XS34 owners.... - Page 4 - AVS Forum
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post #91 of 845 Old 07-30-2005, 09:38 PM
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Huskymaniac, I googled dvd disk longevity and found that several manufacturers were estimating 50 - 100 year lifespans. I won't be here that long to check them out and by then no one will be using them anyway.

When I dub HDD to DVD-R on the XS34(both SP) it takes a little over 15 minutes for 2 hours. That must be close to 8X. I don't hear any unusual sounds but then again, my hearing is not 20/20.

Today I got a chance to record from my Sony HC42 camcorder (the right IEEE1394 cable finally came in) and I was extremely satisfied with the quality. Noticeably better than from an analog VHS tape which I thought was very good. It was as good or better than the local broadcast stations.
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post #92 of 845 Old 07-30-2005, 10:24 PM
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Huskymaniac, I googled dvd disk longevity and found that several manufacturers were estimating 50 - 100 year lifespans. I won't be here that long to check them out and by then no one will be using them anyway.

I'm not buying these predictions since discs I recorded 2 - 3 years ago have "faded" to the point where they don't play anymore (Vivastar brand, which was touted here before the company went out of business).

The Future ain't what it used to be...
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post #93 of 845 Old 07-30-2005, 11:29 PM
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Originally Posted by rcflyer View Post

When I dub HDD to DVD-R on the XS34(both SP) it takes a little over 15 minutes for 2 hours. That must be close to 8X.

15mins is 4x, 8x should be 8-9mins.
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post #94 of 845 Old 07-30-2005, 11:51 PM
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Originally Posted by shawbros View Post

I also made a quick PQ comparison between the xs34 & 633--recorded same content both in comparable setting.
Pio633: MN19(2h20m/DVD)4.34Mbps
Toshiba xs34: MN4.2
The 633 was significantly more blocky especially around subtitles. I'm disappointed. I like almost everything about the 633 over the xs34 except for the PQ so I might send it back and wait for the xs54.

Another followup to my own post--I tried recording some rather old/poor quality recordings (VHS) to both the Pio633 and XS34. The result on the XS34 is a LOT more stable than that of the 633. This is not an issue with good quality sources but my main objective is to transfer old tapes. Despite features, user interface, etc, ultimately PQ is the most important. Although I really like the Pioneer and got a pretty good deal on it but I can't accept such a big PQ difference from the Toshiba so therefore it's definitely going back for a refund.
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post #95 of 845 Old 07-31-2005, 06:53 AM
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Originally Posted by rcflyer View Post

When I dub HDD to DVD-R on the XS34(both SP) it takes a little over 15 minutes for 2 hours. That must be close to 8X. I don't hear any unusual sounds but then again, my hearing is not 20/20.

I may play around the next time I hear the sounds. I could be something in my entertainment center that is vibrating due to coupling from the recorder.
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post #96 of 845 Old 07-31-2005, 12:47 PM
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Hey, the XS34 looks like a totally different beast in Japan!
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post #97 of 845 Old 07-31-2005, 02:30 PM
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what's the difference suppose to be between the XS34 and the XS54 ?
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post #98 of 845 Old 07-31-2005, 02:48 PM
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Originally Posted by chole View Post

what's the difference suppose to be between the XS34 and the XS54 ?

Main differences are 250GB vs 160GB, networking via Ethernet, and HDMI output. Refer to this thread for more info.
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post #99 of 845 Old 07-31-2005, 09:09 PM
 
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Originally Posted by vferrari View Post

I'm not buying these predictions since discs I recorded 2 - 3 years ago have "faded" to the point where they don't play anymore (Vivastar brand, which was touted here before the company went out of business).

