The Tohsiba BDX1250 isn't exactly packed with features. The highlight is the USB port which allows you to play MP3, JPEG, MKV, AAC, WAV and AVCHD files without the rigmarole of burning them to disc. Other than that, there’s just the basics – BD Live support over the Ethernet connection, plus Dolby True HD/DTS HD Master Audio decoding and bitstream output.
The step-up BDX2250 adds YouTube Leanback (a customised ‘feed’ of videos based on your preferences), BBC iPlayer and Picasa access, plus DLNA support for digital media streaming.
Setup starts with the Setting Wizard, which checks all the fundamentals – language, resolution and aspect ratio – then takes you to the Setup Menu. It’s the same menu found on Toshiba’s previous players, using a logical if not particularly pretty design. Icons are laid out along the top relating to each group of options – General, Display, Audio and System. The cursor moves around uninhibited and the submenus are easy to follow thanks to the no-nonsense labelling.
Under the Display menu you’ll find a submenu called Video Process, which allows you to tweak the levels of brightness, contrast, hue and saturation in the picture. This gives you the flexibility to fine-tune the image (in conjunction with your TV’s settings of course) but it’s a little tricky to see exactly how the changes affect the movie as the setup menu can’t be accessed during playback – the background graphic has to serve as your guide. You’ll also find three sharpness settings that don’t make a massive difference to picture quality.
The TV menu lets you select your preferred resolution and colour space settings, as well as allowing you to engage the 24Hz output. Under the audio menu you can change what comes out of the SPDIF and HDMI outputs (bitstream, PCM or a re-encode setting that auto-selects the signal according to what’s on the disc) and set your downsampling and dynamic range compression preferences.
The remote control is small and ergonomically shaped, but it’s let down by poky, homogenous buttons and a cluttered layout. At least the playback and menu controls are clustered together, which means you’re not constantly searching for the most-used buttons.
There are two in-playback onscreen menus – the On Screen Control (OSC) provides all the information about the disc, including the video bitrate, and lets you control a few playback functions. Another display shows you the same disc info but in a banner across the top of the screen.