Blu-ray Players

Toshiba BDX5200 3D Blu-ray Player


Design of the Toshiba BDX5200 3D Blu-ray player

This is the player to buy if you want a minimalist look to your component rack. The chassis is very thin at less than two inches high with a plain front panel. It’s only visible features are the SD card slot, the disc drawer, the Blu-ray symbol and Toshiba’s logo. Since it’s not deep enough to stack other components on, you’ll want it either on top or on its own shelf. One word of caution if you plan to stack this player: The feet are incredibly thin – so much so that the metal on the chassis’ bottom will touch whatever it’s placed on. I suggest sticking on something thicker or using a couple of coasters to avoid scratching other components or your furniture. The front-panel controls are touch-sensitive and require one press to activate and second one to execute their function. Once the backlight turns off, you can’t see where to touch. Since I like to open the disc tray with the front panel button, I had to do a double-tap every time.

The rear panel follows the sparseness of the front with the fewest connections I’ve yet seen in a disc player. Video options are HDMI or composite only. There are no component video jacks. I suspect this will become more common now that studios can activate the image constraint token on their Blu-ray releases. This means analog video connections will be limited to a resolution of 540p. In fact all Blu-ray players introduced after January 1, 2011 are required to support the token. The HDMI output is version 1.4 which means the player supports 3D, which I did not test. Additional connections are 2-channel audio via RCA, coax digital audio, Ethernet and USB. If you want to add memory for BD Live functions, your options are the USB port or the SD card slot. No internal RAM is provided. If you can’t run a network cable to your equipment rack, 802.11n WiFi is built in.

The remote is quite functional if you have the lights on but the lack of a backlight makes it difficult to use in a darkened room. In an unusual touch, the numeric keypad is at the top which places the more often used buttons in the center. I applaud this design. The keys are different shapes which makes it a little easier to operate by feel. Like the Toshiba LCD TV I recently reviewed, there is a dedicated Netflix button which takes you right to that app, very convenient. There is no attempt to make this remote operate any other components. My only other complaint besides the lack of a backlight is I had to point almost straight at the player to get a response. If you’re more than a few degrees off-center, the range becomes more limited.