Jump to content


Photo

Topfield Faq - All Questions Answered


  • Please log in to reply
1114 replies to this topic

#76 salrom

salrom

    AV Forums Member

  • Member
  • 15 posts

Posted 01 July 2009 - 03:53 AM

No its a common problem but not widespread like the 7000, some Owners seem to have had a good run with the 7100 whilst others have had nothing but problems like yourself.


Well I'm sick of having to waste my time getting the thing repaired. so I just bought the beyonwiz DP-s1 a similar PVR except it also has a DVD player and you can plug other multi media devices directly into it + built in wlan so you can stream movies direct from your computer. It cost me about $150 more than the 7100 but included the Lidic a device that lets you record from external sourced like foxtel or anothe dvd player.

I'm just getting the lay of the land with it and found that I can save recording to a usb drive but I'm not sure if I can record directly to it. this was a major advantage of the topfield.
controls are a little less intuitive but that may be because I'm use to the 7100. the program guide is also not as well laid out but it works.

I finally got on the the service at topfield I had to wait for around 15 minutes before they answered the phone which keep ed referring me to the website that doesn't work and asks you to email them but they may not reply. I still haven't received a reply to my emails off 3 days ago.

On the plus side when I finally got to talk to a human he remembered the unit and said I wouldn't have to wait so long this time because it had been repaid so often and said they may even provided me with a new one if it turned out to be the same problem. Good service at last once you get past the wall.

Will let you know how it turns out.

#77 prl

prl

    AV Forums Member

  • Senior Member
  • 2,620 posts

Posted 01 July 2009 - 09:07 AM

...

I'm just getting the lay of the land with it [Beyonwiz DP-S1] and found that I can save recording to a usb drive but I'm not sure if I can record directly to it. ...

You can't record to an external HDD on any of the internal-HDD Beyonwiz models. You can record to an external HDD on the DP-H1, but only to a HDD that's formatted in a way that's accessible on Linux and OS X, but not on Windows.

#78 andy08

andy08

    AV Forums Member

  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 158 posts

Posted 01 July 2009 - 02:57 PM

No if the PVR is writing to the disk you may loose information. I found that every time I swap a drive it's best to shut it down. on start up the PVR also will want to check the disk and rebuild the file index which can take some time depending on the size of the drive you have connected. I use a 1TB.

good luck.


It worked ok. When I accessed the file menu I could see mention of the pause button for safe removal the drive once the transfers had taken place.

I thought I was going to be able to save small segments of a recording for upload but the edit feature only marks the save. The save file it creates is the same size as the original but only plays the saved secgment. No good for what I wanted to do, unlike one of my old PVR's which creates a smaller file. I guess I will stick with wireless transfer rather than reformat my external drive to ext2, for the moment.

This is a really nice machine after my older ones that 'nearly did what they were supposed to'

#79 salrom

salrom

    AV Forums Member

  • Member
  • 15 posts

Posted 01 July 2009 - 11:05 PM

It worked ok. When I accessed the file menu I could see mention of the pause button for safe removal the drive once the transfers had taken place.

I thought I was going to be able to save small segments of a recording for upload but the edit feature only marks the save. The save file it creates is the same size as the original but only plays the saved secgment. No good for what I wanted to do, unlike one of my old PVR's which creates a smaller file. I guess I will stick with wireless transfer rather than reformat my external drive to ext2, for the moment.

This is a really nice machine after my older ones that 'nearly did what they were supposed to'


glad it worked for you. My 7100 is so problematic I dare not play around with the external drive for fear of loosing all the recordings.

#80 salrom

salrom

    AV Forums Member

  • Member
  • 15 posts

Posted 01 July 2009 - 11:18 PM

You can't record to an external HDD on any of the internal-HDD Beyonwiz models. You can record to an external HDD on the DP-H1, but only to a HDD that's formatted in a way that's accessible on Linux and OS X, but not on Windows.

Thanks I just worked it out also. I will just have to transfrer the files to another drive all thies hard drives are to small when reccording HD programs.

