8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars
Topfield Twin Tuner PVR, 4 April 2010
I bought the Topfield TF5810 PVR with twin tuners just over a month ago and am delighted with it.
Firstly, the unit is dead simple to use. I've recorded standard programmes, set series records, stared playing back recordings WHILST THEY'RE STILL RECORDING (to skip adverts). Everything works well and is simple to use. When I first set the box up, it found channels from two different transmitters. Using a link on the Topfield website, I found the channel numbers for the local transmitter and retuned the unit using just the channels for the strongest transmitter. As a result, I have removed the duplicate channels that I originally had.
Secondly, Topfield release an API to their products so that programmers can create add ons (TAPs) to improve or add additional features. The TF5810 works brilliantly out of the box, but adding the MyStuff TAP gives you greater control over a number of features. For example, I have set the unit to record an extra 5 minutes at the start of each recording and an extra 7 minutes at the end. I've also used the TAP to improve the appearance of the programme guides, change the time period which is shown on the EPG and to reprogram four of the buttons so that I can skip backwards 1 minute, backwards 30 seconds, forward 30 seconds and forward 1 minute using the coloured buttons (useful when skipping adverts).
Thirdly, the Topfield has a USB port on the back so that you can connect a computer and transfer recordings to/ from the unit using a standard PC. I've also used third-party software (Puppy and Guppy) so that I can connect to the unit using my Linux box.
The only problem I have had, which isn't specifically related to the Topfield unit, is that the Topfield, in common with most PVRs records programs using a REC format (MPEG2 with TS). I am struggling to convert existing recordings into this format so that I can copy programmes which I had already saved onto the Topfield. From various websites I've visited, this is a common problem and one which I should be able to overcome.
All in all, I highly recommend this product. If you just want to plug it in and go, it is simple and works well. If you are prepared to fiddle and install some of the extra features available through TAPs then the product is well above the competition.