Remember when Toshiba tried to flog us all HD DVD? Remember when it tried to make us believe Blu-ray was wasn't as good? Yeah, us too, so it's with a wry chuckle that we observe the same company has now hopped on that very bandwagon with the BDX2000, its first standalone Blu-ray player.
From what we've seen, Toshiba has avoided the temptation to cripple the device in a belated and futile attempt to prove that HD DVD is the superior format. On the contrary: the BDX2000 packs most of the features we'd expect from a modern standalone unit, including support for BD-Live Profile 2.0, which allows access to interactive features such as Bonus View picture-in-picture, via the machine's Ethernet connection.
Happily, the BDX2000 boasts full 1080p/24p playback, so it makes films 'move' in the same dramatic way they do in the cinema, and will also blow the proverbial dust off your ordinary DVD films by upscaling them to something approaching high definition. It's not all about discs, though. The BDX2000 will play DivX and AVCHD movies via the front-mounted SD/SDHC card slot -- a feature that'll come in handy for anyone who downloads movies or records video to memory card via a Blu-ray camcorder.
Other features include Regza-Link, which reduces clutter by allowing control of the BDX2000 with your existing Toshiba TV remote control, and support for enhanced audio formats such as Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio Essential -- features nobody will understand until they're confronted with movie soundtracks that seem to be inside their actual brains.
No pricing has been confirmed for the BDX2000, but Toshiba reckons it'll be available in December. You can bet your bottom dollar we'll have a full review before then.