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Topfield 5000 PVRT Links-Minifaq

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Hi Guys:

Thanks for the reply, I am having a SD Fiji 42' Plasma at the moment and you might be right Peter cos i was using RGA cable B4 and now wz my HD STB i am using Comp Cable however its still really diff in PQ hwo ever thanks for the advise and answer..... I might think about it over again but i am still standing toward the Toppy PVR... cos its still a SD plasma after all...

As for the price i got for the Toppy PVR 120G was fm HN Chatswood last week of $633 for the Black one, Good luck to teh ppl who wants to get one cos they said is limited stock.....

Cheers for now

PC747 :blink:

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Hi everyone... just a very quick question RE: TF5000PVRt (120GB).

I am finally about to purchase my very first Topfield 5000, only I have a few last minute doubts about "model" differences.

After visiting the "Toppy Tools" web site, I see there are various releases of 5000PVRt (120).

Do all current 5000s have the "old style" remote and "old style" menu, or have they been improved in recent times?

If I am offered a 5000PVRt (Silver or Black) at the same price as the Black Panther, which one should I get? What would you recommend?

Thanks all for the replies.

Cheers!

MM

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Get the 5000. The only difference is the remote (and color) and the 'old style' remote is actually nicer to use.

Both the 5000 and BP have 'old style' graphics. They're 'ok' and qute functional you don't look at them all that much anyway - the main OSD are reasonably good and it can all be significantly improved by installing a few nice TAPs.

Regards

Peter Gillespie

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Hi Peter... just purchased my very first Topfield, it's the 5000 silver for a cool $675 from GG in Perth (friend works there).

I might be pestering you in the future if I get stuck, but I promise to read all the related forums before doing so... :blink:

A quick one first. My suburb has bylaws that prohibit the use of roof antennaes, so I have a good one in the roof space which still gives me approx 90% signal (I am not far from the transmitters).

Do I still require grounding of the antenna or will it be ok?

First things first... I noticed the Altair links all over this forum point to version 1.0.4 while on the Korean website you can download version 1.250.

Although the latter is much smaller in size than the 1.0.4, which one is the most recent/correct one to use?

Very excited...

Cheers!

MM

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Very excited... :blink:

As long as the signals fine then I see no reason to ground it if it was working of before. Grab the latest version of Altair you can find (actually the who PC pack). Install the Toppy USB driver by plugging it into the PC and when Windows asks for some drivers point them to the required files.

You'll note that the Korean site is often quite a way ahead of the Oz one for software updates. Get the latest in anything EXCEPT firmware. Read the AQA and hop to Andy's firmware site where the merits of each version are discussed. In some cases earlier is better. FOr my part I have a 5000 and find the MAY 2005 FW is the most reliable.

Also you may wish to join the Topfield forum much wider range and more focused Toppy users there.

Regards

Peter Gillespie

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Hi Everyone,

I hope I'm in the right thread?

After doing a lot of reading I've decided to get a PVR over a DVDR even though a DVDR with HDD would be more useful to me professionally - as a teacher arranging things onto DVD for students is very handy, but I like to record a lot of TV over the week also. My main reason for not going the DVDRs is because digital tuners aren't prevalent in DVDRs (or non-existent from what I have read - and for a long time yet - how long??) in Australia and I want at least SD quality. Am I right in this?

I've decided that among PVRs, the genuine twin tuners and Topfield seem like the go (after reading reviews and comparisons the HD Sony's, LG's etc seem to be a little underdone for the price) and having read through the Topfield threads and checked out their website and some others like Tony's, it seems like there's a heap of info and support available. I do however have some questions which I hope some of you may be able to answer or at least point me in the right direction thread-wise.

As I understand it, my Philips Pixel Plus 36PW9527 TV will only give me SD but with pixel plus and a Teac ITV-D500 SD STB I've been happy with the PQ, especially as I am in a notoriously bad part of Melbourne (signal-wise) and analogue TV is vertially un-watchable. I don't want to upgrade to a HD TV just yet until we actually start broadcasting all of FTA TV in HD and the TV prices come down and the quality goes up (so Iwon't need a HD PVR then will I?).

