Blu-ray Players

Toshiba BDX6400 Blu-ray Player

ARTICLE INDEX

The Toshiba BDX6400 Blu-ray Player In Use

Blu-ray performance today is more about the user interface and experience than about the image that is output. With everything using HDMI and outputting the native 1080p24 signal, the chance for a picture to look different is greatly reduced. Watching a selection of Blu-ray films, from Finding Nemo to The Hunger Games and many more didn't expose any artifacts at all. The picture and sound from the Toshiba BDX6400 are exact and accurate with Blu-ray film content as you expect.

Getting to the film takes a bit longer on the BDX6400 than more other players recently reviewed. Load times and menu responsiveness on the BDX6400 is slower than most, and occasionally I'd have a film that just didn't load until I power-cycled the player. This bit of menu sluggishness isn't limited to the just Blu-ray films either.

The main menu system on the Toshiba BDX6400 is fairly slow to navigate around. Toshiba has kept the wheel-style layout from their prior players, and it is a bit faster than before. It still lags compared to other players from major vendors. The largest culprit is the apps menu system.

Loading the main apps menu takes a few seconds, during which you watch a loading screen. Elements of this screen are still unfinished as well. Selecting the weather or location buttons at the bottom result in a message saying that this isn't implemented yet. I wish they had excluded the buttons altogether than provide me with ones that don't work and provide an error message.

From here you can launch into Netflix, Hulu Plus, Vudu, or a Disc. You can also stream content over the network that works well for me in my testing. MOV, AVI and MKV test files that I keep on hand to test all play back fine though the buffering of some of them takes a while over Wi-Fi. Netflix and Hulu Plus work as advertised. Watching some episodes of Breaking Bad or Thomas and Friends is straightforward and easy, and the SuperHD support is present. The interface just feels unrefined and slow to respond to inputs from the remote.

The scaling of DVDs looks quite good on the Toshiba overall. Watching The Incredibles from a few feet away I can tell that it isn't the Blu-ray, but it certainly looks better than you remember DVD content looking. 4K scaling doesn't fare quite as well with jaggies becoming more apparent in the scaling. Watching the Ship scene from Spears & Munsil you can clearly make out jagged ropes and other items. There is also a good bit of ringing that is introduced into the image in high contrast areas.

One flaw that the Toshiba BDX6400 has, and many other Blu-ray players have been having recently, is having poor initial settings. Out of the box the settings that Toshiba uses for the BDX6400 cause excessive ringing around objects and artifacting of fine details. One needs to go into an on-screen menu during playback to disable this. Of course most people will never realize this and will have a worse image because of it. Other vendors have been doing this as well, so it isn't limited to Toshiba, but it's an issue that is growing.

Once the Toshiba is playing back content, and you've set the controls correctly, it looks fine. Getting to that point is what holds the Toshiba back, as it takes too long to do so. As much as I like the small package I'd prefer that a faster processor be inside.