I have also been trying to get info re Toshiba RDXS30 as it is for sale on 4 websites in the UK, but Toshiba UK can give no info at present. If you know somebody who can translate Japanese, try www.rd-style.com/products/rdxs30/r_feat30.htm and if you find out what it says please post results here.
I'm not fluent, but I can mostly understand what it's saying. It would take me a while to come up with a word-for-word translation, but here's a summary of what it says. Mostly I've listed the headings and then just the main points from the paragraphs underneath them. There are bound to be inaccuracies, so if there's anything you want to be really sure of, feel free to ask me to check again (especially before spending a lot of money!). Anyway:
Features for People Who Record TV Series
1. Large 60GB internal hard drive.
- Up to 72 hours recording time (at manual picture quality setting of 1.4Mbps, DD1 sound quality setting; a single continuous recording is limited to 9 hours).
2. 2 month, 32 event timer.
- It doesn't say so here, but it sounds like you can program repeating weekly recordings like most VCRs.
- Remaining space function to see if you have enough space for your recordings.
3. Advanced "Recording Navi [Navigation]" feature, with which you can set the name of each show on a per-timed recording basis.
- You can set a name for a timed recording (including a repeating recording) on the "Recording Navi" screen. This name will then also be used on the "Viewing Navi" screen, which lists your recordings.
4. "Viewing Navi" feature for watching the shows you've recorded.
- There are title and chapter menus that show your recordings, with thumbnail images.
- The recorder has an "each title resume" feature; it remembers where you left off when watching each program so it can resume from there later.
- You can change the thumbnails that were initially set for titles and chapters.
5. Delete/multiple delete function to quickly and easily erase programs after you've watched them.
- Deleting programs and selecting functions is now faster (I think they mean as compared to previous models - was deleting programs slow on the RD-X2?).
Features for Music Fans
1. Linear PCM sound recording, which can be combined with any picture quality setting, from 1.4 - 8.0Mbps.
- You can record sound in uncompressed linear PCM (48kHz/16bit). You can combine this with any picture quality setting, and dub it to DVD-RAM and DVD-R.
2. Sound level adjustment.
- You can adjust the sound level separately for the built-in tuner and each of the sets of inputs. You can set the level in 0.5dB increments.
3. An up to 3,000 item "Library" feature, convenient for managing your song collection.
- Has a "Library" feature that stores what is on each of your discs (their example is, what live performance or video clip is on what disc).
- You can search the library, for instance, by a partial string that should be the start of a title you're looking for, and you can jump to a particular page in the list.
- You can see how much free space is on each of your discs.
- There is a new feature that lets you classify your recordings by genre, with 157 genres.
4. "Automatic chapter cut when no sound" function.
- You can have the recorder automatically place a chapter cut at points in the recording where there is no sound (so for example, if you record a show with musical performances, it would probably be at the breaks between songs).
5. Many video and audio quality levels, which can be combined.
- You can combine any of 38 video quality levels with any of 3 audio quality levels.
Features for People Who Like Sports
1. Time slip and picture-in-picture features.
- Using the "chasing playback" feature with the internal hard drive, you can replay a scene or pause while watching live TV.
- You can watch a program on the hard disk or a DVD while recording at the same time.
- With the picture-in-picture feature, you can check on something that is recording in the background, or on the progress of a live game broadcast.
2. "One touch skip" and "one touch replay" for pleasant viewing.
- "One touch skip" lets you skip ahead in the program, "one touch replay" lets you skip back.
- You can set these to skip 5 seconds, 10 seconds, 30 seconds, or 5 minutes.
Feature-Rich Dubbing Software
1. Frame-level seamless "rate change dubbing."
- When you use "rate change dubbing," edits are frame accurate. "Rate change dubbing" basically seems to mean dubbing in which you reencode (on earlier models it was used only when changing the bitrate, but now it sounds like you can do it even to the same bitrate, in order to get frame accurate edits).
- You can dub from the hard drive back to the hard drive, for instance to make a single program out of a number of clips for later dubbing to a DVD-R.
2. "High speed library dubbing."
- You can now do high speed library dubbing from the hard drive to the hard drive, and from DVD-RAM to (the same) DVD-RAM. For instance, to gather together separate clips into one program. (I think the difference between this and the above point is that high speed dubbing doesn't reencode.)
3. Line-U dubbing.
- You can dub from a DVD-R to the hard drive using Line-U ("U-turn") dubbing. It doesn't say this here, but elsewhere on the site it says that this involves reencoding.
DVD-R Creation Functions
1. Wizard for easy DVD creation.
- There is a wizard that lets you create and burn a DVD by following simple on-screen directions.
2. "DVD Menu Creation," which lets you design menus with thumbnail images and any of eight built-in backgrounds or up to eight backgrounds you upload from your computer using the "Net Navi" feature.
- You can have title and chapter menus with thumbnails, and can choose separate backgrounds for each.
