John's Toppy FAQ - This FAQ contains a larger list of answers than this particular page.
John's Toppy TAP list - A long list of TAP's and their abilities
The purpose of this is thread to organise links to discussions and answers to the more commonly asked questions about the topfield 5000 pvrt.
I will try and keep this as clean as possible.
NOTE: I am not an employee of the Topfield company as such all of the below is just for your information. If you have any doubts about any of the unofficial software linked below either don't use it or read the included documentation and contact its author first!
Topfield community forums
Official Australian Topfield Forums
German Topfield forums Try using Google or Babelfish to translate if you don't speak german.
Screenshots of the Topfield menus
Latest Official site Firmware for download (Latest update is "30th March 2004" as of 1/4/2004)
IceTV Firmware - aka "10 May 2005" Firmware
Firmware installation help
Topfield Australia Apps (firmware, usb drivers, TAP's)
5000PVRt User manual - pdf format
Unofficial Software, Toppy information and "TAP's sites"
You first stop should be Strizzi's TF5000PVR TAP and Software Directory. It contains downloads and screen captures of almost all current TAP's.
Tony's Topfield Page Contains "howto's" for converting SD recordings to DVD, and much, much more Topfield information. A must visit site!
Andy Cullen's TAPS - Author of the brilliant Progresskeys TAP
EPG TAP for the Topfield 5kpvrt !(inprogress) - A EPG tap that uses the built into EPG functions of the new API. This tap is still in development BUT early versions are sucessfully being used. Several different Authors are contributing to this project.
John's main topfield page - TAP's and other software.
Ethernet for Topfield 5000pvrt - A Peteru open source project
MAC OS "Altair" transfer util by Cazlar
Portable "Non-Windows" TAP development Environment - Created by Peteru
Gcc for TAP Required to build custom TAP applications.
German TP5000 TAP's site Freespacebar & HD don't spin down apps.
Pen's TAP site New TAP Headers, black bar, Hide OSD and signal level apps.
Chris Ghisler's Page
German user Lucky B's Tap page use babelfish to translate
odvdveer's TAP page
Silencing a new drive with drive Accoustics tools
Simple viewing of .REC files on a PC, For "watch once then delete" people by THarper
Firmware installation help
Topfield Tricks and Tips (repositioned thread)
Topfield Tricks and Tips (original thread).
Other good Topfield Links
What the toppy STB looks like on the inside Wolfs installation of an internal fan with pics.
What the toppy remote control looks like on the inside Peformed by me when my remote was playing up.
Topfield recording bitrates Various locations around the country
Topfield TF5000PVRt Reviews Huge thread with many users initial thoughts about this machine.
Topfield PVR, USB2.0 questions Common questions about this feature answered.
Should he get a Topfield? Pro's and Con's about this PVR.
Converting .rec files to DVD
Removing broadcaster watermarks
Topfield Apps discussion(TAP's)
Scart connections on the TP5000
Quick Q & A
What is this machine?
It is a Standard Definition Digital Terrestrial Receiver with Personal Video Recorder that records on to an 80gig HDD, it has twin tuners that allow you to record one program while you watch another or record two programs simultaneously, video picture in picture, MP3 Jukebox player, Slide show viewer, it can also connect to your PC via USB 2.0 Port allowing file transfers (mp3, Topfield Applications, firmware & copying recorded tv datastreams to your pc for processing and archiving).
How much is it?
Recomended retail price is : $1099. Prices vary between retailers. Check here for a list of retailers in your state or check this thread for some discounted prices. More recently people have reportedly been able to get them for about $790!. Try going to somewhere that price matches and quoting these prices (harvey norman/dick smiths powerhouse). Not everyone will price match so don't be put off by one retailer not coming down in price.
How many hours of tv can I record on this hard drive?
This all depends on the rate at which the broadcasters transmit. In general australian rates vary from state to state. Users have reported recording times between 22 to 27 hours on the current 80GB disk.
Is this hard drive upgradable?
Yes. However this service isn't being performed or offered quite yet. But it is expected that drives in the region of 120, 160 and maybe 200GB will be available. Contact Topfield or your retailer for more information.
Couldn't I just put in a larger normal pc hard drive??
You could, but firstly you'll be voiding your warranty and it may or may not work anyway so its not advisable to try it unless you know what your doing. The current disk is a specific hard drive made by seagate suitable for pvr type applications. You can read about the spec's of these disks here.
Is there a "Hi-Def" version available?
Not at the moment. The official site had news last year about a Hi-Def version being available by christmas 2003(!) but obviously this isn't the case.
What are these "TAP's" I keep seeing mentioned?
"TAP" is short for "Topfield Application". In general they are small applications that enhance the STB in some way. Good examples of this are things like Signal meters, Image viewers and gui enhancements like Freespace bar. They are normally created by users using the Topfield supplied TAP tools.
Regarding the Topfield apps (TAP's), can someone make one to modify/change/convert files/make divx's/massage my neck after a hard days work?
We are all limited to the functions provided in the Topfield 5000pvr(t) API.
Exactly how fast/slow is the usb-2 transfer?
People are reporting speeds in the range of ~ 9-10GB per hour. This would be when using the turbo mode in the the altair transfer application. This however disables the use of remote control while the transfer happens.
So the 5000pvrt has usb-2 right? Can't I just hook up another external HD for extra space?
No, you can't do this as the STB is an end usb device and not a host device (like a pc). More information in this thread.
How hard is it to convert the transfered .rec files into something I can burn onto a dvd?
Its very easy. After transfering the files I normally demux (seperate the file into audio and video parts) using projectx. I then use mpegschnitt to edit out the ad's. You'll then have your two mpeg files ready to be authored in your favorite dvd author program (ie. tmpgenc DVD author). Then burn the create video_ts file to a dvd. For more information check out this thread.
Can I record from analog sources? ie. my vcr, analog tv, PS2, xbox, laptop rca connection etc?
The Topfield unit is a DIGITAL DVB-T transport stream recorder. So no, you can't record anything via any other cable apart from the DVB-T tuners. - Tonymy01
How big is the timeshift buffer - can you change it?
60 minutes, you can't change it but you can always press record. this saves you a lot of grief as well when you switch channels (as the timeshift buffer is reset). - Olga
Whats with the little white marks on some widescreen tv shows? This seems to especially happen on channel 10.
These marks are just VBI signalling information (more info). Most decent broadcasters cut these out before the signal is sent out to viewers. Some channels like Ten just leave them in. As such viewers that use a method by which they have very little overscan (widescreen on 4:3 tv's or viewers using a pc) can see this information.
Tony has created a Tap called "Autoletter box" that hides this information. You can visit his site here.
Can I play divx,qt,mpeg2 files from my pc on the topfield?
Not quite yet. Peteru, is working on a file converter which should allow us to upload files to the STB and watch them on the TV. It won't strictly allow you to play divx etc directly on the stb as it will require you to convert the file to MPEG2-TS format first.
Edited by Coral, 08 August 2005 - 10:01 AM.