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4,327 of 4,377 people found the following review helpful
on December 16, 2009
I bought this DVD recorder to copy many old family home movies on videocassettes to DVDs. Our home movies date back to 1988. After some advice from customer service at Toshiba, I have been able to use the recorder to dub my old home movies successfully to DVDs.

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.
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532 of 540 people found the following review helpful
on July 20, 2009
Unit doesn't come with HDMI cables, which is normal, so I used my own and plugged it into my Samsung HDTV. It plays my old VHS wonderfully! I can actually hear the sound on my old Disney movies ... a problem I was having with my old Panasonic VHS.

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.
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894 of 931 people found the following review helpful
I have used this recorder over the last three months to copy all my home VHS tapes to DVD. Previous reviews of other Toshiba VHS/DVD recorders complained about problems with created DVD's playing in other devices. Also complaints of complicated manual instructions and complicated remote controls. I have found this new recorder to be easy to use. The manual is somewhat complicated but easy to follow once you try a few recordings. The remote control was easy to use. There is one HDMI output cable for both DVD and VHS replay. The quality of the replay in standard play speed is good for my recorded DVD's. The quality of store bought DVD's was excellant. The upconvert to 1080 is a good feature. The price was great. Bravo to Toshiba.
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660 of 691 people found the following review helpful
on May 26, 2009
I purchased this as a gift so I wasn't able to test out all of the features but I did get to test out the basic ones. First of all the recording quality is very good from the DVD recorder. In XP mode there is no difference in quality between the actual broadcast vs the recording. It looks identical.

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.
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1,056 of 1,120 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon June 27, 2009
It is important to note that this recorder does not have any tuners, limiting its usefulness.

Whether this is right for you, depends on how you are going to use it. If you just want to transfer VHS tapes on to DVD, then this would be OK.

You won't be able to record TV shows without some sort of external tuner. This could be a digital TV tuner for over the air broadcast or a cable box or a dish box.

But, in any case, you will not be able to record a high quality video picture. You will only be able to record in standard definition and not in widescreen.

For copyright protection (so people can't copy high defintion signals), no commercial DVD recorder comes with component or HDMI inputs. They only have composite inputs and in some cases, like with this player, S-video inputs. But, composit and S video are lower qualify.

I prefer a DVD recorder with digital ASTM and QAM tuners. With these, you can take direct digital signals from either over the air, or directly from a cable and record higher definition DVDs in widescreen.
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191 of 198 people found the following review helpful
on March 22, 2010
I bought this unit STRICTLY FOR CONVERTING my huge tape collection to DVD. I previously purchased a Sony but it stopped working, after converting only about 40 tapes. So I purchased this Toshiba unit to replace it. This Toshiba has worked GREAT, and so far I have converted over 200 VHS tapes to DVD, with absolutely no problems. 2-Hr VHS tapes in SP mode will fit perfectly on a DVD+R blank disc by recording in DVD SP mode.

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.
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77 of 79 people found the following review helpful
on September 14, 2009
Over the past 5 years, I have been looking into solutions for converting about 60 VHS tapes to DVD. All of these VHS tapes contain video footage of my family when I was 20 years younger and I have been worrying about how long these tapes would last. After some research, I decided that I needed an easy way to convert these videos even though I would be giving up some extra features. My only goal at this time... get these videos digitized.

After reading the reviews of the Toshiba DVR620 DVD/VHS Recorder, Black, I was a little uncertain if this was the right product, but made the purchase anyway. Since the purchase 1 month ago, I have converted 59 of the 60 VHS tapes to DVD. The Toshiba has worked like a champion! The one tape that failed to convert to DVD was due to the film actually coming off one side of the cassette. I will have to open it up and tape it back on and then try again.

As for some of the complaints I have read, I also think that having an eject button for the VHS tape on the machine would be nice. I will be extra careful not to lose the remote otherwise the machine will probably become useless and any tape left inside the machine will be stuck.

