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on 14 August 2008
Arrived less than 24 hours after ordering. Thank you Amazon. Initial set up was painless. Just make sure you have connected the aerial lead first. I particularly like the DV input. Works a treat with my Canon MV960. I have connected my Sky+ via SCART at the moment and the results look OK. In the process of getting Component lead and will try that. Editing is quite easy to cope with. If you wish to edit programmes copy them to the HDD and edit on there before commiting to a DVD. I haven't tried copying protected VHS to the HDD/DVD yet so don't know if it can. The only bad thing I can think of at the moment is the remote control does not allow control of other Toshiba equipment.

19/08/09. Had it for one week now. When editing, copy to HDD first then create a 'playlist' of the file. This allows editing without changing the original recording (do NOT delete the original recording yet). When you are ready to commit to DVD or VHS for that matter use the 'playlist' to dubb across. When this is done and you are satisfied then delete the original.

The unit is connected to a Tosh LCD via HDMI. Any of the inputs (VHS, DTV or Anologue) are viewed on the TV via HDMI the XV48 can upscale to your requirements.

I do not envisage using the XV48 to record any off air TV as I use Sky HD for that.

I think you can tell that I am extremely pleased with this fantastic piece of electronic wizardry!
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on 8 September 2008
This box has proved to be just what I wanted. It copies VCR to DVD with just a push of a button. Alternatively you can copy VCR to HDD and extract the bits you want to record to DVD. Masses of storage on the HDD compared to my old Sky+ box. I use an HDMI cable to connect to my Samsung LCD. I also have a SCART connection between the 2 boxes so that I can view VCRs before recording them. Fast download from HDD to DVD is very useful. Very nice to use and I'm now looking forward to transferring all my VCRs to DVD and junking them! This is a great machine!
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on 11 October 2008
My reason for buying this product was rather long-winded : my old VCR 'collapsed' and, by pure chance, saw an offer for the RDXV47 (but no freeview ) in Toshiba's Outlet shop at Cheshire Oaks Retail Park. )At £175 it seemed a good buy. I spent a number of days researching and was dismayed by comments describing the interface as 'non-intuitive'( my Pioneer DVD Recorder is so 'sleek and simple' to use ! ). Again, by chance, I found the RDXV48 (with freeview) here on Amazon for an extra £10 ! No brainer !
The Pluses : i) ordered at 1.45 on Friday and it arrived at 10.15am Saturday morning !( OK, I paid for Express Delivery, but it as worth it)ii) a comprehensive manual ( not an easy read, but it's all in there - somewhere!)iii) recording directly from freeview without the need for L1 or L2 to an external box.
Minuses : i)the User Interface is un-intuitive ! I know it has 6-way recording, but there must be a simpler way of presenting options on-screen. ( They tell me the 47 is even worse .... ) ii) The VCR has no timer ! I cannot understand why such a basic function is missing. I rang their (Tosh's )Technical Help and the reason given was along the lines 'well, VCR is on the way out' which wasn't a very convincing reason.iii) The Title Page created on a DVD disk is so boring !
Having said all that ! I'd still give it 5. Editing is slow and laborious, but the end results are worth it, believe me.
A fantastic piece of kit at a super price when compared with similar products.
Grab it while you can !
Edit / Update 16th Oct : Used it for about 10 days now and I'm getting the hang of it! It has taken a while to remember that editing a recording MUST be performed on a copy you create, rather than on the original ... other than that, have the instructions to hand when you edit a recording rather than trust to 'instinct' ! Persevere ! It's worth it for the results.
Unfortunately, there seems to have been a price 'correction' since I wrote the start of this comment.... but it's still worth the new price.
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on 16 September 2008
Overall im pleased with it, had it a month now.

The picture quality is very good, even better with a HDMI cable (which i bought from ebuyer for £3!) and recording to a hard drive is excellent and quite simple to do. Theres a lot of good features such as vcr to dvd recording however there are a few niggles which annoy me:

The programe guide is incredibly frustrating. When you look through the channels it actually changes the channel in the background with it and when you turn the guide off, it changes back to the channel you were watching. You end up having to memorise the channel number you want to watch. In respose to another persons review, you can skip through days in the EPG by pressing the fast forward button.

The menus are not very user friendly and you definately have to have a good read of the manual to understand how to access all the functions.

Overall well worth the money if you still need a vcr and dont have sky plus. There is nothing else i could find with all these features for £200.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 17 October 2008
I bought the product last week and looked forward to using it straight away. Being male and a technician I set to and connected everything up but it didn't work like I expected.
Reading the manual (which is not the easiest I have ever read) sorted the problems out and the results are very good. The worst problem was when I came to try to copy and edit some tapes. Unless you are very experienced at video editing you must read and constantly refer to the manual, so have it to hand. At 103 pages it is quite long and the people who wrote it must have assumed that the user is already knowledgeable. That is my only complaint..Could have been written better.
Other than that the picture quality is excellent, and the Tuner produces the best pictures I have seen. Almost glitch free viewing.
Fully recommended.
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on 14 September 2008
I started looking at combined DVD-VCR machines to reduce the clutter around my TV and also enable me to transfer my Mini-DV video tapes onto DVD. I was using a Sony DVD player, an old VCR and also a Sagem PVR sitting on top of my 12 yr old Panasonic CRT.

