Theres also a Quick menu that lets you check stuff like subtitles and audio tracks, while the Display button shows the same info in a banner at the top of the screen.Toshiba BDX5500 Design and ConnectionsHats off to Toshibas design team for dreaming up a Blu-ray deck thats a refreshing break from the norm. All of the keys are clearly labelled too.Confusingly there are two separate Home menus, one of which is a browser that lets you access internet apps and DLNA content. Toshiba has done a terrific job with this screen, making it highly attractive and easy to follow.
Were also pleased to report that motion is smooth, which helps during the movies battle scenes when hundreds of objects dart around the screen.5mm high. With the Silicon Optix HQV disc theres some noticeable flicker on the vertically-striped boxes in the Film Resolution Loss test, but it passes the jaggies and Video Resolution Loss tests with flying colours.Toshiba BDX5500 PerformanceThe BDX5500s pictures look as good any other player at this price.
Toshiba BDX5500 OperationBoot up the BDX5500 and the first thing youll see is the BD Player Setting Wizard, which guides you through all the crucial settings onscreen language, resolution, aspect ratio, internet connection and so forth. However, when you enter or exit this menu theres an annoying pause while it has a think, plus the cursors tendency to lag behind remote commands can be testing at times. The latter allows you to hook up a flash drive or external HDD and play music, movies and photos. 1080/24p Blu-ray discs look intensely sharp and stable, with hard, tightly-contained edges and jaggie-free diagonal lines.
Our usual disc loading speed test garnered unspectacular results the deck took 35 seconds to start playing Terminator Salvation and the same to load The Desolation of Smaug. Although were not blown away by the remotes build quality, you can tell some thought went into the button arrangement. It eschews the usual rectangular box shape for a square casing with groovy curved corners and a fetching brushed silver top panel. Featured Apps basically consists of pictures of an iceberg and The Louvre, both of which display a Not Available message when selected.
SEE ALSO: Our Best Blu-ray Players roundupConnections are sparse but Toshiba isnt catering for niche needs at this price. What you get is the typical budget line-up of HDMI output, Ethernet, coaxial digital output as opposed to the more common optical and a USB port.The BDX5500 is Toshibas latest range-topping Blu-ray player, which boasts a full complement of features and a gorgeous design that allows for vertical or horizontal installation.Should I buy the Toshiba BDX5500The BDX5500 is an impressive deck in many respects, offering decent features and internet content, terrific pictures and good-looking onscreen menus.
You wont find any of these on the cheaper BDX2550 or entry-level BDX1500, nor will you find the square design and vertical mounting.Away from these two home screens, the menus are less inspiring.The deck can be laid flat in the conventional way or installed vertically on the supplied stand, which is attached using two screws on the back. This is a boon if you want to slot it into a narrow gap beside your TV.
This player oozes style. It duplicates some of the portal screen, but we like the slick and attractive layout that places the icons in an arc on the left of the screen, moving to the right as each submenu opens.Toshiba BDX5500 FeaturesAs mentioned, the BDX5500 boasts Toshibas full set of features, which means you get 4K upscaling, 3D Blu-ray playback, built-in Wi-Fi and Miracast screen mirroring. That said, this layout makes it easy to find files and were impressed by how quickly and smoothly the deck plays videos.
If you exit the Browser menu, it whisks you to the Player menu where you can fiddle with the decks settings or access Miracast.Access to internet content is now an intrinsic part of the Blu-ray player experience and on that score Toshiba has upped its game in the past couple of years. Theres even a weather widget at the bottom. Theres a web browser too, but its cumbersome to explore with the remote.
Good stuff, but we think the menu system could be streamlined into a single interface. There are no problems with colour reproduction either every shade looks natural and well-balanced, with smooth tonal gradations. Its split into Available Apps, Featured Apps and Tools.The Toshibas only real downfall is that its up against some top quality competition the Samsung BD-H6500, Sony BDP-S5200 and LG BP645 offer a better range of internet content and generally go about their business with extra speed and slickness.
The various icons and tiles are superimposed over a cloudy sky the cloud, geddit and its decorated in punchy, eye-catching colours. When exploring DLNA menus, for example, theres a basic, boring grey box in the middle of the screen, with files displayed in simple lists. Its the sort of cute, compact player thats ideal for watching movies in the bedroom, and with built-in Wi-Fi and web content its also an easy way of bringing smart functionality to older TVs around the house. The power button on top is surrounded by a funky green light when active.
The direction pad is conveniently placed right in the middle, plus the often-used Home and Internet buttons are coloured white to make them stand out. Yawn.Thats a decent selection, but a greater choice of catch-up TV apps wouldnt have gone amiss after all, Samsungs BD-H6500 throws in 4OD, ITV Player and Demand 5 plus the LG BP645s inclusion of Now TV and Spotify makes it a more compelling line-up. We love the compact, square-shaped design and vertical mounting option, making this a player thatll look great in the living room or bedroom.
Its a little light and plasticky when you pick it up, but no worse than any other player at this price. VerdictThe BDX5500 is an impressive Blu-ray player, mixing a stylish vertical design with decent features and razor-sharp pictures, although rival decks get you more for your money.Next, find the perfect TV to match your Blu-ray player with our Best Value TV roundup. We were able to play AVCHD, WMV, MP4, XviD and AVI videos, but it didnt detect our MKV or DivX files MKV is only supported via USB.
Close ups of human faces reveal skin blemishes and pockmarks like any good hi-def source should. Theres a disc slot in the gloss-black front panel much cooler and tidier than a tray next to which are touch-sensitive controls that light up when tapped, then disappear. Fire up Avatar on Blu-ray and the exquisitely-rendered CG scenery and creatures look stunning you can pick out individual leaves on Pandoras trees and bushes, while the scaly texture of the Thanators skin is remarkably clear. The deck is also DLNA certified and you can stream content from PCs and other devices connected to your network.
As for music we could play MP3, WMA, AAC and WAV but not FLAC. Switch to 3D and the decks sharpness, stability and punchy colours ensure you get the full benefit of the formats added immersion and depth. The only thing we dont like is the extra set of arrow keys surrounding the direction pad, which make it too cluttered. As a result the BDX5500 comes equipped with apps for BBC iPlayer, Netflix, YouTube, Dailymotion, BBC News, BBC Sport, Picasa, Facebook and Funspot.
The deck also decodes Dolby True HD, DTS HD Master Audio, Dolby Digital Plus and DTS HD, as well as outputting them as a bitstream via HDMI for your AV receiver to decode. But if you like the stylish design and value good quality Blu-ray playback over web content then were sure you wont be disappointed. Its also pleasingly slim and compact, measuring 200mm wide by 49. I guess that is the end of the story.