Toshiba's Media Boxes focus on streaming first, Blu-rays second

Toshiba announced four new devices called "Media Boxes," but are essentially Blu-ray players with streaming-media functionality.

Matthew Moskovciak
Matthew Moskovciak Senior Associate Editor / Reviews - Home theater

Covering home audio and video, Matthew Moskovciak helps CNET readers find the best sights and sounds for their home theaters. E-mail Matthew or follow him on Twitter @cnetmoskovciak.

Sarah Tew/CNET

LAS VEGAS--One could argue that Blu-ray players have been misnamed for years. Yes, they play your Blu-rays, but they're even more about their embedded Smart TV suites that serve up streaming video and music.

That's the angle Toshiba is taking, rolling our four new devices curiously called "Media Box with Blu-ray Disc player capabilities." That's more awkward than it needs to be, but it's hard not to like Toshiba reversing the importance of Blu-ray and streaming capabilities.

Toshiba media box comparison chart

The specific features are broken down in the chart to the right. Miracast is supported by all but the entry-level model, making it possible to send videos, photos, and music from compatible Android mobile devices to your TV. Toshiba's suite of streaming-media apps isn't quite as elaborate as other manufacturers', but Netflix, YouTube, Vudu, Vudu Apps, CinemaNow, Hulu Plus, and Pandora are supported.

Still, Toshiba doesn't have a great track record with Blu-ray players (even its own Web site is full of negative user reviews), so despite the clever name, I'm not optimistic these new models will offer much competition to Blu-ray stalwarts like Panasonic, LG, Sony, and Samsung.

The BDX2400, BDX3400, BDX5400, and BDX6400 are all scheduled to be released in March 2013. Pricing has not been announced.

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