I wanted a machine that could play and record onto DVDs and VHS but that also had a freeview tuner. I was also after a machine with a hard drive to make editing DVDs easier and to enable me to replace my PVR at the same time.

At less than £200, I think this machine is superb value but it has its problems. Here are my annoyances in order of frustration. Only time will tell if they outweigh the value:

1. You can't access the programme guide or list of timer recordings if you are recording. This is really frustrating as this includes times when you are using it to perform time-slip (more about that later). So, you pause live-tv, get a drnk, come back and resume play but now you can't see the EPG or set up a program to record because the machine is now in Recording mode i.e. it is chasing playback.

2. Pause-live TV is very un-intuitive - nowhere near as good as my PVR, mainly because you have to press the time-slip button twice - once to start recording the tv programme and once to then pause it. My PVR continuously records the previous 30 mins so you could always pause and rewind up to 30min but this isn't possible with the Toshiba, unless you have pressed timeslip to start recording. Very hard to explain to my wife, who is already missing the PVR.

3. With time-slip, it treats the programme you have paused as a normal recording. So, your hard drive and your recorded programme list will fill up with programmes you have paused (!)

4. Menus are very unintuitive and frustrating, requiring you to confirm twice if you want to delete all those recordings where you paused live TV - gets very annoying!

5. Remote control seems very weak. Two meters away at an angle and it won't respond

6. EPG is frustrating in Week view, with no feature to step forwards a day at a time; you need to step through every programme for one day to move to the next day. Obtining information about programs also requires two clicks - with my PVR the programme information was automatically displayed when you highlighted the program

7. Accessing your list of recordings is poorly laid out, choosing to display the first frame of each programme on the screen which you then scroll through, with the title of the progrmme displayed at the top when the frame is highlighted. If you want to quickly review all your recording to choose what to watch, how many programs can you recognise from the first frame! Would have been more llogical to have a text list of the recordings and a single window to display the recording when you higlighted it in the list.

So, overall it is great value and reduces the machines I need under the TV but despite its hard drive it is very poor replacement if are buying it to give you the PVR/Sky+ functionality. I think Toshiba could have done so much more with this machine by putting a bit more thought and effort into usability - I wonder if it can download new software to fix itself if Toshiba ever employ a usability expert to redesign it...
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on 10 August 2008
I had one when it came out.....broke down a week later.It refuses to power up at all,and is now being replaced free by Amazon. That's great, but everything on the hard drive is now lost (including the VHS tape and DVD stuck in it). Some things will be hard to replace. It was great while it lasted. The worst thing about it is the clunky menu. It's awkward to watch anything (on the freeview or DVD,or anything you are dubbing) because it automatically switches to AV2 (where it says you must plug your DECODER, e.g SKY box) and it makes an awful sound if you don't.So to be clear, if you have anything plugged into AV2, that's the default that you will watch when the machine is on, like it or not.To watch your recording or Freeview you have to turn off the SKY box! I'm sure i've read it right,and followed the instructions, but this part of the system is very stupid. You can get around it, but it's a pain. The editing function is more clunky than my Funai HDR-B2735, which is faultless and frame accurate in editing out adverts. In some ways the Funai is better, but it doesn't have RGB in or out, unlike the Toshiba. Other than that, and it breaking down, it's got alot of good features. I just hope the replacement works for more than a week this time!

UPDATE: The new replacement came this morning and this unit is better. It no longer screams at me when i change the input from Sky (in AV2) to the other inputs or the digital or analogue tuner. This unit will let me watch other inputs, i no longer have to turn off my Sky box. The original unit must have been faulty at the factory.At the moment it looks good and i hope it lasts. I don't want to send it back, i like the machine and it's features.

UPDATE 2: The more i use it, the more i'm glad i bought it. Even though things went wrong with the first machine i had, it really is a very good machine, i'm getting used to the menus and the editing is better. I think it was hard at first because my first one was faulty. If your thinking of buying one, i would recommend it. I'm not sure if you can watch VHS through the HDMI. The instructions seem to say not. I think you can only watch HDD/DVD through HDMI. You may still need to have a Scart connected to view VHS and Freeview, i haven't tested this but the instructions seem to say this, i could be wrong. The only other thing i miss is S-VIDEO in/out.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 21 December 2008
I bought one of these as a Christmas present for my father, but with 55 buttons on the remote control and very small text, it proved nearly impossible for him to use (he's 91). Subsequently I had to buy him the Panasonic Multi Format DVD Recorder With Freeview which has larger buttons and not as many, plus a supply of Panasonic 3x speed, 4.7GB, 10 pack DVD-RAM Disc as it has no HDD. I am now using the Toshiba.

