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JosephA

Topfield PVR

12 posts in this topic

I have some questions as I'd like to get one of these units.

1. It can transfer files to a PC for backup? How easy is that and does the PVR appear as a drive letter? Special utility?

2. Has anyone tried and timed the transfer rate?

3. Does it reach USB2.0 speeds for transfer?

4. Once the recorded files are on the computer, is there a program to convert to MPEG2 for DVD recording?

5. Although you cannot decode HD, can it still record the data to transfer to your computer?

6. Can it record 2 programs at the same time?

7. Does it timer record ok? How many can be set?

In the pictures it seems to be a nice looking unit.

JA

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The answers are *all* in the other Topfield threads. Look at the USB thread, and look at the big multi-page thread (early on in the thread).

Cheers

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As Tony H said, they ARE all previously mentioned, but you might like a quick concise answer rather than wading through eons of banter.

Unfortunately, you got me, King of the long, drawn-out answers.

1. You can transfer recorded files to/from a PC via a USB cable.

The software "Altair" is available (free) from the Topfield website.

There's no help or docs, but I'm guessing that it's intrinsic to Toppies.

Left window is the Toppy - Right window is your PC. (remember Laplink?)

Each has the usual array of file & folder buttons (create, rename, delete, blah blah)

There are tranfer to/from buttons in the middle, once you select a file to send and a folder to receive.

The Toppy DOES NOT appear as a drive in ANY software but (with Altair) there's no reason you can't use it as the world's most expensive and ugly portable drive.

Although you can store anything, only certain files can be used by the machine itself.

It plays MP3s. It views JPGs. Its own saved video files are .rec

Smarter people than me develop simple applications and distribute them as .tap files (commonly known as TAPs)

2. The .rec files are about 2 or 3 Gig/hr and transfer at about double speed (2min/min) with turbo OFF. (idiot me just found the turbo button and hasn't tried it yet)

3. I don't know squat about USB2 speeds. It also works on USB1, but you will die old before an ad can get transferred.

4. There's been regular chats about different ways to convert to MPG and save to DVD. Some folks are "What's the problem?" Others, like me, are "What's the clue?"

It is possible. Someone just has to perfect it and release an idiot-proof version. Search for PVAstrumento

5. One guy HAS reported recording HD. If memory serves me correctly, it was the same "forum police" guy who told you to RTFM. (Only joking, Tony :P )

6. Seamlessly.

Record one channel. Record a second channel.

You can't watch a third channel but you CAN watch something you have recorded previously.

All at the same time... and it just laps it all up. (God, I love it)

When you record a prog, it saves as "ABC 8:29pm Tues" (example only, you get the idea)

It has a seemingly unlimited (and easy) ability to preset record which you can pre-name (eg "The Bill")

Over lapping presets is no prob eg 800-900 Prime, 830-930 NRTV

If "Time shifting" is turned on, the machine automatically and invisibly records programs.

When you come home and the movie is half over, you just "go back" an hour and watch it from scratch. You can FF through ads and (if you're good) catch up to real time.

You can even FF the horse races to see the winner before the race has actually been run. :blink:

Some people have reported glitches while time shifting, which were (supposedly) rectified with a hardware fix. New machines are already done.

The picture doesn't show that the front panel to the right of the round buttons flips down to reveal a wonderful surprise.

THE MANUAL SUCKS BIG TIME.

Obviously written by the child-slave with the greatest English ability.

Humerous English translations

So if you get one, feel free to ask "dopey" questions here. There are heaps of people like myself or Tony, willing to help you out.

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Having waded through the threads myself, I can understand how the original poster my find the info inaccessible. It's burried so deep within those threads that digging it out is a 2 day job.

So, my answers based on zero practical experience:

1) Yes, but it's not a storage device - requires a special Windows only program.

2) It's dog slow in terms of Hi-Speed USB2.0, but faster than USB 1.1

3) Only about 5% of theoretical maximum.

4) Yes, ProjectX (Java program) seems to be popular.

5) Yes, it records the entire TS, which will include everything being transmitted.

6) Yes.

7) No idea.

There may or may not be limitations in place when USB activity and recording take place at the same time. Someone else can answer that...

As far as aesthetics go, I think it is dog ugly. For starters, it's not black - blech! However, I am prepared to have it in the loungeroom once the bugs are ironed out.

What I would really like is 100mbit Ethernet port and an SMB / FTP server on it, as well as a network API server to transfer data and control things like schedules.

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Thanks for your help.

Much easier than sorting through many postings that was all too hard.

Slightly OT. :blink:

This is why something like "sticky" posts are REALLY needed for this forum.

actually, this forum system does support pinning of topics, the link below shows the icon used for a pinned topic. This might possibly be a newer version that is running here.

http://www.invisionpower.com/documentation...doc.php?page=87

"A pinned topic."

I think this has to be my biggest gripe with these forums I regularly come back to these forums looking for updates to interesting posts only to find that the really good posts have only had say 1 or 2 posts and have disappeared a few pages back.

Are there no moderators that could help out with this sort of thing?

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I have been unable to use USB2.0 with Win98SE, only the slow USB1.

The speed of USB1 and the transfer rate it takes is about 1min to 1min(770kb/s).

Even paint drying times are quicker than USB1.0

Has anyone had any success using a PC motherboard with USB2.0 ports and using only Win98SE?.

Win98SE does not support USB2.0 speeds but I think newer OS like Windows 2000 or WindowsXP will.

Thanks

Pep

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I have been unable to use USB2.0 with Win98SE, only the slow USB1.

The speed of USB1 and the transfer rate it takes is about 1min to 1min(770kb/s).

I presume you mean "770kbyte/s" i.e. 6Mbit/s (which would be 1min for 1min for most recordings!).

770kB/s is how you would signify "bytes" rather than "bits" and make it a little less confusing.

I think the time to upgrade for your OS is now.. XP is very stable, better at multi-tasking that 98, and won't have "low resources" issues that the 95/98/ME OS have (although 2K is probably just as good as XP in this respect).

Regards

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Thanks Tony,

What typical speed increase would I expect from USB1.0 to USB2.0 when I upgrade to WindowsXP?

The PC has a 2.6GHz celery and 6 x USB2.0 ports.

Pep

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What typical speed increase would I expect from USB1.0 to USB2.0 when I upgrade to WindowsXP?

The PC has a 2.6GHz celery and 6 x USB2.0 ports.

I am running an Athlon XP2100+, and getting about 17 or 18Mbit/s, so a good 2 to 3x SD rate. I am running a NForce board with 6 USB2 ports too.

So it isn't a substantial increase in speed, but I suppose worth it if you want to transfer a lot of 2 hour programs.

I don't think the OS has a lot to do with the USB speed (apart from at the hardware support level).

Here is the thread discussing pulling video out of the Toppy (and putting TAPs into the Toppy).

Post to it, to make it semi-sticky:

http://www.dtvforum.info/index.php?showtopic=2087

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It should be possible to get USB2 going on Win98SE.

My Abit IS7 mobo comes with USB2 drivers for Win98. These are not required for Win2k or XP, since it just works.

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The fairly new ASUS m/b I have has USB2.0 support for Win2k and XP. I checked on their website and they do not have any Win98SE drivers.

I also went into Microsoft update site for win98SE USB2.0 update drivers and was unable to find any.

Pep

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