I am wondering which Topfield would best suit my needs and work best with my TV? Looking at their website any model from the TF5000PVRT through to the TF5000PVRTMPS (the latter is still SD, isn't it?) seem like the go. I am after quality, all the features, good support, reliability, and something that doesn't require a PhD to run. I also understand that with these models I can convert recordings to DVD via my PC. Is this a fairly painless procedure after reading the instructions and a few tries? Also are their any other brands or models I should be looking at?

Sorry for the long post, but there is so much to learn and so much info. Can't help but think in 50-100 years people will look back at all this and laugh at the complexity!!

Thanks

Jude

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The differences between the different terrestrial TF5000PVRt are nearly only cosmetic. The MP, BP and WP look a bit different, and have a different remote (that some consider not as good as the original ugly remote... sure it is ugly, but very practical). The MP comes with a different looking menu system and a real time clock to maintain the time after a power fail. But now with some firmware hacks done to the normal stock toppy, it too can get the time again after a power fail by simply booting up and getting it from the broadcaster. So really this is the only difference between the 5000 series. The 4400 doesn't have USB and so also won't run TAPS, so I don't advise this one.

The conversion from Toppy recording to DVD isn't all that difficult at all, albeit a bit time consuming (you can't just say "ok, I am going to turn X recording into Y DVD in ten minutes"... as the copying of the file from the Toppy to your PC takes about 30mins per hour of recording). I ususally initiate the copy, then go and do something for a while. Many do large copies overnight.

Regards

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Hi Jude,

As a general custom, posting specific queries on a FAQ is a non sec i tour. Better to post this as your own thread. If you are looking to buy a PVR then I'd suggest a read here: http://www.dtvforum.info/index.php?showtopic=36191

I presume you've read the AQA? http://www.dtvforum.info/index.php?showtopic=16828 which covers sending shows to the PC

Also note that one (and possibly a few more) PVR/DVDR combos are hitting the market.

Regards

Peter Gillespie

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G'Day Peter and friends.

Sorry for not reporting back here sooner, had a birth in the family...

The new Toppy5000 is working a treat, nice PQ no sign of red push or colour saturation, using YUV out into my HQ SCART to Component cable.

Istalled and bought licence for PBK which works really well, particularly the Ad skipping function (via red button).

Still have to play around with all the timer and standby functions, have not had the time nor the need for now.

Will report back at some point...

Thanks for all the help so far, you've been great.

Cheers!

MM

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Congrats on the new arrival MM (also good news on the baby :blink: )

A well considered purchase and am glad its all working to plan. As long as you're on Manual Time and have PBK to catch any power failures then you can sit back an enjoy. As you say have a look at other TAP options (the 7 day EPG being the most significant) when and if you get the inclination / time.

Regards

Peter Gillespie

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Congrats on the new arrival MM (also good news on the baby :blink: )

Thanks Peter, he's a good little boy at the moment...

A well considered purchase and am glad its all working to plan.

Errr... actually I have a little hickup: the bypass on the VCR-SCART does not seem to work (or I got it setup wrong)...

All works fine with the TV-SCART output set to YUV and my SCART to Component quality cable. I plugged my European Samsung VCR (SCART OUT) into the Toppy's VCR SCART. The minute I switch the VCR on, the Toppy's signal cuts out but nothing from the VCR comes through.

So I am unsure what the problem is: thought I drop a quick question here before calling Topfield Support...

Any ideas???

As long as you're on Manual Time and have PBK to catch any power failures then you can sit back an enjoy. As you say have a look at other TAP options (the 7 day EPG being the most significant) when and if you get the inclination / time.Regards

Peter Gillespie

Ok, I am on Auto Time, I can change that right away but not sure how to set up PBK to "power failure recovery", just downloaded the user guide, will have a look...

Will definetely look at 7 day EPG!!!

Cheers!

MM

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The Toppy doesn't do standards conversion, so if you ONLY have component connected to your TV, then the VCR-passthrough will not work to the TV as the VCR passthrough triggers the composite signal from the VCR only to pass to the TV, which means you will need to also connect the composite line if you want to see the VCR.

(This is the cool thing about having a TV with RGB-SCART input, as RGB via scart has a 4th video line that has the synch on it, which is really just a composite signal. So in your case, if you were SCART connected with fully wired SCART-SCART to the TV, then the TV would detect both RGB and composite and switch accordingly.)

