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Toshiba SD-H400

DVD/CD player + 80GB TiVo® Series2™ hard disk recorder

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Item #: 052SDH400
 
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Our take on the Toshiba SD-H400

by Steve Kindig
Toshiba

Don't be fooled by its conventional looks — Toshiba's versatile SD-H400 is a home entertainment revolution! It combines a full-featured progressive-scan DVD player and a TiVo Series2 hard disk recorder with 80-hour capacity! Toshiba has been a leader in DVD technology from the start, and the SD-H400 delivers superb DVD picture and sound. In fact, if you own an HD-capable TV, you can enjoy an ultra-clean progressive-scan signal through the component video output for both DVD and TiVo playback!

The SD-H400 is the first device to include built-in TiVo Basic™ Service — now you can enjoy basic TiVo features right out of the box, with no subscription fees! TiVo Basic lets you pause, rewind, and create instant replays of live TV, and record shows by channel and time using the built-in 3-day electronic program guide. At any time, you can upgrade to full TiVo functionality (14-day program guide, Season Pass™ automated recording, Search by Title, WishList™, etc.) by subscribing to TiVo Plus™ Service. (Note: You get to try out TiVo Plus free of charge for 45 days!)

But wait, there's more! In addition to full-featured DVD playback and upgradeable TiVo DVR capabilities, the SD-H400 is capable of incorporating TiVo's Home Media Option™ feature package, which opens the door to cool networked home A/V entertainment possibilities. The Home Media Option is a software upgrade you can download from TiVo via a dial-up or broadband Internet connection. It turns the SD-H400 into a full-fledged digital media server that connects via USB port to your wired or wireless home network and PC. (A USB network adapter is required.) Purchasing the Home Media Option adds these features:

  • streaming of MP3 files from a PC or Mac for playback through your TV or home A/V system
  • the ability to view digital photos on your TV
  • remote scheduling of recordings to the SD-H400 from any location with Internet access
  • the ability to connect to another TiVo Series2 DVR elsewhere in your home for program-sharing between the two units

For details on TiVo's Home Media Option, visit www.tivo.com.

Note: TiVo Plus Service requires a subscription, which costs $12.95/month or a one-time $299 product lifetime payment.

Read a hands-on review of the Toshiba SD-H400 at CrutchfieldAdvisor.com

Details:

    DVD player:
  • plays DVD-Video, DVD-R, and Video CD
  • plays CD, CD-R & CD-RW, and MP3 CD-R & CD-RW
  • 54MHz/10-bit video D/A converter
  • Digital Cinema Progressive de-interlacer with 3-2 pulldown processing
  • Spatializer® Virtual Surround Sound for enhanced sound from your TV's speakers
  • optical and coaxial digital outputs for Dolby Digital/DTS/PCM
  • designed for use with "Region 1" coded DVDs
    Hard disk recorder:
  • TiVo Basic 3-day on-screen program guide
  • manual timer recording by channel and time
  • 181-channel tuner
  • USB interface
  • internal DVD-to-hard-disk dubbing of copy-protected DVDs is not possible
  • Note: TiVo recorders make a daily call for programming updates; long distance charges may apply
  • TiVo service not available in Puerto Rico or Canada
    General:
  • DVD/TiVo remote control
  • selectable interlaced/progressive-scan component video output
    (progressive scan requires an HD-compatible TV)
  • 1 set of A/V outputs (composite, S-video, and 480i/480p component video)
  • RF in/out
  • 16-15/16"W x 3-1/8"H x 15-1/4"D
  • warranty: 1 year parts, 90 days labor
See more info on this item

Hands-on research from the Crutchfield Labs (what are the Labs?)

Features and Specs
General
Number of Discs
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1
Built-in Decoder
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No
THX Certified
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No
DVD Recorder
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No
Multibrand Remote
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Yes
Parts Warranty
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1 Year
Labor Warranty
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90 Days
Compatibility
CD-R Capable
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Yes
CD-R/W Capable
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Yes
MP3 Playback
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Yes
SACD Playback
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No
DVD-Audio Playback
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No
Outputs
HDMI Outputs
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---
Composite Video Outputs
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1
S-Video Outputs
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1
Component Video Outputs
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1
RS-232C Port
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None
Product Research
What's in the box?