#81 prl

prl

    AV Forums Member

  • Senior Member
  • 2,620 posts

Posted 02 July 2009 - 10:03 AM

Thanks I just worked it out also. I will just have to transfrer the files to another drive all thies hard drives are to small when reccording HD programs.

If you're doing bulk moves, the ZOOM button is your friend (it inverts the selection in the current folder - all deselected recordings are selected and all selected recordings are deselected).

#82 AlfredE.Newman

AlfredE.Newman

    AV Forums Member

  • Member
  • 63 posts

Posted 02 July 2009 - 12:28 PM

Hi there,

I haven't posted on this forum for quite a while, forgot my user name etc but now I'm off and running again! I've got a Toppy 5000, have had a good run with it to date (probaly had it 3 years or so) but have found like a lot of users that the 160 GB hard drive fills up all too quickly. My younger son has recorded heaps of episodes of UK Top Gear none of which are available on DVD to the best of my knowledge. I recently downloaded Altair and ProjectX to my PC with a view to archiving to DVD but have found the whole process of getting it up and running difficult and time consuming.

To cut to the chase, a friendly chap at Clive Peeters sugested that I could use a LG DVD recorder (no internal HDD) to record directly to disc if the Toppy was hooked up using the yellow composite cable. I'm just about to take the plunge and spend the $289 on the unit but just wanted a bit more reassurance. I realise that the image quality won't be that crash hot but otherwise is this a goer? Also I would also really love to put a much bigger, say 500 GB hard drive in the Toppy now that the warranty has expired but have heard of other users on this forum frying various components in their PVR, is this an option, I just bought a 1 TB external HDD a month or two back can I simply hook this up and record and retrieve programmes to play back on my TV?

A lot of questions I know but it has been a while ;)

Edited by AlfredE.Newman, 02 July 2009 - 12:30 PM.


#83 prl

prl

    AV Forums Member

  • Senior Member
  • 2,620 posts

Posted 02 July 2009 - 12:55 PM

...
To cut to the chase, a friendly chap at Clive Peeters sugested that I could use a LG DVD recorder (no internal HDD) to record directly to disc if the Toppy was hooked up using the yellow composite cable. I'm just about to take the plunge and spend the $289 on the unit but just wanted a bit more reassurance. I realise that the image quality won't be that crash hot but otherwise is this a goer? ...

There's no reason in principle why it wouldn't work. Better to use S-Video rather than composite if it's an option.

It's a bit of a fiddly way to go, though, because you have to set corresponding timers on both machines, and you can't watch anything else from the 5000 while you're recording.

#84 pgdownload

pgdownload

    AV Forums Member

  • Senior Member
  • 11,468 posts

Posted 02 July 2009 - 01:07 PM

The components 'frying' are part of a systemic failure on theToppy's (capacitors failing) nothing to do with a new harddrive. There's a full pinned how to on the www.topfield-australia.com.au forum. I'd say get one of the new WD Green drives for no hassles.

The recording direct to a DVDR the way you ask should be no problems. As mentioned go the Svideo cable instead if an option. You also presumably don't want to download the files to a PC and edit them their? If your pulling the old drive out you could connect the drive straight to a PC and use TFHDRW to access the files very quickly.

Regards

Peter Gillespie

#85 audiohobbs

audiohobbs

    AV Forums Member

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 790 posts

Posted 02 July 2009 - 01:58 PM

Hi there,

I haven't posted on this forum for quite a while, forgot my user name etc but now I'm off and running again! I've got a Toppy 5000, have had a good run with it to date (probaly had it 3 years or so) but have found like a lot of users that the 160 GB hard drive fills up all too quickly...

To cut to the chase, a friendly chap at Clive Peeters sugested that I could use a LG DVD recorder ...

A lot of questions I know but it has been a while ;)


Hi, Alfred,

As others have indicated, playing back your files while recording them to DVD is a good option rather than transferring, demuxing, editing and burning; you can do a rough edit on the Toppy if you have to have the advert's out. Again, definitely look at the DVD-R having an S-video input so that you can use this - it will give you a better picture. The picture quality will be around SD broadcast standard on a DVD if you don't try putting too much information onto one disk.