My gosh, surely these DVD discs will have a longer life span than VHS tapes I hope. I have tapes that still work fine that are 20+ years old. I have laserdiscs that still play flawlessly that are 20-25 years old. If stuff recorded to DVD won't last more than a few years, what is the point of all this?
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post #100 of 845 Old 08-01-2005, 12:52 AM
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I've been looking at a recorder for a week or so and needed the firewire connection for my camcorder, needed the HD. I do have a couple of questions that I'd like to finalize before moving on any purchase, some of which are a concern:

1) 17W of power consumption when off is not insignificant, especially when you live in NY City and see the size of your Con Ed bills. Are we talking about significant power consumption beyond comparable units (I'm not sure what they are since few have firewire)

2) Can the XS34 record HDTV broadcasts in full picture but with scaled down resolution? Obviously I'll have to wait for full HDTV recording but I was hoping to get an NTSC 16X9 recording of the same material (perhaps output from my HDTV?) at the recorders native resolution. Using a VCR from the input of my HDTV I get the middle section of the picture and it doesn't seem to scale.

3) There are now a bunch of Amazon reviews that seem to imply that you cannot do manual recording once you've activated the TV Guide and can only record using that feature. Is anyone using a manual record successfully? At this point it seems that the other unit possibly worth buying is the Pioneer 520HS although I'm hesitant to buy older models and wonder with the XS34, if it works, is a far better buy (and much better features given Toshibas presence in this area.)

I looked at the Panasonic machines and was surprised that they are behind, especially lacking the firewire connector on their high end units.... what also really irks me about all the DVD players I've bought is the inability to play MP3s and WMAs off of DVDs. They only seem to recognize music off of CDRs which is ridiculous.
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post #101 of 845 Old 08-01-2005, 05:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by squonk View Post

My gosh, surely these DVD discs will have a longer life span than VHS tapes I hope. I have tapes that still work fine that are 20+ years old. I have laserdiscs that still play flawlessly that are 20-25 years old. If stuff recorded to DVD won't last more than a few years, what is the point of all this?

I'm with you, squonk. I almost gagged when I read vferrari's comments about picture quality fade over a few years on disks highly recommended when the recordings were made. I'm using highly recommended DVD-Rs and -RWs right now and obviously, there's no way to look into the future and know how things will look in 3,5, 10, 20 years.

I am recording to DVD things on Betamax and VHS tapes a good 20 years old. The tapes look great when recorded to my HDD (before making copies to DVD-R). Is the only safe thing to do to store these tapes rather than throw them away after making DVD copies? What a headache.
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post #102 of 845 Old 08-01-2005, 07:51 AM
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Originally Posted by ngohit View Post

I'm with you, squonk. I almost gagged when I read vferrari's comments about picture quality fade over a few years on disks highly recommended when the recordings were made. I'm using highly recommended DVD-Rs and -RWs right now and obviously, there's no way to look into the future and know how things will look in 3,5, 10, 20 years.

I am recording to DVD things on Betamax and VHS tapes a good 20 years old. The tapes look great when recorded to my HDD (before making copies to DVD-R). Is the only safe thing to do to store these tapes rather than throw them away after making DVD copies? What a headache.

The other alternative is to store to external hard drives, which is several times the cost per Gigabyte of blank DVD-R's.

It is frustrating that there is no information available on brands from accelerated aging tests. We know from NIST studies that there are huge, huge differences in predicted archival performance, but NIST does not name names.

My own current approach is to record everything on two different highly regarded brands, and also record the most precious material also on a firewire hard drive.

And I never throw away the original tapes.

Rick
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post #103 of 845 Old 08-01-2005, 08:56 AM
 
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Originally Posted by ngohit View Post

I'm with you, squonk. I almost gagged when I read vferrari's comments about picture quality fade over a few years on disks highly recommended when the recordings were made. I'm using highly recommended DVD-Rs and -RWs right now and obviously, there's no way to look into the future and know how things will look in 3,5, 10, 20 years.

I am recording to DVD things on Betamax and VHS tapes a good 20 years old. The tapes look great when recorded to my HDD (before making copies to DVD-R). Is the only safe thing to do to store these tapes rather than throw them away after making DVD copies? What a headache.

