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Key Features: Full-HD 3D playback; DivX HD, MKV, MP3 & JPEG playback; USB port; BD Live; Built-in picture adjustments
The BDX3200 is one of two Blu-ray players Toshiba has launched this year to partner its latest range of 3D flat panel Regza TVs. The BDX3200 is the better-specified of the two, adding 3D playback to the BDX1200’s spec sheet for a premium of around £45.
Previous Toshiba players have been rather conservative affairs, shunning the eye-catching features of its Japanese peers for straight-up affordable Blu-ray movie playback, and a quick scan of the spec sheet reveals the BDX3200 offers more of the same (aside from 3D of course). That’s not necessarily a bad move though, given that not everyone cares about streaming files round the house or watching YouTube clips on their TV
Toshiba certainly hasn’t ignored the design conscious among you, dressing the BDX3200 in alluring gloss-black bodywork adorned by a glinting silver strip running along the top of the fascia and an illuminated Blu-ray logo in the middle. We’re not talking heavyweight build quality here as the deck is light as a feather, but it’s certainly easy on the eye – not to mention slim, with a height of just 42.5mm. The tiny display panel is quite difficult to read though, and the row of buttons on the right looks a little gawky next to some of its rivals’ sexy touch-sensitive controls.
Next to that display panel is a USB port hidden behind a flap to stop younger members of the family jamming Twiglets into it (other snacks are available). That’s backed up on the rear panel by a modest array of connections, including HDMI v1.4, composite, analogue stereo and coaxial digital audio outputs. Once again Toshiba hasn’t yet gone down the Wi-Fi route, which leaves the Ethernet port your only way of getting online – fine if your router is situated close by, a logistical nightmare if not.
Being a budget player it comes as no surprise to find there isn’t a second HDMI output for non 3D-ready AV receivers and no multichannel analogue outputs, but it’s worth pointing out.
The Toshiba BDX3200 can be bought at around £120 to £140 price mark. High street prices are much higher so I decided to buy from Amazon. I have to admit though, I am not really a fan of this 3D TV thing. First of all you will need a 3D TV to view 3D movies - so unless you have one, this is really not for you as it is a lot pricier than the normal blue ray players.
Anyways, the device is as large as your conventional DVD players and to be honest there really isn't any difference. The player has a piano/glossy black finish and there is a branding on the left that identifies its a Toshiba. A slick small Blueray logo is on the device tray. The BDX3200 comes with a variety of outputs including the conventional audio/video ports, a HDMI out and a USB port. There is also a LAN socket so you can connect it to your home network. The standout feature is the USB port on the front which has a flap cover.
The remote control itself is very easy to use as the buttons are well spaced out and is not cluttered at all. A well laid out directional (arrow) button at the centre insures easy navigation and selection (a central ok/select button).
As far as media playback support is concerned, the device supports a variety of known formats including MKV, DivX HD, MP3 and JPEG. The BDX3200 has the usual friendly user menu expected of Toshiba devices. Everything is layed out clearly and is easy to access the various features using the remote.
There is a Motion Video Processing feature which offers four picture presets and three levels of noise reduction. You can adjust brightness, saturation and hue for each individual colour in the picture.
The BDX3200 is actually a budget priced product and substantially cheaper than many of its 3D BD player counterparts. However, I found that it does a very decent job of playing back a variety of formats - MKV being the biggest plus factor for me - especially if you happen to do a lot of encoding yourself.
There isn't much of an issue with playback as all the high definition stuff are displayed beautifuly and without stutters or distortions.
Overall verdict: A good BD player if you have a 3D TV, otherwise look elsewhere for your blueray needs.
The Toshiba BDX3200 is a 3D ready Blu-Ray player that currently retails at around £110 (December 2011).
The box contains nothing more than what you'd expect really, the player itself, a basic instructions/setup booklet, the remote and some cheap batteries.
The BDX3200 is easy to setup, power cable plugged into the mains and HDMI cable from player to TV and there you have it. You can attach the player via Ethernet cable to your home network for access to BD-Live bonus content or to check for system updates, if the desire grabs you.
