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 Blu-ray players and 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 only thing that saves the BDX5200 from completely generic looks is its two-tone black and gray finish. 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 control is handled by illuminated touch-sensitive buttons that appear left of the SD card slot.
We generally prefer physical buttons and the Toshiba's touch-sensitive keys are a good example why. The buttons aren't always illuminated, so you need to press the general area of the buttons to get them to show up in the first place. And if you're not familiar with the player, you're likely to have no idea how to eject a disc or stop a movie. The lack of buttons may make the BDX5200 sleeker-looking, but they also make it more difficult to use.
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 model.
Toshiba's user interface doesn't have the visual appeal of those from 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 can 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 offers fewer total services than competitors.
|Key Blu-ray features|
|3D Blu-ray||Yes||Onboard memory||No|
The Toshiba BDX5200 has a few premium features (built-in Wi-Fi, 3D Blu-ray support), but it lacks features available on some other models, such 2D-to-3D conversion or onboard memory. We wouldn't worry about missing either of those. In our opinion, 2D-to-3D conversion is little more than a gimmick, and onboard memory is only used for BD-Live features, which we never find ourselves using.
The BDX5200 also lacks DLNA compatibility, which is considered standard on midrange Blu-ray players. That means you won't be able to stream media from a networked PC, although you can put those files on a USB thumb drive or SD card to be played back by the BDX5200.
|Streaming media features|
Toshiba's suite of streaming media services hits a lot of the major services we like (Netflix, Vudu and Pandora), but it pales compared to other midrange Blu-ray players. If you're interested in services like Amazon Instant, MLB.TV and Picasa, you'll have to go with another player.for details.