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Toshiba RD-XS32 Help Thread, Current Owners Only

post #1 of 1062
Thread Starter 
If you have one of these units, this is the thread to get help.

If you simply want to talk about how you returned yours or how you never bought one in the first place, see Londo's long, drawn out thread on this page.
post #2 of 1062
I've had this about two weeks and I LOVE it.

Questions: Is it possible to get an extension for the IR blaster? it won't reach to my STB.

What the best way to record shows longer than 2 hours and then transfer to DVD? I'm recording in SP mode and then doing a bit conversion to fit it on one 4.7 gb disk. Is it better, quality-wise, to record to the HDD at a lower rate and then do a high speed transfer to a DVD?

What bit rate do you record to the HDD? Where do you start to see a drop off in pic quality?

PS. Good thread. I learned a ton about the 32 here before I bought it. But I got tired of wading through all the posts about you know what.
post #3 of 1062
I wonder if someone could take the time to outline in detail the specific steps required to edit out commercials from a recorded TV program. Thanks in advance.
post #4 of 1062
Just going off of memory...Here's what I did.

Use the edit button to go to the edit menu, then select Chapter Edit. Start your first chapter mark at the start of the program, following any intro commercials, etc. Put chapter marks at the beginning and end of each commercial segment. If you fast forward through the show, it goes pretty quickly.

If you set it up right, all of the even numbered chapters will be the show you want to keep, and the odd numbered chapters will be the commercials you want to get rid of. Then create a playlist out of all of the even numbered chapters. From the Content menu use the Quick Menu to make a high speed copy of the playlist onto the HDD. You will end up with a new original version of the show without commercials. You can then delete the original recording, which will also delete the playlist you created.

The manual says that there can only be a limited number of chapters for each title, but I've done this with 3+ hour football games and created over 50 some chapters with no problem.

Anyone have a better method? I'd love to hear it.
post #5 of 1062
A question. Is this limited to just the XS32 or can XS52 questions, answers and topics be submitted? I know there are some variations but should be mainly the same.
post #6 of 1062
Thanks Bear15, I will try it out and I will let you know how it works.
post #7 of 1062
Thread Starter 
Quote:


Originally posted by kldat
A question. Is this limited to just the XS32 or can XS52 questions, answers and topics be submitted? I know there are some variations but should be mainly the same.

if the units are pretty much the same, other than one being hd and the other sd, i have no problem with it.

anybody else?
post #8 of 1062
From other threads is seems that the 52 does not support RW, otherwise the menu structure and functions seem the same (?), so from my perspective this thread could include both.
post #9 of 1062
Great idea to start a thread for users!

I am aware that one can select frame-editing or GOP editing on the Toshibas.

What do most people use here? I do not understand why someone would use GOP editing -- as that seems much less precise. Any thoughts or suggestions?

FWIW, I'm primarily editing home movies and most scenes have some sort of transition between scenes (wipes, fades). Thanks in advance!
post #10 of 1062
Thread Starter 
Quote:


Originally posted by grocky
From other threads is seems that the 52 does not support RW, otherwise the menu structure and functions seem the same (?), so from my perspective this thread could include both.

i agree. i still don't understand why they made the 52 without being able to use RW though, weird.
post #11 of 1062
Thread Starter 
Quote:


Originally posted by Bear15
I've had this about two weeks and I LOVE it.

Questions: Is it possible to get an extension for the IR blaster? it won't reach to my STB.

i can't say i know for sure but i'd be really surprised if there was one.

What the best way to record shows longer than 2 hours and then transfer to DVD? I'm recording in SP mode and then doing a bit conversion to fit it on one 4.7 gb disk. Is it better, quality-wise, to record to the HDD at a lower rate and then do a high speed transfer to a DVD?

i hope somebody answers this question, i've been wondering about this for some time now.

What bit rate do you record to the HDD? Where do you start to see a drop off in pic quality?

another good question.

PS. Good thread. I learned a ton about the 32 here before I bought it. But I got tired of wading through all the posts about you know what.

agreed, we already have more help in this thread than the 29 pages in the other thread.
post #12 of 1062
Quote:


Originally posted by Bear15
I've had this about two weeks and I LOVE it.

Questions: Is it possible to get an extension for the IR blaster? it won't reach to my STB.

Check Radio Shack, should be a simple enough deal, but I'm not sure.

