Toshiba BDX3100 review: Toshiba BDX3100

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The Good Adequate 2D picture quality; decent sound.

The Bad Overpriced; 3D image problem; lack of extra online features; clumsy generic menus.

The Bottom Line It'll play your 3D Blu-rays, albeit with a weird line down the right-hand side, but the BDX3100 is under-specified and over-priced compared to everything else on the market. We can tell Toshiba's heart isn't in Blu-ray players, and it shows in this off-the-shelf hardware.

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5.5 Overall

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While we don't make Blu-ray players for a living, we're reasonably confident that for those hardy souls who do, making a 3D Blu-ray player is a fairly trivial matter. We might be talking about 3D players this year, but it's more than likely next year we'll be back to talking about Blu-ray players, all of which will support 3D playback as a matter of course.

And that leads us to the price of Toshiba's BDX3100 -- at anywhere between £150 and £200 online, we think it's a little steep. We'll get into that later: for now, let's see if this player has what it takes to make us part with our three-dimensional cash.

Looks familiar

Like the non-3D Blu-ray players from Toshiba this year, the BDX3100 has a chiselled front with some interesting angles, giving the player an unusual look. It's far from the best-looking piece of technology we've ever seen, but it's hardly the worst.

Picking the player up, you realise your money isn't being spent on weighty componentry, because the player is light and very compact. It's not flimsy, and we don't feel it was poorly built, although the relatively cheap display flickers when you've got 3D glasses on, which can be dreadfully distracting. A schoolboy error.

In terms of sockets, you get a fairly uninspiring collection, including composite out, which is worthless in these days of HD. There's no component video out either, but as copy protection and 3D render it useless, we're not bothered. We don't know why Toshiba even puts extra sockets on these players -- why not just stick to HDMI, USB, Ethernet and a digital audio output of some kind?

The network and USB sockets allow access to media on your home network, including DivX video, JPGs and MP3 files. BD Live access is also available via the Ethernet socket, for what that's worth to anyone.

Picture problems

Although the Toshiba's 2D Blu-ray quality is absolutely fine, we had a couple of problems when we viewed 3D movies. For one, the picture doesn't fit the screen as it would on a 2D movie. This is common to all players, and a failing -- a major one, if you ask us -- of the 3D Blu-ray format.

The BDX3100 compounds this problem by having a hard line down the right hand side of the picture. We don't quite know what the cause of this is, but it's certainly undesirable. It could be that a firmware update will improve this, but why should we have to fight to get a player to behave?

These issues aside, the picture quality from the Toshiba is fine on 3D material, and really gave us no cause for concern. The sound is decent too, and there's a wealth of support for the most recent audio codecs.

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