Elsewhere there’s a couple of useful displays that can be called up during playback. The OSC menu lets you change the audio track, check the bitrate and activate any available BonusView content, while the Display button shows the disc details in a banner at the top of the screen.
All of these options are controlled using a slim, ergonomically-shaped remote. Its button arrangement is generally sound, especially the disc playback and menu direction keys placed conveniently under the thumb. The rest of the buttons are clearly labelled.
Adjust the processing correctly using a suitable calibration disc and the BDX2100 produces some excellent pictures. It makes ”Watchmen” on Blu-ray look terrific, imbuing the movie with pure, radiant colours (check the yellow in the smiley face logo), bucketloads of detail and excellent contrast – the opening shots inside The Comedian’s darkly-lit apartment look impressively rich and solid.
The deck renders textures superbly and there’s no noise or colour banding in the picture. Camera pans and fast motion stay smooth at 1080/24p. DVDs upscaled to 1080p look punchy and natural even without Resolution+, although there’s a little more noise in the picture than we’d like.
Channelled to a decent sound system over HDMI, the BDX2100 makes HD movie tracks sound spectacular, but its run-of-the-mill music performance means you shouldn’t chuck out that CD player just yet.
Digital media files are accessed from the easy-to-use Media Center menu, which displays a folder list on the left and current file details on the right. We connected a USB stick containing a variety of files and it played all of the supported formats smoothly, but WMA files didn’t even appear on the menu.
The BDX2100 is a basic Blu-ray player, lacking the sort of cutting-edge features found on the latest players from Sony, Panasonic, LG and Samsung. This no-frills approach is normally justified by a bargain basement price, but unfortunately for Toshiba you can find some of its more sophisticated rivals for around the same price if you shop online, such as the Samsung BD-C5300 or Sony BDP-S370.
But that doesn’t necessarily make the BDX2100 a bad machine – far from it. Picture quality is impressive, backed up by an unusually wide range of image tweaks, plus disc loading is fast, the new operating system looks great and the USB port is a welcome addition.
Score in detail
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