Another thing to look for in your DVD-R device is whether it plays DivX files (handy) and, more importantly, if it can do Average Bit Rate recordings. Without getting too technical about how it does it, this feature allows you to specify the amount of time you record to your DVD. For Top Gear, eg, at about 45 mins in length, I would forgo a little quality and get three episodes onto one disc rather than two by specifying a recording time of 136 mins and letting the unit calculate the required bit rate. The quality difference is barely noticeable but the reduction in library space and time taken to record things is well worth it (you can set it to record three programmes while you are out at work or sleeping or something and finalise the disc when you return.) I got a Panasonic DVD-R/VHS machine and it does all this and more for around $350 or so; I am a little leery of LG equipment - it is ok, but not up to Panasonic standards. Personal choice. ;-)

Switching the disk in your Toppy is easily done and afterwards you can, as one of the Ps mentioned, copy the files from the old disk to your PC if you wish and/or keep it as a backup for a short time. You will need a PATA disk (Parallel ATA) or a SATA (Serial) with a converter and put the converter in the unit as well. If you have a straight 5000 there may not be enough room for the latter so look for a PATA disk (but these are no longer very common.) If you have a 5000MP (like I have) there should be enough room for a converter as well as the disk. I upgraded my Toppy's disk to a WD 500GB (more than enough!) earlier this year, hence the info. You won't be able to connect an external 1TB drive to the 5000, though, alas - that would be too easy :lol:

It is an easy job to just switch the disk but it is worth looking at upgrading the power supply components at the same time - it may enhance the life of the unit with a slightly bigger, potentially more thirsty disk inside it. As mentioned, there is a thread dedicated to these upgrades and how to do them - it is a few capacitors and other motherboard components. If you are good with a soldering iron, you can do the whole lot yourself; alternatively, do the disk yourself and find a friend who can do the soldering. The PSU component upgrades are not essential and there are no guarantees with or without them, but you may want to do them as well.

Good luck with the whole thing.

Al.

#86 salrom

salrom

    AV Forums Member

  • Member
  • 15 posts

Posted 02 July 2009 - 04:06 PM

If you're doing bulk moves, the ZOOM button is your friend (it inverts the selection in the current folder - all deselected recordings are selected and all selected recordings are deselected).

Thanks Great Tip.
Regards
Sal

#87 AlfredE.Newman

AlfredE.Newman

    AV Forums Member

  • Member
  • 63 posts

Posted 02 July 2009 - 04:15 PM

Wow Al thanks for such an in-depth reply! (and thanks to the others who contributed their two bob's worth too) Yes the LG thing doesn't really appeal all that much I must say. A number of places around town have the VCR combined with DVD-R units in various brands on offer. I wasn't all that anxious to get one as I don't have huge amounts on VCR although there are probaly a few things I wouldn't mind copying. I'm a bit confused about the choices available that's for sure, when I first bought the Toppy I was led to believe that connecting it up to your PC and burning discs from the archived material was a bit of a doddle, can't say I'm quite that sure!

I'll have a look at the forum advice on installing a bigger hard drive too...

thanks muchly, Ian

#88 AlfredE.Newman

AlfredE.Newman

    AV Forums Member

  • Member
  • 63 posts

Posted 02 July 2009 - 04:23 PM

It's a bit of a fiddly way to go, though, because you have to set corresponding timers on both machines, and you can't watch anything else from the 5000 while you're recording.



Would that apply if I'm simply using the DVD-R to record the Toppy's archive to disk i.e. not really using it for real-time programming?

#89 AlfredE.Newman

AlfredE.Newman

    AV Forums Member

  • Member
  • 63 posts

Posted 02 July 2009 - 04:43 PM

Just one more post, for today at least, I just had a look at Video Re-do's site and I'm wondering is this a better/easier way to go than ProjectX for a relatively luddite techie like myself? I'd be quite happy to pay the $70-80 as I've been successful at hooking up the Toppy to the PC, it's just the user-unfriendly interface to edit and burn stuff that I'm not happy with, maybe it's worth the free 15 day trial?

