rate for the MVBD2510.  Online prices for both are around $330 at the moment, so they cost about double.


 HDMI audio setup menu

HDMI audio settings are made under the Digital Output section of the audio setup menu.  If you are using the internal decoders, set it to PCM.  If you are transmitting the audio to a receiver for decoding, select Bitstream.

Loading times and BD-Java


“BD-J” shows on the display when a disc with BD-Java is loading.

Many Blu-ray discs incorporate BD-Java, also known as BD-J.  BD-J allows content creators to create advanced interactive menus as well as games and many other multimedia, interactive features.  Discs with heavy BD-J code can take a long time to load, not load at all or even crash the player, requiring a reboot.  When disc playback problems occur a firmware update, issued by the player manufacturer,  is needed to correct the problem.  More on this below.


I was excited to see this screen come up (a successful load) when I tried to play Dr. No from Fox/MGM.  I had trouble with For Your Eyes Only, another known problem title that has choked many other players.

Most discs loaded in 60-90 seconds.  The longest loading time I experienced was with Dr. No, the original James Bond film from Fox/MGM.  It took a little under 3 minutes to load, which is typical for most players with this title. I was pleased that it loaded at all as most of the James Bond titles have proven to be problematic, choking many of the players out there.  For Your Eyes Only, another James Bond Fox/MGM title, would not load.  This disc is known to be the most problematic one of the James Bond set and I used it as my acid test as  few Blu-ray players have been able to load them successfully out-of-the-box. 20th Century Fox really pushed the envelope when they made them and as a result firmware updates were needed by many other Blu-ray players in order to play them.

I encountered two Blu-ray Disc loading errors that did not repeat themselves.  The first time I tried to play Band of Brothers from HBO/Warner Bros. or Sleeping Beauty from Disney the player did not load them properly.  I took out the discs, wiped them off with a cloth (though they did not appear smudged) and put them back in the player.  Both loaded perfectly the second time around and I did not encounter any other loading errors with any other discs.  I don’t know why they did not load right the first time, but similar experiences have been reported with other players and discs so I did not pay it much mind.

If a disc does not load, unplug the player, plug it back in and turn it on while holding the eject button.  Hold it down until the disc ejects. It may take a minute or two but it is the only way to get a disc out if it will not load.

Firmware updates and manufacturer support- what do they mean to you?


Setup menu with firmware update, a good sign for future player support.

This brings us to the subject of firmware updates.  High definition disc players are in essence very high-powered computers and as such many of them need updated from time to time. For example, when the James Bond Blu-rays came out a lot of players could not load them and manufacturers rushed to issue updates.  Once the updates were installed the movies played fine.  It is likely that over time the need for updates will fall away as hardware manufacturers and movie studios settle in with the format, but for now you should expect to do an update once in a while.  It’s an easy process.

To update firmware, the user usually goes to the manufacturer’s website, downloads a file, burns it on a CD, and places the disc in the player.  “Update Firmware” is chosen in the setup menu and the player does the rest.  Some manufacturers will mail you a disc free of charge if you register the player on their website.

Sony’s PlayStation 3 downloads firmware updates wirelessly and automatically, one reason it is considered the best Blu-ray player out there.  Players with Ethernet connections can update via the web as well.  Some players, such as the Funai-manufactured Insignia NS-BRDVD, Magnavox, and Sylvania players, have managed to get along without any firmware updates at all so one has not been issued yet.

Memorex uses a CD system for firmware updates, and an update that fixes the problem with For Your Eyes Only has been promised.  I’ll be sure to post news of it once it has been released.

Blu-ray playback

So once a disc is loaded and the movie is playing, how does the Memorex MVBD2510 perform?  It performs like… a good Blu-ray player.  Picture and sound quality are stunning, Bonus View PiP functions worked properly, no drama. The remote control was a little awkward until I got used to the button placement.  When I hit the “skip” or “pause” commands there was a bit of lag (again, typical for many players) but navigation of the pop-up meus was swift and sure.  In short, this player does exactly what it is supposed to do and does it well.

DVD playback

The satisfying DVD upscaling performance was a pleasant surprise.  Most Blu-ray players, even some of the more expensive models, are, frankly, horrible performers with DVDs.  Sometimes I wonder if this is by design since the manufacturers in the Blu-ray Disc Association would prefer you buy Blu-ray Discs instead of DVDs.  The Memorex put up a nice image with natural colors and contrast, looking just a bit soft compared to the best upscalers.  It does well enough with DVDs that you won’t be aching for a second player to make your DVDs look better.

A single glitch was encountered playing DVDs.  When I played Demolition Man (an older title from Warner Bros) when the movie started the subtitles were on and the director’s commentary audio track was selected.   Two clicks on the remote removed the subtitles and changed it to the main soundtrack.

USB playback


USB flash drive inserted into player for photo playback.

I experimented briefly with the USB function, but only with photographs.  I will try music and movies in the future and report on my findings.


Menu screen for USB drive.  Nicely done!


Photo submenu.


Image displayed from USB through the MVBD2510.  Note jagged line artifacts along the top of the player in this crop.

For a test image I dragged a high resolution stock image of the MVBD2510 onto a flash drive.   There were jagged line artifacts evident, perhaps because I did not resize the images.  I should note here that I have taken 14.6 megapixel images with my Pentax K20D digital SLR and placed the memory card in the Insignia player and it has always played back perfectly, so it appears to outperform the Memorex in this regard. With some experimentation and resizing you should be able to get perfect pictures on your screen, but it won’t work right off the memory card.

Conclusion and recommendation

Though it is not perfect, the Memorex MVNBD2510 is a well-made product that does what is it supposed to do… provide an inexpensive way to experience high-def picture and sound from Blu-ray Discs.  The multichannel analog outputs make it a compelling choice for anyone with a modest surround sound system since they will provide support for all of the lossless sound formats save DTS-HD Master Audio.

I do think a Panasonic DMP-BD55K or Sony BDP-S550 are better choices for those who do not mind spending the money for them, as they have 100% lossless audio support, BD-Live support, and have proven to be reliable even with some of the more problematic discs out there.  The Insignia NS-BRDVD selling at Best Buy ($169 at the time of this writing) is a better choice for those who have an HDMI receiver with Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD MA decoding, or those who do not plan on having a sound system at all. Why? The Insignia, along with its Sylvania and Magnavox clones, has proven to be some of the most reliable players on the market and recently garnished top recommendations from Consumer Reports.  They have not needed any firmware updates to date, and I have been testing one for months and it is pretty much set and forget.  If you have an HDMI receiver that decodes high-def audio, or do not plan on using a sound system at all, this is the player I would recommend.  I’d particularly recommend the Insignia since it has the best warranty of the bunch, one year parts and labor. The others are one year parts/ninety days labor.

Where does that put the Memorex MVBD2510?  It’s pretty much in a class of its own, providing an extremely affordable way for anyone to try Blu-ray, especially those who want to experience high definition sound without replacing their receiver.  If you have an older receiver and want to get into Blu-ray inexpensively, your player is here… go get one!  For now this product definitely earns my recommendation, which will become even more enthusiastic once Memorex establishes a track record for firmware updates and support.

UPDATE: Memorex has issued its first firmware update.  Download the firmware and manual below.

PDF Manual- Updating the Firmware of your Memorex MVBD2510 Blu-ray Player

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