So if you don't want the powering up of the SCART VCR to trigger the passthrough, I believe setting the SCART to external-AV will do the trick, and then you will need to manually hit the TV/VCR (or TV/SAT as it is named in some places) to trigger the passthrough.

Regards

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So if you don't want the powering up of the SCART VCR to trigger the passthrough, I believe setting the SCART to external-AV will do the trick, and then you will need to manually hit the TV/VCR (or TV/SAT as it is named in some places) to trigger the passthrough.

Regards

Thanks Tony, your explanation was very clear and made me grasp a concept that was eluding me...

This last passage leaves me with a doubt, though.

I have set the Toppy VCR scart setting to External-AV for that very reason, but I am not sure what you mean when you tell me to hit the TV/VCR (or TV/SAT) button. Do you mean the one on the Toppy?

More importantly, will it work if my TV only takes YUV (not RGB)? Am I still required to connect the composite cable from the VCR directly to the TV?

Thanks!!!

MM

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I was saying that was a solution for your VCR to not put the Toppy automatically in passthrough mode, not that it was a solution to standards convert composite to YUV/component. You must also connect the composite to your TV if you want the VCR connected. The TV/VCR or TV/SAT is a button in the top middle of the standard Toppy remote (has a picture of a satellite on it). Of course, if you hookup with both YUV and composite, you will need to switch the TV to the composite input when you want to see the output of the VCR. (God I love SCART, I wish all manufacturers included it, then you would not be in this grief, I have both my DVD player and my Toppy going into a single RGB input to my Loewe TV, and can set the Toppy and DVD player to RGB or composite and the TV will cope fine).

You can hookup the Toppy composite output to a spare composite input on the TV, you don't really need to alter the VCR connection as SCART allows this passthrough (shame your TV with YUV ONLY connected does not... so you need 2 connections rather than 1 for a RGB-SCART hookup to achieve what you want).

Regards

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Just a quick note too say a big thankyou to all you regulars for your information on the Toppy units. Recently one of my SD STB's died so I figured this is my chance to convince the misses we (I) need a pvr. I pretty much started doing the research from sctratch a little while back and in that period I think I learnt more than any salesman (salesperson) I've spoken to on the subject. It really amazes me that retailers don't demand higher standards of prfessionalism from the sales staff. It's a sad indictment on sales staff when a plebb like me can pick up more knowledge in just a couple of days research on these forums than they have working in the field.

Sorry if I've generalised, I'm sure there are extremely knowledgeable sales staff out there somewhere. I just don't seem to meet them. I will conceed however, I always play the dumb customer role. That way you get a guage on the integrity of the sales person straight up.

Anyway, a huge thankyou to all you gurus for your helpfull advice. As a consequence I ended up purchasing a Toppy TF5000PVRt Black Panther Edition, loaded up the listed esential TAP's as adivsed here, subscribed to Icetv and after a few days use I'm extremely happy. I ended up using an old laptop I had sitting around for the IceTv updates. I've got the laptop hidden in the TV cabinet connected to the USB port and hooked up to my home wireless network. It's working a treat. I've got it fetching the EPG info at 0500hrs each morning. I wish there was a way to view the files on the toppy through the network (like a networked device). Then I would not even need to open the laptop at all.

Any further advice appreciated.

Regards Rhino...

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I wish there was a way to view the files on the toppy through the network (like a networked device). Then I would not even need to open the laptop at all.

Rhino

Have a look around for VNC (Virtual Network Computing) applications - where you can open up and use the desktop of a remote PC. There's a couple of freewares around which work pretty well. I think the one I used was TightVNC. You run the server app on your laptop and run the client app on your other PC. Then you can view the laptop "desktop" and start Altair and away you go!

Donno

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Rhino

Have a look around for VNC (Virtual Network Computing) applications - where you can open up and use the desktop of a remote PC. There's a couple of freewares around which work pretty well. I think the one I used was TightVNC. You run the server app on your laptop and run the client app on your other PC. Then you can view the laptop "desktop" and start Altair and away you go!

Donno

Cheers Donald, I'll check that out now. Thanks for the heads up.

Rhino...

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I did a quick bit of googling and ended up downloading logmein from logmein.com It's fantastic. I don't ever need to actually open up the laptop at all now. Brilliant. Thanks for the tip Donald.

Rhino...

