1,192 of 1,219 people found the following review helpful
on October 8, 2009
I purchased this unit to replace a 15 year old PROSCAN VCR which was eating my VHS tapes. Before I selected this unit, I read all of the INVALUABLE reviews of VCR/DVD machines on this web site and I'm glad I did. If you have not purchased VCR and/or DVD replacement equipment in a while, there are a number of considerations you need to be aware of.
First, if you want to go from your antenna line-in and/or your cable line-in directly to the back of the VRC/DVD unit to record OTA or cable programs while watching other programs on your TV, then you need a VCR/DVD unit with a tuner. Not all units listed have tuners; this one does. A tunerless unit will require a more complicated hookup and you can only record what you are watching.
Next, there is the issue of analog versus digital equipment. Be sure to pay attention to the statements posted about analog equipment. Also, pay attention to the measurements to be sure the unit you purchase will fit wherever you wish to place it. Some combo units are bigger than stand alone VCRs & DVD players.
Finally, you should be aware of the input/output connections on the back of your TV to be sure they will accommodate the input/output connections on the back of the VRC/DVD unit that you purchase. Some web sites ([...]
Except for the complicated Owner's Manual & the noisy opening & closing of the DVD tray, this unit has met or exceeded all my expectations.
564 of 581 people found the following review helpful
on September 11, 2009
The Toshiba DVR 670 is virtually the same as its predecessor the DVR 660. The major difference being that you have to flip down a panel on the front of the unit to access the VCR/DVD buttons whereas on the DVR 660 these are on the outside.
The DVR 670 is one of the few VCR/DVD combos on the market that allow you to record Off The Air Digital broadcasts on VHS tape. While the quality of HDTV programs on VHS tape is inferior to DVD, it's a quicker, easier, and cheaper way to make recordings if you just want a temporary recording of a TV program you don't want to miss, plus you save money in not having to pay monthly fees for a DVR service.
The Toshiba DVR 670 VCR/DVD combo has a Digital tuner so you can record Off The Air OTA channels with it. It is a little bit complicated to use but the manual has a lot of information. If you want to make quick recordings of HDTV and don't care about high image quality you can easily use VHS tapes and reuse them to record over and over. If you want high quality HDTV recordings then you need to use the DVD recorder part of the VCR/DVD combo.
The Digital tuner works very well, it produces high quality images from HDTV, however the audio is not as loud as when I watch HDTV through my Digital converter box.
If you have an analog Tube TV and you want to record one OTA channel and watch another OTA channel at the same time you can do it with the DVR 670.
The following are instructions on how to do this:
2 Rabbit ear antennas
1 Digital converter box
1 tube TV with analog tuner only
1 RF Coaxial cable (included with the DVR 670)
1 set of Composite cables (included with the DVR 670)
1 set of Stereo Audio cables colored white and red (included with the DVR670)
STEP BY STEP INSTRUCTIONS:
1. Connect TV antenna into RF IN on converter box.
2. Connect one end of RF Coaxial cable to TV RF OUT on converter box.
3. Connect other end of RF Coaxial cable to RF IN on TV.
4. Connect 2nd antenna into antenna IN on the back of the DVR 670.(You will NOT need to use the antenna OUT on the back of the DVR 670).
5. Connect one end of the composite cable, the yellow one, to OUT on the back of the DVR 670.
6. Connect the other end of the composite cable to the IN on the TV.
7. Connect the Stereo audio cables to OUT on the back of the DVR 670.
8. Connect the other end of the Stereo Audio cables to the IN on the TV.
You are done. Now you will be able to watch one channel and record another channel at the same time.
To watch a channel with your converter box, turn your TV to channel 3 and turn on the converter box and use the CONVERTER REMOTE to switch channels. To check on what you are recording press the VIDEO or GAME button on your TV REMOTE and this will switch you over to the DVR 670 tuner. To go back to watching multiple channels with your converter box while the DVR is recording one channel, press VIDEO or GAME on your TV REMOTE, now you can use your CONVERTER REMOTE to watch multiple channels.