#90 prl

prl

    AV Forums Member

  • Senior Member
  • 2,620 posts

Posted 02 July 2009 - 04:57 PM


... you can't watch anything else from the 5000 while you're recording.

Would that apply if I'm simply using the DVD-R to record the Toppy's archive to disk i.e. not really using it for real-time programming?

This problem has nothing to do with the need to set coordinated timers to record "live" to the DVD-R.

Since you're using one of the video outputs from the TF as the input to the DVD-R, and it sends the same video to all video outputs, the TF has to be displaying whatever it is that you want to record on the DVD-R.

The TF can be recording other stuff while this is going on, though.

#91 tonymy01

tonymy01

    AV Forums Member

  • Senior Member
  • 5,550 posts

Posted 02 July 2009 - 04:59 PM

Ok, there might be a new way that doesn't involve demuxing/remuxing. Get yourself TS-Doctor http://www.videohelp...tools/TS-Doctor (thanx Netmask for putting me onto this app), and use this on the rec files. It won't let you cut out adverts or get subtitles out for authoring in packages like VSO's ConvertXtoDVD, but will avoid the projectX step and will repair any errors in the REC (MPEG2 TS) files.
Regards

#92 andy08

andy08

    AV Forums Member

  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 158 posts

Posted 02 July 2009 - 05:28 PM

If he's working with .TS files try HDTV to MPEG2. You can top and tail and strip the adds too. It does both SD and HD. I use it with the files from my 7100 by renaming the files to .ts then running them through it.

#93 audiohobbs

audiohobbs

    AV Forums Member

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 790 posts

Posted 02 July 2009 - 05:39 PM

Wow Al thanks for such an in-depth reply! (and thanks to the others who contributed their two bob's worth too) Yes the LG thing doesn't really appeal all that much I must say. A number of places around town have the VCR combined with DVD-R units in various brands on offer. I wasn't all that anxious to get one as I don't have huge amounts on VCR although there are probaly a few things I wouldn't mind copying. I'm a bit confused about the choices available that's for sure, when I first bought the Toppy I was led to believe that connecting it up to your PC and burning discs from the archived material was a bit of a doddle, can't say I'm quite that sure!

I'll have a look at the forum advice on installing a bigger hard drive too...

thanks muchly, Ian


You could just go for a DVD-R device (skip the VHS part but make sure it has a digital tuner) and do things that way; it would also give you an extra tuner to record from for those occasions when two just isn't enough ;-) I'd say that is the most user-friendly way to go once you are clear which output goes to which input. :rolleyes:

Tony's link to the program that does not need a de-mux looks interesting (I'll look at that, too, thanks T!) but it won't prevent the slow copy-to-pc times (about half an hour of copying per hour of video, from memory).

Al

#94 tonymy01

tonymy01

    AV Forums Member

  • Senior Member
  • 5,550 posts

Posted 02 July 2009 - 05:58 PM

If he's working with .TS files try HDTV to MPEG2. You can top and tail and strip the adds too. It does both SD and HD. I use it with the files from my 7100 by renaming the files to .ts then running them through it.

Problem is, one or two reception glitches and you can find you end up with poor results from many packages (and lip synch issues with the final solution), hence the suggestions in the past to use ProjectX to deal with it, or now this TS-Doctor. It appears from the TS-Doctor pages it can do top/tail cutting also, I haven't used it for that as yet, only just recently discovering this gem (well, being told about it) on the Topfield and Beyonwiz forums by Netmask.

It supports MPEG-4/H.264 files also, so good for Beyonwiz LiDiC recordings and possibly future DVB-T transmissions (whenever they go to MPEG-4 that is... and only for PVRs with MPEG-4 support of course).

