Customer Reviews: Digix BD-500 Blu-Ray Disc Player
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on September 26, 2012
In a weird experimental mood, I was suddenly in the mood to see just how cheap I could go to get a decent blu-ray setup, so I picked one of these up recently, new, at a big box outlet with a used floor-model LG flat panel. The price was so low, I was a bit shocked the setup would work at all. When I got home, I plugged it in using a dollar store HDMI cable, and used another dollar store ethernet cable to connect to streaming. For the few DVDs and Blu-rays I had a chance to test initially, I was amazed this thing actually played fairly well. Streaming over wire and setup weren't an issue, since I sort of run my own home network and host like a dozen domains out of my living room. Picture is the usual blocky style from online streams, but DVDs and Blu-rays I first tested played pretty well.

If that was the end of the story, I would say, go out and buy this immediately, because I was ready to give it 5 stars.

But over the last few weeks, the player is noticeably noisy with discs. Yeah, I guess I noticed it at first too, but was so amazed it could play that I overlooked it. And during the day, a small amount of motor "whirring" isn't a big deal. But watching a movie at night in a bedroom, and the whir is very noticeable.

Next, while this player was great with the first few movies I put in, about 10% of the videos I have don't play well. It's as if the DSS crypto on those isn't supported. And also, I occasionally boot, and the locale comes up in Chinese, then switches to English.

Clearly there are performance and firmware glitches. Not enough for me to pull my hair out, but definitely not something for the wife and kids who could get confused and wonder what's going on. Still a good value. I gave this 4 stars since I still have it in the bedroom and it's still playing videos. Also, Digix infrared remote codes aren't compatible with my cable/satellite dish programmable remote, so I have to keep the player remote handy. That isn't an issue with my big-name brand players. Not a big deal, but something to be aware of.
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on February 14, 2013
I rented a blue ray from RedBox and they said that the blue ray would not play because my Digix needs a firmware update. Then Digix says on their website: "The disc has new Digital Rights Management (DRM) code that prevents our player from playing the disc. Unfortunately, the only way we can update our player to read new DRM code is provided by the chipset manufacturer we use in our player. They no longer provide support for their Blu-Ray chipsets as of 2011." [...] Of course I emailed them and they could do nothing for me. Don't waste your time with this crappy brand.
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on February 15, 2014
I got it for Christmas with my Dad almost apologizing, "it's a cheap blu ray player". I've used it for the last two years, and it's easily the most unreliable piece of electronics I've owned. Sometimes it will just freeze and refuse to turn on, leaving you to unplug it and plug it back in from the wall. You can't do this from the back of the device, so you have to dig around behind your couch or entertainment center to hard reboot it. Sometimes it won't eject discs or makes you wait 60 seconds before finally coughing it up. Blu rays also take forever to load, so pop one in and go someplace else for a while.

All that said, it plays blu rays and I've been using it for about two years now. I'll finally get a nicer one now that I have a 3D projector, since this one doesn't support 3D Blu Ray.
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on June 22, 2015
Time will tell, of course, but out-of-the box I love this Digix BD-500 Blu-Ray Player. It was a gift, so I didn't choose it for myself, but now that I have it I am surprised I did own a Blu-Ray player until now. It immediately made my Samsung flatscreen (purchased in 2007 and working brilliantly) and my sound bar (an iLive Sound Bar from about 4 years ago) look and sound better than any DVD I own. (My main player has been a Zone-Free, 1080 scaling Philips DVD player that I hacked to get rid of the zone restrictions.) I played a very recently issued DVD - A MILLION WAYS TO DIE IN THE WEST (UNRATED) - and I did not get any sort of message saying that the codes were not compatible or anything like that. So the other review that mentions that issue simply baffles me. I will report back from time-to-time and let you know if there is anything that is not quite right with the thing. I can't see why the Digix BD-500 would not be a terrific (low-cost) option for anyone who wants a Blu-Ray player to augment their array of electronics without breaking the bank. I'm just sayin'...
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on May 11, 2013
The Blu-ray player and streaming video worked for about a week. Then the machine started to lock-up when trying to load Netflix. Then the machine would shut down and re-boot all by itself. It would sometimes fail to receive signal then shut down and re-boot. unreliable low-cost player. DONT BUY THIS ONE.
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on December 2, 2012
I haven't had this long enough to know for sure if the drive will keep up and not grind out. I got this at a box store, the one who's name starts with 'F' for $37. For that price it was a gimme.

So far, I've been pretty surprised with the quality. To address other reviews, Netflix is there, however you need to have an account to hook to it. No where on the box does it say that it supports wifi, it needs a network cable tied into either a switch or your router.

The menus are pretty comprehensible for the most part. There are some Menu settings that can confuse you regarding sound and vid down-sampling that aren't explained enough in the manual, however some google-fu (two minutes worth) can explain it all to anyone who cares enough. For the most part, the menu is pretty easy to navigate, surprisingly so. Also, and no small thing, you can hook this thing up with almost any receiver/tv in the world.

One hat tip regarding cables for those who are researching this and for reviewers that need some info. There are many different cables overall, but they fall into two different categories.

Copper wires, like your network cables and audio cables (the ones you run to the speakers or your computer) can start to fray and break if you move them around enough. However, they will carry some of the signal through even if you have whip snapped it a few times. These can have 'slow fades'.

DIGITAL connections will not. These are an up/down vote. HDMI and optical cables either work or they don't. Please do not buy these from Monster or anyone else for a ton of money thinking you will get more fidelity for more bucks. Buy them from Amazon for less than five. It is also not the player's fault if suddenly nothing comes through. If black screen happens start with these cheap parts.

Bottom line... I wouldn't buy this for more than 50 but under that... yup.
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on October 29, 2013
i see some comments stating "for the price ..." this and that. nonsense. it is not cheap and it is an absolute waste of money piece of junk. i tried to rma a remote because it takes a thousand clicks, bending way over forward and pointing it with pin point accuracy at the usb port to get any response from the device. even when it does respond it is the slowest electronic device i have worked with in a very long time. i told customer service if they have no fix or rma replacement i will throw it away and buy another brand and they were cool with that. guess they just want to catch enough people once and then close shop and retire with our wasted purchase money. i bought a great sony product for quite a bit less money, more functionality, super quality and simply a pleasure to use. who knows why people like me have to learn the hard way and buy these fly-by-night brands first before we spend money again to buy something decent. maybe we need paper weights, because that is all digix is good for.
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on September 9, 2013
I have ordered two of these boxes. The first one fooled me because it required a hard router connection and I had see another model (#520) that did not. Assumed that all worked the same way. That one was returned. The second box arrived for another TV and I had decied to go ahead with a wired connection. In this one, the Netflix connection did not work. the answer I got from the tech support was that "it did not work and to send it back for a newer model." The User Guide showed it working for that model. I take the blame for not reading the (vague) technical description regarding the hard-wired aspect, but the inability to link to Netflix clearly is a flaw that should have been defined. The newer model 520 has all of this, so be careful in ordering a cheaper model 500.
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on April 29, 2013

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on July 27, 2014
Thought going the cheaper route would work considering it was a refurbished item but not the case. It prohibited me from almost everything and the only two places I am allowed to get into are settings and DVD. But without a home I couldn't create an account and therefore wasn't allowed to get on the Internet to stream Netflix, the sole purpose of buying this item. Also, when I asked for help from the seller, they took too long to get back to me and never helped me figure out if they could fix it or offer an exchange. I highly recommend spending an extra 30 dollars and buy a new one to avoid unnecessary complications.
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