Here is a review of the RD-XS32 which, apart from having the usual functions of a DVD-recorder (disc playback, chapter editing, etc) lets you store any program directly onto the built-in hard-drive.
Hard Drive Recording
You may have gotten tired of purchasing blank-media for your DVD-player/recorder, and with recorded-media comes the problem of storage of course. It all seems bothersome to just record a one-off episode or any other event which you don’t intend to keep.
Luckily there is always the solution of purchasing a DVD Recorder with in-built Hard-drive which instantly solves these problems. Once you’ve watched your program you can happily delete it, without the need for a blank DVD-RW or a DVD-R.
The Toshiba RD-XS32 allows you to do just that, aside from the standard functions you would expect of course. If you are interested in purchasing this type of DVD-recorder please continue reading this review for further information on this model.
Design and Features
The RD-XS32 allows you to store up to 80 Gigabytes of data on the hard-drive, which will allow you to store a maximum of 103 hours of video content (depending on quality of course). It features a slick design with well integrated, unobtrusive buttons at the front, allowing you the usual functions such as playback/record or changing channel.
The DV, S-Video out/in and audio input connections are all hidden by a panel, which you can flip open when you need to. At the back you can find the SCART connections, with the second SCART allowing you to record the signal from the first SCART input (for cable/satellite connections).
The unit supports most formats, such as DVD-RAM, -RW or -R, but doesn’t support recording onto plus formats so watch your media types. The Easy-Navi button, available on the rather bulky remote, allows you to easily select functions via a menu display on the screen. Another handy feature is the ability to split between DVD playback and your TV screen in the corner, in case you don’t want to miss that all-important news broadcast.
Although the unit is quite complex overall, with the large remote control and a vast array of buttons and functions, it is well-built. Once you get the hang of the main functions you will probably stick to them and nothing else.
The choice of bit-rate also allows you the possibility of recording more by cutting quality, but the player does this automatically depending on how much space you have left on the drive. The rate convert feature is quite useful and there is no loss in quality.
Loading times are relatively quick, but it may take longer if you have a high quality disc in (i.e. Double layer or DVD-RAM). The unit also allows you to edit the content you recorded but you can always do that by burning and ripping onto your PC.
At slightly under 200 dollars, the unit is a bit on the expensive side and the 80GB storage is, in all honesty, a bit slim compared to other players. However, the unit’s features, such as the Picture-in-picture split screen, the ease of navigation and the Time-slip function (allowing you playback as it’s being recorded) make the unit quite a good purchase.
In short, if you have the money to spend you won’t be disappointed by the RD-XS32, but it would not be recommended as a budget purchase.