Like all Blu-ray players, the BD2100 will also output Dolby TrueHD, DTS HD Master Audio and the other HD audio formats in bitstream form. The BDX2100 can also output Blu-ray discs at 1080/24p, which is good news as you’ll see movies as they were intended, hopefully without any frame conversion judder. And despite Blu-ray being this deck’s raison d’etre it gives your DVDs a good home, tarting them up to 1080p (as well as 1080i and 720p) before sending them to your TV. But it’s a pity there’s no Resolution+ processing on board, which has produced some terrific results on the company’s upscaling DVD decks.
The BDX2100 boots up in 15 seconds and loads ”Terminator Salvation” with similar alacrity, taking 37 seconds to start playing the Sony Pictures logo. Some players have taken almost two minutes to load the same content.
An attractive Toshiba splashscreen greets you after turning on the player. The deck’s Home Menu abandons the BDX2000’s interface for a fresh new design, using full colour graphics and a fancy new font. The pages are nicely sized, logically structured and respond speedily to remote commands. It’s by no means as slick or attractive as Sony’s Xross Menu Bar or LG’s stunning interface – it’s like Windows XP to their Windows 7 – but it’s a huge improvement on previous Toshiba efforts.
There are a some nice surprises buried in the setup menu too. Under display settings, you can adjust all the usual stuff like resolution and aspect ratio, but these are joined by more advanced Video Processing and Motion Video Processing submenus. The former contains the Video Adjust menu, which lets you set your preferred levels of brightness, contrast, hue and saturation, plus a choice of sharpness settings (high, medium or low).
Under Motion Video Processing is a choice of picture presets: Standard, Vivid, Cinema and Custom. The Custom setting allows you to make further changes to brightness, contrast, hue and saturation, but adds CTI (Colour Transient Improvement) to the list, which aims to reduce the appearance of colour banding. With Custom mode selected you also get individual brightness, saturation and hue settings for each colour in the picture (red, green, blue, yellow, cyan) while a three-stage noise reduction mode is available for any picture preset.
This level of picture tweakery really is unexpected at this sort of price and very welcome indeed, but the two-pronged approach leaves you a little unsure about what processing has been applied. For example, if you’ve altered the picture in the Video Processing menu, the changes affect all of the presets in the Motion Video Processing menu – including Standard. There appears to be no ‘neutral’ setting that shows the picture in its native state, which might upset video purists.
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It’s also difficult to see how your changes will affect the movie as you have to stop playback to access the setup menu, and using the background splashscreen to gauge it isn’t ideal. Also, the Custom preset doesn’t save your settings, returning to its default parameters when you switch to a different preset.