Originally Posted by rcflyer
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?
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.
Yeah, that would've been nice.