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on 4 September 2011
Good points:
Delivery from Amazon was superb, as usual.
The recorder was easy to set up, with good quality picture and sound.
The manual was easy to follow and comprehensive covering all aspects.

Bad points:
I previously purchased a combo Toshiba TV and DVD player which was very good and influenced my decision to buy this recorder. However, when I record a DVD on the DR20 and play it back thro' the TV, the top disk menu does not display. You have to guess what is on the disk - not good. Other recorders I have used are not like this.

The DR20 has a new EcoSave feature, on power off which means the front display is blank - no time, no indication of a scheduled recording, no nothing! The customer should have the option to have a display when in power off mode, if required.

The DR20 has no cooling slots, but uses a fan similar to a pc. When the timer is set, the fan stays on when in power off mode. This can be intrusive, especially if the recorder is located in the bedroom. I have had to resort to setting the timer just before the programme starts - not good.

If a disk is formatted and you try to display the top disk menu, nothing displays except a square! It is not until something is recorded that it displays disk content.

There does not appear to be any facility for globally setting the record quality format, e.g. LP, it has to be input each time.

Overall the quality and price were good, let down by poor operating design flaws.
22 comments|34 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 8 November 2011
My Sony DVD recorder had given up the ghost, could not be repaired and Sony don't make them any more but have turned to PVRs. As I copy things I want to keep from HD to DVD, I needed a new machine. The shops didn't have any, so I chose the Toshiba DR20 from Amazon. It arrived freight free a few days later in usual Amazon style, and as I live in Guernsey it was VAT free too - as it should be, but not all UK net shops do it.

The DR20 has so far done what it says on the tin, the only quibble being the lack of a 3-hour mode which means I have to record things that are just over 2 hours on 4-hour format, losing some quality (hence the loss of a star). The optional automatic "Finalise" function is a plus, though. Menus are clear and easy to navigate. Longevity will remain to be seen, but I'm happy enough with this one to have bought a DVR20 for my wife to transfer precious old tapes to DVD.

For playback, HDMI output is an improvement on the Component output of older DVD players, although the DR20 retains Component out to fit "legacy" installations. Nice touch - almost deserves an extra star just that.

In common with other DVD-recorders, the best quality input is S-video (a pity that), but on the DR20 there is only the one socket on the front of the machine. Which makes for a cluttered installation and takes it down to four stars again.
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on 21 September 2010
received Toshiba DR20 within a few days of ordering,speed of delivery and packaging up to amazon's high standards. Set up no problems with very clear freeview picture. Instruction book very comprehensive and needs reading very througly to get best from machine. Timer recording(epg) easy to programme. I prefer daily mode for everyday operation. Timing progs seem pretty accurate. I use DVD- discs to maintain aspect ratio as transmitted. My old machine did not need finalising of discs to play on other players as modern models do. Finalising can take some time to complete and then has to be un finalised to add further recordings. Machine is very quiet in operation. I am very satisfied with Toshiba DV20 and can recommend it.
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on 21 May 2013
So after stumping up the courage to again plunge for a DVD rcorder from Amazon (The last time, was a nightmare!!!!!) I went for this as i like Toshiba products, very good quality and reliable (Touches wood!)
But, thats the nicely nicely parts for a moment.

ONE input port. ONE!!!
Outputs, there is HDMI, SCART, RCA AV ports, Component Output ports...
But just one lousy input!!
When will manufactures realise that actually, people sometimes have more than one device they'd like to hook into a recorder. This is a modern age, where attention is supposed to be paid to what customers are saying and asking for, yet still making products with half a million ways to output, but only ONE way to input!
I don't have 4 tellies i want to hook into at once, so why so many outs and only one in?!

Picture quality-wise. If you select XP, its stunning. Near broadcast-quality. Cannot fault it, although you can only get around an hour of content at that setting but quality is worth it.
The fan on the back is silent, cannot hear it at all.
If you're after a quality recorder, here it is, but if you want to attach more than one device, you're screwed unless you have a splitting device also!
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on 28 November 2010
The Toshiba DR20 was delivered the day after it was ordered. The set-up was straight- forward and recording (both EPG and manually)was so simple that even a 70+ like me mastered easily
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on 6 April 2011
Bought this item only a few months ago and it has not performed at all well as it is unreliable. Whether you set the recording manually or use the guide settings you cannot rely on the machine actually recording the whole of the movie. Sometimes it will but those times have been unfortunately few! I bought this machine to replace a previous Panasonic model which had come to the end of its useful life and cannot say how disappointed I am! When I can afford it I will replace it with a new Panasonic DVD Recorder. I would comment also that the software seems to be much superior on Panasonic machines - well I suppose you only get what you pay for and I will not be tempted to buy a cheaper alternatives again! I just hope that the fault is only with my machine and not a general condition!

