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Toshiba RD-XS32 review: Toshiba RD-XS32

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The Good Allows play back of recordings at various speeds. 80GB hard disk drive. Picture-in-picture (PIP) viewing.

The Bad No digital video connection such as DVI or HDMI. Cannot record onto +R media.

The Bottom Line DVD recorders are gaining pace in the Australian market and will be a highly sought after gift this Christmas. Toshiba's RD-XS32 goes one step further and includes an 80GB hard disk drive to store hundreds of hours of video.

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DVD recorders are gaining pace in the Australian market and will be a highly sought after gift this Christmas. Toshiba's RD-XS32 goes one step further and includes an 80GB hard disk drive to store hundreds of hours of video. Design
The Toshiba HDD/DVD recorder stands taller than most standalone DVD players with a height of 7.8cm -- quite high compared to Pioneer's slimmer DVD (plus 80GB HDD) recorder.

The front of the RD-XS32 has a flip-down panel that allows access to a set of A/V inputs (S-Video, composite and analog audio) as well a DV input, to which you can easily plug in a video camera. The DVD tray also ejects at the front and there is an information display LCD panel on the right-hand side.

At the back of the unit are the rest of the connections. Toshiba hasn't gone overboard in this department; instead the RS-XS32 presents a simple array of options. Composite video output is available, as well as S-Video for slightly better quality and a component connection on top of this. There is no digital video connection such as DVI or HDMI but there are optical and coaxial digital audio jacks. Although not really relevant to the Australian market, there are two Scart connections on board. Finally, there is an RF input to get a signal to the unit's analog tuner.

Features
The RS-XS32 supports DVD-RAM, DVD-R and DVD-RW, but unfortunately it cannot record onto +R media. Toshiba supplied us with one DVD-RAM disc (with cartridge) to use during our test period and even though the recorder will support standalone discs, Toshiba recommends using cartridges on rewriteable DVDs for protection.

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