MAXMADE Portable Blu-ray Disc/DVD Player (BDP-M1061) Review
There I was shopping at my favorite electronics store, only to notice a section for Blu-rays selling for $5 or less. I couldn't be happier, as I remember the time the format was advertised—a Blu-ray movie costed between $30 to $40 and a Blu-ray player was priced at $999. It sure pays to be patient, but because of the mobile world we've adapted to, I was hoping for a portable Blu-ray player. I'll be darned....
I didn't think it was possible to produce a portable Blu-ray player, but then again, HD video plays fine on smart devices like cell phones and tablets. Yeah, I know, impossible can be possible, but my face lit up when I found this. There are other third-party brands, and one from Sony and Sylvania, but price-wise and ratings-wise, I went with this brand Maxmade (Azend). After purchasing this—even purchased another for my sister as a Christmas present—let's just say that I've finally caught up with the times. (As you can tell, I still watch and review content on VHS, DVD and HD-DVD.)
The contents are packaged well with nothing damaged during transit. The items in the box are as follows: Blu-ray player, remote control, AC adapter, earphones, car adapter and composite cables and carrying case. Perhaps the bizarre thing about this whole ordeal is the fact that they packaged composite cables and not component cables; Worse, they didn't include an HDMI cable! This may disappoint some consumers hoping to expand the option to output their Blu-ray player into the TV. Mobility is key for me, so it wasn't much of a factor, personally. It includes a manual/instruction booklet to help you navigate and familiarize yourself with the player.
Upon folding up your new Blu-ray player, the left side of the unit is where the AC adapter IN and ON-OFF switch are; The right side features a headphone jack, AV IN and AV OUT plugs, HDMI out, SD card slot and a USB port. Since this takes AV IN, you can use the unit as its own viewing screen and watch from any device, via composite, and plug into the AV IN to view your content using the 10" screen. The SD card slot enables you to watch video and view photos loaded in an SD card, and the USB port is for any firmware/software updates for the device. As you can see, it's a highly versatile device with a chunk of options. Oh, and the back of the unit (not pictured) is a LAN Ethernet plug, allowing the device to go online. I know of no online capabilities except firmware updating and the browsing of titles that are compatible with streaming on this device. Personally, I haven't tested that so that feature is available to those wanting to try out. However, I believe most of us are here for one reason: playing Blu-rays/DVDs.
Loading a Blu-ray disc is self-explanatory. The load time AFTER you close the lid varies, depending on the contents of the Blu-ray. From our experience/test, we haven't seen a Blu-ray take longer than 10-12 seconds to load; Loading and playing DVDs yielded a much faster time at about 7-8 seconds. (If your Blu-ray/DVD takes longer than the specified load time we've listed, the discs may be dirty, scratched up or mishandled upon loading onto the disc tray.) Covering the playback, it is smooth as silk and the picture quality is amazing reminding us why high definition video still looks gorgeous to our eyes. For DVDs, and for those who already have built their DVD collection, you're in luck: The standard definition quality of DVDs are automatically upscaled. Granted, yes, it's not as sharp as HD for obvious reasons, but the output on screen showcases a higher quality than normal. I have a DVD copy of the famous movie The Social Network, and watching it on this device made me forget that the movie I loaded was a DVD, and not a Blu-ray. That should tell you how good the quality is playing regular DVDs, so you should sit comfortably watching your favorites on this device.
The moment some of us waited for: Region coded Blu-rays/DVDs. We have not tested Region B & C Blu-rays as we do not own them, but we do have some foreign movies released in Region A, and those work fine as usual. For DVDs, Region 1 works perfectly but it doesn't work with Region codes 2-8. We have a military-based movie from Germany that's a Region 4, with English subtitles, and the player doesn't playback the DVD due to its region lock. This won't make foreign movie fans happy, but the strange thing is the device can playback a disc in PAL resolution. Overall, it sounds like a device that didn't know whether to integrate features that can play both NTSC and PAL discs, let alone a region-free player, or play Blu-rays/DVDs with selected region codes. (Then again, there'll always be that someone who develops a patch or a hack that will enable the device to play discs of all regions. I couldn't find of any, but maybe someone out there will come up, or has come up, with a way to do so.)
For the audio, this device has two speakers thus outputting stereo (headphones as well). If a Blu-ray/DVD only has Surround 5.1, the player will mash those tracks up in order to playback in stereo. However, again, depending on the Blu-ray and DVD, the unit doing this may make the audio sound a little echo-y or may not play specific tracks required for the movie, like sound effects. I've played some discs with the Surround sound 5.1 feature but had no problem with playback, nor did I experience any missing tracks on the disc that I wasn't able to hear on the disc. The audio itself is crisp and clean, again, depending on the official finalized output of the source on disc. Other than that, I found no problems with the audio, nor did I find anything wonky via the headphone jack, on this player. All in all, audio-wise, everything should sound and play excellently.
The player's battery life is so-so, but holds charge just fine. While it takes about 1½ to 2 hours for a complete charge, I found the Blu-ray player can handle one full usage for approximately 3 hours. Remember, this isn't a cell phone, tablet nor is it a laptop computer; This is a portable Blu-ray player that plays Blu-ray and DVD discs. With that said, I'd say 3 hours should suffice unless you're looking to binge an entire Blu-ray or DVD set. In that case, I'd recommend plugging the player to an electrical outlet via AC adapter, or just make yourself comfortable, use a dedicated Blu-ray player and watch on your big screen TV.
Despite the imperfections, this player holds itself up against the top-name brands which are priced much higher than this. Reviewers reported on defective units, players not playing back discs and units that stopped working after a few uses. While, yes, this is a brand item produced and manufactured directly from China, know that the build quality of the unit is very fragile and can break if you add weight on top of it, or, worse, placing your cold drink on top of the player while the device is playing back a disc. Unless you received a damaged unit from the retailer/seller, TAKE BETTER CARE OF YOUR DEVICES. I say the same for video gamers who own, say, an XBox One, then complain why it stops working after placing their cold beer on top of the unit or tossing the console away after using the device. Not all electronics are as durable as tablets and cell phones, so there's no excuse for folks not taking care of their prized purchases.
It's not a portable Blu-ray player that will satisfy everyone, given its missing pieces that would complete the entire package, but it's enough to make the budget-friendly movie/series fan cozy up every night with entertainment portable enough to travel with.
(NOTE: We may not be open to answer everyone's concerns and complaints about electronics like these, but if you have any questions or need some help, you are welcome to contact us!)