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Toshiba BDX3100 review: Toshiba BDX3100

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Lack of online services disappoints

Everyone does Internet content on their Blu-ray players now. Everyone who makes players worth buying, that is. Sony, Samsung, LG and to some extent Panasonic all offer some access to online video. Sony and Samsung are the best for this, offering both LoveFilm and BBC iPlayer. But Sony wins, because it also provides Demand Five, and some other services such as YouTube. Toshiba offers none of that. 

At this price, we expect a little more than just 3D to sweeten the deal. Toshiba does throw in some media playback support, but nothing -- once again -- to compare with the support found on Sony, Samsung and LG players for MKV-contained MPEG-4 video files.

Bring your own memory

The BDX3100 is another Blu-ray player that doesn't provide any internal storage for extras downloaded from BD Live services. This means, if you -- for reasons unknown -- decide to watch the optional content on Blu-ray discs that is delivered over the Internet, you must first connect a USB drive with at least 1GB capacity to the player.

Once again, we're infuriated by this decision, which is nothing more than a money-saving exercise. Although we deem BD Live to be a complete and utter waste of time, we do expect players to be able to access it without us adding our own memory.

The problems here are generic

Looking at our old HD DVD player made by Toshiba -- who else, after all, made them? -- makes this machine doubly disappointing. Its menus are ugly and clumsy, and the English is patchy. The BDX3100 is clearly an off-the-shelf generic model from a third-party manufacturer that's been badged with a Toshiba logo and given a custom front panel.

Pick any no-name Blu-ray player, and we'll guarantee it has the same components as this Tosh. We really resent that, because the brand name is the only reason for the inflated price tag. And in this case, the player just doesn't justify it.

Conclusion

While the Toshiba BDX3100 is a decent enough Blu-ray player, we aren't impressed by the ugly menus, the side band on 3D video or the lack of Internet functionality. The price is ludicrous too -- the same as Sony's excellent BDP-S470 and ultimately much less desirable.

While owners of this player needn't throw it away, we'd urge people considering it to go for the Sony instead. You'll get more for your money, with a proper user interface and some superb Internet TV functionality.

Edited by Nick Hide

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