The Toshiba BDX5200 costs a little less than competing midrange Blu-ray players, but you'll miss out on worthwhile extra features and speedy performance.
Toshiba isn't the first name you think of when it comes to Blu-ray, but the company currently offers a full line of 11 players. The BDX5200 is one of the company's midrange models, offering built-in Wi-Fi, 3D compatibility, and a modest suite of streaming media services, including Netflix, Pandora, and Vudu. It's also currently available at a bit of a discount compared to other midrange Blu-ray players, with a street price under $140.
That will save you some extra cash compared with our top-rated midrange players like the Panasonic DMP-BDT210 and LG BD670, but you're giving up quite a bit. The BDX5200 is considerably slower than typical 2011 Blu-ray players, it offers fewer streaming media services and lacks common features like smartphone control and DLNA compatibility. We also had some issues with the Wi-Fi in our testing environment, where we've successfully tested many other Wi-Fi products.
If you're on a very tight budget, the BDX5200 is a passable Blu-ray player for less money than most competitors, but most buyers will be better served spending a little more for one of our better-rated Blu-ray players.
The BDX5200 looks like a generic Blu-ray player, although its two-toned look distinguishes it a bit. There's virtually nothing on the front panel, save for an SD card slot on the right and the disc tray on the left. With no physical buttons, front-panel controls are handled by illuminated touch-sensitive buttons that occasionally appear left of the SD card slot.
Toshiba's user interface doesn't have the visual appeal of competitors like Panasonic and LG, but it's simple to use. Unlike competitors that force you to load an entire content portal to browse streaming media services, the BDX5200 lets you access the services right from the main menu.
The Netflix interface is the most recent incarnation, allowing you to search for movies and browse for titles not in your instant queue via genre. Overall, Toshiba's streaming media experience is straightforward, but it's easier for Toshiba to be simple since it offers fewer services than competitors.
The Toshiba's output selection is pretty standard, although the inclusion of the SD card slot is particularly nice for quickly viewing photos from a digital camera. Note that while the BDX5200 does not have a component video output, it's not a major loss since even players that have a component out are limited to 480i resolution, due to annoying AACS rules.
The included remote is a mixed bag. It gets a lot of important functions right, with the eject and power buttons nicely positioned at the top, and we love the dedicated red Netflix button. The rest of the functions don't fare as well. The playback controls (play, fast-forward, etc.) are too small, and standard Blu-ray buttons like pop-up menu don't surround the directional pad, which is the standard arrangement. Unlike most other midrange Blu-ray players, the BDX5200 can't be controlled by a smartphone app, so you're stuck using standard remote or a universal.