Download owner's manual

  • DVD/CD player/Hard disk recorder
  • SE-R0089 Wireless remote control
  • 2 "AAA" batteries
  • 4 Self-adhesive strips of foam
  • 6.5' AC power cord
  • 9.5' Serial (Data) control cable (has a male DB9 connector on one end and a stereo mini-plug on the other end)
  •  45" S-video cable
  • 58" Audio/video cable (has left and right RCA audio connectors and an RCA composite video connector on each end)
  • 58" Coaxial cable (has a slip-on "F" type connector on each end)
  • 25' RJ-11 telephone cord
  • RJ-11 phone splitter
  • 9.5' IR control cable (has 2 IR emitters on one end and a mini-plug on the other end)
  • DVD Player Operation Guide
  • Installation Guide
  • Viewer's Guide
  • Important Safety Instructions
  • "Stop--Need Help?" sheet (with Toshiba customer service phone numbers)
  • "Welcome to TiVo" sheet

Our Product Research Team

At Crutchfield, you'll get detailed, accurate information that's hard to find elsewhere. That's because we have our own in-house Product Research team — they open the box, verify contents, check the owner's manual, and record dimensions, features and specs. We stay on top of new products and technologies to help people make informed choices.

DVD Features
Hard Disk Recorder Features
Remote Control
Inputs and Outputs Notes

DVD Features

Video D/A Converter: This unit uses a 54MHz/10-bit video digital-to-analog converter, which reduces digital artifacts for a better picture.

Audio D/A Converter: The Toshiba SD-H400 has a 192kHz/24-bit audio digital-to-analog converter for superb audio reproduction.

PCM Down Sampling: You can select a PCM Down Sampling setting of On or Off. When On is selected and you are playing a DVD recorded in 96kHz, the signal is down converted to 48kHz/16-bit before it is passed through the digital outputs. When Off is selected and the unit is playing a non-copy-protected DVD recorded in 96kHz, a 96kHz/24-bit signal passes through the digital outputs. If the DVD is copy-protected, the digital signal is automatically down converted.

Progressive Scan: This unit may be set to output a progressive scan video signal from the Color Stream Pro component video output. Progressive-scan picture quality is more film-like, with more fine detail and less flicker. Progressive-scan viewing requires a TV with a progressive scan compatible component video input.

MP3 Playback: In addition to DVDs, Video CDs and Audio CDs, this unit will play MP3 audio files recorded onto CD-R and CD-RW discs using the ISO 9660 Level 1 format. MP3 files with a compression rate from 32-320 kbps are supported. During MP3 playback, you can use repeat and random functions, but you cannot use Memory playback or A-B repeat functions. Each disc can have a maximum of 254 files.

Spatializer: When playing a DVD, VCD or CD, you can engage the Spatializer to simulate the 3-dimensional effect of being in a cinema or concert hall with only 2 speakers.

Zoom: The Zoom feature allows you to get an increasingly close-up view of the image. Each press of the Zoom button increases the magnification.. You can also move the zoomed image around the screen.

Auto Resume: The Auto Resume feature allows you to resume playback of a disc from the point where you last stopped. The stopping point is cleared when the Stop button is pressed more than once or the disc tray is opened.

Strobe Viewer: You can select a scene and the player will divide it into 6 still frames. You can choose a slow, normal, or fast interval between each frame. Using the >> button, you can view the next series of 6 still frames.

Preview: You can display thumbnail images of the first scenes of titles or chapters and select a preferred one. Up to 6 images can be displayed at one time.

Angle Viewer: If a scene contains multiple angles, you can display all the angles simultaneously and choose from them. Up to 9 camera angles can be displayed at one time.

Picture Setting: You can fine tune the picture quality and store up to 3 custom picture settings in memory. You can adjust the following settings: contrast, brightness, color, tint, Digital Noise Reduction (reduces the noise in the video signal), and Edge Enhance (enhances picture edges).

Capture: Using this feature, you can sample a scene from a playback picture and transform it into a background picture.

Karaoke: When playing a Dolby Digital Karaoke DVD disc, you can turn on/off the vocals from the menu. 

Note: This unit does not have a microphone jack.

Dynamic Range Compression: This function reduces a Dolby Digital soundtrack's dynamic range so you can hear quieter dialogue without being overwhelmed by loud sections. You can turn Dynamic Range Compression on or off.

Parental Lock Function: You can select a parental control rating from 0-8, which is protected by a 4-digit password.

Hard Disk Recorder Features

Overview: In addition to the progressive-scan DVD player, the SD-H400 features a TiVo Series2 hard disk recorder with 80-hour capacity.

TiVo Basic Service: The SD-H400 includes built-in TiVo Basic Service, allowing you to  enjoy basic TiVo features right out of the box, with no subscription fees. TiVo Basic Service allows you to control live TV and record programs on a specific channel at a specific time, much like a VCR. TiVo Basic Service also includes an on-screen interactive program guide that provides up to 3 days of information on your favorite upcoming programs.

Note: If you have two program sources connected to this DVD Player/TiVo DVR, you must upgrade to TiVo Plus service to use them with full TiVo functionality. For example, if you have a system that feeds satellite and antenna signals, satellite and cable signals (without a cable box), or satellite and cable signals (with a cable box) to this DVD Player/TiVo DVR, you must upgrade to TiVo Plus service to use them with full TiVo functionality. TiVo Basic Service will not provide program guide info for two sources.

