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  1. Ok so I bought a Toshiba DR-4 in October 2005. Back then it seemed like the logical choice, not much complaints about it compared to other recorders. It is 5 months later, and now I would NOT recommend this recorder. I'd say the following began happening around the 3-5 months after purchase period.

    Nowadays it is being really picky about discs it wants to record on. It rarely wants to ever write onto a "second time formatted" Sony DVD-RW, and it gives me trouble "first-time formatting" my Maxell DVD-RW's, usually stalling out and giving me an error message at 39% formatting.

    Most of my timer recordings fail, unless I manually stop it myself. Otherwise the recorder stops, gives you and error message, and then your recording is lost (unless there's a way to recover it on your pc?).

    My DR-4 will no longer accept a couple of my Panasonic DVD-rams as well. Even though there isn't a single scratch on them, and barely any on other discs. It barely plays old Princo discs I have, and doesn't play svcd's unless they are 100% unscratched.

    You can forget about recording HBO on a dvd-rw. It only works for Rams and dvd-r. That's my experience (I have Directv btw).

    The last annoyance has just started recently. Now half the time I turn on my DR-4 it stalls out before loading the disc inside of it (no matter what disc), and doesn't let the audio through to the TV, only video. I have to reset it (holding the power button for 10 seconds) and then it comes back to normal.

    In conclusion, my Toshiba DR-4 has become a major annoyance and I now wish I never bought it. I guess I'm stuck with it for now, since 5 months is too late to take it back and I didn't buy any extended warranty bs. Of course maybe this is just my recorder, maybe other people have better experiences, though I feel people should read my story because this can happen after your 14 or 30 day return or 90 day warranty.
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  2. I would try a lens cleaner on the dvd drive.
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  3. Video Restorer lordsmurf's Avatar
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    Do you smoke?
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  4. Yes I've tried a lens cleaner, and I do not smoke (I'm not sure if that's a joke or real question).
    Also I always check every disc to see if there's scrathes, finger prints, or dust/debris on them and clean it if neccessary. Though the only "used up" discs I put in are rentals, most of my discs are clean.
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  5. Call Toshiba. They are helpful and are pretty good about warranty service. It sounds like the burner drive has a problem. Their Customer Service Group number is 800-631-3811
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  6. Member
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    Thought I'd add my 2 cents about this recorder. I've had mine since August 2005 and overall, I'm still quite happy with it. I have analog cable only so can't speak for satellite, digital cable, etc. It isn't perfect though.

    I'll start with the positives. The PQ continues to be excellent. I use the same Maxell RAM disc (made in Japan) as my "workhorse" and the video/audio recordings are as good today as months ago. The tuner is also excellent, much better than any other recorder's I've tried.

    Now the annoyances... As mentioned by josetjr, this machine is picky with discs. I bought a pack of Panasonic RAM discs and the unit stops working with them after a while. The Maxell RAM disc is still going strong after months of use though. My use of -RW and -R discs has been limited but I have used Sony -RW discs a few times and they seemed to work well.

    The other annoyance is every once in a while (and this is infrequent, maybe once a month), the unit will ignore a timed event. I can't establish a pattern and it doesn't happen often enough to be a major PITA, but an annoyance nonetheless. It's likely some sort of a firmware bug related to time/date but I can't be sure.

    Overall though, the quality and features of this unit outweigh the quirks and I would still recommend this machine. I would also buy another Toshiba in the future.
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  7. Member DVWannaB's Avatar
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    Yes Toshiba seems to be very picky with discs. I can only use Taiyo Yuden with my unit. My unit is the XS52 refurbed with enhanced black level fixed. I like this unit a lot. Only problem I have had so far is editing. Kinda quirky (read different). Unlike my Pioneer does not execute accurate cuts at the point I select, whether I cut on the GOP or frame. Thats my only pet-peeve really.
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  8. I haven't found a disc the D-R4 doesn't work with yet, but I don't use cheap discs. I've used Panasonic and Optodisc RAM discs, Fuji RWs, TY G01 and G02, Prodisc S03 and Verbatim 16x, I don't remember the media code on the Verbatim or Fuji, MCC is all I remember.
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    Yes, initially, it works with many types of discs but it's a matter of longevity. My Panasonic RAM discs failed fairly quickly with this unit. They were, however, made in the US. I bought a single Maxell RAM disc made in Japan (use it for daily TV recording) and it's been going strong for months now.

    I now try to stick with made in Japan media but they are hard to find.

    Originally Posted by samijubal
    I haven't found a disc the D-R4 doesn't work with yet, but I don't use cheap discs. I've used Panasonic and Optodisc RAM discs, Fuji RWs, TY G01 and G02, Prodisc S03 and Verbatim 16x, I don't remember the media code on the Verbatim or Fuji, MCC is all I remember.
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    i too, have had problems with maxell rw media. i cant format past 39% either. i also am not able to include chapters in anything i record. i've read the manual, especially pg 118 and i still there are no chapters. after reading the great reviews i thought this was the "one" but now i am not so sure. i am getting quite frustrated with this machine. my previous recorder was an apex 9000 and i had no problems ever. i'll try other media and see what happens.
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  11. Here's my review 5 months later and using the recorder every day with RAM, RW and R discs. The machine rocks, I've had zero problems and the picture quality is amazing. Hands down the best recorder I've used.
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    Originally Posted by samijubal
    Here's my review 5 months later and using the recorder every day with RAM, RW and R discs. The machine rocks, I've had zero problems and the picture quality is amazing. Hands down the best recorder I've used.