I have to down grade this from 4 to 3 stars because of a couple of minor problems: 1. once in a while it will freeze for a second or two when playing DVDs. It seems to be hypersensitive to dust or light scratches on the DVD, if you clean the DVD well this momentary freezing goes away. 2. when I tune in OTA Digital stations on some it goes out of order when I change channels, for example when using the remote up or down channel button it will go to 2-3 then 2-4 then 2-1 then 2-2 instead of 2-1 then 2-2 then 2-3 then 2-4. It only does this on a couple of channels but it's irritating.
This unit can be noisy too, the exhaust fan turns itself on a lot, even when the unit is turned off it will run.
I would probably still buy this because there is not a lot to choose from on the market, the JVC DVD/VCR combo has a lot of problems(see Amazon reviews) and the Panasonic DVD/VCR combo doesn't record OTA DTV on VHS tape.
216 of 221 people found the following review helpful
on October 26, 2009
Have used this recorder for three weeks now after the ol' VCR died and it works even better than I had hoped. The digital tuner can pick up all the "clear" local HDTV signals on Cablevision's cable system so now (using a simple splitter) I can record one show at 480p using the DVD while watching another in full HD either via the TV's tuner or via the cable box. Or record any of remaining channels non-clear channels using the cable box's S-Video out (the best you can use as external recording input source). The quality of the resulting tuner recordings (in 2 hour SP mode) is almost as good as the original as seen on a 720p TV (and I am very picky in that respect), and it is certainly far better than the VCR side. Plus, the DVD-RW discs are of course re-usable via an erase (or format, as Toshiba calls it). Recording is almost one-touch; really very convenient. I can't see any reason to record anything on a VHS tape again. This box is a great alternative to the monthly fee for a HD based DVR if you do not need any of the fancy programing and scheduling features that come with such other options.
I bought a set of 10 Sony DVD-RW disks and they work as expected. I can view recordings on my PC and also create DVDs on my PC (in DVD-VR mode only so far, via NeroVision) which are then viewable on this unit. I have not been successful in creating AVI movies that the unit is happy with but after converting such movies (or WMV files etc.) to DVD-VRs I can view them on this unit just fine. It also played mixed folders of JPGs in slideshow format, although if you have many files in a directory any kind of manual navigation gets a little tedious. I have not tried any of the other myriad supported formats yet other than a CD-R music CD which also played as expected.
I tried VCR->DVD recording ("dubbing", as the manual calls it) and it works as expected but the quality is just so much worse than a HDTV tuner->DVD recording but that is just a limitation of the VHS technology. It did seem that the quality of VCR playback was a little worse than on my old 15 or so year old Mitsubishi but since the latter died I was not able to do side by side comparisons. However, this unit serves its purpose well of digitizing old home movies etc. before the tapes degrade even further.
The only small negatives are the almost impossible to read "gray on black" text on the remote (now who thought that would be cool?), and the slightly noisy VCR motor or fan (?) that is always on when the unit is powered on.
All in all, I am very impressed with this unit's performance and even the manual is quite readable I thought and I have had no issues with what I have tried to use it for so far.
157 of 162 people found the following review helpful
on September 21, 2009
So far so good! Loving the ease in transferring my VHS tapes over to DVD. You definitely want to carefully read directions as you do it the first time or two, but it's very easy.
Have been able to use Picture in Picture now since it has the tuner in it so that's been nice.
Only thing I don't like so far as the remote, it's OKAY, but after the poor reviews on the remote for the last model I would have thought Toshiba would have made it better. Not laid out great, and not backlit. If that's my biggest complaint going forward I'll stay happy!
109 of 112 people found the following review helpful
on December 16, 2009
I just bought 3 more of these, one for each TV in the house. I cannot BELIEVE how good this unit is. It is taking my puny narrow-screen cable signals (no other choice here) and pumping them out in gorgeous wide-screen like I have never seen before (through an HDMI cable, which you must use for the best results, your TV must have an HDMI input). You can record onto videotape or DVD. You can dub from tape to DVD or DVD to tape. The results are out of this world no matter what you do. BUT this is a complex machine and you have to have patience, there is a rather long learning curve but WOW, it is worth it. Worth it to get some help from a techie friend if you need it, rather than settle for something less. The only "trouble" I had was a confusion between the "On/Off" button and the "Timer Set" button on the remote. I ALWAYS have a pending recording (Monday thru Friday, etc.). IF you have a pending recording, you MUST turn the unit on and off with the "Timer Set" button, or your programs will not record. When I turned the unit off with the "On/Off" button, things got messed up. So I put a tape across the "On/Off" button, and used a label-maker to put a marker above the "Timer Set" button. Now I use the "Timer Set" button exclusively to turn the unit on and off, and everything works like a charm!
