Toshiba BDX6400 Symbio Media Box Blu-ray Disc Player Review

How Small Can a Blu-ray Disc Player Get?

Toshiba Symbio BDX6400 Media Box Blu-ray Disc Player - Photo of Front and Rear Views
Toshiba Symbio BDX6400 Media Box Blu-ray Disc Player - Front and Rear View Photo. Photo © Robert Silva - Licensed to About.com
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The Toshiba BDX6400 Symbio Media Box Blu-ray Disc Player is extremely compact but don't let the size fool you - it provides 2D and 3D playback of Blu-ray Discs, DVD, and CD, as well 1080p and 4K upscaling when used with a 4K UltraHD TV. The BDX6400 is also able to stream audio/video content from the internet, as well as content stored on your home network. Keep on reading for all the details.

Toshiba Symbio BDX6400 Product Features

1. The BDX6400 features 1080p/60, 1080p/24 or 4K (via upscaling resolution output, and 3D Blu-ray playback capability via HDMI 1.4 audio/video output.

2. The BDX6400 can play the following discs and formats: Blu-ray Disc/BD-ROM/BD-R/BD-RE/DVD-Video/DVD-R/-RW /CD/CD-R/CD-RW/DTS-CD, MKV, AVCHD, and MP4.

3. The BDX6400 also provides DVD video upscaling to 720p, 1080i, 1080p, and both DVD and Blu-ray upscaling to 4K (compatible TV or video projector required).

4. High definition video outputs include: One HDMI. DVI-HDCP video output compatibility with adapter (3D not accessible using DVI).

5. Standard definition video output: None (no component, S-video, or composite video outputs).

6. Besides audio output via HDMI output one additional audio output option includes one Digital Coaxial output (No Digital Optical or analog stereo audio output option is provided).

7. Built-in Ethernet, WiFi, and Miracast Connectivity.

8. One USB port for access to digital photo, video, music content via flash drive.

9.Profile 2.0 (BD-Live) functionality (addition of 1 GB or more of USB flash drive based memory required).

10. A Wireless Infrared Remote Control and full color high definition onscreen GUI (Graphical User Interface) is provided for easy setup and function access.

11. Dimensions (HWD): 1.9 x 7.5 x 7.5-inches.

12. Weight: 1.74 lbs.

Additional Capabilities and Notations

The BDX6400 employs a menu that provides direct access to online audio and video content sources, including Netflix, VUDU, Pandora, and more...

DLNA - Provides the ability to access digital media files from compatible network connected devices, such as PCs and media servers.

NOTE: To comply with current copy-protection regulations, the BDX6400 is also Cinavia-enabled.

Hardware Used

Blu-ray Disc Player: OPPO BDP-103 (used for comparison).

Home Theater Receiver: Onkyo TX-SR705 (used in 5.1 channel mode)

Loudspeaker/Subwoofer System (5.1 channels): EMP Tek E5Ci Center channel Speaker, four E5Bi compact bookshelf Speakers for left and right main and surrounds, and an ES10i 100 watt powered subwoofer.

Video Projector: Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 2030 (on review loan).

TV: Westinghouse LVM-37w3 1080p Monitor.

DVDO EDGE Video Scaler used for baseline video upscaling comparisons.

Audio/Video connections made with Accell interconnect and Atlona HDMI cables. In addition, the DVDO Air3 WirelessHD Adapter was also used during portions of the review period.

Blu-ray Discs, DVDs, and Additional Content Sources Used In This Review

Blu-ray Discs (3D): Adventures of Tintin, Brave, Drive Angry, Hugo, Oz The Great and Powerful (3D), Immortals, Puss in Boots, Transformers: Dark of the Moon, Underworld: Awakening.

Blu-ray Discs: Battleship, Ben Hur, Brave, Cowboys and Aliens, The Hunger Games, Jaws, Jurassic Park Trilogy, Megamind, Mission Impossible - Ghost Protocol, Oz The Great and Powerful (2D), Pacific Rim (2D), Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, Star Trek Into Darkness, The Dark Knight Rises.

Standard DVDs: The Cave, House of the Flying Daggers, Kill Bill - Vol 1/2, Kingdom of Heaven (Director's Cut), Lord of Rings Trilogy, Master and Commander, Outlander, U571, and V For Vendetta.

CDs: Al Stewart - A Beach Full of Shells, Beatles - LOVE, Blue Man Group - The Complex, Joshua Bell - Bernstein - West Side Story Suite, Eric Kunzel - 1812 Overture, HEART - Dreamboat Annie, Nora Jones - Come Away With Me, Sade - Soldier of Love.

Netflix, Audio and Video files stored on USB flash drives, and PC hard drive.

Video Performance

Whether playing Blu-ray Discs or DVDs, I found that the Toshiba BDX6400 did very well in terms of detail, color, contrast, and black levels.

Also, video performance with streaming content looked good with services such as Netflix delivering a DVD quality image. However, it is important to note that consumers may see different quality results in this area as factors such as video compression used by content providers, as well as internet speed, which are independent of the video processing capabilities of the player, does affect the quality of what you finally see on your TV screen. For more on this: Internet Speed Requirements for Video Streaming.

Digging into video performance further, the BDX6400 also performed very well with the tests provided on the Silicon Optix (IDT/Qualcomm) HQV Benchmark DVD.

