Toshiba’s bitten the bullet and made a high-def disc spinner. So, will the former HD DVD champ come out fighting from the Blu corner?
The Blu-ray versus HD DVD format war ended back in February 2008, when Toshiba announced that it was halting production and development of its HD DVD players.
And now, after months of digging its heels in and avoiding the inevitable, the company has finally produced a machine that it can bring to the Blu-ray party: the BDX2000.
Toshiba’s Blu-ray deck has a simplistic look and cheap feel that we’ve come to expect from machines of this ilk. The plain plastic fascia drops down to reveal a loading drawer, basic playback buttons and an SD memory card slot.
The only real let down is the remote control, which is a bit of an eyesore and feels more befitting to a supermarket special DVD player. The only saving grace is that a generous smattering of glow-in-the dark buttons aids ease of use.
You’re treated to all the basic functionality and specifications that feature on the vast majority of entry-level players. This means the Toshiba is BD Live and Profile 2.0 enabled and comes equipped with the mandatory ethernet socket for accessing online content for relevant Blu-ray titles.
Blu-ray loading times of some discs are on par with rival machines, but notably slower on others (Terminator Salvation took over 30 seconds longer to load on the Toshiba than it did on the Sony BDP-S360).
The BDX2000 can handle all the various high-definition audio codecs such as Dolby TrueHD, outputting them in their native form over its HDMI output or decoding them internally into LPCM.
At this kind of money you don’t get the luxury of multichannel analogue outputs but connectivity does include a pair of stereo RCA phono outputs and both coaxial and optical digital outputs.
Excellent edge definition
But how do picture and sound quality stack up? Well, the BDX2000 is by no means disgraced. Blu-ray images display good depth and detail although images don’t quite have the pristine clarity of the class leading machines.
Review continues after the break…
Edge definition is excellent during static scenes and there’s only the slightest murmer of flicker and judder when the action hots up. The Toshiba displays colour brilliantly, but doesn’t let this richness hinder more subtle hues such as human skin tones.
Toshiba has a habit of producing good DVD spinners and the BDX2000 is no different, making the switch to 1080p upscaling without any major problems. Once again, edge definition looks impressive, as do colours.
Sonically, the Toshiba produces a very weighty, meaty sound that helps reinforce more explosive moments. However, this does stifle the openness and level of detail that the machine can offer: low frequencies don’t have the definition or agility delivered by the best players at this price.
Has the BDX2000 been worth the wait? Well, it doesn’t exactly run rings around the established class-leaders but it remains a capable, affordable alternative. We just wonder what’s next in Toshiba’s Blu-ray pipeline?
Toshiba BDX2000 review
Considering the quantity and calibre of players already on the market, the BDX2000 is a good first attempt and one to consider
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