73 of 75 people found the following review helpful
on October 24, 2009
The reviews and details of this product were right on. It was not difficult to set up. Took a little time to understand the basics since the DVD has many options for use. My old VCR was extremely simple but I can now tape timed programs on the VCR and also on the DVD. I am still learning playback which has too many buttons to easily understand. I used the VCR transfer to DVD feature which worked ok. Quality of picture was not as good as I would like but I am still learning the many options to improve this.
For a person who's VCR has died and not an electronics genius, this is as simple as you can find for replacement. It will take a few tries to find the right buttons to do the basic functions but the manual is detailed and easy to understand. I am pleased with the product.
61 of 62 people found the following review helpful
on March 1, 2010
Previously I owned a separate VCR and DVD player, but when the VCR finally gave out, I was shocked to discover that replacing it with another stand-alone unit was no longer an option. Okay - Plan B. I researched VCR/DVD combo units and finally landed on this one. I read the other reviewers - some loved it, some did not. I'm glad I went with my gut and bought it anyway, from Amazon. Right away I liked the good price and free shipping. Then I discovered I liked the machine. True, the manual is large and can be intimidating, but I learned a long time ago that you don't need to know how to do everything in a manual, just what you personally want to do. It didn't take long to learn how to record from television or copy from a video to a DVD, the two things I really wanted. My only disappointment is that some videos seem to be copy-protected and can't be transferred onto DVD. But this is not the fault of the machine. If you want a good VCR and DVD and have need for a built-in tuner, as I did, this machine is for you.
81 of 88 people found the following review helpful
on October 5, 2009
The digital conversion in June forced me to upgrade the multiple VCRs I have relied on for the past 15 years to record over the air television. (Yes, I am a dinosaur, broadcast TV only in our household!) This was not an altogether bad thing as the forced conversion afforded the opportunity to convert to DVD recording. I bought 2 units - this one from Amazon and a JVC DR-MV100B from Sam's Club. If Congress had done a better job of handling this conversion and forced all broadcasters to the UHF band this unit would have gone back to Amazon. But Congress (no surprise) did only half as good a job as it could have (familiar?) and we still have to juggle VHF and UHF. Here in Denver we still have stations at 7 and 9 and the tuner on this Toshiba picks them up flawlessly while the JVC has proven to be very unreliable - sometimes the signal(s) come in flawlessly, othertimes not. (This is maddening when you've recorded a program and portions of it are just lost for no apparent reason!) On the other hand the JVC is relatively easy to program (the Toshiba most assuredly is not) and, given a reliable signal, the recording quality is superior. The JVC was (is?) $50 cheaper and is my go to choice for recording for all channels other than 7 and 9.
Bottom line: If you have a weak digital signal the Toshiba is the better bet as long as you can figure out how to program it. If you have a strong digital signal, check out the JVC.
38 of 39 people found the following review helpful
on September 26, 2010
First I'd like to clarify a few points made by other reviewers:
1. One reviewer says "the tuner works well, it produces high image qualify from HDTV". I bought the unit partially because of this review. The fact is the tuner of this unit is not capable of receiving HDTV channels. It can only receive 480i SD DTV channels. This actually makes sense since the best quality it can record is 480p DVD, not much point to receive HD channel (it would have been nice if it did).
2. Another reviewer complaints about the clock erroneously adjusts itself from time to time. I had the same problem but it turned out to be an operator error. User's Manual clearly says that if the unit cannot find a PBS to set its clock automatically during initial setup, turn off the automatic clock setting. Once this is done, I have not had any problem.
3. A 1-star review says that this unit has only QAM NTSC tuner but not QAM ATSC tuner. This is incorrect. It does have ATSC tuner and is capable of receiving DTV channels over the air or from cable. It is just not capable of receiving anything better than 480i SD (see #1 above).