Quote:


Originally posted by Bear15
What the best way to record shows longer than 2 hours and then transfer to DVD? I'm recording in SP mode and then doing a bit conversion to fit it on one 4.7 gb disk. Is it better, quality-wise, to record to the HDD at a lower rate and then do a high speed transfer to a DVD?

What bit rate do you record to the HDD? Where do you start to see a drop off in pic quality?

My method is to guestimate the total running time without comercials. Regular tv shows are easy, typically 46 minutes / hour is safe. Football games are tougher, but if it goes around 3 hours 10 minutes, I have found that 2 hours 15 minutes (135 minutes) will get it to fit (trimming halftime out)

I then use the Quick Menu to set the AV Record Quality (I think that's it, I'm not at home). Move down to User5 (under HDD) and use the Frame Advance toggle to change the rate. At the bottom of the screen, you will see the efffective number of minutes that will fit on a DVD at that rate.
(One thing to try to remember is to reset the record mode back to SP after the record to HDD. Too easy to forget.)

I then record the program (from my Tivo, but you can do it live) to the HDD on the RD-SX32. When it's done, do the commercial editing (a little differently, I'll explain) and if the edited title is within the time guessed at, I do a high speed dub to DVD.

My way of editing commercials (no better or worse, just more comfortable for me.) is to block off the commercials first, then go into the EDIT button function and use the (I think) second to last option (Delete selected items) to delete the commercials from the original title. For football games, I then go back to chapter editing to combine chapters into the respective quarters.

The playlist is probably a better way to do the editing, but my little peabrain had some difficulty grapsing it at first, so I am used to working with the original title. I would have to agree the playlist is 'safer', (as I'm thinking through this more) because if you mess up, you haven't messed up your original.

I have noticed that up to about 2.5 hours, there is little degradation. When you gat past that and particularly at 3 hours it is more noticable. However, even at 4 hours, it is still better than VHS quality, IMO. For instance, I have recorded 3 episodes per disc of "Dead Like Me" (~45 minutes each) and they have only slight degradation from the original source.

The advantage of recording to HDD at the lower bit rate is (in my eyes, not sure if it's technically correct.) that the high speed dub is a quicker method of writing to disk, rather than going through the bit conversion step. I'm sure you will get other feedback on this. (Again, not sure if it matters, 'technically', but it works best for me.)
post #13 of 1062
Here's my understanding, not guaranteed correct:

Bear15: basically the same steps I use, but I don't bother dubbing the playlist to the hard drive; I just dub it directly to the DVD. If I wanted several copies, it might make sense to dub a clean copy to the HDD first.

GOP vs Frame edit: if you're recording to DVD-Video (for playback in a regular DVD player), that format only supports breaks at the GOP boundaries. You'll find your nice frame breaks may move when you write to that format, so you'll get bits of commercials before / after. What I do is go into Chapter Edit - GOP mode, and for each chapter break toggle forward / back until it's where I want it (or as close as I can get it). Once this is done, the chapter breaks don't seem to move from where they're set. Of course you can't set them as accurately as you can by frame, but if you're writing to DVD-Video you're losing that accuracy anyway, so you might as well be in control.

Copying via playlist vs. deleting chapters: one consequence of deleting chapters in the original is a more fragmented drive, which will hurt performance and available space eventually, requiring a re-format.

Cheers... Perry.
post #14 of 1062
Quote:


Originally posted by PerryU
Here's my understanding, not guaranteed correct:

Bear15: basically the same steps I use, but I don't bother dubbing the playlist to the hard drive; I just dub it directly to the DVD. If I wanted several copies, it might make sense to dub a clean copy to the HDD first.

GOP vs Frame edit: if you're recording to DVD-Video (for playback in a regular DVD player), that format only supports breaks at the GOP boundaries. You'll find your nice frame breaks may move when you write to that format, so you'll get bits of commercials before / after. What I do is go into Chapter Edit - GOP mode, and for each chapter break toggle forward / back until it's where I want it (or as close as I can get it). Once this is done, the chapter breaks don't seem to move from where they're set. Of course you can't set them as accurately as you can by frame, but if you're writing to DVD-Video you're losing that accuracy anyway, so you might as well be in control.

Copying via playlist vs. deleting chapters: one consequence of deleting chapters in the original is a more fragmented drive, which will hurt performance and available space eventually, requiring a re-format.

Cheers... Perry.

