> How clean are your edits? I understand that in common with MPEG standard, the Toshiba only cuts at the nearest I frame... I hear the Pioneer models pause in freezeframe and lose audio at the edit points. How does the Tosh behave? <
There is a brief pause with muted audio, similar to my Panasonic E80, though it seemed a bit less (may have been my imagination). In any event, it's not objectionable. Don't know about the Pioneer.
> wanted to mention that I have not ecperienced the so called 'black leve' problem on my equipment... <
Just because you're not aware of it doesn't mean it's not there. But if you're happy with it, that's really all that matters.
> In other forums I've read ppl who actually own the machine say this problem is greatly exxagerated. <
I wish that were true.
> I see a lot of post also saying 'don't buy it- black level problem' but they don't post anything else as if they are repeating something they've read rathar then owning the machine and testing it themselves. <
Right, they're just trying to save someone grief, who might be unaware of Toshiba's massive screwup.
> I'm not saying the problem does not exist - perhaps I'm just lucky and my mix of equipment won't show the problem. <
That's fine if it works out for you.
> Black level problem aside - this is a wonderful machine from what I can see so far but will need much much more time to examine all the features. <
I agree. I've tried all the Pannys, the Sharp, and the Toshiba, and the Toshiba was my favorite by good measure. Loads of features and very good UI (unlike the Sharp, which was extremely poor). I've heard numerous complaints from users about Toshiba manuals, yet I think they're actually quite good (though there is a lot to read). Unfortunately, there was no question that the DVD-Rs I burned from Toshiba recordings definitely DID have the black-level problem, and they looked obviously washed out on my calibrated display. Of course, I could go in and flip a setting to correct that on virtually all of my DVD players, but who wants to hassle with that every time you switch between DVD-Rs recorded on different boxes? Plus, discs I recorded for family/friends would also be bogus, and they may not be able to compensate (or even know they should... just that the DVD looks sucky).
> I usually don't buy extended service warranties but I did get one from Best Buy for year/99$ mainly because I've read that many ppl have had the hard drives wear out. <
That's interesting. I haven't heard of ANYBODY having their hard drive wear out, though there have been a handful that went defective in the first 90 days. Since a replacement 80-gig Maxtor HD can be had for ~$60 (if you ever do need it), I'm not convinced the extended warranty is a good deal for anyone except the sellers.
> As for the black level thing - it seems like most ppl who say they have the problem bought their units back in April and May.I have not read anything but am wondering if perhaps Toshiba quietly fixed the problem on the later production runs in the US. <
That would be wonderful if they did (and it certainly seems like it would be possible to do so), but I bought my unit from Best Buy in June, and returned it less than 30-days later. Unfortunately, even though I looked at the version information on my unit, I neglected to write it down for later comparison.
Remember that Panasonic "fixed" the black-level problem (which they eventually admitted to) on their E30 units, by obsoleting them with newer models (i.e., they never fixed the E30 at all).
> They will also clean it every 6 months they say if you bring it in when you buy the policy. <
You're joking, right?
> Considering the overall cost of the units and the number of moving parts I think it may be worth the money. <
The only moving parts besides the hard drive are the DVD drive spindle motor, and the disc eject mechanism. With all the DVD players and recorders I've owned, the only problem I've ever experienced with the mechanism was an intermittent problem with the drawer on a Sampo, due to a loose wire.
> I do find it odd though that only about 10% off ppl say they have the black level problem <
I don't find it odd at all. That's pretty much what I would expect. Back when I bought my Panny E30, I recorded hundreds of DVDs, and watched them (on the Panny), never realizing there was a bug in the unit until I read about it here, then went and confirmed it for myself. And I'm considerably more technically-oriented than more buyers.
> (ppl who actually have bought the machines instead of parrotting something they read about the mackine 3 months ago) but their postings are all at least 2 months old. I have seen none by ppl who purchased the machine since June 1 and I have endlessly searched for info on this machine before buying. <
Yeah, well, denigrate them all you want, but until I read a report from a respected member of the Forum who has actually performed a stringent test of a newer (later build) unit that can confirm that the problem has been fixed (which Toshiba hasn't even admitted exists yet), I consider the RD-XS32 a non-viable option, which is a shame. How they could F-up such an obvious technical issue, when they got so much else right and have option settings for things their competitors haven't even thought of, is a real mystery to me.