One of my goals in getting a DVD recorder was to finally get rid of the VHS tape clutter in the basement. If these things really "fade" after a few years, I guess I have to hedge my bets and hang on to important originals. From RonDawgs posts, he appears to be more trusting of their shelf life.
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post #104 of 845 Old 08-01-2005, 09:00 AM
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Originally Posted by slinky View Post

1) 17W of power consumption when off is not insignificant, especially when you live in NY City and see the size of your Con Ed bills. Are we talking about significant power consumption beyond comparable units (I'm not sure what they are since few have firewire)

2) Can the XS34 record HDTV broadcasts in full picture but with scaled down resolution?

I looked at the Panasonic machines and was surprised that they are behind, especially lacking the firewire connector on their high end units

The power consumption in standby mode is due to downloading the EPG update info, while other models with the same features seem to turn on the fan only when the temperature reaches a certain point, the Toshiba model is the only one not using a temperature-driven fan and therefore consumes more power compared to other models. The Panasonic DMR-EH50 model consumes about 13 W in standby mode, for example. Even if the EPG feature is turned off, the fan on the Toshiba model is still on all the time, and apparently not a very smart design.

All DVD recorders, like VCRs, can only record whatever video sources are fed to them. So whether they will record 16x9 actually depends on the incoming signals no matter which brand, although some brands such as Sony and Toshiba have better control on adding the 16x9 flag to the recorded materials.

Panasonic models are not behind in terms of new technology, they just don't seem to believe in the utilities of DV input, and Panasonic's newest high-end models introduced in Japan do not have DV input as well.
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post #105 of 845 Old 08-01-2005, 09:32 AM
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Thanks for the info (as I type on my cell phone!) To put it eloquently... that blows, literally. I don't care for the TV Guide which probably is not going to happen when I move to satellite, but the XS34 doesn't care. Ilm worried about how it handles manual only recording as design seems to asuume all will use TVG.

Regarding the 16:9 recording and HDTV, I don't know what is input out of the TV and out of a Time Warner cable box or the Panasonic RPTV but I believe it is a 16:9 pic in NTSC. What is deficient in the Pioneer 520 vs. the XS34?
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post #106 of 845 Old 08-01-2005, 11:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slinky View Post

3) There are now a bunch of Amazon reviews that seem to imply that you cannot do manual recording once you've activated the TV Guide and can only record using that feature. Is anyone using a manual record successfully?

That idiot on Amazon has no clue what he's talking about. You can absolutely make manually scheduled recordings on the XS34.
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post #107 of 845 Old 08-02-2005, 07:06 AM
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Originally Posted by shawbros View Post

That idiot on Amazon has no clue what he's talking about. You can absolutely make manually scheduled recordings on the XS34.

They are saying that you can make manually scheduled recordings but somehow there is a tie in to the TV Guice feature. Apparently some report that turning off the TV Guide feature also affects the sources from which you can record as well. While there should be an "easy off" button on a number of these units there isn't one and I'm trying to determine what I may need to do if I don't want to use the TV Guide.

Editing my post, apparently someone cleared up for me the reason why EPG is likely a funky addition to DVD recorders. Since commercials are being downloaded (and why it likely takes forever and requires 24/7 connection) the manufacturers wouldn't want you to easily bypass the TV Guide or make it unpalatable to do so. I would not be surprised that this is another "hidden revenue stream" for manufacturers at the consumer's expense (in several ways...)
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post #108 of 845 Old 08-02-2005, 03:23 PM
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TV Guide problems!

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Hi There,

I recently purchased the Tosh XS34 and hooked it up to my Cablevision SA4200HD STB. The guide won't load no matter what I do. Worse than that, my manual recordings only work as long as the Tosh is powered on. When the Tosh turns itself off after three hours of inactivity, it starts its "download" of cable channel info. After a few hours it turns the cable box off! So, when the manual recording I've set wakes up the Tosh, the STB is off and nothing but black is recorded!!! Question is: How can I either keep the Tosh powered on or the cable box powered on? Either one would allow manual recordings of all kinds.