Excellent explanation of GOP v. Frame Edits. Thank you!
post #15 of 1062
How do you actually toggle the chapter point back and forth? (I assume you mean you've already set the chapters and then go into the Chapter Menu)

I usually just watch the video, use the fast-skip/fast-rewind (+30/-10) to find commercials, and use the Chapter Point button on the remote. I see the wording on the Chapter Point Edit Menu implies you can move the actual point back and forth but I can't figure out how to do that. Or do you mean you set your chapter points within that screen and use the "Frame Adjust" buttons back and forth until you're at the right point?
post #16 of 1062
I do it all in Chapter Editing mode. Once there, I press Quick Menu, choose Chapter Break Edit mode, select By GOP. Then I go through the show, and wherever I want a chapter break I set it, then cursor-down to the chapter list, and Frame-Adjust back and forth. Then cursor-up to carry on to the next break. It's a bit clumsy, but seems to work.

This looked to me like the chapter was being set initally by frame, then when adjusting it moved to the nearest GOP boundary. VideoGrabber cast some doubt on that though... see posts 565/6/7 in the other thread for details. I do know that before I did this I would set the break carefully to the frame I wanted, but when dubbing to DVD-Video it would move up to .5 sec, so I got frames of commercial or whatever. Doing it this way, I sometimes can't avoid getting (or losing) a frame or two of content (because the break is less than the GOP length of .5 sec), but wherever I set it, it seems to stay.

I also do the Chapter Preview as a last check before I dub it. Obviously I only go to all this trouble for stuff I care about, but it's neat that you can do it.

Cheers... Perry.
post #17 of 1062
Quote:


Originally posted by PerryU
GOP vs Frame edit: if you're recording to DVD-Video (for playback in a regular DVD player), that format only supports breaks at the GOP boundaries. You'll find your nice frame breaks may move when you write to that format, so you'll get bits of commercials before / after. What I do is go into Chapter Edit - GOP mode, and for each chapter break toggle forward / back until it's where I want it (or as close as I can get it). Once this is done, the chapter breaks don't seem to move from where they're set. Of course you can't set them as accurately as you can by frame, but if you're writing to DVD-Video you're losing that accuracy anyway, so you might as well be in control.

Ok, so if you're using GOP mode, you'll see the real place where the edits will be, while you're setting up the chapters or sections to delete? That sounds like it makes more sense, even if we'd really like frame accurate editing.

Do either of the editing "modes" (chapters vs removing sections) affect the audio and/or video gaps on the resulting DVD, or is this a result of seamless/not seamless when burning?
post #18 of 1062
My (limited) understanding is that the GOP limitation is a function of the DVD-Video standard, not the recorder. The only improvement I could see is if it actually marked the chapters on GOP boundaries in the first place (when in GOP mode).

Not sure what you mean by chapter vs removing sections. To me these aren't two modes, but two steps in the process: first you mark the chapters, then you copy the ones you want (or delete the ones you don't). And if by audio / video gaps you mean blank space between scenes on the DVD, I don't think in terms of gaps. A title is a seamless stream of audio / video, with (potentially) chapter marks that simply mark a spot in the stream. Some of that stream may be black / silent, but it's still frame-by-frame recording. (The virtual 'tape' doesn't stop running, it just has nothing on it.)

If you want nice transitions when you're removing ads, you make sure your chapters include some dead space at the beginning and end. Usually a scene of TV fades to black, then the ad starts; if the black space is > 1 GOP long you can put the chapter break in the black on both ends of the break and get a nice, invisible black-to-black transition. If it's < 1 GOP, and the GOP boundary doesn't happen to fall in the black, you're stuck either cutting the fade short or catching a frame or two of ad (which often starts without a fade-in).

It'd be nice if you could insert a GOP-length of black, to give yourself more room to do a nice break. Come to think of it, you could do that by recording some dead air and adding a GOP-length chapter to the playlist, but it means doing two dubs. Neat idea, though, for perfectionists... I might try it!
post #19 of 1062
Anyone having problems recording to HDD? I have gotten error messages on 2 occasions (at the end of the recordings) The first one was the last episode of Friends which did not please my wife... The error message says "Recording failed, if problems persists contact Service Center". Anyone know anything about this? Causes?, remedies?

If I look in the "Library" there is a record of the attempted recording, but instead of dates and times it states a bunch of zeros followed by other numbers.