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If the laptop is running, and has XP on it, you can run remote desktop sharing, I think it is better than VNC for windows to windows boxes. start, run mstsc.exe if you don't have a shortcut for it in the start menu, you also have to enable it on the machine you want to communicate with.

Of course, you can always use any FTP client and an NSLU2 with ftpd-topfield running on it, far better than leaving a power sucking noisy PC near the Toppy.

Regards

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Does the Toppy not meet some of the LCN guidelines?

I've noticed that:

Duplicate channels are on the same LCN (ie, ive got ABC from two sources and each channel has a duplicate, i've got 2 LCN2, LCN20, LCN21 etc)

SC Ten HD doesnt broadcast with an LCN, yet rather then being on Ch350, its on Ch 1000

Its no big issue - the duplicates is a pain though!

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You might want to call you local broadcaster and find out what they are sending. Have you done a factory reset and rescanned your channels to see if the duplicates disappear? You could also just delete the duplicate items. Its a menu option or possibly just hit OK and go from there.

Regards

Peter Gillespie

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I believe it is a bit fudged, older firmwares used to correctly allocate LCNs from 350 if the broadcaster isn't sending one, new firmwares allocate from 1000...

As for avoiding duplicates, this is something I don't think was ever thought about in the standards, at least they both appear in the channel list (and you can get to both by surfing, just not by pressing "2" to get to two "2's") and all you need to do is delete the weaker of the two by hitting the "OK" button and follow the prompts.

Regards

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Hi guys,

I've been reading this topic for a while and finally decided to byte the bullet and buy a TF5000PVDt from Dick Smith. I'm a newbie on this and would appreciate your advice. Before this purchase, I tried Omni, Yess (both for less than $ 350.00 each) and Teac (didn't like the Favorites setup although it has an excellent picture).

The info of my unit is:

ID=466

Loader=V L4.66

Device=5.2.78

Application=TF-NPTSA 5.12.12

Last update= Oct 05 2005

I visted the sites you guys pointed out and got pretty confused regarding all the latest firmwares versions around. Would someone tell me if "you have this data (above), you should update to version xxxxxx?

I thought interesting all those TAPs in the sites, etc. but basically the unit is working OK and I had no bugs so far (well, I didn't use it that much yet). Do you think I should update the firmware? If so, which version should I download? Is there something simpler than the Toppy Tools that I could use?

Also, I have a AWA LCD, 81cm that is excellent for the price, SD. A HD receiver would make much difference or none at all? I understand it picture would go down to SD on its way to the TV, right? Should I go for a HD box instead of a SD?

And finally, was it worht to pay $ 850.00 for the TF5000?

Thanks for your advices in advance.

Cheers!

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Hi apeferreira,

Well you post raises a number of queries:

1) In general its not good ettiquette to post queries on the end of a FAQ (although its often done). Better to start your own thread.

2) It looks like you have bought an Topfield MP not a 5000? Firmware issues are slightly different depending on the model you have. The "version" of firmware you have loaded is the last entry, the slightly misleading "Last Updated" date.

3) I would recommend you install just the PBK TAP at some point if you'd like better ad skipping functions and some handy functions for Toppy Housekeeping (like trimming a file, or resuming a program from where you left off)

4) I presume you've read through the other FAQ for the Toppy? Its updated more regularly these days and has a lot of information on general usage of the Toppy.

5) In there you'll find a link to the PBK site and the author also has pages dedicated to what firmware you should have as well as required links etc. To install FW the Topfield option is to use their tools which you can download from their website. Make sure when you install the drivers you plug the Toppy into the PC, the PC finds the new hardware and asks you to point to the TFBULK.SYS files (that you've already downloaded). You will need a SLAVE MASTER USB cable to connect a PC and the Toppy) ($10 at a Dick Smith)

6) You are confused about plugging a HD STB into the Toppy. You can't do this. The Toppy is effectively a STB itself with a hard drive attached. You can't plug a STB into a STB. You could plug another STB straight into the TV though as well as the Toppy. However as you've surmised, sending an HD picture to the (small) set you have would have very minimal increase in PQ. Stick with SD at the moment - cheaper and you don't need to buy a SD STB as you already have 2 inside the Toppy.

7) Not much point in asking if $x is a good price for anything after you've bought it? FWIW if its an MP then its a good price.

Regards

Peter Gillespie

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