Hey folks, Valkor here, welcoming you to the next level of TOV. I'm quite proud at all the positive steps we've taken to get this far and believe me, there's so much more to come. We're gonna start things off with newcomer into the Val-cave fold, Toshiba. I've covered the company in the past, at events such as CES and Pepcom; finally, after a long wait, they're here and their first, hopefully not the last to face the Val-Challenge is the BDX2700 Blu Ray player with Wi-Fi capabilities.
The BDX2700 is one sleek little player, on the outset, looks rather simple. On the front you have your disc tray, play and stop buttons; finally you have a slot for SD cards (more on that a bit later). The back of the unit provides all your audio/video ports including HDMI, component and composite ports as well as a Ethernet and USB port.
When powering up the device, you're met a pretty decent graphic interface, which, initially, gives you three options to choose from – Settings, BD-Rom, and Connect. Settings, obviously, is for setting up the player towards the type of home media center you have such as speakers, display, subtitles, etc. BD-ROM starts the disc, and network allows you to access Blockbuster, Netflix, Vudu, and Pandora for streaming media. Finally, included with the player you get the remote control.
So what's the deal with the USB and SD Card slots? When you plug in either an SD card or portable Hard Disk Drive, you get three new options on the main menu screen – Audio, Video, pictures. Pictures are j-peg format only, audio you have MP3 as well as WMA (Windows Media Audio) playback, and for video… well I'm not certain. The manual states "AVCHD" format on a DVD-RW/-R but frankly speaking, if it's not Divx, Xvid, or MKV then I'm not interested. Finally the SD card and Hard drive can be used to store BD-Live content. And now, on with the show.
Overall the BDX2700 is one solid player, capable of dishing out almost everything I toss at it. Video playback is equivalent to the Playstation 3, which is by far the best player out there. But if you don't own a PS3 (say you're an Xbox/Wii guy), then this should be the player to pick up, because you're gonna get solid performance for your money. And if you have a Netflix/Blockbuster streaming account, then you're good in that respect. I apologize, I don't have a Netflix account (TOV gets and has enough movies so that I'll never need to rent again), but if you have one then you're good to go! Finally viewing images, while a bit grainy, isn't all that bad and it makes viewing pics from vacation and events that much more fun. Plus you can provide a nice soundtrack with music you have on the card. So, video quality = excellent, audio quality = excellent, lots of features, what more can be said?
Just a few quirks I ran into when checking out the device; may not be a problem for some, but for others… well, we'll see. First off, I used three Blu rays to test the device – Final Fantasy 7 Advent Children Complete, The Dark Knight, and BBC's Being Human 2nd Season (review coming soon, thank you Warner Home). The TV series and Final Fantasy ran without a hitch, but The Dark Knight stopped and glitched at about an hour in - completely unplayable, even if i skipped chapters. Now I checked the disc to insure no scratched and smudges - and we're good there. So I placed the disc in the PS3 to see if the problem would duplicate… and nope, plays fine. Does Toshiba have something against The Dark Knight?? Second, would be the speaker settings. Now this is more of a nitpick than anything else, but rather than switching on and off the speakers you have or don't have, why not have presets of the basic sets – 5.1, 7.1, 2.1, headphones, etc. (Oops can't use headphones, no jack… unless you have an adapter). Finally, the limits on playback media; sure you have the main types such as DVD-RW/-R, CD-RW/-R, and even BD-R, but some folks have other media types that aren't covered such as DVD-RAM, VCD, BD/DVD hybrids (which is ok, because it'll play the Blu Ray portion). So other than The Dark Knight Glitch… the bads aren't too bad.
Valkor going into a Hulk rage because of the Dark Knight glitch; sorry Kit Fisto… that wall never saw you coming.
Bad aside, Toshiba's only beginning in the Blu area and so far their BDX2700 Blu Ray player shows solid promise of things to come. I recommend it to any and all who haven't dipped into the pool of Blu or you're looking for that perfect gift to give someone this holiday season. Out of TOV 5 stars, I give the BDX2000 3.5 and it's been Valkor tested, TOV Approved.
Does anyone have any tape? Poor Kit…