Regards

Trickster68
post #20 of 1062
Thread Starter 
as a matter of fact, i had it happen a couple of days ago for the first time.

i remember that it wasn't a timed recording, i just pushed the record button and after a couple of hours, i got the same message.

on the title, it had numbers too with "HD" at the end.

i'm wondering if i simply ran out of room on the hard drive now that i think about it.
post #21 of 1062
Hmm... doesn't sound good, unless it's as simple as running out of HDD room.

If that's not the issue, and especially if you've used your HDD a lot, you might try reformatting. Don't forget to backup to DVD-RAM first.

Another possibility is a problem with copy-protection logic. I know little about it, but apparently our local cable co (Shaw) has been turning some scheme or other on and off on various channels. I've had no problems recording yet, though.
post #22 of 1062
Quote:


Originally posted by PerryU
Not sure what you mean by chapter vs removing sections. To me these aren't two modes, but two steps in the process: first you mark the chapters, then you copy the ones you want (or delete the ones you don't). And if by audio / video gaps you mean blank space between scenes on the DVD, I don't think in terms of gaps.

No, I mean literally removing sections -- I know there's the editing mode where you can choose start/stop and remove a section from a recording.

Also, others have mentioned that you get either audio fade-out before/after a split, or you get a video pause/glitch (sort of like a layer switch). I was wondering how to minimize those.
post #23 of 1062
OK, I found the answer to some of my questions...

The IR cord is actually longer than I thought, so it will reach to my STB. But, the codes for my Motorola box don't seem to work. Anyone have problems with this, with a Motorola HD STB?

Also, if I turn the IR to "on", will all recording be done through the STB? I have a straight cable connection to the RF input, and also run the STB to Input L1 via Svideo. That way I can do programmed recordings without messing around with the STB, and still use the STB to record digital channels and HD programming. I'd rather record the regular cable channels through the RF connection, it's a little cleaner signal. But will the IR "on" override that and record everything through Input L1 using the STB?

I'm also experimenting with recording games a little slower than SP, so that they will fit on a DVD at about 2hrs20mins. Trying to find a happy medium between quality and time. The playoffs are coming........
post #24 of 1062
Bear15, I have the same setup as you, and I didn't figure a way to have the Tosh change the Moto channels unless it's doing all its recording that way. Mind you I didn't experiment; just read the manual. My conclusion was that it will either tune the RF in or tune the cable box, but not both.

What I do when I want to record a digital channel is program the recording time into both the STB and the Tosh, setting the Tosh to L1. (With my provider's program guide, programming the Moto is pretty simple.)

Since I don't subscribe to a lot of digital channels, or have HD, 95% of my recording is analogue anyway.

HTH... Perry.
post #25 of 1062
p.s. - because I never actually tried it, I can't help you with code for the Moto box, but I'm sure I've heard of it working.
post #26 of 1062
Thread Starter 
i just found out that "100" works for expressvu/dish 3100 models.
post #27 of 1062
Ok, been trying to get up to speed with our new XS32 that came down the chimney this Christmas. As you go you find you are asking yourself more how to questions to simplify common steps.

In trying to utilize just the XS32 remote I would like to find a way to switch back and forth between the current channel (when in normal tv watching mode) and the last channel, like most normal tv remotes do. This way I can watch two channels by being able to easily and quickly switch between the two. My wife just loves this habit.

Secondly, you seem to only be able to change tv channels on the XS32 remote by scrolling through the lineup, channel by channel. The number pad on the XS remote does not change the channels. Is there a way to customize the remote so that you can enter the channel you wish to go to so you don't have to scroll through all the channels in between?
post #28 of 1062
toddreg,

In regards to your second Q, you can change channels either by "scrolling" through the list (forwards or backwards) or by entering the number directly using the number pad under the lid in the remote. I just tried it to double check before I posted, so I know for a fact that it works. I was in "HDD" mode, but I don't think that makes a difference.
post #29 of 1062
Are you trying to change the channel on your TV, or on the XS32? IIRC, only the channel up / down buttons work the TV; the number buttons work when you're tuning the XS32.

My impression was the XS32 remote isn't great for use as a universal remote. I use a couple of remotes; I'm not sure how successfully even the better programmables would handle all the XS32 functions, but that's an option that might allow you one remote for most purposes.
post #30 of 1062
Yes, I am referring to changing just the tv channels. And like you said I can only use the scroll function on the XS32 remote to change the channels, the key pad doesn't do it so I don't know what the first responder to my question was referring to. Are any buttons programable that you know of to perhaps handle the last channel function?
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