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That’s a Relief

April 18th, 2005

For some time now, I’ve been having problems with my DVR, the Toshiba I talked about a while back. For the past month or so, the DVD burner has been acting up. At first, I thought it was just some bad DVD-Rs I’d bought (some were indeed bad). A new brand worked fine, for about 10 DVDs, but then things went south again, and after trying three or four other brands as well as the two original brands that should’ve worked, it became apparent that the DVR was to blame.

Now, none of this is end-of-the-world kinda stuff, but I have carefully recording and archiving several shows as they’re rebroadcast here in Japan (often commercial-free and uncut), making a cheaper version of the series archives sold by the studios. I got all seven years of Deep Space Nine, for example, for maybe less than $100 worth of DVD disks, instead of paying $640 retail. Sure, it required a bit more work, but it’s worth the end cost.

But when my burner cut out, I still had a lot of stuff on the disk, and with no way to transfer the shows off the HDD, room was quickly running out. Fortunately, the Toshiba customer support line was less insufferable than last time–I only had to dial constantly for about an hour to get through–and they agreed to send a repair guy out to my place this morning. Strangely, I got asked–twice–whether I’d bought my machine less than a year before. It must have been some question on a form, because I had identified the machine constantly as the XS53, which was only released some 6 months ago.

I feared, of course, that the repair guy would tell me that it would be necessary to take the machine in for repairs for a few weeks, so I was prepared to start taping shows in 2-hour mode on my antiquated VHS deck (re-using a few of the hundreds of old tapes I’ll be able to toss when I get all the shows on DVD), and pray that Toshiba didn’t zap my hard drive full of shows during repairs.

To my surprise, however, the repair guy just came in and swapped out the DVD drive. Now it works beautifully again. But it does now make me question the quality of the DVD drives they use….

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