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Toshiba RDXS32 - Review thread

Discussion in 'Blu-ray & DVD Players & Recorders' started by nunew33, Jun 15, 2004.

  1. nunew33

    nunew33
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    Thought I would start a thread for people who bought this to specifically post reviews.

    Unforetunately I cant do a comparison as this is my first DVR so I may over egg it.

    So far I have recorded from Sky played with Time slip and gone through all the main menus (library, edit, cointent and rec).

    Starting at the beginning:

    Plumbing
    Set up was a breeze. Starts off in setup screen where you auto tune and autoset time. The hardest thing is determining the best way to plumb if you have lots of kit. In this respect the Tosh is quite handy in that it has 3 outputs (scart,componant and svideo/composite). This allowed me to connect to projector, TV and video sender without a splitter.

    I used the RGB out of sky as AV2 in as well as coax to AV amp and was ready to rumble.

    1. Only thing to note is interference on RF coax. Will investigate this further tonight.
    2. Another funny was when I switch the unit off it doesnt do RGB pass thru. But in its off state I can still use the Sat Moni (satelite monitor) button and then it switches through. So it does pass through but not by default, unlike Toshiba VCRs, which uses Sat moni when on, but passes through when off.
    3. Last thing is RGB and componant are mutually exclusive, but thus was a feature of my Sony 735 so maybe its a standard problem. In other words I have to switch betwen the two and cany have both on (ie watching through projector as wellas TV (in RGB can still watch it using composite).

    Remote
    Remote seems logical. Video plus and setup button are under a flap. My experience of flaps is they soon weaken and I use video plus by default on VCR and so far have tinkered a lot with Setup. However I will be transferring the majority of remote functions to my mosaic. From the small usage I have had the remote seems very good and most screens show you which remote buttons are relevant.

    Switching between RAM and HDD a breeze as they are the biggest buttons.

    Setup options
    Comprehensive, but notice that Recording DNR and black level options on US model are missing. WOuld have thought DNR on recording useful when recording from old VHS and Svideo sources. May email Toshiba as to why. I bet the functionality is there, just the menu option is locked.

    Also cant help feeling some of the setup options will be changed regularly and its a faff to "lift flap"-"press setup"-"find appropriate setup menu"-"find appropriate option"-"set appropriate value"-close flap. Even using remote macros on mosaic, itll take 3-4 seconds. A lot are on quick menu, but a lot arent (in my case changing AV2 out will be a pain when I want to use projector).

    Menus
    Navi menu. Dont think I will use this although I can see my wife using it. It basically provides a more intuitive way to steer you to the other menus.

    The quick menu is excellent and is the equivelent of the right mouse click in windows (i note the microsoft logo on box and can only assume they wrote the OS). Its context sensitive and provides you with the options you need at the time. Even in the short time ive played, if i cant find what i want its in quick menu.

    Rec menu is what most VCRs call the programme screen. You obviously programme in it. Nothing new here other than greater flexibility in regular programming (eg an option for each day of the week every week, mon-fr,i mon sat and sun to at). Very easy. Title is date and time. Quick menu allows you to change this as well as all the parameters. No Timer+rec button to put into timer mode. It just does it. Within 10 mins I had programmed the soaps and nickleodeon kids progs. Took very little time and was nice to know that was it, never to be programmed again

    Content menu is great. Allows you to title, categorise and thumbnail programmes (auto thuimbnails according to specified time, but allows frame accurate thumbs). Also allows screen grabbing for use as menu back grounds. Will burn a DVD tonight to see how well this looks.

    Library menu. Not enough stuff to make use of this, once I start archiving I know this will come into its own, tellking me which disc has what programme.

    Edit menu. Looked intuitive, will play tonight as I intend to "author" first home movies.

    Timeslip
    How have I survived without this. I thought this was a trick benefit of DVR but can see its value. Used it last night so I could go off and deal with a "woken child" and it worked a treat. Took 10 secs to sort itself (a screen comes up saying preparing to timeslip, but the timeslip starts fom when you pressed the button, not when the screen disappears, so you dont lose anything. Maybe this is to prevent timeslips of less than 10 seconds which would be pointless. Instant replay and skip then worked a treat.
    If people are interested I will take some screen shots of the GUI, which looks great, is of PC standard and is transparantly overlayed over picture. Even transparancy is a setting.

