|Toshiba BDX2700 Blu-ray Player Review|
|Home Theater Video Players Blu-ray Players|
|Written by Thomas Spurlin|
|Wednesday, 20 October 2010|
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Music, Media, and Streaming:
As a music device, Toshiba’s BDX2700 actually delivers a healthier punch than expected. 2l Nordic Reference tracks sounded great in both DTS HD Master Audio and PCM concoctions, tested by the Nillson’s SOLO+ (Track 8), Berit Opheim Versto’s “Slatter pa tunga” (Track 9), and the Chamber Music by Elliot Carter (Track 10). The gravity of its sound imaging impressed at both high and low volume levels, presenting succulent alto-level vocal delivery, fluid piano notes, and ravishing flutters of violins across the full sound stage. CD playback for the same tracks stood up exceptionally well to its high-definition counterparts, while the hearty thumps of drums and rushes of percussion in Weezer’s “Blue” album powered along fiercely – perhaps a little more bass rumble than I’d like, but potent nonetheless.
Along with a USB port to the rear for file access, the BDX2700 also comes with an SD slot integrated into the front panel, directly underneath the power button. It allows for music and image file playback (not for video), naturally to differing degrees based on the quality of the files.
High-resolution images looked rather well-balanced and crisp on my 55” display, while several music files – both mp3 and m4a – played without a hitch. That includes the piano cues from “Together We Will Live Forever” from The Fountain soundtrack that sounded terrific, as well as the thumping rhythm of Owl City’s “Fireflies” that gracefully tested the bass registry. Though the lack of video file access via storage device might be a downer, though AVCHD files are accessible via disc playback, Toshiba’s navigation and playback of other assorted media impresses.
Streaming on the BDX2700 operates on a similar level to that of other devices, which taps into the player’s sturdy wireless network connection. Activating and navigating through Netflix feels about like it does on the PS3, prompting to enter a code on the unit to be entered on Netflix’s website. Toshiba’s array of other streaming services, however, isn’t as plentiful as other devices; it only offers service from the four heavy hitters, Blockbuster, Netflix, Pandora, and VUDU.
Pros: Excellent A/V Rendering, Great SD Upconversion, Fluid Wi-Fi Connectivity, Simple Design, Analog
Within its price bracket, the Toshiba BDX2700 delivers in every respect with its audiovisual capabilities. High-definition Blu-ray content naturally impresses, with crisp detail, fine contrast handling, and balanced-yet-stunning color through the Deep Color-capable player, while its standard-definition quality brings your current DVD collection up a few pegs with highly convincing upscaling. Under the hood, the player’s ability to connect to the internet via wireless signal works like a charm, while accessing files via SD card and USB worked well in the player’s interface. Also, the player arrives with analog audio jacks for non-HDMI users, with the ability to toggle crossover frequencies and speaker size/status via a menu selection. All this comes in a simple, albeit slightly bulky chassis that veers from front-panel doors and other fluffy aesthetics.
Cons: Slow Load Times, Erratic Play/Eject Functionality, Somewhat Loud, Inexpensive Design, Clunky Menu
To get to those attributes, however, one must fight through a few hindrances. For one, the player’s significantly lower at loading in just about every respect, from accessing the root menu on a Blu-ray to flipping between photographs. It also has issues registering the buttons pushed, leading to a bit of frustrating when the disc drawer won’t eject – as if the button has been pressed twice, when it’s actually only been pressed once. When the content boots up in the machine, the mechanisms inside are a little loud upon spinning the disc, spitting out unobtrusive-but-audible cranks and sputters from a good 7-10 feet away. And, once the content’s fully loaded, the menu’s sluggishness in moving can hamper the navigation experience. Finally, it’s worth noting that the build quality of the machine also left me a bit cold, feeling as if the unit might not withstand very much heat or extended bouts with films or music – though it never froze or hitched mid-playback during any of the screening involved.
At the $220 price point, the Toshiba BDX2700 has a bit of stiff competition to combat against in LG’s 570 and Sony’s BDP-S570, both of which are wireless, feature-rich, terrific-quality Blu-ray decks. However, it handles itself splendidly in the fray, featuring robust audiovisual quality, hitch-free WiFi connectivity, and a cluster of nice addendums in the feature department – including an SD port and analog jacks. These factors work to mask the somewhat flimsy, inexpensive build quality that might become a factor later in the player’s shelf life, as well as the frustratingly slow reaction times of the player. Still, with the time spent using Toshiba’s player, it still earns a nod of recommendation for the things it does right in the modern HD spectrum, as long as the issues that complicate its usability don’t escalate.