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just picked up a Toshiba RD-XS35

post #1 of 357
Thread Starter 
saw a toshiba RD-XS35 at BB today... my gf was pretty upset that i drop 4xx for this dvr.

goign to play with it for awhile and see how it goes...if i dont like it back to BB it goes
post #2 of 357
Congrats on your purchase!

I had my eye on the rd-xs34 for a while until I decided to wait for a more reliable product.

I would be interested in your feedback regarding the fan. Does it run 24/7 (even when the unit is powered off)? Is it quiet?

Also interested in whether the TV Guide is more reliable than in previous models. Many Toshiba users reported that their xs34 periodically missed recordings, especially those that were scheduled to record on a regular basis (daily, weekly, etc.).

Of course, I am interested in the PQ at various modes and also how user friendly the unit is. Owners of the xs34 reported that there was a significant learning curve and a fairly difficult manual to get through. No doubt a complex machine designed for those who like to tweak.

Looking forward to your initial impressions and more detailed reports as you play with your new toy.

Have fun!
post #3 of 357
Thread Starter 
Quote:


I would be interested in your feedback regarding the fan. Does it run 24/7 (even when the unit is powered off)? Is it quiet?

its powered off right now and the fan is still currently running... in terms of DB you can hear it but its not so bad, nothing you cant bare to withstand IMO.

Quote:


Also interested in whether the TV Guide is more reliable than in previous models. Many Toshiba users reported that their xs34 periodically missed recordings, especially those that were scheduled to record on a regular basis (daily, weekly, etc.).

well i setup TVGO to my zip code; the clock has updated itself to the correct time but still no show listings yet...

im still a noob at this but from what i have gathered is that if the clock has updated itself TVGO is working right?

Quote:


Of course, I am interested in the PQ at various modes and also how user friendly the unit is. Owners of the xs34 reported that there was a significant learning curve and a fairly difficult manual to get through. No doubt a complex machine designed for those who like to tweak.

well i am pretty tech savy and i love fooling around with new electronics...
the interface to me seems to be pretty easy to work through, not sure how it compares to previous models though.
post #4 of 357
Congratulations on your purchase! I am also interested in hearing your experience and opinion of this model as I am looking into the 2006 HDD recorders.
post #5 of 357
Prior Toshibas have been reported to be very prone to false copy protection bugaboos when trying to record from cable or satellite... Please keep us informed as to your recording progress.

The prior Toshibas also had a lot of nice DVD menu generation options that the Sony/Pioneer/Panasonic don't have.
post #6 of 357
Does it still have the freaking bright-as-the-sun blue bar thing when you're in hard drive mode (which I am the vast majority of the time)?
post #7 of 357
I recently purchased this DVR at BB and after using it for a few weeks can share my experiences so far...

I was debating between the XS52 and the XS35, the main difference is the XS52 has HDMI upconversion for DVD connection, but no TVGOS and no DVD-RW recordability, the XS35 does not have HDMI, but does have TVGOS AND DVD-RW recordability. I would love to have all three features, but alas, there is nothing that has everything that I could find so far...

I also bought a Toshiba upconverting DVD player and tested it out on my Sony 50" grand Wega LCD (KDF-E50A10) to see if I was really missing out by not buying the XS52. After testing many DVD's I did not see any appreciable difference between the XS35 and the stand alone upconvert DVD from Toshiba which should use the same technology as the XS52's DVD player, so I am glad I did not buy the XS52 simply for the HDMI because I can't see any difference, AND now my HDMI port is still available for future HDdvd or BLu-Ray use, but I am getting away from the topic.

I brought the XS35 home and plugged it in. I am in Canada, just accross the river from Detroit, Mi. I set up the TVGOS with my postal code and within 24 hours I had all the local channels I am used to. I currently only have an OTA antenna (works beautifully with my built in ATSC tuner) I plan to get sat and this unit should control the Sat box channel by IR blaster feature, but only some boxes are supported so it could be hit and miss.