I did not in fact purchase this particular item from Amazon but from another trader but still the comments about it remain valid. The item I purchased from Amazon was the Toshiba DVD PLAYER which performs perfectly OK.
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on 5 May 2013
This was bought to replace a broken-down player/recorder. Budget was an issue so I went for a cheaper, more basic model than I had previously owned. It arrived early and was securely packaged. It was easy to install and set up, in fact the hardest thing I had to do was open up the packaging!

I bought this item purely for basic recording and playback, and it performs well, doing what is required of it. Because it is a different make from my TV set, I can't make use of the link facility for the program guide on timed recordings and there is no facility for programs which start late. Therefore it is important to program extra time at the end of a recording to allow for this, as several programs I record regularly often start later.

Others have found the item to be noisy, I disagree. The only time it makes any sound is powering on or off, or while it is reading a disk. Other than that, I have never noticed any noise.

Others have also criticised the fact that the front display goes off when the equipment is in standby mode. This doesn't bother me.

A decent purchase for someone wanting basic functions.
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on 10 January 2013
I recieved my toshiba dv 20 recordr yesterday...i spent an hour trying to follow the instruction book which is way to elaborate and technical for the common man/ the end i did what i did when setting up my old one a LG 389 which was truly rubbish after only 13 months (just out of warranty)...for those that need to know about sky will need a scart lead from your sky box to the recorder Even if you have a Hd lead to TV and a scart lead from the recorder to the TV set this isn't shown or mentioned in any diagram in the instruction book..strange as everything else is including what you possibly will never need to know in a month of sundays..yet something so common place isn't.That said since setting up i have recorded onto disc from my Sky planner and the picture and quality is excellent and knocks spots off the LG 389 which was grainy at best...i've only given it 4 stars though for wasting an hour of my life with poor instructions otherwise it would so far have 5 stars....
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on 8 July 2012
I bought this solely to copy programmes from a SKY box onto DVD, I do not have Freeview so cannot comment on the tuner. I had it up and working within ten minutes, simply plug it in and connect two scart leads (not supplied). On playback the HDMI uplift is excellent, not far short of the BBC version of HD.
The instructions, when I got round to reading them are detailed and very easy to understand, there is also a 'phone line and website. I had previously tried the LG recorder and this is everything that the LG is not.
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on 18 April 2011
Very nice machine, sleek and very easy to operate. I've happly managed to make a couple of recordings without having to resort to the manual, so it can't be that hard to get on with.

Two issues; I had dsome DVD-RW's that I had recorded on my LG recorder. I had to reformat these and lost the content. To be fair, it does say in the documentation (see, I did eventually read it) that it will probably not be able to read other machines DVD-RW formatted discs. DVD-R discs have played fine.

The other is quite irritating. I set the timer to record a program that would not start for two days and thought nothing of it. A little later, I could hear this humming noise - not loud, but just at the level where you know it's there. I did the obvious and went round checking things and eventually ended up back at the DVD. The fan was running. It turns out that, if you set the timer to record a program, the fan will come on and stay on until the recording has been completed. So, in my case, I could look forward to having the fan running for two solid days. I checked with support and this is normal.

I ended up writing myself a post-it note and setting the recorder a couple of hours before the program I wanted to record. For that 'feature' alone, this only gets two stars.

Update: July 2011. It missed a recording a couple of weeks ago, just sat there humming away overnight instead of recording the program. Now I find that it won't even turn on unless I unplug it from the mains and plug it back in again. Not that it is much use then, as it refuses to record. It tries to start recording a couple of times before it shuts down and refuses to turn on again.

Very unimpressed so far. Not even sure I want to return this under warranty since I have no confidence that a replacement unit will be any better.
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