|Toshiba BDX2700 Blu-ray Player Review|
|Home Theater Video Players Blu-ray Players|
|Written by Thomas Spurlin|
|Wednesday, 20 October 2010|
Page 1 of 3
It’s somewhat bittersweet to cover Toshiba’s BDX2700 Blu-ray player at this juncture, since the last of my HD-DVD discs – and my trusty Toshiba player – have just recently been excised from my home theater. Slowly, and steadily, some personal favorite films presented on the defeated format have received high-definition treatments on its conqueror, making the switch-over more and more tolerable as I slowly nickel-and-dime my way towards a complete transition. Toshiba themselves also had apprehension in succumbing to the trend towards Blu-ray’s ascendancy, only releasing their first player, the BDX2000, at the latter half of 2009 to mixed but ultimately optimistic impressions based on its audiovisual merits.
Out of the Box:
When it comes to appearance, the BDX2700 has gone the way of elegant simplicity. It’s a refreshing change from the range of players that gussy up their aesthetics with door flaps -- like Toshiba’s own BDX2000 -- and oddly-implemented lights at the front, instead opting for a simple, sleek front. Standard Pause / Play / Power buttons, an SD-card access port, and an LED clock can be found in customary positions, as well as a simple blue Blu-ray light that’s, thankfully, dimmable to blackout levels. Measuring at 2.5 inches high due to the stack-peg pedestals underneath, it’s a bit taller and bulkier than some of the other players on the market right now, while its standard 17-inch width and 8-inch depth are par for the course with modern units. Build quality for the unit seems a bit lighter, low-cost, and less sturdy than what has come to be expected from Toshiba, with their HD-DVD decks standing out with a clearer impressiveness in their construction. It looks nice, yet it’s also a clunky and slightly bloated-looking unit.
To the rear of the unit, Toshiba’s player satisfies with a standard array of digital plug-ins with a nice addendum. Along with the expected HDMI port and an arrangement of component / composite plugs, it also carries a standard slate of inputs that include a USB port for BD-Live storage (none on-board), an Ethernet jack for non-WiFi users, and an optical jack. To the right of the unit, in a nice surprise, a set of both 2.0 and 7.1 analog jacks, with which the player can internally decode HD audio tracks. Disappointingly, the BDX2700 has taken a similar route as its competition in including a built-in power cable, one that’s not terribly long at roughly six feet (6ft) and not easily replaceable if the cord needs switching out. It’s a trend that seems to be the common practice now, though users who have to use extended A/C power cables in their home theater will find it frustrating.
As an HD-DVD user, Toshiba’s lanky, rectangular remote – the SE-R0378 – gives off quite a flash of déjà vu. The button arrangement reeks of similarity in layout, size, and structure to Toshiba SE-R0252, obviously with a few additions and changes. Its center dial still sports individual buttons, in a ring around a finicky “OK” button that might be difficult to press for thicker fingers. This time, these small buttons serve as the angle/audio/subtitle toggles and volume control, while the small four circular buttons to the outer corners of the dial activate BonusView, 2nd Audio, 2nd Subtitle, and the dimmer for the LED clock and Blu-ray light on the player. Three large, matte rubber buttons sit on top to control the varied menu options (Home, Popup/Title, and general Menu), while a thin bar of rectangular buttons directly above those toggle assorted settings such as aspect ratio and resolution. Just below the row of standard colored RGBY buttons, the numerical keypad, time progression, and other buttons are in a familiar, standard layout. No backlight has been affixed within the remote.
After hooking up the unit via HDMI and traveling the power cable to the power outlet, the time came to power on Toshiba’s BDX2700 for its setup. Toshiba’s menu design showcases a chic framework that operates on curved design elements somewhat similar to the circular blade design on Universal’s Blu-ray discs. Though attractive, scaling through the options can be a bit cumbersome; though the player fluidly moves from one menu option to another, it takes its sweet time in doing so, and can also aggravate when it branches out into the sub menus. When first utilizing the “Quick Setup” function, the player asks for an OSD Language, a specific resolution over HDMI, and TV Aspect Ratio.
That, however, just about sums up the extent of the quick setup, leaving the user to dig through the rest of the features to assemble their preferences. Ultimately, the options are limited in tailoring the BDX2700’s audiovisual and operational workings. Picture adjustment under the Display function only allows for Resolution, TV Aspect, Film Mode (24p), and Deep Color (On) toggles, while Audio only enables adjustments for PCM Downsampling (96khz), Digital Output (Bitstream HD), and Dynamic Range Control for digital sound. Another menu allows for speaker size adjustment, though it’s mostly to determine whether the surround speakers are actually there and whether full-size stereo speakers are in-use.