Toshiba Vardia RD-A301: can it be imported to the US? - High-Def Digest Forums
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
  #1  
Old 01-19-2008, 05:52 PM
bruceames's Avatar
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 7,479
Default Toshiba Vardia RD-A301: can it be imported to the US?

I have my eye on this player as a practical solution to burning HD content from TV shows/sports. I like that it can use regular DVD-r and 2 hours of 720p material will fit on a dvd5 in mpeg4 format. DVD-r blanks are very cheap and 2 hours would be just fine for most recordings.

But the player is sold only in Japan. Is there a site located in Japan that stocks the player and will export? HD DVDs are easily imported, but I don't know how easy it would be to buy this player.



Quote:
Toshiba is turning up the heat on the Blu-ray Disc camp with the launch of an HD DVD recorder that can record high-def video to regular DVDs. The Vardia RD-A301 will hit Japan in mid-December and can transcode high-definition MPEG2 broadcasts on the fly to the more efficient MPEG4 compression format. That means the unit's built-in 300G-byte hard-disk drive can store 159 hours of HDTV from 39 hours without transcoding. Recording high-def video to commodity DVD discs is possible thanks to HD Rec, a recently standardized format from the DVD Forum. HD Rec allows up to two hours of transcoded high-def video to be stored on a 4.7G-byte DVD-R disc. Toshiba estimates that the RD-A301 will go on sale for under US$875. It will be available in Japan only.
http://www.computerworld.com.au/index.php/id;480861760



http://www.crunchgear.com/2007/10/31...rder-with-hdd/
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 01-21-2008, 07:43 AM
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 8
Default

I think Amazon jp sell it
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 01-21-2008, 10:14 AM
bruceames's Avatar
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 7,479
Default

Thanks for the link. I can buy it from them, but they won't ship it here unfortunately. Is it legal to ship electronics from there to the US?

http://www.amazon.co.jp/TOSHIBA-%E5%...0927543&sr=1-1
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 01-21-2008, 10:32 AM
kannisto's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 5,590
Default

I don't think it's illegal as such. The recorder has inbuilt digital tuners for Japanese HD TV system though and I'm pretty sure they are not compatible with U.S. HD TV system. I'm not sure how it could be used in U.S. to record digital TV broadcasts there.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 01-21-2008, 11:24 AM
bruceames's Avatar
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 7,479
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by kannisto View Post
I don't think it's illegal as such. The recorder has inbuilt digital tuners for Japanese HD TV system though and I'm pretty sure they are not compatible with U.S. HD TV system. I'm not sure how it could be used in U.S. to record digital TV broadcasts there.
Thanks for the info. I wasn't planning on using the inbuilt tuner but rather connecting it directly to my HD DVR and burning prerecorded HD shows from it. As long as I can connect a component or HDMI cable then it should work, wouldn't it? I guess I would be losing the functionality advantage of the 300gb HD (and the tuner), but as long as it will burn HD fed from my DVR, I'll be thrilled.

I may wait a few months to see if it will be available in the US though.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 01-21-2008, 08:17 PM
kannisto's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 5,590
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by bruceames View Post
Thanks for the info. I wasn't planning on using the inbuilt tuner but rather connecting it directly to my HD DVR and burning prerecorded HD shows from it. As long as I can connect a component or HDMI cable then it should work, wouldn't it? I guess I would be losing the functionality advantage of the 300gb HD (and the tuner), but as long as it will burn HD fed from my DVR, I'll be thrilled.

I may wait a few months to see if it will be available in the US though.
I'm not sure how it works with other sources than the digital TV feed in terms of getting content to the hard disk... I've been thinking of getting one of these for myself & the family but I haven't jumped on it yet.

Another challenge may be that since it's currently a Japan market specific model the User Interface and all User Guide materials are quite likely to be in Japanese only. TVs typically have only Japanese UI here. Toshiba HD DVD players are a different case as they sell essentially same models all over the world.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 01-22-2008, 08:02 PM
bruceames's Avatar
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 7,479
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by kannisto View Post
I'm not sure how it works with other sources than the digital TV feed in terms of getting content to the hard disk... I've been thinking of getting one of these for myself & the family but I haven't jumped on it yet.

