Toshiba DVR620 DVD/VHS Recorder, Black
- toshiba dvr620 dvd/vcr combo dvd+r/rw dvd-r/rw cd-rw vhs - dvd video playback cd-da playback video cd playback svcd playback picture cd playback jpeg playback divx playback mp3 playback wma playback - progressive scan - 8hour recording - black
- Toshiba DVR620
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Like several other users, I found that when I followed the instructions for dubbing to DVDs, the recorder showed a "Barred" icon, a slashed red circle. After several attempts with different brands of DVD disks, I called Toshiba. I got some very helpful advice from the first customer service agent at Toshiba, but I was still unable to resolve the problem. I called back and talked to another agent, who was able to help me resolve the recording issues. Both customer service agents at Toshiba were very knowledgeable and did an excellent job of explaining their advice. I was very satisfied with Toshiba customer service. I will summarize the advice below so that other people who have difficulties with the recorder can try these steps to resolve their problems.
1. Because old videotapes may not track well when they have been unused for several years, fast forward to the end of the tape and rewind the tape before attempting to copy it. The recorder may refuse to copy a tape if it does not track well.
2. Eject the videotape. Apparently Toshiba DVRs (both the 610 and 620) can balk if the videotape is inserted before the DVD.
3. Push the DVD button and insert the blank DVD.
4. Press Record Mode (not Record) button and set the speed (I use SP).
5. Press the Setup button and select Recording. Select Dubbing Mode. Select VCR > DVD.
6. Press the VCR button and insert the videotape. Press Play and then Pause (not Stop) at the point slightly before you wish to start copying.
7. Press the Dubbing button. Push Stop when you want to stop dubbing. You can then insert another videotape to dub onto the same DVD, until it is full.
8. You can add titles on the DVD disk with the Top Menu button by selecting the part you wish to title and clicking on Edit and Edit Title.
9. After adding titles, you should finalize the DVD by pressing the Setup button, selecting DVD Menu and then Finalize (this may take a few minutes). Then you should be able to play the disk on another machine. I have been able to play finalized disks on my Sony DVD player.
I hope this is helpful for others having some trouble with these machines. I am very happy to be able to make digital copies of my old home movies.
I then tested it on recording/dubbing my old home videos on VHS to DVD. I had problems because I got the red circle with the slash through it. So I called up Toshiba customer service and after a few button pushing of 1's, 2's, and 3's, I was connected to a representative who told me to skip step #7 on page 50.
Step 7 is the "press [dvd], then press [rec mode] ..." I basically skipped that step and went straight to the press dubbing button and everything works perfectly!
The catch with not being able to use step 7 is I have to sit and watch the entire VHS so I can hit the "stop" button again. But if I do fall asleep dubbing, the VCR to DVD duplication automatically stops if it senses no image for more than 3 minutes. So it's not that bad.
And one more tip the Toshiba rep gave me is that I must be in L1 mode. There is an L1, L2, and L3 mode (you can change by pushing the input button on the top left of the remote control). I haven't explored the rest. But she said I must stay in L1 mode to dub VHS to DVD. Which is the mode you first get when you plug in the unit ... so as long as you don't change it, everything is fine.
The reason I didn't give it 5 stars is because I must have the remote control to eject the VHS. No remote, the VHS is forever in the unit. There's only 2 buttons on the entire unit ... 1) eject DVD button and 2) power button. If they had a 3rd button to eject the VHS, I would have given it 5 stars.
I will revise my review if I experience any more problems with the unit. But overall, I'm very happy with it.
Added January 2010 - My unit still works find after all these months. Many thanks to V. Genova's post for telling me I can flip the bottom cover open and find the eject button to the VHS, plus other useful buttons. I'm still very happy with the unit even though I'm done converting everything to DVD in the house. Of course I couldn't convert the Disney VHS but I still kept them so my daughter can watch Disney VHS on the HDTV using the Toshiba player.
Added January 17, 2010 - I hooked up TiVo TCD652160 HD Digital Video Recorder to my Toshiba player and now I'm recording my TV shows to DVD!!! I'm so excited! I used the A/V cables and set it up as TIVO OUT and Toshiba player IN. I was in L1 & DVD mode of my Toshiba player. I played an episode I saved on my TIVO and hit the record button on my Toshiba player. That's it! Now I can take my favorite TV episodes on DVD everywhere I go. The quality is decent, not HD. But it will keep my daughter very happy when we're on road trips. My TV is the Samsung LN46B650 46-Inch 1080p 120 Hz LCD HDTV with Red Touch of Color, also from Amazon.
The image quality of DVD playback is also good. I did not test this unit with a HDTV so I don't know what the upscaling is like but assume it is at least as good as competing models. The VCR could also record.
The unit's exterior design is elegant and simple and doesn't look cheap. It's not as tall as it looks in the pictures. The front bottom half is a door that flips down to reveal more buttons. The door has a shiny clear finish. This unit is very easy to operate out of the box, it doesn't require much tweaking to do basic functions. The remote is nice too with lots of functions.
The only thing that you should know before you buy this unit is the fact it DOES NOT have a built-in tuner so keep that in mind. You will need to connect a separate tuner, cable box, VCR etc. to record OTA broadcasts. Since it has no tuner, you cannot simply hook an antenna straight into this unit to record broadcasts.
One word of warning: the Mode Select button is directly below the VCR selection key, which is used a lot. If you press the Mode Select button accidentally, you may change the DVD recording speed easily without noticing. I must have done this, and discovered after converting 5 tapes that they were Converted in EP mode (less quality) rather than SP that I wanted, but now I am more careful and occasionally purposely press that button to insure that I am still set for SP mode DVD recording. If less quality but more space is wanted, you could use the EP mode to record 2 - 2Hr tapes onto one DVD, but the DVD picture & sound quality will be at lesser quality than the original VHS tape(s).
Overall, if converting VHS to DVD is all you are looking for, this unit will deliver quality DVD copies, and is a more reliable unit than the Sony products. Actually, once you set the unit up with your preferences, you only have to press the DUBBING button to record each 2-hr VHS tape to a blank DVD. Remember to FINALIZE your DVD after recording, so that it will play on other units. You should also use DVD+R, not DVD-R, since Toshiba recommends and supports only the "+" format discs. Toshiba has excellent tech support, and they actually speak good English.
The space reduction of DVD vs. VHS is fantastic, and by converting old tapes to DVD, you are preserving them for the future, as VHS tapes have a tendency to eventually decay beyond usable condition.
I will never buy another Sony product.