Overall, I couldn't be happier with its performance.
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75 of 79 people found the following review helpful
on December 27, 2009
I purchased this as a Christmas gift for my parents. The sole reason for the purchase was to transfer old family VHS tapes to DVD. We have tried multiple times using video capture on the computer, but the quality was poor. This device was great. The procedure is as follows: 1)Put tape into VHS side, 2) Rewind tape, 3) hit DVD button, then 4) hit dubbing button. This will copy the contents of the VHS to the DVD. The recorder will automatically stop when the VHS stops, or when there is no picture for 3 minutes. If you want to put the contents of multiple tapes onto a DVD, you just hit stop and then repeat the process. When you have finished copying the contents, you must finalize the disc by hitting the menu button > DVD > finalize disc.

I've copied 6 VHS tapes to 3 DVD's thus far. The quality is better than on my old VCR, and using any up converting DVD player, it looks amazing on my parents 1080p LCD.

Summary
Pros:
- This is great for recording VHS tapes onto DVDs
- This unit upconverts DVDs and VHS tapes on playback (making VHS tapes look great, you notice the difference)
- During upconversion, it converts the source to the aspect ratio of your TV (it took the 4:3 VHS tapes and played them in hi-def 16:9)
- HDMI output

Cons
- There is no tuner built into the unit (means you cannot record TV shows without an external tuner. TIP: the VCR you might be replacing could have a usable tuner)
- There is no HDMI INPUT. In fact, there is only S video, component, and composite inputs. This means you cannot record in HD (above 480p) from a standard TV tuner. There is a DV input in the front for cameras, but I know no tuner that uses this.

Conclusion:
-Unit is great to convert VHS to DVD
-Unit is great for converting external source (like super8 video camera) to DVD
-Unit has great playback of VHS and DVD

-Would not buy unit for frequent recording from TV because...
-Cannot record in above 480p HD from a Tuner
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48 of 49 people found the following review helpful
on August 3, 2012
I purchased this dvd/vcr recorder last year (2011). Within two months, the DV port that I used to connect my camcorder stopped working. I sent it away to Toshiba at my shipping expense. After 3 weeks, it finally was returned, and lasted less than a month before something new broke. This time, the VCR wouldn't read VHS tapes - just a blue screen. Sent it in again at my shipping expense. It worked fine for the next 9 months, but then the exact same thing happened - stopped reading VHS tapes. By the time, I packaged it up and sent it in AGAIN, it was just barely over the 12 month warranty period. It was sent back to me saying there was nothing they could do because it was out of warranty. I spent MANY hours on the phone talking to customer service pleading that Toshiba in some way would stand behind their clearly defective product. They refused at every turn. I have bought many electronic devices over the years and this was, simply put, the worst quality product and the worst customer service that I have ever experienced. I will think twice before ever purchasing a toshiba product again.
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79 of 84 people found the following review helpful
on December 27, 2012
In October 2012, I was so enthusiastic when I received my Toshiba DVR620KU, as I was retiring a previous Toshiba DVR/VHS recorder which I had for many years. That older one is still my secondary unit and is still in good condition. However, I wanted a new one with more features and that would complement the older unit. I am not an electronics geek but I take to my electronics devices easily without using the manual to set it up and get it ready. However, with this unit it took at least two weeks of learning and using the manual to get up to speed with it. Then it, and I became good friends, as it were. There was a troubling aspect though. Periodically during the end of the first month, it begun "not to like" to format some of my new blank DVD-RWs. It keep trying to format them and then saying it was a bad disk. I thought maybe they were just bad disks. At the end of the second month, the unit decided not to format any new disks, stopped playing already recorded disks, and then had a ticking sound within the unit when the DVDs were spinning. I had this unit from October to December. Many contacts initially to Toshiba in the beginning to ask questions netted no good response. For instance, I wanted to know why the machine didn't display closed captioning. Toshiba told me to go to the website. That offered no help. In early December, when the unit died, I called Toshiba and was told to fill out a warranty claim on their website. I needed assistance in filling out that form and called Toshiba and finally I got a live person on the phone willing to help me. I will give Toshiba a good rating for just that one phone call. Then, after filing out the repair claim form, the website told me it would not repair this brand new unit, it would not ship me a replacement unit, and that once I returned it to them, they would issue me a website credit to buy another different Toshiba product. I shipped it back to "Toshiba Acclaim" and, by the way, had to pay $21.38 in shipping costs. Would I buy another Toshiba DVR in the future. Toshiba DVR620KU 1080p Upconversion Progressive Scan DVD±RW/VHS Combo Recorder w/HDMI (Black)I don't think so.
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