Toshiba follows the launch of its 3D-ready LED TV range with its debut 3D Blu-ray player, the BDX3100. Its decision to join the 3D musketeers was inevitable given the current clamour for all things three-dimensional, but stiff competition from Panasonic, Sony, LG and Samsung, whose 3D decks are all teeming with other state-of-the-art features, means the BDX3100 has to work hard to impress – particularly with a price tag hovering around the £200 mark.
Aesthetically the player does nothing to stand out from the crowd, but its gloss black finish, slimline dimensions and angled fascia are effortlessly stylish. The front panel is fairly busy, with a few buttons dotted about, a USB port on the right and a large LED display in the middle, but because it’s all blended into the black finish it doesn’t feel cluttered. Build quality is solid too, making this a well-designed unit overall.
However, the rear panel’s sparse line-up of sockets is a disappointment at this price. Firstly, there’s an HDMI v1.4 socket that outputs 3D pictures and HD audio (as well as supporting other HDMI trimmings like Deep Colour and CEC) but the single output may present a problem if your AV receiver lacks HDMI v1.4 inputs and can’t pass 3D pictures onto your TV. In that instance, you’d have to connect the HDMI output directly to your TV to watch 3D, but that means you can’t feed HD audio bitstreams to your amp at the same time, leaving the Dolby Digital and DTS-compatible coaxial digital output as your only way of getting surround sound (there are no multichannel analogue outputs either).
Also disappointing is the absence of a second USB port on the rear, which would have allowed you to keep a USB stick permanently connected for BD Live downloads and use the front port for occasional media playback. We’re not so bothered about the lack of component outputs, but it does underline the stripped back nature of this player. Completing the line-up are composite video and analogue stereo outputs, plus an Ethernet port for BD Live access.