I've spoken to a Toshiba rep(s) and they say TVGOS is working on the problem...that was 3 weeks ago. I went on vacation this past week with 3 manual recordings set for 2 and 3 days later, and none of them worked. The cable box was turned off as was the Tosh. I work professionally in television production and, quite frankly, this one has me stumped. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

Update:

I figured out a way to timer record without the TVGOS: Went into TV Guide setup and answered "no" to the question "Do you have a cable box hooked up to the recorder?" I can use the cable box "VCR Timer Record" feature to get the box to switch channels on it's own. I then set start & stop times in the Tosh, with the input "Line 1". This method stops the Tosh from eventually turning off the cable box (because it thinks it's not there). I can now confidently timer record 6 days at a time if I wish, on any channel. It would be nice if TVGOS worked, but this is an acceptable solution until that happens- if ever.
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post #109 of 845 Old 08-02-2005, 07:40 PM
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Received my XS34 yesterday while I was at work. Bought from B&H photovideo where I buy most of my camera equipment. $375 plus shipping. I work nights so I got home at 2:00 am, unpacked the XS34, hooked it up where my VCR used to be (VCR was killed by thunderstorm and after pricing and trying to find a good VCR decided it was time to move up). Turned on the XS34 set the language and time and turned it off to allow TV Guide to do it's thing. I slept until about 8:00 am and decided it was time to play with the XS34 some more. Checked the TV Guide and nothing, oh well, it said 24 hours. I hit record and taped 10 minutes of TV, played it back and PQ was excellent. Turned it off and came back a few hours later, checked TV Guide and it was ready to go. Set recorder to tape a movie at noon. XS34 turned on and started recording. I went to work, now I need to go home and check if the movie recorded okay. Very happy with unit so far. Now I have some serious reading to learn how to operate all the features.

I will give a longer review in about 2 weeks. When I decided it was time to move up from a VCR, I found this forum and some other reviews, checked prices and made my decision kind of quick. While waiting for delivery I did more research and found that I think I made a good decision.

Tim
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post #110 of 845 Old 08-02-2005, 08:22 PM
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Tim I have had mine for 2 weeks (tomorrow) now and I'm very satisfied with it. It does every thing that I want plus some.

Ken
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post #111 of 845 Old 08-15-2005, 02:24 PM
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Finally had the opportunity to exercise the DV/1394 input on my XS34 this week-end.

Had a great time recording the video to the HDD, editing, and burning/finalizing to DVD.

I have an older Digital 8 Sony camcorder, but the I thought the PQ looked good and sounded good, not that picky though.

It was relatively easy to record to the HDD and place Chapter Marks. While a little amateurish, the DVD content menus were adequate and I had no problems selecting the Thumbnail image for each chapter.

I think the remote has a too many Menu buttons. If I remember I had to use 3 different Menu buttons depending on what I was trying to do. Sure would be nice to have a PC keyboard port to type in the Chapter Titles and not have to clumsily hunt and peck a letter at a time with the on-screen Keyboard.

Time to dub and finalize were acceptable. I used Verbatim DVD -Rs and had no problems playing on my Sony DVD player (about 7 years old).

Anyway, this was a big selling point for me, so I was pleased with the results. I look forward to archiving more DV tapes soon. Sure beats pulling out the camcorder and stringing up the patch cords across the floor!

wally
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post #112 of 845 Old 08-15-2005, 02:54 PM
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Originally Posted by wallyj View Post

Had a great time recording the video to the HDD, editing, and burning/finalizing to DVD.

Is it possible to select both burn and finalize at the same time with the XS-34? One significant annoyance with my Panasonic E-95 is having to burrow down a completely different menu tree after burning in order to finalize the DVD-R.

I don't mind another few minutes to finalize. I do mind having to be engaged for another few minutes to do something I do on each and every burn.

I would think that most owners of HDD DVR's would most often want to finalize their DVD's as soon as they burn them. I use DVD's to save programs for viewing on another unit or to pass on to others. They are almost always more than half full and will never be added to. Yet I must go through a separate process to finalize every DVD I burn.

