We've long maintained that the Toshiba RD-XS34 is the best combi-recorder on the market, only recently facing a decent challenge from Panasonic's DMR-EH60D. However, Toshiba is already fighting back with the highly attractive RD-XS55, shown off for the first time here at CES today.
The hard drive is bigger -- the initial 160GB offering has now been upped to 250GB. There's also now an HDMI output with DVD-upscaling capability, so your movies should look sparklingly clean on your high-definition TV. The recorder now supports DivX 4 so you can playback movies from the Internet if you so desire.
Panasonic's DVD-RAM recording format is also supported, of course, so you can use these larger, case-protected discs for backing up your favourite programmes. But the biggest feature is being able to network to a PC for editing -- even sending live broadcasts across a wire. You can also email yourself recording schedules, so if you're at work and forgot to put Deal or No Deal on timer, you can email the PC and have Noel Edmonds waiting for you when you get home -- a frightening thought and no mistake.
The RD-XS55 is one of the most exciting products of the show so far, so we'll be keeping an eye out for the UK release. With a US price of $600, it probably won't land for any less than £500, but with a May release date we should know nice and soon. -GC
Visit our CES 2006 Special Report for more coverage.