HD STB Recommendation

Do you have a question? Post it now! No Registration Necessary

Translate This Thread From English to

Threaded View

I'm after a new HD Set Top Box, and would like some recommendations.
My main criteria are that it switches on fast, changes channels fast,
and has a HDMI output. Low operating and standby power is nice too.

I have another HD STB (DigiCrystal) that takes forever to switch on,
and changing channels is frustrating. I don't want to get stuck with
that same problem again.


Re: HD STB Recommendation

On Mon, 12 Nov 2007 03:55:43 -0800, "David L. Jones"

Quoted text here. Click to load it

 I have been discussing the Topfield TF7000HDPVRt in aus.tv.digital


 which I purchased last week and had have - and still have to struggle
with - especially the firmware updates as Topfield appear to have
released this to the market with beta firmware (March 2007).

 I have now upgraded the firmware to the October 15th. 2007 firmware.

 It is a box that has had mixed reviews but I believe this is because
it was released hastily with buggy firmware but this can be updated.

 Switch on fast ?  -  not particularly fast but acceptable.

 Changes channels fast ? - almost immediately - try entering 20 for
channel 20 (ABC HD) and you won't have time to type the zero as the
unit will have switched to Channel 2 the moment you type 2.

 HDMI output ?  Yes  RGB output YES component output YES composite
output YES plus all the other bells and whistles.

 The attraction to me is that it will record to an external hard drive
attached to the USB port - although as the unit runs Linux it formats
drives in the EXT2 file system.

 I have now made my first recording from TV using an external drive
attached to the unit with the October 15th firmware.  Yes it will
record to the external hard drive BUT the files it records won't with
THIS version of the firmware be displayed on the unit for playback via
the TV (only the internal hard drive files show up).

 Unplug the external hard drive from the unit however and plug it into
a Linux box USB port (I'm using Ubuntu 7.10) and the recordings will
be visible, and if you have Windows Operating Systems attached to the
network you can copy the recorded files to the Windows OS (I've just
done so with using Windows XP)... or install free software on Windows
that recognises the EXT2/EXT3 file system.

 What you end up with is a full High Definiton file on the PC - if you
recorded it on a High Definition Channel.

 In Ubuntu Linux it will play back via the VLC media player nad no
doubt other media players (in full high definition).

 In Windows it will play back in the Windows version of VLC, "Media
Player Classic" (an open source alternative to the Windows media
Player available from a number of sources (type "Media Player Classic"
into google and it will almost certainly direct to you to where this
program can be downloaded from.

 It will also play back in Windows using the GOM Player


 .. which has internal codecs that seemingly play almost anything
including .flv files.

 I note that I can edit the MPEG (Transport Stream) files in an MPEG
editor (Womble MPEG2VCR) which is a fairly old program but still kept
up to date with upgrades.


 I like the unit as it does what I wanted from it - but there's
obviously still some way to go with the firmware.  If it records to an
external hard drive attached to the USB port then it should (I would
hope) display the files it has recorded but at this moment in time it
(seemingly) doesn't.  As I state this isn't a problem if you wish to
transfer the files to a PC and store, edit and play them there - or
via multimedia devices that recognise the codecs the unit records in.

Re: HD STB Recommendation

Quoted text here. Click to load it
Why did you choose this PVR over an Intel box running MythTV
<http://www.mythtv.org/docs/mythtv-HOWTO-1.html#ss1.1 ?  It seems more
expensive and less expandable. It does not do the sensible things that
you are entitled to expect from a PVR such as removing commercials,
keeping only the most recent broadcast of your favourite news program,
or recording anything with your favourite actors in the cast. I would
not advocate MythTV for the OP because he is looking for an
"appliance" but you seem to understand Linux and happy to spend time
getting your PVR working.

Re: HD STB Recommendation

Can you tell me if when you stop playing a file it bookmarks where you are
up to so it will play back from that spot next time you play it, and you
don't have to manualy bookmark you just press the stop button and then play
& you are right back to where you where.

Quoted text here. Click to load it

Re: HD STB Recommendation

Quoted text here. Click to load it

 You can hit a button to bookmark a position within a file and indeed
bookmark a number of positions.  Having done this you can start
playing the file and then hit a key to jump to the first bookmark and
then to the next etc..

 You can of course also delete the bookmarks.

Re: HD STB Recommendation

Quoted text here. Click to load it

They don't seem to quote price on the website. What did you pay?

Clifford Heath.

Re: HD STB Recommendation

On Tue, 13 Nov 2007 09:48:06 +1100, Clifford Heath

Quoted text here. Click to load it

 $1075 at JB Hi Fi (returned as faulty)

 $1099 at Bing Lee in the city.

 There are places on-line that sell them at cheaper prices but this
incurs freight costs.

 Yes it's possible to purchase cheaper units but the unit has various
features (still somewhat buggy) I find useful.

 Generally speaking it's recognised as an "over the thou' mark" unit
.. but as you know prices fall and I'm sure someone will say "you paid
too much as I paid..."

 ....and then I'll feel silly.

Re: HD STB Recommendation

Quoted text here. Click to load it

Thanks, but I'm not after a PVR, just a basic HD STB.


Re: HD STB Recommendation

Quoted text here. Click to load it

 It isn't a problem at all.  It seems they haven't updated the .pdf
manual for this version of the firmware (15/10/2007). Topfield mention
that the manuals have to be revised for the firmware on their
international site http://www.i-topfield.com which is where I got the
latest version of the firmware from.

 In selecting the "view files" button it will default to the last
accessed drive (for viewing) - which yesterday was the internal drive.

 However move to to the remote and hit either the << or >> buttons and
it will swtich between whatever drive it finds - including the
external drive attached to the USB port.  There's also a menu item to
copy from the internal drive to the external drive..  It's working
faultlessly !  I'm assuming now it's possible to move files in the
opposite directions as well.

 The recordings are large as they are recorded in true high definition
format and the resolution on a computer screen is magnificent (...even
on Ubuntu Linux - especially on Ubuntu Linux).

 I've upgraded my appraisal from 80% satisfaction to 97% satisfaction.

 No make that 98.9% :-)

 ... and there's a little glitch in the ICE TV subscription which may
have provided me with 15 months access to the text only ICE-TV guide
(rather than the 3 months specified on the introductory card inside
the box.)

 hint: get twelve months free access via the Yahoo widget thingy and
then enter the numbers inside the introductory offer inside the
Topfield box.  The free account was 12 months.  The free trial
subscription then adds 12 + 3 = 15.

 satisfied customer !


Site Timeline