I really haven't had this unit long enough to give an in depth evaluation of this product. For me it was somewhat difficult to set up. However, I have always had problems setting up VCR's throughout my VCR buying history. After consulting with a knowledgeable friend on how to kick this thing into gear, the unit appears to work very nicely. Once you understand the total setup, it is quite easy and simple to operate. I gave this a 4 star rating because I believe this VCR/DVD combo will do just fine. The only negative is that it will only record to the channel you are watching. For the price however, I can live with that.
After searching around for an inexpensive VCR (not satisfied with the DVD recorders currently on the market) to replace my broken Panasonic VHS, I decided to take a chance on this Toshiba combo unit. Considering the price, I was pretty impressed by the build quality as I was pretty much expecting something that would look and feel cheap. The outside case for example felt sturdier than housing on my last two Panasonics (just touching it lightly would make creaking noise) and the tape insertion mechanism didn't feel like it would break (unlike my last two Panasonics where the holder would wobble and often times have problems pulling the tape in properly).
As for recording, this unit records in either SP or SLP (kind of wished it had a middle EP mode). SP playback quality is very nice but naturally, means only around 2 hours of recording time on a T120 tape. SLP gives me 6 hours but the recording quality is ok at best. Playing back tapes recorded on my previous VCR's is hit/miss as even with the automatic tracking (it still has difficulty resulting in occasional jitters or noise at the bottom).
Since I didn't buy this for the DVD player, I only tried a few disks (just to make sure it worked) including a home video recorded onto a DVD+RW and had no problems with playback or quality.
The remote is on the smallish side but at least most of the buttons are layed out decently and has separate eject buttons for both the DVD and VCR.
There are just a few minor annoyances I had with this unit which caused me to dock one star. One is that the display counter always takes precedence over the time whenever the unit is powered on (at least there is a clock/counter button on the remote to switch between the two). Also, to do timed recordings, you need to remember to press the timer/rec button (most other VCR's I've had in the past just required turning it "off" (i.e. standby mode). One feature I really miss from my Panasonic recorders was the tape position indicator display. I now find myself occasionally ejecting the tape to check how much is remaining (I record in a mix of SP and SLP so it is hard to gauge by the display counter).
I've had this for almost a month now and have used it everyday to observe what kind of experiences I would have before writing this review. For the price, I'm pretty satisified and it probably has exceeded my expectations since most VCR's nowadays aren't that great quality. I'll add in update in a few months to cover how reliable it is.
We have been very pleased with our purchase. I found reading the previous reviews to be accurate and very helpful. Very easy to hook-up, will work on old television sets, DVD and VHS work well, VHS is more noisy when rewinding. We bought this for our children to watch movies and just use the most basic features, so it has suited our needs well. If looking for all bells and whistles would probably choose higher end model, but if looking to stay simple and basic I would choose this model.
This is a good combo player and have used it to record and watch movies both. It works very well and I would highly recommend it if you like movies and also has the VCR recorder/player, so for any of you with the older movies, you'll be able to watch also. I love it, and sure you will too.