I was able to schedule timer recordings in the TVGOS and they were reliable for a week. After about 10 days or so of occaisional nightly use I switched it on Saturday morning and found the TVGOS said that "Updated information would be available within 24 hours because of a change I had made to the system setup", but I didn't make any change. I gave it 24 hours and, of course, nothing happened. On Sunday evening I reset the guide and input my info again, but this time by Monday night (24 hours later) it did not populate the guide. I hope to find the guide working tonight when I get home, but I am afraid that this TVGOS system is going the way of all the negative posts and reviews I have read about many of the prior Toshiba DVR models and the TVGOS system. Maybe it would be better if I gave it a US Zip Code instead of my Canadian Postal code ?

I called Tech support yesterday and they said there were troubleshooting steps to take if I were in front of the unit, but I was on lunch at work so I couldn't try anything. I asked them if this was a known problem, of course it was not (never is), and then she said that if she couldn't fix it with the troubleshooting steps, that it would be passed on to a TVGOS specialist, whatever that means...

The other features work as expected. Recording to the HDD is fine, lots of bit rate selections. I use SP and find it to be the same as the original giving me about 70 hours of record time on the 160 GB HDD.

I mainly use this unit to record one show while I am watching the other one live in HD on my TV. Then I go back and chase play the first show while continuing to record another. The instant skip feature of selectable (and when you select one that is the only one you can use) 5s, 10s, 30s or 5 min is nice but there should be a smaller jump between 30s and 5min. The pioneer 533 my dad has is better at this, it skips 30 seconds but if you press it quickly two times in a row it skips 1 min, three times...1:30, four = 2min, five = 3 min, six = 5min and seven times = 10 min. I like this better than only going 30 seconds at a time, but it is definitely bearable. It also has a reverse skip which is good if you go a bit too far.

During playback you can also FF and RW at 4 different speeds. The timebar helps you identify how fast it's going. A cool feature is that in FF1 the audio is still available, everyone sounds like a chipmunk, but you can still hear and understand what is being said. I use the all the time because I hate listening to Howie Mandell on DealorNoDeal with all his banter at full speed, at half speed he is bearable and I can chase through that show faster since it is getting a little boring.

The DVD playback is as good (component video) as the Toshiba upconvert player HDMI was IMHO. I have not yet tried to copy a DVD or any of the editing features, but I probably won't use those much anyway. I did try to copy a DVD-Video to the HDD but of course it does not copy copyrighted content.

Oh, the fan does run all the time, but it isn't really loud and you have to be in a completely silent room to even hear it, so no big deal for me.

To address the lights issue by the previous poster:

When recording to HDD a red circle lights up around the rec button, when on HDD a blue light is on (not terrible and just a small blue circle) when on DVD a green light is on, and when playback is used a green circle lights up around the play button. The On/Off button is either a red or green circle for off and on.

In conclusion this unit does everything I need it to do, except the TVGOS reliability issues, so we will see if I end up returning this or not in the next 15 days...
post #8 of 357
Quote:
Originally Posted by jclove2ski View Post

Oh, the fan does run all the time, but it isn't really loud and you have to be in a completely silent room to even hear it, so no big deal for me.

Why does Toshiba think we need an extra air filter in the house?
post #9 of 357
Quote:
Originally Posted by jclove2ski View Post

I recently purchased this DVR at BB and after using it for a few weeks can share my experiences so far...

I was debating between the XS52 and the XS35, the main difference is the XS52 has HDMI upconversion for DVD connection, but no TVGOS and no DVD-RW recordability, the XS35 does not have HDMI, but does have TVGOS AND DVD-RW recordability. I would love to have all three features, but alas, there is nothing that has everything that I could find so far...

I also bought a Toshiba upconverting DVD player and tested it out on my Sony 50" grand Wega LCD (KDF-E50A10) to see if I was really missing out by not buying the XS52. After testing many DVD's I did not see any appreciable difference between the XS35 and the stand alone upconvert DVD from Toshiba which should use the same technology as the XS52's DVD player, so I am glad I did not buy the XS52 simply for the HDMI because I can't see any difference, AND now my HDMI port is still available for future HDdvd or BLu-Ray use, but I am getting away from the topic.

