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35 of 37 people found this helpful
Full-featured but with some drawbacks
on July 10, 2012
I normally adore Toshiba products, and it's safe to say I've never owned a "problematic" DVD player before. This is my first Blu-Ray player, since I don't like being an early adopter or paying a premium for the latest features. In the case of this model, the BDX5300KU, I suspect Toshiba has tried a bit TOO hard to provide every feature (networking, 3D, DLNA, apps, etc.) in a low-cost unit. Can't complain about the player's size (only 1.5" tall, and barely half the depth of my AV center"s shelf), weight (so light it slides when I 'press' the soft-touch front buttons), noises (mild servo sounds when starting/stopping disc playback), or construction (shiny black plastic all around), and I'm becoming accustomed to the front panel's controls being "invisible" until touched -- whereupon they light up.
The BAD news is that I encountered THREE significant PROBLEMS during the 1st week of operation: (1) Unit turns OFF occasionally during disc playback; (2) Sometimes returns to HOME screen while trying to access Netflix content; and (3) Occasionally locks up after sitting idle a (usually long) time. Sadly, the DLNA (media server client) feature is sketchy, too, by failing to detect many (sometimes all) of the audio/video files I have stored on my network.
Unfortunately, finding any helpful Troubleshooting resources (few online and even fewer in the User Manual) is difficult, and the only toll-free line to Toshiba leads to the "Claims" department, where operators take your info and complaint, but cannot call you back (if disconnected, which happens often) or offer solutions (only replacements). I've called them about 10 times in hopes of nailing down some assistance; they are "supportive" and nice folks who speak good English, but having to repeat all my info with each call is taxing (plus, the connection via landline calls is always very faint ... why?). So I'm forced to decide whether to initiate a warranty claim, or wait for another firmware update (all my problems are in software, with the possible exception of overheating causing the shut-off?).
If things improve, I will update this Review accordingly.
UPDATE: I initiated a warranty claim with Toshiba shortly after posting the review above. Was it worth it? I had to (re-) box the unit, ship it via UPS, and wait quite a long time for its replacement. One weirdness about the RMA process is Toshiba issues you a Claim Ticket number, which you later use to "buy" a unit of equal or lesser value. For me, this meant going with the BDX5300 again. Did the replacement work better? Yes and no. No more random idling lock-ups, but disc playback DOES result in unit turning OFF about every 20-30 minutes. It is definitely NOT overheating; this seems like a timing issue, and appears to happen less often with Blu-Ray titles, more frequently with DVDs, and most often with home-burned (e.g. DVD-R) movies. We are gravely disappointed, and considering another RMA. I remain cautiously optimistic, however, that another 1 or 2 firmware updates (there have been 1 or 2 already since the initial RMA) over the network might clear up this remaining issue.
At least the player is willing to resume playback at the spot where unwanted shut-off occurs. Yay?
UPDATE 2: Feeling that the replacement unit was just as flawed and misbehaving just as badly as the original, I tried asking Toshiba to try again. No dice. Products from "Toshiba Direct" only get 30 days warranty, they explained, and my call was outside that time frame -- the holidays interrupted my normal disc-watching schedule. SO... I called Amazon and really complained. Why should I forfeit 11 months' worth of warranty just because of manufacturing defects? To their credit (and my extreme satisfaction), Amazon's online assistant concurred, and arranged a cross-ship (something Toshiba refuses to do!), with pre-paid postage both ways. Nice!
This means I'm now on my third BDX5300 player. After playing about 5 (mostly blu-ray) titles on it, here are my observations: The unit still locks up when it wants to, but not as often during movie playback. Instead, it might freeze, say, right after returning to the Root Menu when a movie has ended, or the moment you attempt to turn the unit Off. Of course, I can remedy this by unplugging and replugging ... but by then I'm annoyed at having tried to press the soft-touch buttons a dozen times before really knowing it has locked up.
I also tried plugging this latest (3rd) unit into different electrical sockets, on the theory that something in the AC line might be affecting all these players. Result: Inconclusive -- will continue testing that theory by plugging into original (brand new) surge suppressor power strip and try another movie or two like that.
Overall conclusion: Toshiba gets no points for customer service. To be told "Sorry, can't help you. Out of warranty. Yes, it's defective, but we can't replace it" is simply unacceptable these days. Amazon customer service, on the other hand, gets 5 stars for coming through and saving the day. In only wish I weren't stuck with a poorly crafted device. (Could still return it for a refund, says Amazon, which I may consider over the coming months, if problems continue.)