Originally Posted by TimRogers
There hasn't been a firmware update on Toshiba's website for the RD-XS52 in at least 6 months.
Who out there has had success with a disk sent to them by Toshiba?
I think that's more like over a year for all the models. The firmware updates were supposedly to improve compatibility with various brands of DVD-RAM but I have several different models of RD-XS units and nope, the latest firmware hasn't improved compatibility at all. They all pretty much need Taiyo Yuden DVD-RAM. I've tried TDK and Panasonic and the success rate may be as low as 50% so throw 5 out of 10 disks away. As far as I can tell, the firmware 'updates' merely program an automatic 3' shutdown time whenever you pull the plug on the units. This seems to be the universal mantra to get these units back on track whenever (which is often) they start to misbehave. On the RD-XS52 with original firmware, just do this manually.
Even though the original burner works more-or-less OK, I am currently testing a $19 refurbished LG GSA-4167B on my RD-XS32. It's pretty good at recognizing other than TY DVD-RAM. However it won't recognize unfinalized DVD-Rs, even it's own! In addition, if there is any bit of corruption in a file you are dubbing to DVD-R, it will lock the dubbing process, which turns the disk into a coaster since you have to pull the plug to regain control of the recorder.
Interestingly enough, I just tested one of latest burners which you can get off Newegg (the HSL20 or something). It's all over the Liteon forum. It works fine with DVD-R, both finalized and unfinalized on the RD-XS32, but it won't work properly with DVD-RAM. Any disc you put in the burner is ruined. Apparently the programming to recognize/work with DVD-RAM in these RD-XS units back in 2004-2006 won't work with current burners.
Another problem with the later burners is it will playback titles on finalized DVD-R, but you can't see them on the disc as thumbnails to dub to HDD. I've tried all the tricks like playing back a title and trying to access the menu then, but no go. No problem on the LG GSA-4167B.
It goes beyond saying that the OEM burners works the absolute best on these Toshibas. While it only likes TY, it will read unfinalized DVD-Rs and content on DVD-RAM from other machines. I've never seen the dubbing process lock up even if there is corruption in a title here or there. It will simply dub the file replete with distortion.