- Excellent picture quality, well-designed UI, very good music and picture player
- No DivX support
A combo device that goes beyond the minimum requirements to get ticks in the specifications table. Toshiba has put together a high-quality device.
Price$ 329.00 (AUD)
Toshiba's six-head VHS and DVD player combo may not have many frills, but really delivers in terms of quality. It's easy to use, well designed and comes with an excellent instruction manual. The remote is comfortable and responsive, although a lot of the buttons are a shade too small, and I can imagine many nights of squinting at the micro-text on the remote, trying to find the button you're looking for.
What really sets this device apart is its on-screen and recording picture fidelity. It tuned and displayed TV signals perfectly, and the recording onto VHS was very nearly as good as the live TV. That's saying something. The DVD display, especially through the component output was equally impressive. The registration and definition on screen is as good as we've seen.
The SD-34VLSY supports the now standard array of inputs and outputs. It has an RF loop-through, composite (RCA) output, component for progressive scan display as well as S-Video output (for DVD only, however) and digital output via coax or optical cable. It has one AV input in the rear, and another up front.
Unlike some other vendors, Toshiba has not skimped on the MP3 playback code. The MP3 playback system is simple but very effective. You can switch on random play at the touch of a button, it supports MP3s and Windows Audio recorded on DVD and the audio output is outstanding--about as good as MP3 playback gets. It's not an overly complicated system, but it works just they way you want it to.
The JPG viewer is similarly well designed, aside from the fact that you can't zoom images. The quality of the still images on-screen is excellent, with minimal flicker, and navigating through your image collection is very straightforward. There's even a thumbnail view of the currently selected image, so you can quickly find the photo you're looking for.
We found ourselves quite taken with the Toshiba SD-34VLSY. It has a lot of qualities of the sort that don't show up in the spec sheet, but really make a difference when you're using it. If you don't require a DVD recorder or DivX playback, we highly recommend it.
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The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
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