3. Choice of what to do at start of playback and at the end of a title when making a DVD-R.
- When you make a DVD-R, you can choose whether you want it to start with the menu, or by playing the first title.
- You can choose what to do when the DVD reaches the end of each title - go back to the menu, or begin playing another title.
- They list some DVD players that DVD-Rs created in this machine are guaranteed to play back on: Toshiba SD-1900, SD-3500, SD-5500, and SD-9500.
4. Features for testing before writing let you avoid failures.
- The software can check your DVD for compliance to the DVD spec. For instance, it will check that you don't have data with different screen sizes in the same title.
5. "Multi-item rate change dubbing," convenient for making a DVD-R from multiple elements (I think this is what it is saying, anyway).
- This seems to be just reiterating that you can edit together a number of clips with frame accuracy if you dub them with "rate change dubbing."
6. You can choose DVD-R compatible mode when setting a timed recording in "Recoding Navi."
- You can choose DVD-R compatible mode on a recording-by-recording basis when programming timed recordings. (I guess this means there is a non-DVD-R compatible mode? They don't say anything else about this.)
The rest of the page is a bunch of disclaimers and caveats (like you can't record things that are protected by macrovision, etc.).
There's quite a lot of other information on the site as well - I don't know if I'll have time anytime soon to do another message like this (perhaps I went a bit overboard on it ), but if you have any specific questions I might be able to answer from the site feel free to ask.
Now if only they'd release the RD-XS30 in the United States, where I am...
Thanks Brainiac 5 for all your hard work. I wonder if you would please just check if there is any mention of VBR (variable bit rate encoding), and flexible recording mode, which I think Toshiba call Disc Budget Recording.Thanks again.
In answer to Norman, the lowest price I have seen so far in UK is Â£525 at [URL='http://www.unbeatable.co.uk']www.unbeatable.co.uk , but remember it is not actually available yet. All 4 websites advertising it are only taking pre-bookings.I would imagine that when it does become available some websites will be selling it cheaper, even multi-region perhaps, because, despite their name, Unbeatable are not usually the cheapest.
Mike - you're very welcome, I thought it would be nice to share what I learned from the page you pointed out.
I looked over the site for the things you asked about. Yes, it does mention VBR. On one page, it lists as a feature "VBR MPEG-2 encoding, which is essential to high quality recording." Also, on a page comparing the features of the current Japanese models, which includes the RD-XS30, it lists as a feature of all of them:
* Resolutions - D1: 720x480, 2/3 D1: 480x480, 1/2 D1: 352x480. In DVD-R compatible mode, resolutions are limited to D1 and half D1 as per the DVD specification.
* At the 1.4Mbps bitrate, the resolution used is CIF: 352x240.
(I think the resolutions are chosen automatically based on the bitrate; at least I didn't see anything that said you get to choose them.)
The RD-XS30 pages also say that it does have the "Disc Budget Recording" feature. I'm not sure, but it sounds like it only applies when recording to DVD-RAM, because it says it automatically picks the bitrate to fit the recording onto the remaining space of a DVD-RAM. It also seems to say that you can only record up to two and a half hours using this feature. It probably works the same way as it did on the RD-X2, so maybe someone with an RD-X2 could give us more information.
Let me know if you have any more questions I might be able to help with.
I received one yesterday and am very impressed so far. Must say that the build quality is better than my HS2 and the amount of features and options is staggering (you seem to be able to change just about every setting you can find) - the operations manual is quite thick (there are three supplied with it - increasing in size and details) and I expected the normal multi language sections but it's all english and probably about 200 pages.
I found that to create a dvd-r it was more time consuming than the HS2 because of all of the thumbnails / menus / chapter menus / selection of audio type / bit-rate selection but I suppose I wanted a good play and that there are click and go methods if you want a simple disc.
Anyway I've only had a coupe of hours play so will see how it goes.
I'm affraid most of the answers are don't know yet - I only had a play for a couple of hours last night.
1) multizonedvd - Â£525
2) Don't know - I can't see anybody doing this anyway.
3) Haven't tried but it can output pure NTSC so I could try by dubbing from a NTSC dvd-r to the HD (which it allows - no dvd-video to HD though)
4) Not sure about the loopthrough but I'm sure there was a menu to select comp/s-video/rgb.
5) No - I believe it will have to be a mod, probably a flashed operating system, but as they only appeared a couple of days ago everybody seems to be working on it.
6) Not as far as I can see (again I just haven't had chance to check everything) but you can modify the video bitrate in steps of 0.2 Mbps and have audio in PCM/192/384 kHz. I reckoned that there were about 120 possible configurations - so you can just tweak the settings when you're going to dub and you can see the amount left on the dvd-r - it also makes play of the fact that it 'uses the full disc' - aimed at Panasonic I presume.
7) There is a quick guide (maybe 5 or 6 pages), then a basic guide (20 or so pages) and then the full operation one - you'd expect to see a pdf appear soon.
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