Top positive review
11 people found this helpful
on 28 November 2013
Purchased this as a black Friday deal which, compared with other blu-ray players, made it one of the cheapest I could find anywhere. Even the usual price is on the cheap end of the scale for blu-ray players.
Players nowadays tend to be sleek and slim, and this is no exception. It was a bit of a surprise quite how small it was, so it is easy to fit on a shelf. The green circle light on the front is relatively neutral and not particularly intrusive.
If you just want to play blu-rays and DVDs (and perhaps CDs), this is a good player. There are some 'smart' features but they are relatively limited. If you happen to have or are getting an Xbox One or PS3/4 there is really very little point in buying a dedicated blu-ray player unless you are looking for something very specialist, as they can already do everything that this can.
My first blu-ray was "Avengers Assemble" so we have tried that out and the picture quality is excellent. You can select the picture mode and aspect ratio to suit your TV if necessary from 1080p, 1080i, 720p and others.
It also does a good job of DVDs.
Regarding the wi-fi. While it does not come with built in wi-fi, a generic wi-fi USB dongle should work rather than shelling out for toshiba's own one. I happened to have a "Wi-Pi" dongle which works perfectly. I have not had any issues with the wireless connection.
Once that is set up you can use youtube, netflix and iPlayer, which is nothing special if you already have tivo or probably other similar services. The "Portal" interface where these special features lives feels a little unfinished, but otherwise the menu system is smooth and usable.
One interesting feature, when you are conneted to a network, is the ability to stream media to the player using DLNA. So for example if you have videos on your smartphone, on the same network, and you want to watch them on the TV, with the appropriate app on your phone you can select your video, and it will magically appear on the TV after a couple of seconds. This also works for music and images, subject to the format being supported (I have read that it does not support DivX but have not confirmed this).
Unfortunately, during my couple of hours of testing, the box did crash twice while I was changing track / video from the smartphone. It then required a reset, and the only way I could find to do this was to remove the socket from the wall (the cable is hard wired into the back of the blu ray player, which seems a little unusual)
I have heard some criticisms - for example that it lacks responsiveness - which I have not found to be particularly true. The Virgin Tivo box is positively glacial in comparison.
Some have criticized the remote, and while it is a little plasticky, it is perfectly adequate for the job, tactile and not at-all flimsy.
There is no readout display on the front of the player, which does mean it's not always easy to tell how far through you are in a movie.
The player does not have the MiraCast feature for streaming from android even though it is in the menu, but this is largely unimportant as if you want to stream media from android there are many DLNA clients available (for example BubbleUpnp) that are perfectly able to stream media via DLNA - although I was unable to get it to play videos from dropbox (not sure why yet).
As far as I'm aware it's not able to play 3D blu-ray, but at this price point, you probably don't mind.
All in all I'm relatively impressed for the price paid. It plays blu-rays and DVDs well, the other features are a small bonus and any criticisms of them are fairly minor.