- Powerful features, 160GB hard disk
- Steep learning curve, noisy fan, eight-hour recording limit
It's initially tricky to operate, but the RD-XS34 offers plenty of powerful features and is a gem once you've mastered it.
Price$ 1,099.00 (AUD)
For years we've heard about the death of the VCR. Hard disk and DVD recorders have been advancing quickly, but remain relatively complex to operate. The powerful RD-XS34 is no exception, but it's fantastic once you've mastered it.
The 43 x 6 x 33cm silver unit features a comprehensive range of outputs, including component, SCART, S-Video and composite, and it can also push sound through coax and optical connections. There's even a DV connector on the font panel. Image quality is outstanding.
The remote control features just about every button you could ask for, which makes it a little daunting at first. The learning curve is steep, but it becomes second nature after a while.
Setup is relatively straightforward, and the thick, comprehensive manual is well laid out. You'll certainly need it for a while as the device is much more complicated than a plain-Jane VCR. The 160GB hard disk offers up to 276 hours of recording time at lowest quality, but this is limited to chunks of eight hours, which may be a problem for those wanting to record events like the Olympic Games or cricket during summer. By default, the unit can record in Short Play (70 hours), Long Play (138 hours) or manual bit-rate modes.
The device offers most of the common features expected in a hard disk recorder, including the ability to time shift, pause live TV, and simultaneously record and play back footage. It ships with a few templates so you can archive recorded footage from the hard disk to DVD media and add in menus. The machine doesn't support DVD+R/RW media, but just about every other DVD disc is compatible, including DVD-R/RW and DVD-RAM.
The internal fan wais quite noisy during operation. This would be no big deal if you were running the machine in a cabinet, but may be distracting if you were trying to watch quiet TV. The mirrored finish on the DVD tray is also prone to collecting fingerprints.
The RD-XS34 is best suited to those comfortable with technology, as it's difficult to exploit its wealth of features without referring to the manual.
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Subaru XV 2017 review
- 2 Samsung 2017 QLED Q7 TV: Full, in-depth review
- 3 Kogan Atlas UltraSlim Pro laptop: full, in-depth review
- 4 Gigabyte Aorus GA-AX370-Gaming 5 AMD Ryzen AM4 motherboard review
- 5 Kogan curved 4K UHD 55-inch LED LCD TV review
Latest News Articles
- Plex Cloud is now open to all paid users
- Google eyes remote content controls for parents in YouTube Kids app
- Up next for Apple TV: 4K streaming reportedly in the works
- Apple’s original TV shows are almost ready for prime time
- Apple snags Amazon Fire TV exec to lead Apple TV efforts
PCW Evaluation Team
A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.
I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.
As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
- Samsung Galaxy S8 phone: full, in-depth review
- Ryzen 5 vs Intel Core i5 CPU Australian review
- Mass Effect Andromeda review: One for the fans
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- CCSenior Project OfficerNSW
- FTCRM Technical Specialist (Oracle Eloqua)ACT
- FTTechnical Architect - Network /InfrastructureQLD
- CCData Warehouse SpecialistQLD
- CCTraining Content and Delivery SpecialistNSW
- CCProject CoordinatorNSW
- TPFront-End DeveloperNSW
- FTNetwork Consulting ArchitectVIC
- CCPMO ManagerNSW
- CCSenior Business AnalystQLD
- CCTest Analyst - Infrastructure - NV1 ClearanceACT
- CCSecurity Specialist - NV1ACT
- FTLevel 3 Application Support AnalystVIC
- CCSenior Project Manager - Applications - Data ReportingNSW
- FTSAP Fiori Technical SpecialistsACT
- CCSAP CRM Functional AnalystSA
- TPAutomation TesterQLD
- CCDocument ControllerNSW
- FTSenior Systems EngineerNSW
- FTSenior UX/UI DesignerNSW
- FTSales Lead - Healthcare systemsVIC
- CCTelecommunication Business SpecialistTAS
- FTProject Manager - Multiple rolesQLD
- FTVDI EngineerACT
- FTData Analyst - GISQLD