#95 pgdownload

pgdownload

    AV Forums Member

  • Senior Member
  • 11,468 posts

Posted 02 July 2009 - 07:55 PM

maybe it's worth the free 15 day trial?

Well that's possibly an oxy moron :) Download the software when you're ready and have a play. IMO the interface is a touch unintuitive but its fairly simple and once you figure out the processes you need to do then it becomes very straight forward. They also have a very good online help forum. For a ludite (with aspirations) I'd say its probably your easiest option.

Regards

Peter Gillespie

#96 diesel

diesel

    AV Forums Member

  • Senior Member
  • 13,782 posts

Posted 02 July 2009 - 08:43 PM

For a ludite (with aspirations) I'd say its probably your easiest option.

100% agree.

#97 AlfredE.Newman

AlfredE.Newman

    AV Forums Member

  • Member
  • 63 posts

Posted 03 July 2009 - 09:04 AM

This problem has nothing to do with the need to set coordinated timers to record "live" to the DVD-R.


Sorry but I thought that the reference to "because you have to set corresponding timers on both machines" in the earlier post was related to taking archived files off the HD to the DVD-R, now I'm confused!?! Are you talking about synchronizing the two units?

Edited by AlfredE.Newman, 03 July 2009 - 09:05 AM.


#98 AlfredE.Newman

AlfredE.Newman

    AV Forums Member

  • Member
  • 63 posts

Posted 03 July 2009 - 09:10 AM

Well that's possibly an oxy moron :) Download the software when you're ready and have a play. IMO the interface is a touch unintuitive but its fairly simple and once you figure out the processes you need to do then it becomes very straight forward. Regards

Peter Gillespie


What I meant of course was worth bothering with ;) Had a quick look at the TS Doctor info, are you sure a simpleton like myself is capable of manipulating this stuff? I guess because it's freeware I can certainly give it a shot, BTW I've only got dial-up at home (but broadband at work) can I download the programme at work onto a USB drive or CD-rom and take it home to save on the download time factor?

#99 AlfredE.Newman

AlfredE.Newman

    AV Forums Member

  • Member
  • 63 posts

Posted 03 July 2009 - 09:14 AM

You could just go for a DVD-R device (skip the VHS part but make sure it has a digital tuner) and do things that way; it would also give you an extra tuner to record from for those occasions when two just isn't enough ;-) I'd say that is the most user-friendly way to go once you are clear which output goes to which input. :rolleyes:

Tony's link to the program that does not need a de-mux looks interesting (I'll look at that, too, thanks T!) but it won't prevent the slow copy-to-pc times (about half an hour of copying per hour of video, from memory).

Al


So what you're saying Al, is that I can set the DVD-R up to record say 3 programmes of Topgear and just leave it to do it's bit whilst messing around with the files on PC will take too long? I was told by the store I bought the Toppy from that the process using Altair and ProjectX bascially takes as long as the original recording :o

#100 prl

prl

    AV Forums Member

  • Senior Member
  • 2,620 posts

Posted 03 July 2009 - 10:28 AM

Sorry but I thought that the reference to "because you have to set corresponding timers on both machines" in the earlier post was related to taking archived files off the HD to the DVD-R, now I'm confused!?! Are you talking about synchronizing the two units?

If you want the DVD to record live from the TF5000, than you need to make sure that the TF5000 is on and its video output is the service you want (One HD, for example), and you need to make sure that the DVD-R is on and recording from the input that's connected to the TF5000.

If you want to do this manually, then you just set up the two devices and let them run. If you want to use timers, then you need to have a timer that starts the TF5000 (if necessary) and switches its video output to the correct service, and you need a timer on the DVD-R to make it start recording. The Beyonwiz devices have View timers for this sort of action, I assume that the TF5000 does, too, but I don't know for certain.

The other thing that I was referring to is that because the PVR is recording from the TF5000 video output, while you are recording on the PVR, the only thing you can watch from the TF5000 is whatever you're recording on the PVR. And that is true no matter how you set up the TF5000 and PVR to do the recording.