Toshiba’s latest Blu-ray range caters for two different types of people – those who want 3D Blu-ray playback and those who don’t. If you’re one of the former, check out the BDX3200, a basic but likeable player that at around £150 costs considerably less than many of its big-name rivals. But if you couldn’t give a hoot about 3D then the BDX1200 is the player for you, costing about £45 less than the BDX3200.
The BDX1200 features the same attractive external design as its sibling, with slinky bodywork, a gloss-black fascia and shimmering silver strip running along the top. As noted about the Toshiba BDX3200, the player is light as a feather but the aluminium bodywork is actually fairly sturdy. Along the fascia you’ll find a row of buttons for up-close playback control, a miniscule display panel that only shows a limited amount of information, and a USB port – but unlike the BDX3200 this isn’t hidden under a flap.
On the rear panel you’ll find the same array of sockets as the BDX3200 – HDMI, composite, analogue stereo and coaxial digital audio outputs, plus an Ethernet port. Anyone looking for multichannel analogue outputs or a second USB port should start looking at more expensive players – this is as bare bones as Blu-ray players get.
With no 3D on board the Toshiba BDX1200's feature list is short to say the least, but then again at around £100 you can't expect much more. Even so, it’s undeniably disappointing that neither of Toshiba’s new players will let you stream media from PCs, which is an increasingly popular way of distributing content around the home. And with its impressive-looking cloud-based service Toshiba Places available on its latest range of TVs, it’s a shame that something similar couldn’t have been incorporated into its Blu-ray decks. However, you can still play your content via the USB port on the front panel. The player supports a decent range of formats, including DivX HD, MKV, MP3 and JPEG.
Being a Profile 2.0 player, the Toshiba BDX1200 can access BD Live content, but you need to connect 1GB of USB storage to do so. And with no built-in Wi-Fi or support for USB dongles, the wired Ethernet connection represents your only way of getting online, which may be a pain in the backside depending on the player’s proximity to your router.
Elsewhere the deck does everything you’d expect it to, such as decode Dolby True HD and DTS HD Master Audio into PCM (in case your AV receiver’s HDMI inputs are earlier than v1.3) or output them in bitstream form. It can also output Blu-ray pictures in their native 1080/24p format, which should result in a lack of judder when viewed on a compatible TV.