Review Price £139.99
Despite its dearth of features, the BDX1250 certainly knows how to produce decent high-definition pictures. With Children of Men’s dystopian vision of London in 2027, the heavily detailed images are replicated on the screen with superb clarity. From the stubble on Theo’s haggard face to the leafy surroundings of Jasper’s woodland house, the screen positively screams with detail.
Colours are natural and utterly believable at all times. Whether it’s Kee’s deep brown complexion or the sullen faces of the refugees, at no point were we forced to question the accuracy of the colours. There’s no banding on large patches of background colour either.
Other pluses include a lack of artefacts, fluid movement and visible detail during shadowy scenes, all of which adds up to a thoroughly entertaining picture performance. We switched over to Wall-E and the brighter CG images pack a real punch – the picture is clean, poised and none of the fine detail and textures escapes the deck’s grasp.
As for disc loading, the BDX1250 is fairly quick – it reached the Sony Pictures logo on Terminator Salvation disc in 43 seconds.
Next up is the Silicon Optix HQV disc and the BDX1250 sails through all but one of the test patterns. It skilfully avoids jaggies on the diagonal filter test and tackles the scrolling Video Resolution pattern without putting a foot wrong. But it fails the Film Resolution test through excessive strobing on the striped boxes. The pan across the football stadium looks composed and smooth.
You can quite happily use the BDX1250 as a CD player for everyday use but don’t expect a glossy, detail-packed presentation of music. It’s a bit flat but that’s par for the course with budget Blu-ray decks. We had no trouble playing music, video or photos from our USB pen drive, although it’s a shame there’s no support for DivX. The media playback menus are clear and responsive.
After testing out the BDX1250, we can’t help but come away feeling a little underwhelmed. Yes it’s designed as a simple deck for those coming to Blu-ray for the first time, and we’ve rationalised the BDX1250’s lack of features on the basis of its ‘budget’ price. But after a bit of online window shopping, we found that the Tosh’s £150-ish price tag isn’t actually that cheap, not when you can buy more generously equipped entry-level players from Sony and Samsung for under £100.
There’s no web content, DLNA support, 3D or even DivX playback, which leaves USB media playback as the headline feature. In the plus column, the BDX1250 is easy to use and delivers impressive pictures, but that probably won’t be enough to stop your money being spent elsewhere.
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