    are you able to add chapters? i am not able to add chapters, i feel like a retard. i've read the manual and cannot figure out why it does not work.
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  13. I've got 2 of them, both do chapters. I have it set to 10 minutes in the setup menus. There was another thread here with a couple of people that couldn't get chapters to work, may be a Toshiba problem.
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  14. Member Marvingj's Avatar
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    I got 2 Toshiba excellent DVD Recorders, I believe you have Bad & inferior Ram Disc.
    http://www.absolutevisionvideo.com

    BLUE SKY, BLACK DEATH!!
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    i'm not using ram. i use -r/rw. i'll try and contact toshiba service on monday. if they cant fix it, its going back.
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  16. Member johnmoon's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by shakabrah
    Originally Posted by samijubal
    Here's my review 5 months later and using the recorder every day with RAM, RW and R discs. The machine rocks, I've had zero problems and the picture quality is amazing. Hands down the best recorder I've used.

    are you able to add chapters? i am not able to add chapters, i feel like a retard. i've read the manual and cannot figure out why it does not work.
    I am the other guy with the chapter problem.
    You are not a retard
    Mine is going back to Toshiba for the second time
    I don't think they did anything to fix the problem the first time!
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    johnmoon, do you have your "dvd title stop" set to off? on pg 60 in the manual, it says something about "when playing a DVD video disc or a DVD-R/RW, you can locate chapters only in the current title if "DVD title stop" is set to ON. Mine was not set to on. I'll try this and see if it works. Will let you know.
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  18. Member johnmoon's Avatar
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    No that does not work. The unit never creates chapter marks.
    I turned this on and recorded. Did not make any diff
    If you go into Easy Navi and then Play Contents You will only see one Chapter for each title.
    You can also press FL Select while recording. This switches between The Current Time, Recording Time, and Title / Chapter. You will never see more than one Chapter created
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    yup, you are right, it doesnt work. my last chance is to talk to toshiba service. hope they can help. i really like the picture quality.
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    Originally Posted by josetjr
    Yes I've tried a lens cleaner, and I do not smoke (I'm not sure if that's a joke or real question).
    Smoke tar is deadly to optical lasers. And your lungs. But it often clogs up and sticks a gummy residue to CD/DVD lasers.
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  21. Member johnmoon's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by shakabrah
    yup, you are right, it doesnt work. my last chance is to talk to toshiba service. hope they can help. i really like the picture quality.
    Just took mine to FedEx second time.
    Toshiba paid the shipping this time.
    Out a recorder for a week or two. Hope they fix it this time
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    i purchased mine from sears. just noticed their ad today, they have the dr5 now. i think i just might exchange it and pay the restocking fee. i don't want to go through the hassles that you are experiencing. goog luck man.
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  23. Member ejai's Avatar
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    I had created a post several weeks ago concerning the Toshiba XS54 having trouble reading disks, store bought or otherwise. The unit would not read any disks new or old, I called Toshiba and they sent me a FedEx return label. I sent it back and received it this past Friday, I was worried about losing some of the movies I captured on the hard drive thinking they would exchange the entire system.

    Well to my surprise they fixed the problem and returned the same unit back to me with all the movies I created still on the hard drive. I must admit so far I am pleased with the repair service they offer. I will do as Gshelley61 stated and make sure to use some type of cleaner periodically on this unit so that the dust and dirt doesn't build up on the lense.

    I wanted to find out what the problem was but the tech person would not say. My only gripe with the unit is the fan that continues to run even when the recorder is off, this might be the reason for the dirt build up in the unit.
    Do unto others....with a vengeance!
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  24. Wrong model number, the D-R5 doesn't have a HD. Don't over use the lens cleaner, you could end up doing more harm than good. I've had a Panasonic E-10 since 2001 that's seen heavy use, I've never cleaned the lens, it still works fine.
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  25. Member ejai's Avatar
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    Sorry.......... XS54
    Do unto others....with a vengeance!
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    johnmoon, i just spoke to toshiba service and they are going to send me a firmware. did toshiba send you one? i hope this will solve the problem.
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  27. Member ejai's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by samijubal
    Don't over use the lens cleaner, you could end up doing more harm than good. I've had a Panasonic E-10 since 2001 that's seen heavy use, I've never cleaned the lens, it still works fine.
    I never cleaned any of my Panasonic recorders either and they still work to this day. The JVC I had also worked fine with no cleaning whatsoever.
    Do unto others....with a vengeance!
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  28. The burners are all sealed in a metal case, everything except the JVC which was in plastic, in every recorder I've opened, so the lens shouldn't get dirty very easy.
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  29. Member johnmoon's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by shakabrah
    johnmoon, i just spoke to toshiba service and they are going to send me a firmware. did toshiba send you one? i hope this will solve the problem.
    They just sent me a FedEx label to send it back.
    I have already mailed off the unit, so I will have to hope they fix it.
    Let us know if the firmware update solves your problem.

    Thanks
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  30. Member
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    i've just discovered another problem. the dr4 will not allow me to record HBO sports. I am so upset right now i cannot even describe. my apex recorder NEVER had this problem. i have not received the firmware yet but it better work or this machine is going back! does anyone have this problem?
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