The Freeview is good, although there is only one tuner. I have the outside aerial plugged into a Humax 160GB Twin Tuner PVR (which has two tuners, Freeview and a 160Gb hard disc), and from there to the Toshiba. This way I can record everything I want to watch on the Humax and everything I want to transfer to DVD on the Toshiba. I can also watch another channel on the Humax while the Toshiba is recording, because with only one tuner on the Toshiba you have to watch what it is recording or watch something it has recorded earlier.

The Freeview EPG is a small box in the middle two thirds of the screen and in extended mode will only show six channels, although it will show eight days worth. It's easy to set the programmes to record; just highlight the program, press OK, press OK again, press return. It sometimes cuts off the first minute of the program if it starts slightly early; I cannot find anything in the manual to change this. You cannot access the EPG if it is recording something.

I am mostly happy with the hard disc, as it records programmes without any of them breaking up or pixelating. When going to the menu showing the recordings, it highlights the first one and starts playing them, with sound, in their own little box; this can be a little bit irritating and makes them slow to move across to find the one you want to play. When zooming through the adverts, it sometimes does not respond to the first press of the play button and carries on zooming through the programme, causing one to have to zoom back.

When playing DVD's I find it to be as good as any other player although it is not multiregion.

To copy from the HDD to DVD I use Verbatim DVD-R 4.7GB 16x Printable 50 pack. It has a facility to edit films & TV programmes (i.e. removing the adverts and the stuff at the beginning and the end) before dubbing. If there are two episodes of the same programme, it can stitch them together so they become one programme; make sure you stitch them together before editing though, because if you edit them first it won't let you stitch them together afterwards. On some TV programmes you record onto the hard disk, it will not let you edit if you have watched the programme; you need to edit the programme and then watch it, or copy it and then watch the DVD. Also, on some programmes it will only let you make one copy, though you could probably duplicate them on the PC.

Also, if you want to copy from HDD to DVD in widescreen you will need to use DVD-R disks, because if you use DVD+R disks it will always copy the program in 4:3 (like TV's used to be) and you will get black bars at the side of the screen; unfortunately the DVD-R disks that you record may not be viewable on other DVD players (they cannot be played on a Sony DVP-NS36 DVD Player), though they can be watched on a PC.

The video part is okay and has both auto & manual tracking, although if your tapes are old there will still be a lot of interference (there is on mine). I would imagine its main use would be to copy from video onto DVD something treasured from a camcorder. I think if I wanted a film on video to be on DVD, I would buy the DVD and throw the old video cassette away as it will not transfer well.

I have found that if I have been watching a DVD and switch it off, the next time I switch it on the DVD will start up and I then have to wait until it has gone through the titles before I can stop the DVD and switch over to HDD; this is not good if you are in a hurry to record something.

Another thing that annoys me and which has been mentioned by other reviewers, it the cooling fan. It is the same noise as a PC cooling fan and it is always on, even when the unit is on standby. I bought an enclosed TV stand with glass doors and I can still hear it. Do not buy this if you are going to have it in a bedroom, you will never sleep.

Unless you really need a video player for copying to/from, I would recommend the Panasonic Freeview 160GB HDD & DVD Recorder, which is similar to the one my father has now but also includes a hard disc.

July 2010: This has now gone the way of another Toshiba Freeview Recorder that I had previously owned. This one has now decided to set its internal timer as being seven minutes slower than actual time, thus if the actual time is 10.00pm the time in the EPG box will say 9.53pm. Unfortunately this means that I can no longer use the EPG timer as I have to set it manually with the timer set ten minutes before and finishing at the correct time just in case it corrects itself. The previous Toshiba recorder went wrong by over twenty minutes - I wonder if it is a Toshiba thing, as other Freeview recorders made by other manufacturers do not seem to do this.

October 2010: Internal timer seems to have corrected itself and is now working properly, so I am therefore now back to using it as my main Freeview HDD Recorder/DVD player. The Humax stopped recording altogether and didn't recover, so this went into the bin.

March 2011: Internal timer went wonky again, started recording Friday's Programmes even though it was only Tuesday. Tried to reset it and it has now stopped receiving any signals, so I cannot record TV. Still use it to copy non pre-recorded DVD's and videos, do it is still useful for something.
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on 24 October 2008
This does exactly what it says on the box! A sophisticated little machine which I bought to supplement our Phillips set-top box and it works perfectly. Our area goes digital next June. Not as daunting to use/understand as some would have you believe and it has many innovative and welcome features that make using it and its operation a pleasure. Only slight niggle is that it is quite noisy (even when switched off and with a timer program waiting to spring into action). Only time it is silent is when completely shut down and not in timer mode. You get used to it though and for this price this is a very minor inconvenience.
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on 3 November 2008
Over the years I have accumulated seriously large quantities of video tapes from conventional VHS to mini dv's, these are distributed all around the house in cupboards, on shelves ...everywhere!. This piece of kit does exactly what it says on the box. I can transfer/edit to DVD reducing my piles of tapes to a much more manageable number of DVD's. The controls are simple and instructions are well produced and easy to understand. Overall a really first class buy and it arrived bang on time.
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