Toshiba DR430 Tunerless Single Disc DVD Recorder (Black) Review

Toshiba DR430 Tunerless Single Disc DVD Recorder (Black)
I got this digital video recorder because the disc burning functionality (only) of my very own Panasonic DMR-E80H (video hard disc recorder with internal dubbing to DVDs) stopped functioning. The Toshiba DR430 works just fine for dubbing from the hard disc recorder for normal NTSC video. Videos are sharp, and you won t find any color shift or contrast loss. I have not tried using the HDMI up-sampled output, just the normal NTSC analog video feed.

The DVD menu function is as simple as they are available. Merely a box with the small DVD title in simple text.
My 3-year old Panasonic provided (9) choices of title screens, all of which were much better appearing compared to the very plain one on the Toshiba.

The unit has a USB port at the front panel, which will only work with a flash drive (no computer USB connection). Toshiba states that this will work with FAT16 as well as FAT32 formatted drives. Mine just only works when the drive is formatted to FAT16. Very few other information is provided for this USB input. I noticed by trial and error that for a file to be recognized, it has to be in the root directory. It won't be found if it's in a folder. I'd love to be able to record a slide show of imagery which are on a flash drive, but have no clue ways of doing this, or if it is even achievable, even though manual implies that it may be. Plugging in a flash drive that contains JPEG image files displays the 1st one, but doesn't appear to allow recording a slide show to DVD. Yet again, the instructions is useless.

Basic features are simple to achieve, however the owner's manual is really poorly designed. Many functions aren't described in the table of contents, and there is no index at all. Now i am still attempting to learn to place "Chapter" marker on my DVDs. The handbook implies that you can do this while in the finalization process, but if I try, the "Place Chapter Marker" functionality is not available (only Titling).

Conclusion: An inexpensive, very simple, tunerless DVD recorder with a terrible owner's manual.

Seriously, Toshiba, employ a technical writer and publish a precise instruction manual for this product.