Another challenge may be that since it's currently a Japan market specific model the User Interface and all User Guide materials are quite likely to be in Japanese only. TVs typically have only Japanese UI here. Toshiba HD DVD players are a different case as they sell essentially same models all over the world.
Yeah, I was thinking of the Japanese manual obstacle. That would be a lot of fun, figuring out by trial and error all the ins and outs on the player. Worse would be the interface, of course. If it were Japanese only, then it might be a deal breaker. I'll wait for a few months to see if there's any news of it being released here. Thanks again.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 01-22-2008, 08:46 PM
Aurora's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 1,818
Default

Don't forget about the voltage difference. Japan is 100V, US is 120V (or 110V, or 115V, depending on how you want to report it). This difference is small, but could lead to frying. You'd need to pick up a voltage regulator to be safe.

I own a Japanese DVD player to play region 2 DVDs. The remote and user interface is all in Japanese. The player's LED display and the buttons on the unit itself are English, however, but it's not much help to see "Welcome" and "Play" in English. There's the universal symbols, but you'd be total trial and error trying to figure out what button does what. (I can read Japanese, so there's no issue for me.)
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 01-22-2008, 10:15 PM
Kuri Kun's Avatar
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 12
Default I finally registered just to post on this!

Quote:
Originally Posted by kannisto View Post
I'm not sure how it works with other sources than the digital TV feed in terms of getting content to the hard disk... I've been thinking of getting one of these for myself & the family but I haven't jumped on it yet.
I got on board with HD DVD during the holiday season, my parents and brother also got decks (the A3 Amazon promotion). I have been thinking about recorders for a while, and wasn't sure which way to go. Here in Japan the digital broadcast is flagged and non-standard devices will not be streamed to (even the firewire from my Aquos will not dump to my computer... I had planned to archive the wonderful HD movies on NHKs BS-Hi, but alas ). The main issue I had with getting a standalone is the cost of media. At a bulky 24mbps, BluRay is at least $8ish per 130min disc, but the HD DVD is a joke, $12 for 75mins, and $25 for 2+ hours

The RD-A301 on DVD-R looks like the answer. Even though I am not a fan of transcoding, the cost savings would be significant, to the point where I could archive TV (and especially Sumo ) again, and more importantly send programs to my relatives back in America.

Still, I am hesitant because from the product desciption:
www toshiba co jp/about/press/2007_10/pr3101 htm
its clear that the Japanese HDTV standard AAC audio is *not* transcoded with the video. My fear is that the resulting mpeg-4 AVC + AAC discs will not play back in the Toshiba A3s we all got at Christmas. If somebody could shine some light on this, in terms of other operation, I am willing to go "guinea pig" on this device for the sake of the forum.

-KK
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 01-23-2008, 11:32 AM
bruceames's Avatar
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 7,479
Default

There is supposed to be a firmware update coming that will enable the Toshiba players to play burned dvd-r. I don't know if the 2.8 update is it (it didn't say in the description, so probably not), or if it address the issues you speak of. Hopefully there would be no real problem once the update comes out.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Related Topics
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
HD DVD Vardia Demo Disc RD-A600/RD-A300 Japan Noibeli HD DVD Software General Discussion 10 10-26-2017 08:02 AM
Toshiba Shows Versatile New HD DVD Recorder (The Vardia RD-A301) pbroy HD DVD Hardware General Discussion 0 11-01-2007 06:35 PM
Toshiba's Vardia RD-RX7 HD DVD recorder INDY-HD-DVD HD DVD Hardware General Discussion 1 10-02-2007 05:54 PM
Vardia? Has anyone seen these? cyberlaz HD DVD Hardware General Discussion 0 09-07-2007 10:38 AM
Any issues with Imported Movies? Bee HD DVD Software General Discussion 16 01-07-2007 01:12 PM


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off