I brought the XS35 home and plugged it in. I am in Canada, just accross the river from Detroit, Mi. I set up the TVGOS with my postal code and within 24 hours I had all the local channels I am used to. I currently only have an OTA antenna (works beautifully with my built in ATSC tuner) I plan to get sat and this unit should control the Sat box channel by IR blaster feature, but only some boxes are supported so it could be hit and miss.

I was able to schedule timer recordings in the TVGOS and they were reliable for a week. After about 10 days or so of occaisional nightly use I switched it on Saturday morning and found the TVGOS said that "Updated information would be available within 24 hours because of a change I had made to the system setup", but I didn't make any change. I gave it 24 hours and, of course, nothing happened. On Sunday evening I reset the guide and input my info again, but this time by Monday night (24 hours later) it did not populate the guide. I hope to find the guide working tonight when I get home, but I am afraid that this TVGOS system is going the way of all the negative posts and reviews I have read about many of the prior Toshiba DVR models and the TVGOS system. Maybe it would be better if I gave it a US Zip Code instead of my Canadian Postal code ?

I called Tech support yesterday and they said there were troubleshooting steps to take if I were in front of the unit, but I was on lunch at work so I couldn't try anything. I asked them if this was a known problem, of course it was not (never is), and then she said that if she couldn't fix it with the troubleshooting steps, that it would be passed on to a TVGOS specialist, whatever that means...

The other features work as expected. Recording to the HDD is fine, lots of bit rate selections. I use SP and find it to be the same as the original giving me about 70 hours of record time on the 160 GB HDD.

I mainly use this unit to record one show while I am watching the other one live in HD on my TV. Then I go back and chase play the first show while continuing to record another. The instant skip feature of selectable (and when you select one that is the only one you can use) 5s, 10s, 30s or 5 min is nice but there should be a smaller jump between 30s and 5min. The pioneer 533 my dad has is better at this, it skips 30 seconds but if you press it quickly two times in a row it skips 1 min, three times...1:30, four = 2min, five = 3 min, six = 5min and seven times = 10 min. I like this better than only going 30 seconds at a time, but it is definitely bearable. It also has a reverse skip which is good if you go a bit too far.

During playback you can also FF and RW at 4 different speeds. The timebar helps you identify how fast it's going. A cool feature is that in FF1 the audio is still available, everyone sounds like a chipmunk, but you can still hear and understand what is being said. I use the all the time because I hate listening to Howie Mandell on DealorNoDeal with all his banter at full speed, at half speed he is bearable and I can chase through that show faster since it is getting a little boring.

The DVD playback is as good (component video) as the Toshiba upconvert player HDMI was IMHO. I have not yet tried to copy a DVD or any of the editing features, but I probably won't use those much anyway. I did try to copy a DVD-Video to the HDD but of course it does not copy copyrighted content.

Oh, the fan does run all the time, but it isn't really loud and you have to be in a completely silent room to even hear it, so no big deal for me.

To address the lights issue by the previous poster:

When recording to HDD a red circle lights up around the rec button, when on HDD a blue light is on (not terrible and just a small blue circle) when on DVD a green light is on, and when playback is used a green circle lights up around the play button. The On/Off button is either a red or green circle for off and on.

In conclusion this unit does everything I need it to do, except the TVGOS reliability issues, so we will see if I end up returning this or not in the next 15 days...

Interesting stuff! The 5min jump will remind some people of a chapter skip on finalized DVDs, so that's a nice touch from a playback standpoint. The jump-back sounds also ice from a playback standpoint as well.
post #10 of 357
Last night the guide had not updated after 24 hours.. it still said "No data for this screen"

I reset it again and am trying it with a local detroit Zip code to see if it will work instead of my canadian postal code. Maybe it is looking for a canadian station that I don't receive well and if I tell it Detroit it will look for PBS detroit which I receive very well...

