Give a man a Blu-Ray and he will entertain himself for a couple of hours, give him a Blu-Ray player and he will be entertained for a lifetime. While a lifetime may be a bit too long considering the life cycle of technology, this mangled proverb does have a bit of truth. For Fathers Day, it is easy (and cheaper) to just buy Dad some movie that he may more may not like, but sometime it is better to go the extra mile and give him something that he is certain to use for a long time. With the huge quality difference over DVDs and the fact that everyone is buying HDTVs now, the only logical choice is a Blu-Ray Player.
One of the best players that I have tried out is the just released for 2012 Toshiba BDX line of Blu-Ray/DVD Players. I got to try out the 3300 which is the 2D version, and it was like night and day when compared to what we were watching before. The biggest factor for me was how simple it was to set up, all you need is an HDMI cable (not included) and you are ready to go. The menu layout is super clean and ultimately you a get fast and easy entertainment experience without the hassle of going through a huge book of instructions and dealing with miles of cable.
On the features front, the BDX line and the 3300 are complete SMART machines meaning they can connect to the internet both wirelessly or wired and access a multitude of entertainment sites. We tried it with Netflix (there is an actual button on the controller that brings you right there) and the experience was just as quick as if you were using a computer to reach the site. The player to certified for all the different levels of wireless (A through N) and automatically detects any signals that are nearby. One cool thing is that it also tells you the relative strength of the signal so that you can pick the right one for your home. This added access to the internet also allows a whole new world of specific content (BDLive) which unlocks new features from your DVDs.
It is amazing how integrated technology is at the moment. I was able to download an App specific to the 3300 which allows me to control it through an iOS or Android device. The 3300 also allows sound up to 7.1 Dolby True HD, meaning that you can get better than movie theater quality sound with the right system. Overall it made for an even more immersing experience. For Dad it means that they can pick their own movies and watch it at the best visual and audio quality that can be had. At around $100, the BDX 3300 also represents a great bargain.
The BDX 3300 is now available at most major retailer. A 3D version can also be found for around $140.
Disclaimer: we received a BDX 3300 for review purposes. This post represents my unbiased opinion.