    Overall so far
    So far I am 99% pleased. I think if something meets 85%of your expectations you are onto a winner. At this price itll never be 100%. The 1% is niggles rather than pains and mostly the RGB/componant switching. Setting up the proj is a ceremony as it is, this is another ritual in that process. The RF interference if insolvable will reduce it by a few more %.

    Not sure if the whole package is intuitive as I work with computers and I read the manual in advance, so it may appear easier than it should.

    Hope this helps anyone on the fence.
     
  2. jdarushall

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    Looks good but read somewhere about a couple of missing bits.

    Can you answer these???

    Is there a SAT button or someway to record when a signal is received on AV2 (sat) to start recording.

    ie select programmes on Sky box switch to stand-by and switch recorder into Sat mode. = Sky+ box that works????

    What about a quick record???

    ie. I start recording and want it to switch off in 1 hours time???

    Only minor things, but they are extremly useful when you start to use them.
     
  3. nunew33

    nunew33
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    No satellite trigger that i can see. But there is satellite control, I little IR transmitter on a lead so it can change channels.

    regards recording. On my VCR i have OTR (one touch record),. Havent found this on xs32. What I have found (and think is better) is that I press record and then quick menu I have an option to set an end time. Another handy feature is a one button extend button. So if the programme overruns you can quickly extend by 10 - 60 minutes (unforetunately under flap)
     
  4. GoldFish

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    Excellent review nunew33. I echo all your findings.
    Thanks to your other thread that I were make aware of this new machine and it came at the right time for me to replace one of my broken VCR.

    just to add that the at less than £500 it is a bargain.... If I have been demoed this product in the shop I think I would have no hestitation in paying the full price for its picture quality and flexibility.

    For people who are still not yet decided I just noticed that QED are doing this at £365….http://www.qed-uk.com/?i=&vp=6&bg=114&bp=xs32s&bi=0

    This is maddness !!!

    Tan
     
  5. nunew33

    nunew33
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  6. GoldFish

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    Since I have only bought that from RS on last Sunday... will try to get a refund from them. Failling that I will try Barclaycard's price match offer... see how it goes.

    nunew33, if have have paid for this match by credit card you might still have a chance to re-claim the difference.

    Tan
     
  7. GoldFish

    GoldFish
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  8. nunew33

    nunew33
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    Thanks gold fish, enforcing unbeatables 7 day price promise!!!
     
  9. neilp

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    <lurk mode:eek:ff> Bought from RS last night, *thanks* for all the useful posts here.

    Have successfully recorded to HDD and edited onto DVD-R. Only niggle so far is R1 playback; RS multiregion model but mine has failed on 2 out of 3 discs with a "damaged or dirty disc" message after the intro sequence; these discs are fine on my multiregion Sony player.

    Anyone else tried R1 playback?

    Neil.
     
  10. Matthew Attoe

    Matthew Attoe
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    I've tried r1 saving private ryan, charlies angels, charlies angels 2 and they are all fine.

    I believe at least 1 charlies angels is rce, if not both of them.

    I rang RS and they said if i nip back with my receipt and a printout of the qed page, they'll refund the difference plus another £10.So another £70 off the cost then. Just hope it all goes to plan. Fingers crossed.

    Matthew
     
  11. moochin

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    I rang RS and they said if i nip back with my receipt and a printout of the qed page, they'll refund the difference plus another £10.So another £70 off the cost then. Just hope it all goes to plan. Fingers crossed.

    Matthew[/QUOTE]

    But QED's recorder is not multi-regional (I rang to confirm). Will RS do a refund against theirs which is multi-regional? Shame that QED's is only R2. Nice price if it was multi.

    By the way, can someone tell me if I need a multi-regional recorder to copy non R2 disks or is multi-regional only necessary for viewing non R2 disks. If it is the later, I could purchase another cheap multi-regional player for viewing only, then the QED's recorder for copying.
     
