Blu-ray Players

Toshiba BDX3000 Blu-ray 3D Player

ARTICLE INDEX

Design

The BDX3000 looks no different than Toshiba’s other players. It’s a 17-inch wide box that will fit any standard rack or shelf unit. It’s only 8.25 inches deep though, so cabling will be a little tricky if you use a rack. The power cord is not removable. The front panel is smooth with no traditional buttons at all. Only the cutout for the disc tray breaks up the landscape. At the center is a backlit Blu-ray logo which can be dimmed with a button on the remote. To its immediate right is the status panel which conveys the usual track and time information as well as output resolution and disc format. Continuing right are the touch-sensitive controls. These were annoying to me as they only light up when you touch the panel first. Then you have to touch the appropriate control again to execute. It was easier to simply use the remote for opening and closing the disc tray. I usually prefer the front panel control for this but the double-tap required by the BDX got old after awhile.

The back panel has a full set of connections. Besides HDMI 1.4, there is a TOSLink output, 7.1 analog RCA jacks, a LAN connection and a USB port for flash drives. Analog video outputs include component and composite. Finally, there is a two-channel analog audio output separate from the multi-channel ones.

Internally, the BDX is nothing out of the ordinary. All Blu-ray profiles are supported right up to BD version 3, profile 5.0 which adds 3D to the list. Of course this means BD-Live and Bonusview, something which all players now offer. On the audio side, both bitstream and PCM output is supported so you if you have a receiver that is LPCM-compatible, you can still enjoy the full detail of the lossless Dolby TrueHD and DTS Master Audio codecs without upgrading. I’m proud to say I’m still using a Denon AVR-3806 in my living room system with its now archaic HDMI 1.1 inputs; all two of them. It handles lossless audio just fine after four years on the job!

Another major feature set of this player is Internet apps. The BDX has built-in WiFi compatible with all major wireless standards up to 802.11n. Apps include Netflix, Vudu, Pandora and Blockbuster. This is becoming a common feature in both Blu-ray players and TVs now. The added WiFi is nice since you don’t have to run an Ethernet cable or add some sort of wireless bridge. The WX800 TV required me to add a WiFi adapter to access its Internet features.

In addition to Blu-ray and DVD, you can play Redbook CD, writeable DVDs and CDs and data discs. SACD and DVD-A are not supported. Compatible data formats are AVCHD, MP3, Windows Media Audio and JPEG. The files can reside on a disc, SD memory card or USB thumb drive. The SD card slot is conveniently located on front panel in the lower right corner. If you want to use the USB port, you’ll have to reach around back. This is probably your best bet if you want to use BD-Live with this player. It does not have any internal memory so you’ll have to use either an SD card or a USB stick of at least 1 gb capacity.

The remote is much like the wands that come with other Asian-built players. It is not backlit which makes it frustrating to use in a darkened room. The buttons are grouped by function and have different shapes alleviating some of the fumbling when the lights are off. At the top is the power toggle followed by the eject button and keys for display-related functions. Next is a row of round buttons to access the disc menus. In the center is the navigation cluster. Below that are the transport keys. These were all the same shape and I had a hard time remembering the layout. Here’s where a backlight would have really helped. At the bottom is the customary numeric keypad.