Am I unusual in this regard?

Rick

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post #113 of 845 Old 08-15-2005, 05:05 PM
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Am I unusual in this regard?

Yeah, I think so, but maybe that's just me.

I usually try to put similar shows on the same disc, and sometimes it takes a while to build up enough shows of similar genre to fill up a DVD. In order to avoid clutter on the hard drive, I'll often burn a show to a DVD-R fairly soon after it was recorded, but it might be quite a while before that DVD is full. So I prefer to do the burning and finalizing in separate steps.

That said, the RD-XS34 does allow you to do it in one step, although it appears to be a somewhat complex process. I'm happy just doing the two things separately.

I agree with wallyj that there are too many "menu" buttons on the remote. Once you get the hang of it, it's not too bad, but for a new user, it's a bit much. And yes, it would be really nice if there was some way of entering letters with a regular keyboard instead of the hunt-and-peck method currently employed.

On another topic, last night I experienced two failures with timed recordings using the "end late by" feature. I had programmed a couple recordings to "end late" by 90 minutes and 120 minutes, respectively. (It's an easier way to record several consecutive shows on the same channel than to program each one individually, and it also avoids cutting off several seconds between shows.) In both cases, the machine stopped recording about 54 minutes before it was supposed to stop. (Not exactly 54 minutes in both cases, but close. It stopped recording 54:03 early the first time, and about 53:20 early the second time.) Very strange. Has anyone else experienced this?
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post #114 of 845 Old 08-15-2005, 05:07 PM
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Rick, yes you can burn and finalize in one operation with the XS34. Here is the difference. If you want to dub (copy) more than one title to a DVD-R before finalizing then you use the EASY NAV button. After all of the titles have been dubbed, you press the EASY NAV button again and select Finalize R/RW.

If you only want to dub one title to a DVD-R then, under the door on the remote press the EDIT MENU button and select DVD-VIDEO CREATION. The DVD will be finalized automatically.

There is not much burrowing down to another menu tree here. As with most pieces of equipment that have a lot of options, once you have dedicated some time to learning the XS34 it is really fast and easy to use. I've heard people complain about the vast array of buttons that the XS34 remote has but consider this, many of the buttons allow you to select a menu tree directly without having to borrow down to find the right tree.

I do wish that they would add a socket on the back to accept an optional PC keyboard for generating text on titles. Seems like that would be one of the easier items to design in.

Ken
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post #115 of 845 Old 08-15-2005, 07:22 PM
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Originally Posted by rcflyer View Post

If you only want to dub one title to a DVD-R then, under the door on the remote press the EDIT MENU button and select DVD-VIDEO CREATION. The DVD will be finalized automatically.

I have the 32, but I seem to remember there is a way of dubbing multiple titles in one step and finalizing. Are you sure you can't pick multiple titles in the DVD VIDEO CREATION process?

I guess I should find the xs34 manual online and compare a few things, especially the remote layout. The Edit Menu is on the front of the 32 remote (not under the door), and I think it'd be WAY more inconvenient under the door.

(Then again, I want the DELETE button on the main part of the remote and not under the door, which it is on the 32's remote.)

I think the 32 is easy to use, though admittedly I'm a techy person. It's definitely not as easy to use as a Tivo for example, but it's much easier/more capable than a VCR. I actually think the remote is _fairly_ well layed out, even though it's a bunch of mostly tiny buttons. The lever-like buttons around the OK button seemed bizarre at first, but they're convenient and easy to use.
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post #116 of 845 Old 08-15-2005, 11:52 PM
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Originally Posted by mattack View Post

I have the 32, but I seem to remember there is a way of dubbing multiple titles in one step and finalizing. Are you sure you can't pick multiple titles in the DVD VIDEO CREATION process?

Don't worry, you can most definitely pick multiple titles and/or chapters in the DVD VIDEO CREATION process.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ngohit View Post

I almost gagged when I read vferrari's comments about picture quality fade over a few years on disks highly recommended when the recordings were made.