  12. GoldFish

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    nunew33 / neilp

    Just got back from Richersounds from Leeds. Just to let you all know that they have kept their promise and refunded the difference :smashin: . (I could have used the Barclays gold card price match promise, but RS is better in that they also give me £10 extra for my trouble (taken half day of work as holiday). So the cost of my machine is worked out as £354.94!! Even with their 3 years supercare added on; I paid the total of less than £385.00. :)

    For anyone who have read this, I think you all have to act quickly as they did ring up QED to check for price and stock availability; so if QED have jacked their price up and or no stock, you might not be in a good position to get the refund.

    Hope you guys get you money back soon.

    Regards

    Tan
     
  13. GoldFish

    GoldFish
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    But QED's recorder is not multi-regional (I rang to confirm). Will RS do a refund against theirs which is multi-regional? Shame that QED's is only R2. Nice price if it was multi.

    By the way, can someone tell me if I need a multi-regional recorder to copy non R2 disks or is multi-regional only necessary for viewing non R2 disks. If it is the later, I could purchase another cheap multi-regional player for viewing only, then the QED's recorder for copying.[/QUOTE]


    ehh... Don't think you can copy protected DVD be it R1 or R2. If this is what you want you might be better going the PC route.

    Tan
     
  14. Matthew Attoe

    Matthew Attoe
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    I didn't do as well as goldfish... but i did manage to get them to refund me back to £400 so mustn't grumble too much. they said as the QED wasn't multi-region it wasn't the same spec. However, which richer sounds was it you dealt with GoldFish? Do you remember who you spoke to in the shop? Wonder whether I dare have the nerve to go back AGAIN, now that another RS have already honoured the price promise to another customer?

    Now, if only i could get rid of the RF interference. Spent several hours so far trying to track it down, trying various wiring methods.

    Cheers

    Matthew
     
  15. nunew33

    nunew33
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    Unbeatable refunded me £60 !!!! cant argue with that

    So on with review!

    Didnt make as much progress tonight.
    Captured 90 mins of Hi8 tape and started to edit

    Editting is a piece of cake. Took me about an hour but I now have 90 mins of nicely chaptered home video. Labelled cut for crap and meaningful names elsewhere. Tomorrow I burn.

    used SP and this is as good as original and most probably overkill for subbroadcast quality.

    Nice thing was that althoush sourced through S-video I was able to watch on RGBout (the source not the recording). Thumbnailing for chapters was easy too, only needed to aletr a couple.


    Interference due to poor signal, booster seemd to have got rid of it and even Channel 5 looks good

    No hiccups on timer recordings either.

    So far very happy especially at a sub £400 price
     
  16. JIT

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    Could i connect my Freeview box via RGB to the Toshiba and then pass component out to my receiver?
     
  17. Dark Eyes

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    I'm gutted to find out it doesn't title recordings from teletext, as I specifically checked with the DVD marketing person at Toshiba and they said it did !

    How fiddly is the virtual keyboard to use to title Timer Recordings, as I tend record singular programmes - no soaps or series ?

    I was hoping that I had put the Panasonic E85 behind me ...
     
  18. nunew33

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    Dark eyes, its like querty. Use directional keys. Its not bad, ie when you go off keyboard it wraps around.

    I didnt expect mouch but it wouldnt have taken much to do the following either:
    1) Use mobile style input (Max 4 button presses per char and an average of 2.5)
    2) use of preemptive texting
    3) It uses two lines, no carriage return you pad with space.
    4) USB or PS2 port for keyboard. Sony did this on their 200 DVD carousel. Ideal for any device with a library.

    Ive already found a flapless route to setup menu!!! Its on the navi menu!

    JIT...I aim to try that tonight. If it works Im half tempted to route devices through the Tosh rather than the amp. I dont think my TV is good at handling SVideo as the output of the tosh through RGB seemed much better than connecting direct. This is simply passing through the signal not playing a recording. Could be rose tinted glasses though
     
  19. Alanji

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    Just found this thread. Excellent review Nunew. I too am delighted with mine - except it has to go back! Problems with fan noise and picture. Unbeatable are out of stock so I am hanging on to mine until they get a replacement. I have also just discovered (from this thread) the price QED are offering and that you have managed to get a refund, so will be trying tomorrow - could not get through tonight.

    Picture quality superb on SP (4.6 Mbps-2hours)- but quite noticeable deterioration on LP (2.2 Mbps-4 hours)
    It seems that Program delivery control (PDC - see page 42) only works with analogue signals - can anyone confirm?
     