I will see tonight. Of course last night when I tried to call Toshiba tech support from home I was "not able to reach that number from my calling area" I guess I need to find a Canadian 800 or 866 number for toshiba.
post #11 of 357
Quote:
The other features work as expected. Recording to the HDD is fine, lots of bit rate selections. I use SP and find it to be the same as the original giving me about 70 hours of record time on the 160 GB HDD.[

Have you experienced any copy proterction issues when recording from cable?
post #12 of 357
I don't use cable, only OTA antenna. It does explain in detail in the manual that it won't record "copy never" encoded programs. "Copy once" programs can be copied to the HDD and then to a DVD-RAM, but the HDD copy will be deleted after moving to DVD-RAM. "Copy many" can be copied at will.

I did try to copy a DVD from my collection to the HDD, but as you can imagine this does not work. I think there is a device at CC or BB that allows you to copy a DVD to either another DVD or HDD ? Go-Video ? about 100 bucks.
post #13 of 357
I just bought a Toshiba XS-34 a couple of weeks ago and until now I have never heard of an XS-35. I see that it has the same 160GB Hard drive.

What are the major (advertised?) differences between an XS-34 and XS35?
post #14 of 357
Thread Starter 
tvgo is pretty niffty have all my channels up and running...

recorded a few shows so far in SP MODE and the quality came out just as it would if i was watching it from normal broadcast; i am watching it from a mitsubishi 65" big screen.

also i noticed that if i keep my dvr off and have scheduled a show to record, it will turn itself on and record then back off.
post #15 of 357
Quote:
Originally Posted by stevewinks View Post

I just bought a Toshiba XS-34 a couple of weeks ago and until now I have never heard of an XS-35. I see that it has the same 160GB Hard drive.

What are the major (advertised?) differences between an XS-34 and XS35?

It was announced at CES 2006 as part of the Toshiba CES announcements, but without a lot of hoopla, because Toshiba's spotlight was taken by their two "affordable" HD-DVD players (compared to BluRay).

As far as the differences between the 34 and 35, I do not know...
post #16 of 357
Lovley peice of kit!!!
post #17 of 357
Thread Starter 
so im really new to dvrs but something cool i found out was this chase play viewing capability.

you can keep recording and rewind to watch some replays, then fast forward to current time and keep watching.

also gotta love that timebar you can tell where ur at through out the recording
post #18 of 357
finally got my guide back, but i had to give it a US zip code not my current Canadian one and then I lost a few of the canadian channels I was getting with the old setup.... otherwise no other problems.

Can't delete recordings while recording another show... kinda annoying...
post #19 of 357
Quote:
Originally Posted by jclove2ski View Post

finally got my guide back, but i had to give it a US zip code not my current Canadian one and then I lost a few of the canadian channels I was getting with the old setup.... otherwise no other problems.

Can't delete recordings while recording another show... kinda annoying...

When you say you're giving it 24 hours does that mean you're leaving the unit off for 24 hours or you're still using it otherwise during that time?
post #20 of 357
yep... I reset it around 7:30 pm the night before and then switch it off, then watch TV or whatever on the direct input to the TV that night. The next night at the same time I switch it back on again and see if 24 hours is enough time.

From what I have read here and at Highdefforum It sounds like there are 4 different times per day where TVGOS is updated late at night, early morning, mid morning, early afternoon, or something like that and they just say to shut it off for 24 hours so it has a chance to get one of these transmissions.

It has been working now since the last reset on Thursday of last week, but who knows what will happen tomorrow... anyway I don't blame the Toshiba, I blame TVGOS since there are issues with TVGOS with ALL DVR models.

All in all though a great recorder/DVD burner unit with a TV guide when available.
post #21 of 357
Can anyone provide a picture of the remote for the RD-XS35? Is it a lot different than the RD-XS34?

Thanks
post #22 of 357
Quote:
Originally Posted by joshoowa View Post

so im really new to dvrs but something cool i found out was this chase play viewing capability.

Don't get me wrong, I use this feature too.. but I think it's really annoying/illogical that they did the UI this way.

