Toshiba RD-XS64: test and review

As for DVD players, Toshiba was a bit asleep on his laurels after an international success in the years following the marketing of versatile optical disk. The Japanese manufacturer has focused on the entry level offering much for little euros. The arrival of a new dynamic market, the fair recorders and hard disk recorders, gave a big boost to Japanese engineers who have been working hard to finally realize a small bomb affordable technology.

The design of the RD-XS64 can leave septic.

The RD-XS64 is a hard disk DVD recorder midrange that has more features than many more expensive cameras. However, the design has not been treated. In any case, the lack of originality is evident, the front bend no more inspired than the chrome plastic cheeks.

If some function keys that results is more significant practice (there are only Play, Pause, Eject, forward and rewind, channel changing), the skinny fluorescent display let their hungry fans information. Four letters in all and for all, this does not indicate much more than an hour, a channel number or the advancement of reading. For the rest, you will see on-screen display, very explicit and comprehensive. The tray called a smile when he pulls out a cut tilting fa├žade in the ground before. The gauchei side door hides the front panel inputs: stereo audio, composite video course but also iLink (FireWire) for your digital camcorder.

At the rear, the location of the large fan is immediately visible.

Side face a first unpleasant surprise: a big fan to keep power, HDD recorder and a temperature descent. Its almost total silence of operation fortunately quickly reassured us. The discovery of an audio / video HDMI digital universal clearly gives a smile, especially that it is accompanied by traditional stereo analog audio outputs, digital optical and coaxial. To image the point of excess input, only a SCART rears its pins. Output is better, but very conventional: SCART supports RGB, YUV component that wants to connect the projector or flat screen with high quality, composite and S-video signal to seeking a less good quality.

The remote indeed austere, shows good ergonomics, with a nice touch and a provision of smart keys around the thumb rest position. We had enjoyed a silkscreen French, less dispensable appendices keys but everyday ergonomics are good, that’s the main thing.

Ease of use that is found in how to use the product every day: a button to choose the mode reader / writer or hard drive, another to start playing without any menu or the registration of the active channel. As obvious that a very simple video, this last detail, a blue dotted with yellow GUI is proposed. From there, everyone can first adjust a few options available: Auto Sleep, level of illumination of the front display, Night mode, noise reduction, pub hopping length, screen size , etc. Strict minimum completing some nice frills and devoid of excessive technicality for 99% of installations: no HD or progressive output, no audio / video adjustment for seasoned Polytechnique, much less abstruse audio settings.

Then comes the recording schedule, rather obvious in manual or ShowView fashion and product jukebox aspect consultation music files (MP3 or WMA), video (MPEG or DivX) and pictures (JPEG). You are free to browse the library contained in the hard drive or on a drive of your composition. Transfers optical media containing internally are childish and fast. The overall response is very good, without waiting times inexplicable and so annoying.

What about the picture quality, sound? Toshiba is doing properly at the input video channels that are of little noise, no time lags, echoing or chromatic defects. The dive without being exceptional, appropriate to retain the bulk of visual information. This is the level of compression that the rub, in the sense that no probative technology present on more expensive devices is implemented: the noise reduction is not effective, filtering of radio sources or composite / S -video quite simple, the compression is not optimized to the last bit. The result is actually good, since the components used do not suffer from major shortcomings, but no more. Compression artifacts are slightly visible from the recording mode 2h and the quality deteriorates in 4 hours or more. Intelligent video noise reduction would have been very beneficial to the compression MPeg-2, particularly on terrestrial TV reception.

Finish still on a pleasant note, the quality worthy of playing DVD Toshiba: bright colors, contrast visible without settling shadows, fine definition and smooth without hooks. The image is energetic, very spectacular in his temperament and promises good visual sensations without slippage towards excessive.