He meant the media fades, not the picture quality. This is actually worse than you thought because it means the disc might not work at all.
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post #117 of 845 Old 08-16-2005, 06:57 AM
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Originally Posted by rcflyer View Post

There is not much burrowing down to another menu tree here. As with most pieces of equipment that have a lot of options, once you have dedicated some time to learning the XS34 it is really fast and easy to use. I've heard people complain about the vast array of buttons that the XS34 remote has but consider this, many of the buttons allow you to select a menu tree directly without having to borrow down to find the right tree.

Yeah, I gotta agree with Ken there. When I first got my RD-XS34, I hated it -- it was so different from the Panasonic (E95) that I was used to. Seemed awfully complicated. But it turns out to be pretty well designed after all. The "Quick Menu" button is remarkably useful....it gives you a large number of functions to choose from, and it's context-sensitive (i.e., the functions it makes available are related to what you're doing or where you are in the system). The result is that you can do almost anything just by hitting the "Quick Menu" button.

It's a little harder to delete chapters. With the Panny, you just go to the chapter view and press the pause button on each thumbnail you want to delete. With the Tosh, you have to choose each chapter and then hit Enter to put it in the lower section of the screen, as if you're creating a playlist. The result is that on the Panny, it's easier to delete chapters than to create a playlist, while with the Tosh, it's pretty much the same process. Of course, the Toshiba manual discourages you from just deleting chapters anyway, due to the fragmentation problems it can cause. (At least they warn you; Panny doesn't say anything about it.)

It's also harder with the Tosh to divide a title into two or more titles. (In fact, it's impossible to do directly.) You have to create a playlist for each subtitle you want to create, then dub each playlist to either a DVD or back to the hard drive. This creates a "new" title for each playlist, at which point you can delete the original title. It would be nice if they would allow you to just divide a title the way the Panasonic can.

Nevertheless, once you get used to it, the Toshiba is actually quite easy to use, and in fact, I'm going to retain it as my "primary" recorder, even though I got my Panasonic back from the shop the other day. (Haven't re-installed it yet.) (I wonder if I'm gonna have to re-learn how to use my Panny? )

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I do wish that they would add a socket on the back to accept an optional PC keyboard for generating text on titles. Seems like that would be one of the easier items to design in.

Ken

Yeah, that would've been nice.
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post #118 of 845 Old 08-16-2005, 10:16 AM
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I have the 32, but I seem to remember there is a way of dubbing multiple titles in one step and finalizing. Are you sure you can't pick multiple titles in the DVD VIDEO CREATION process?

Yes, you are correct, my mistake.

Ken
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post #119 of 845 Old 08-17-2005, 06:25 AM
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Rick, yes you can burn and finalize in one operation with the XS34.



There is not much burrowing down to another menu tree here.



Ken

For comparison, my Panasonic E-95 requires 16 clicks on the remote to finalize a disk that has just been burned. No option to burn and finalize at the same time.

Rick
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post #120 of 845 Old 08-17-2005, 09:03 AM
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The power consumption in standby mode is due to downloading the EPG update info, while other models with the same features seem to turn on the fan only when the temperature reaches a certain point, the Toshiba model is the only one not using a temperature-driven fan and therefore consumes more power compared to other models. The Panasonic DMR-EH50 model consumes about 13 W in standby mode, for example. Even if the EPG feature is turned off, the fan on the Toshiba model is still on all the time, and apparently not a very smart design.

As much as I like parts of the Pioneer 633 and its double layer capability and low power consumption on standby (under 0.42 watts) the rest of the design leaves something to be desired. OK, the Toshiba fan is always on which is a power burn (to the tune of 17W) but just how loud is the fan and the hard drive noise? I'm concerned about the noise due to the EPG in a living room 20x12 and whether it might be noticeable. What have been your experiences? I've noticed they seem to vary here with regard to the irritation factor but it may also have something to do with the size of your rooms.
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