In other words, if you are currently recording, you should just be able to rewind (and then FF) without going into the special "chase play" mode.. It should work _closer_ to a Tivo, where there's essentially no distinction between a previously recorded show and the show currently being recorded. (Note, I said CLOSER.. and I said currently recording.. I *don't* want it to always be recording..)

But since some features aren't available in chase play mode (like you can't get to the recording list), maybe that's why they did it this way.
post #23 of 357
Quote:
Originally Posted by shawbros View Post

The I don't think the XS34 has reverse skip so that's one difference.

Yes it does.
post #24 of 357
Can TVGOS be easily disabled if it is ineffective or you simply want to schedule your own recordings? Other than ease of use, are there any other disadvantages to disabling the TVGOS?

Thanks for the reviews.
post #25 of 357
Can this unitbe used to transfer home movie VHS tapes to DVD? If so, can you create decent menus and insert chapter marks?
post #26 of 357
Quote:
Originally Posted by bahgee View Post

Can this unitbe used to transfer home movie VHS tapes to DVD? If so, can you create decent menus and insert chapter marks?

Depends upon what your definition of "decent" is. They're way less sophisticated than you can do on a computer (i.e. compared to commercial DVDs), but they're usable.

yes you can use them to convert home movies to DVD.
post #27 of 357
Quote:
Originally Posted by scottland7 View Post

Can TVGOS be easily disabled if it is ineffective or you simply want to schedule your own recordings? Other than ease of use, are there any other disadvantages to disabling the TVGOS?

Thanks for the reviews.


Bump.
post #28 of 357
I don't know about 'disabled' for that particular model, but I'm sure it can be easily ignored.
post #29 of 357
It is possible to just press REC and it will record. OR For timer recordings you can use the TVGOS OR manual recording by setting up time to start and time to stop. You don't really "disable" TVOGS you just schedule manually through it's interface but not using specific shows. I used the manual record feature when my channel list was AWOL for a few days. It works fine, starts and stops ontime.

One gripe about using TVGOS... sometimes shows run a bit longer than scheduled, if this is the case the recording stops anyway and you may miss the very end or the "next time on blank, blank" clips which can be frustrating. They do have an option to start "on time" or early by "1 min, 2min, 3 min, etc." and also an end "on time" or late by "1 min, 2 min, etc" but if you end late and you wanted to start another show right after the current one you will lose the first few minutes of the next one.

As for this issue it is really out of the hands of the recorder, rather a problem with program timing from the broadcast networks. If everything ran exactly all the time then we would be fine. But it doesn't.

Still haven't used the DVD record feature, probably won't anytime soon...

If you are recording something and want to watch it from the beginning (chase play) you need to press "Timeslip" and then skip to the beginning. You can't go to the content menu and start playing it. It works well and the timebar below when ff or rw is nice to see how close you are to realtime.

the 160 gb hd is proving to be more than enough. On SP mode I can record over 70 hours and that is way more than necessary. SP looks fine to me.

As for the remote, it not nice and easy to hold with one hand and control the main features. It gets fatter near the base and slimmer near the top. There is a flip open lid on the bottom to access further buttons (a pain) and all in all kinda clumsy to operate. Not the best feature. The remote for the panny 533 was much easier to hold and navigate with one hand IMO.

Don't know what else to say about this unit... it does what I want it to do. Things like the remote, fan running always and sparatic TVGOS are issues which can be dealt with.

What I cannot stand is that I watch HD on my TV live, but cannot record in HD and my analog reception is not that great. So watching recorded shows are pretty unattractive and it really defeats the purpose of having my beautiful TV. So for that reason I will probalby be returning this unit and waiting for one with a built in ATSC tuner to come out. in the meantime back to the VCR...when I won't be able to watch live.
post #30 of 357
Very informative thread.

By the way, this is a historic thread: It is the first thread providing multiple-user feedback for a 2006 HDD-based model :-) This along with the Panasonic EH75V (with VCR) are the only ones from the 2006 HDD-models with user feedback so far.
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