TiVo Plus Service: At any time, you can upgrade to full TiVo functionality by subscribing to TiVo Plus Service. TiVo Plus brings you the following features:

  • Season Pass Recordings: allows you to automatically record every episode of your favorite series, all season long, even if the schedule changes
  • WishList Searches: allows you to find and record programs by actor, director, sports team, etc.
  • Search by Title: allows you to browse for shows by title, filter by genre (like "Comedy"), and more
  • Interactive 14-Day Program Guide: allows you to instantly schedule recordings from an on-screen guide that includes detailed show summaries, ratings, etc.
  • More Smart Features: TiVo Plus skips reruns, tracks schedule changes, and more

TiVo Central: Almost everything you do with the TiVo service will start in TiVo Central; you can set up recordings, watch programs, read messages from the TiVo service, and access special Showcases featuring entertaining and informative video.

Status Bar: When you use playback functions, a status bar appears indicating the position of the program you are currently in.

Channel Banner: Whenever you watch a live or pre-recorded show, a channel banner will momentarily display program information. You can choose from the following versions of the channel banner: Small (current time and channel), Medium (adds the title, running time, and rating), or Large (adds program description and icon).

Recording a Live Program: You can always record the program you're watching by pressing the record button. Up to 30 minutes of programming from the current channel is always being saved, even when you are not recording a program.

Now Playing: Now Playing lists all the programs stored on the SD-H400.  As soon as a recording begins, it appears at the top of the list. You can watch any title in Now Playing, even one that is still being recorded.

Pick Programs to Record: With TiVo Basic Service, you can schedule a manual recording on a specific channel at a specific time (just as you would with a VCR). You can also program a recording to repeat every week, every day, or every weekday.

To Do List: The To Do List shows all your scheduled recordings and lets you cancel or edit them.

Messages: This list contains messages from the TiVo service and alerts from the unit itself.

Parental Controls: You can use TV Parental Controls to set limits on television and movie ratings for any programs in live TV or Now Playing, and to lock specific channels so that a password is required to view them. You can use DVD Parental Controls to set limits on movie ratings for DVDs.

Daily Phone Call: To receive the latest programming information and software upgrades, the SD-H400 will automatically make a daily phone call. This call typically takes about 5-10 minutes, and often occurs late at night. In most areas, there is a local access number. In areas where there is not a local access number, a long distance call is required for each update, and you will be billed for long distance calling. You can also use the Internet for updates. To accomplish this, you must connect the SD-H400 to a home network that includes a shared broadband Internet connection.

Video Recording Quality: The SD-H400 lets you choose one of the following levels of video recording quality: Best, High (SP), Medium (LP), or Basic (EP). Basic quality takes up about one-third the space of Best quality.

Home Media Option: The SD-H400 is capable of incorporating TiVo's Home Media Option feature package, which opens the door to cool networked home A/V entertainment possibilities. The Home Media Option is a software upgrade you can download from TiVo via a dial-up or broadband Internet connection. It turns the SD-H400 into a full-fledged digital media server that connects via USB port to your wired or wireless home network and PC. (A USB network adapter is required.) Purchasing the Home Media Option adds these features:

  • Remote Scheduling: allows you to schedule recordings of shows anytime and anywhere you have Internet access and a standard web browser
  • Digital Music Player: allows you to stream MP3 files from a PC or Mac for playback through your TV or home A/V system
  • Digital Photo Viewer: allows you to view digital photos on your TV
  • Multi-room Viewing: gives you the ability to connect to another TiVo Series2 DVR elsewhere in your home for program-sharing between the two units

Remote Control

Multibrand Remote: The supplied remote is pre-programmed to operate this unit and a number of functions on other brands of components, including TVs, amplifiers, and receivers.

Inputs and Outputs Notes

RF Input and Output: The SD-H400 has threaded coax jacks for use with televisions, cable boxes, etc. that don't have A/V jacks.

A/V Input: In addition to the A/V output, the SD-H400 has an A/V input that has the following jacks: left and right RCA audio, RCA composite video, and S-video.

Serial and IR Outputs: Using the supplied Serial (Data) Control cable, the Serial minijack allows you to connect the SD-H400 to a DirecTV receiver. Once the connection is made, the SD-H400 can change channels and control the receiver. If your receiver does not have a serial port, you can use the IR minijack, which allows you to connect the supplied IR Control cable to control the DirecTV receiver.

Phone Line: An RJ-11 jack is used to connect the SD-H400 to a phone line for accessing the TiVo Service (a 25' phone cord is supplied).

USB: The SD-H400 has two full-size USB jacks, allowing you to connect the unit to your wired or wireless home network and PC. (A USB network adapter is required.)

 
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