If HDMI isn't an option (and if it isn't, I'm not sure why you're contemplating buying a 3D Blu-Ray player!) then composite audio/video connections are also available.
You can also connect a USB flash drive to a socket at the front of the machine hidden by a plastic door. You could use this method, again, to access BD-Live features, or more likely, to watch or listen to MP3/JPEG/MPEG4/DivX files including DivX HD. More file types may be usable but these are the main ones it 'officially' supports.
The remote control is made from Black plastic and requires 2x AAA batteries to operate. It has neatly laid out, well labelled buttons but feels a touch on the cheap side. When I pick it up I'm left wondering whether or not it has batteries in, it's that light. I suppose it is sturdy enough, but being entirely plastic, it is very slippery and is likely to get knocked off the arm of the couch or fall down the back of the sofa from time to time.
The unit itself is also very light, a few centimetres longer than a Sky HD box but only half the height. I would have preferred a bit more weight to the machine as it tends to slide back on my TV cabinet every time you press a button on the unit itself. Instead of having rubber feet it has a foam alternative which isn't very grippy at all.
Once you have the necessary cables attached, the machine takes around 15 seconds to bring up the initial setup screen from standby. This is very basic, simply asking for your preferred TV resolution and picture aspect ratio before taking you to the main menus.
The on-screen graphical user interface is actually very neat and sharp looking for a Toshiba. Their current range of TV's could certainly have benefitted from this newer styling. The remote input on the menu screen shows little lag and provides good responsiveness when issuing commands.
The menus are rather limited, but being aimed at the budget end of the 3D market, that can be forgiven here. The main things you'd want to control are here, including auto playback options, security options, network settings, software upgrade, audio output, TV settings, various video processing and motion video processing settings, including picture sharpening settings and selection of picture mode (Standard/Vivid/Cinema/Custom).
Once setup, I restarted the machine from standby and again found it took around 15 seconds to get to a stage where it appears ready to go. This seems a bit slow to me so off to a pretty unspectacular start. The display on the front of the BDX3200 features a basic information display which I'm finding to be too small to read from normal viewing distance. It's one of those cheap looking displays that uses a mixture of random upper and lower case letters when displaying words such as 'hEllO' or 'pLaY'. In the middle of the display is the official Blu-Ray symbol that lights up in neon Blue when the machine is in use.
Once up and running it does seem to accept a disc fairly quickly and still maintains the remotes' quick-responsiveness found when accessing the menus.
The unit is somewhat noisy during initial startup as it prepares the disc tray to be operated, but no such worries during playback. It remained consistently silent throughout whilst I watched Toy Story 3 on DVD. The picture quality was also very good for a DVD. Nice and sharp with lots of colour, very difficult to distinguish from HD quality at normal viewing distance.
Blu-Ray performance was equally as good and it did an excellent job on 'Nativity'. Bright colours, good Black and white contrast, good shadow detail and no sign of picture judder that I could see.
You can rewind and fast forward at the increments of 2x, 4x, 8x, 16x and 32x. Fast forward remains very smooth on 2x and 4x but becomes jumpy using 8x or faster. Rewind however isn't smooth on any speed. The pause facility does a good job of freezing slow moving action, but try pausing faster shots and you will have blurring/ghosting occur. Not a major thing for most but thought it'd be handy to know for some.
If you have a Toshiba REGZA TV already you can use REGZA link on your devices. This enables you to use 1 remote to control your Toshiba devices that are connected by HDMI.
I have not tested the 3D performance on this player yet as I don't have the 3D Glasses or 3D film to do so. Also, I guess a large part of how good 3D performance is depends on the quality of the output source (TV). If I ever spend the money on the aforementioned items I will be sure to update my review, but for now, I'd be happy to give this element a similar mark to the DVD/Blu-Ray performance which is very good.
Overall, I'd rate the Toshiba BDX3200 as 3.5/5.
Excellent performance but let down by slightly poor build quality, slow start-up time and lack of settings.