  20. nunew33

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    yes. Didnt try it with the unit off, but would guess it would have to be on
     
  21. nunew33

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    Burned my first dvd tonight. The process itself was easy (despite dodgy english on screens. Once again Quick menu makes life a lot easier and ensures you dont wear that flip up thing on remote. Manual shows some quick menus but not all, so its always worth trying quick menu before you reach for the manual.

    The only thing is that VR mode allows for frame accurate chapter editing and this is lost when going to video mode so a couple of my chapters started with the frames of the previous scene (approx 9-10 frames). I will counter this by starting 10 frames in. Other than that it worked a treat. I know I could do better with aPC but after attempting the PC route and ending up with 5 minutes film after 3 months I think Ill stick with tosh which took me from tape to finished DVD in 2 nights.

    Despite only its third night here I am wondering what life was like before timeslip, not having to wait until a program is recorded to watch it should have been invented years ago!!!

    Another feature I liked was looked at recently elapsed programmed recordings and reusing them (saving retyping titles). After accidently deleting 2 lines I was able to retrieve them immediately.

    Also no matter what the source it seems to cast it to whatever output you use, so Svideo in goes to componant or RGB out. Any sound goes out through coax to amp.
    I still think this is a 95% perfect machine for my requirements and would recommend it to anyone
     
  22. JIT

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    Sounds like this is a good unit, if only it had a Freeview tuner i'd buy one tomorrow.
     
  23. Matthew Attoe

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    I noticed the 10 extra frames also. Glad it's just not me!
     
  24. Matthew Attoe

    Matthew Attoe
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    While i think about it, what are people doing with their machine when they're not using it?

    1) turning it off

    2) leaving it switched on

    3) leaving it switched on, but with the HDD set to auto shut-off

    Just wondered how the age-old adage of HDD wear-and-tear stands nowadays. Is it better to let the drive spin constantly (using the theory that component failure is more likely during the switching on/switching off process), or to switch on and off to save wear-and-tear on the drive?

    Thanks,

    Matthew
     
  25. Lyricman

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    Hi,
    How fast can it copy from HD to -DVD or -DVDRW. The Pioneer and Panasonic can do it at 32 x.
     
  26. nunew33

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    32 depends on the rate at which you copy. It all comes down to the burner speed or the disc speed. The tosh can do x4 speed dvds, but will durn at x2 if you put a x2 disc in. Wne pioneer say 32, what they meanis if you record 8 hours on a disc and copy at x4, hey presto its x32. I may be wrong but I dont think any of the current crop can do x8
     
  27. quinn45

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    Hi,

    Nenew33, What dit rate are you recording at out of curiosity, I record in the XS30
    at 2.4 with 192 audio.

    Also in Japan the RDXS53 has just been released it has 320 GIG HDD (Yes 320!!!)
    and is DVD-RAM/R/RW.
     
  28. Matthew Attoe

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    I wondered what rate bit rate sky broadcasts their audio in. I read somewhere that their digital radio channels are at 192kbs but don't know if this holds true for their other channels.

    So i take it everyone else doesn't know what to do with their recorder either when they're not using it then. Glad i'm not alone:)

    Cheers

    Matthew
     
  29. jdarushall

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    Are you editing on the HD (frame accurate!) and then writing it to DVD-R???

    I think under the MPEG specs you can only make "cuts" every 12 frames (I frames?)

    Hence if you cut is 2 frames passed the last I-frame then it will leave a further 10 frames. I would be carefull taking an extra 10 frames out as you may go passed the previous I-frame and lose a few frames.

    I think what happends it in VR the marker as set accuratly to give the "apparence" of a frame perfect edit but when reverting to DVD-R they have to follow the specs and hence the extra frames.

    Only way to find out for sure is to try it out I suppose!
     
  30. Matthew Attoe

    Matthew Attoe
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    Goldfish:

    Thanks for the heads-up about the leeds RS. Spoke to the manager at my local RS and he's doing the same as the Leeds branch. So I got mine for £354.94 as well. Unbelievable value. Multi-region, too!

    Again, many thanks.

    Matthew
     

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