The upscaling test results revealed that the BDX6400 does very well on jagged edge suppression, extraction of detail, motion adaptive processing, and moire pattern detection and elimination, and frame cadence detection. However, I found that the BDX6400 did not do as well in terms of video noise reduction, including mosquito noise. For a photo illustrated look at some of video performance test results for the BDX6400, check out my supplementary Test Results Profile.

3D Performance

To evaluate the 3D performance of the BDX6400, I enlisted an Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 2030 video projector that was provided to me for another review.

I found that the 3D Blu-ray discs loaded reasonably fast, but slower than non-3D discs (which is typical), but the BDX6400 is a fast loading machine overall. Also, once no difficulty playing the various 3D discs I used for this review.

There was no playback hesitation, frame skipping, or other issues.

The BDX6400 feed the native 3D signal to the connected 3D projector correctly. With native 3D sources, the player is essentially a pass-through conduit, so it should not (and the BDX6400 did not), alter native 3D signals coming from Blu-ray Discs.

Audio Performance

On the audio side, the BDX6400 offers complete onboard decoding, as well as undecoded bitstream output for compatible home theater receivers. However, the BDX6400 in addition to the HDMI output (for both audio and video), the only other audio output connection option provided is digital coaxial. I found it a little odd that Toshiba didn't also include the more commonly used digital optical connection option. Other than a very small cost factor, I don't see why both options couldn't have been included.

On the other hand, the provided HDMI connection can supply Dolby TrueHD, DTS-HD Master Audio access via HDMI, and multi-channel PCM. However, it must be noted that the digital coaxial connection is limited to standard Dolby Digital, DTS, and two-channel PCM formats, which conforms to current industry standards. So, if yuou want the benefit of Blu-ray audio, the HDMI connection option is preferred, but the digital coaxial output is provides for those cases where a non-HDMI or non-3D pass-through capable home theater receiver is used (that is if you are using the BDX6400 with a 3D TV or video projector).

Internet Streaming

Just as with most Blu-ray disc players available these days, the BDX6400 provides access to internet streaming content - in Toshiba's case, this is referred to as "Cloud TV".

Using the oncscreen menu, users can access streaming content from sites such as, Netflix, VUDU, CinemaNow, YouTube, and more...

Also, the Vudu Apps sections provides some additional content offerings - which can be expanded via periodic applicable firmware update. However, just with all internet streaming devices, keep in mind that while most of the available services can be added to your list free of charge, the actual content provided by some services may require an actual paid subscription.

Video quality varies, but the video processing capability of the BDX6400 does do a good job of making streaming content look as good as possible. Netflix was easily DVD quality in most instances and You Tube look surprisingly good, but podcast and web-app video quality varied quite a bit.

In addition to content services, the BDX6400 also provides access to social media services, such as Facebook.

The BDX6400 also provides access to a full web browser, but the downside for was did not work well with a standard windows USB keyboard. This makes web browsing cumbersome as you have to use the onscreen vitural keyboard that only allows one character to be entered in at a time via the BDX6400's remote control.

In addition, although access to internet and web browsing is provided, I did find that the Ethernet cable connection option was more dependable than the Wifi option. When using WiFi, I initially had trouble trying to access HuluPlus, Netflix, and Vudu, as well as some of the additional apps, but I was able to resolve the problem by positioning the BDX6400 a little higher on my rack.

Media Player Functions

An added convenience incorporated into the BDX6400 is the ability to play audio, video, and image files stored on USB flash drives or content stored on a DLNA compatible home network (such as PCs and media servers). I found using either option was very easy, the onscreen control menu loaded fast and scrolling through menus and accessing content was fast and easy.

However, keep in mind that not all digital media file types are playback compatible - a complete list is provided in the user guide.

What I liked about the BDX6400:

1. Very good 2D and 3D Blu-ray Disc playback.

2. Good overall 1080p upscaling (4K upscaling not evaluated).

3. Access to Internet streaming content.

4. Well laid out, easy-to-use, Onscreen Menu system.

5. Very compact size - easy to place and install.

What I didn't like about the BDX6400:

1. Limited Audio-only Output options - (no analog, not digital optical - digital coaxial only)

2. Wi-Fi was a little spotty at first.

3. External memory required for BD-Live access.

4. Remote Control not intuitive and is not backlit, making it more difficult to use, especially in a darkened room.

5. Using an external USB Keyboard for web browser navigation is cumbersome.

6. The power supply is external.

7. High Price Tag for what it offers.

Final Take

The BDX6400 is definitely the smallest Blu-ray Disc player I have ever reviewed. It is actually about the same size as portable DVD or Blu-ray Disc player (without an attached screen).  Overall, it is a good performing unit, but there are some connectivity shortcomings (including a bulky external power supply), and it carries a higher price tag than some equivalent, or more fully, featured players from some competitors.

Also, I was not able to test the 4K Upscaling or Miracast features in time for this review - so, I will have to reserve any judgment on those aspects of the BDX6400 for now.

One suggestion I have is that Toshiba should offer an accessory traveling case for it - this player/media box could make a great travel companion.

For additional perspective on the Toshiba BDX6400, also check out my Product Photos and Video Performance Test Results.

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