Although this unit is capable of up scaling output to 1080p, there is really no point of doing so. Its video source is 480p at best and most HDTV sets do a better job up-scaling anyway. My Sony XBR4 actually has trouble displaying proper aspect ratio if I have the DVR670 output 1080p to TV directly. So my setup is to output 480p thru HDMI and let the TV does the up-scaling. My TV is then able to display 4:3 or 16:9 DTV properly. A single HDMI cable makes connection simple and cable management easy. Since it is 480p, I can use cheap cable.
Overall this is an excellent VCR replacement for me (I had used VCR to record daily news to view after work for the last 20 years).
What I like:
1. Very good video recording quality using RW DVD.
2. Easy to use timer recording programming, flexible to do daily, weekly, weekdays, etc.
3. 30 sec skip during playback is a great and easy to use feature. I figured out commercial for my news recording is about 150 sec, so just press the button 5 times and I am 90% commercial free.
4. Makes transferring old tape video to DVD really easy.
5. Easy setup. User's manual can be a bit overwhelming but it does provide useful information for resolving issues you might encounter
What I don't like:
1. Display on the front panel is tiny and hard to read from 5' out. My 8-year old JVC VCR has much better display.
2. Like many reviewers have said, the letters on the remote is HARD to read. I try to memorize the button locations so I don't have to look at the letters. Toshiba could and should have made this user interface much more friendly.
3. When playing DVD movies some previews show annoying gray boarder on my XBR4 TV. If I play the same DVD from my PS3 I don't have this problem. I do not use DVR670 for playing DVD movies, so it is not really a problem for me
30 of 30 people found the following review helpful
I got Toshiba's DVR670 DVD/VHS recorder, hoping to reduce clutter, by converting material recorded on numerous VHS cassettes to DVD. The image quality of VHS is far, far, below current DVD quality, but using the dubbing function of the recorder from VHS to DVD, produces about as good results as can be expected. Storage on DVD is very convenient, and of course a major space saver.
This recorder is best suited for dubbing material that does not to be edited, as when in the dubbing mode, you can't pause the recording. If you have recorded material on VHS with commercials, or parts you want to edit out, you will have to stop the dubbing, setup at the new start point, and resume dubbing. This is very inconvenient, very imprecise, and very time consuming. It can be done, but it is a pretty tedious process. If you use DVD-R's and accidentally record 10 seconds of a commercial, you are basically stuck with it. If you use more expensive DVD-RW media, you can edit out those parts you don't want. This process takes time, but is a good option to have available.
The VHS player is very basic without many frills. The story is much the same for the DVD player, although the output supposedly upconverts to 1080p, it does not play blu-ray discs. The integral tuner works pretty well, producing good results recording cable television programs. The unit has a variety of outputs, including coaxial, component, and HDMI.
There are basic controls on the unit, with the more esoteric functions located on the remote controller. The design of the remote is not the most convenient. The key buttons that are used most often should be larger, but most all the buttons are the same size. The remote is not entirely reliable, as the IR sensor on the unit doesn't always read the signal. I usually aim at the lower left corner of the unit.
The current mode, either VCR or DVD, is indicated by lights on the front of the unit. Be aware of the mode, as it can be really annoying if you miss recording something, because you are in the wrong mode. DVD-RW's require formatting, but material can be recorded on DVD-R's without formatting. The recorder is painfully slow at reading, writing or finalizing a DVD, so if you need to do something fast, be prepared to wait a little while. The remote is used to add titles to DVD recordings. The process, which involves repeatedly pressing tiny buttons requires some patience.
The main utility of a unit like this is for dubbing copies, or recording television programming, as neither the VCR or DVD player, is a high performance component. I was able to get rid of VHS tapes that were just taking up space, which was a very good thing. The tuner works well, and the quality of the recordings closely matches that of the source material. Some kind of basic editing capability during the dubbing process would have added much to the utility of the unit, but apparently the circuitry does not allow for that. The cost is competitive, for a VCR/DVD recorder with a tuner. The manual details how to accomplish a wide variety of functions, but does not always do a great job of explaining how tasks are accomplished. Some of the operations are too tedious to go through, at least they were for me.