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<  General Toppy discussions  ~  So whats the current PVR alternative?

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daglesj
Posted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 1:42 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 20 Sep 2007 Posts: 22
Looks like my second Topfield is on its way out after just over two years.

Just wondering what the best alternative is to get now? Looks like Topfield have all but gone from the UK so looking for something else.

What are folks migrating to? Would prefer something that doesn't have the electronics component quality of a 1970's Sinclair home build kit this time.

Ta.
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andyfras
Posted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 2:10 pm Reply with quote
Frequent contributor Joined: 25 Jul 2005 Posts: 3457
Unless HD is a must, getting your Toppy fixed is your best option.

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daglesj
Posted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 2:15 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 20 Sep 2007 Posts: 22
I'd rather make a clean break than keep patching these things up to be honest. We go HD in a few months so HD would be a nice to have.
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ryclark
Posted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 2:17 pm Reply with quote
Frequent contributor Joined: 10 Jul 2005 Posts: 1604 Location: Shropshire
Humax HDR T2 seem to be OK but quite expensive.

Don't throw your Toppy away though. Offer it on here. Someone will, no doubt, be pleased to take it off you.

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daglesj
Posted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 5:49 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 20 Sep 2007 Posts: 22
Looks a go'er! I'll check that out, thanks.
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Lawtie
Posted: Mon Feb 21, 2011 12:03 pm Reply with quote
Frequent contributor Joined: 09 Sep 2005 Posts: 457
daglesj wrote:
We go HD in a few months...

Who's this "we"? Your house?

I've got no intention of "going HD" until I'm forced to.

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juwlz
Posted: Mon Feb 21, 2011 1:05 pm Reply with quote
MyStuff Team Joined: 12 Aug 2005 Posts: 10802 Location: Wokingham, Berkshire (Hannington transmitter)
ryclark wrote:
Humax HDR T2 seem to be OK but quite expensive.

Don't throw your Toppy away though. Offer it on here. Someone will, no doubt, be pleased to take it off you.
We got a Humax Foxsat PVR (Freesat receiver/recorder using the signal from a Sky dish that a previous occupant of our house had had installed). Its UI (especially for recordings) drives us absolutely nuts! It's so slow and ponderous ... and you can't even select the delete option on a file until it's completed deleting the previous one ... an operation that for some unknown reason takes about 5-10 seconds - WTF?

Also, (maybe we're behind on firmware updates, but) as far as we can tell, when recording HD it can't cope with any other live channels, even though we have 2 tuners. i.e. if you're recording an HD programme, we can't select another channel to watch live (either SD or HD). And you can't get into the Menu to make sure that it still thinks it has access to both tuners while it's recording <sigh>.

Luckily
a) it was going cheap, and we bought it as an experiment, not as a replacement for our Toppies, and
b) since we do still have Toppies, we're not forced to use it exclusively, so can reserve it for (sports) programmes that we particularly want to watch in HD (with the Toppy+MyStuff+Extend as reliable backup for the bits that the Humax always seems to chop off the end of the programme - "accurate" recording or no accurate recording!)

If I were you, I'd get the Toppy repaired and put a green (cool running) large capacity disk drive in it Wink. Andyfras or MikeyP will do a good and very reasonably-priced job for you, with components that will last rather longer than the originals. They would probably even quote for installing the drive and SATA converter - no harm in asking.

By all means add an HD PVR to your stack, but there's not much out there worth having just yet IMHO. Give it a year or two for your options to improve as the rest of the UK gradually gets HD.

Julie

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MarkPax
Posted: Mon Feb 21, 2011 1:16 pm Reply with quote
Frequent contributor Joined: 07 Nov 2010 Posts: 520
juwlz wrote:
.....By all means add an HD PVR to your stack, but there's not much out there worth having just yet IMHO. Give it a year or two for your options to improve as the rest of the UK gradually gets HD.

Julie

+1 to all this, once you've had a Toppy you'll find it hard to go back. I expect you would have the same experience as Juwlz if you got an HD box:-
+ HD
- ease of use, reliability, sanity

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ryclark
Posted: Mon Feb 21, 2011 1:54 pm Reply with quote
Frequent contributor Joined: 10 Jul 2005 Posts: 1604 Location: Shropshire
I must say that the Freeview Humax HDR (with latest updated firmware)
gives a much better experience than that outlined by Julie with the Foxsat.

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Darucla
Posted: Mon Feb 21, 2011 2:44 pm Reply with quote
Frequent contributor Joined: 06 Jun 2007 Posts: 1544
@juwlz

SDo you have a dual feed to your Humax. Satellites arer different beasts to terrestrial transmitters, and need at least a dual LNB and two cable runs from the dish in order to use both tuners, although normally a quad is used as it costs very little extra. If you really want to know why, you can ask...

But I suspect you do know, and possibly have a problem with it not even showing a signal from channels which should be available. Which it should do.
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juwlz
Posted: Mon Feb 21, 2011 3:40 pm Reply with quote
MyStuff Team Joined: 12 Aug 2005 Posts: 10802 Location: Wokingham, Berkshire (Hannington transmitter)
Darucla wrote:
Do you have a dual feed to your Humax. Satellites are different beasts to terrestrial transmitters, and need at least a dual LNB and two cable runs from the dish in order to use both tuners, although normally a quad is used as it costs very little extra. If you really want to know why, you can ask...
Yes, we bought a Quad LNB for the dish (on the grounds that it cost very little extra Wink), and have run 2 cables from it to the Foxsat in the lounge.
Quote:
But I suspect you do know, and possibly have a problem with it not even showing a signal from channels which should be available. Which it should do.
You lost me there Wink. Of course, we've never really had to rely on it, so we haven't exactly been particularly methodical with our troubleshooting (in a household consisting of two techies who do/did software troubleshooting and support for a living)!

We only notice there's a problem when there's a problem. We can't then tell if the problem is because we have a dodgy input, because we can't see if it has a signal on both inputs when it is recording. We have seen, occasionally, that it thinks it only has a signal on one input when it's not recording (if we happen to check) ... but don't know under what circumstances that occurs. When it does, sometimes it seems to fix itself, and others we've powered off and on again ... but not in time to start a second recording if there's one already occurring, of course (or at least, not without interrupting the first one!)

More recently we've only been recording HD, and the problem seems solid: We may as well only have one tuner.

Any suggestions welcome.

Julie

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gomezz
Posted: Mon Feb 21, 2011 3:43 pm Reply with quote
Frequent contributor Joined: 18 Nov 2005 Posts: 3988 Location: Buckingham
Lawtie wrote:
I've got no intention of "going HD" until I'm forced to.

I went Freesat HD last year for the World Cup and had no real thought of bothering with Freeview HD when it becomes available in the autumn. But I am finding more and more clashes on HD programming that I want to watch. The problem is not so much more than two things on at the same time, it is another programme back to backing another recording but on a different channel which only has to overrun a tadge for the PVR to junk the upcoming recording. Even with my background in IT I find it an effort to spot these potential clashes so god knows how the man on the Clapham omnibus gets on. At the moment I give priority to live sport and nature programmes and leave the Toppies to sweep up the gritty dramas shot with a "filmic" effect which looks crap anyway even on HD.

I will wait and see what the Youview capable boxes are like before jumping in to Freeview HD though.

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alpine*
Posted: Mon Feb 21, 2011 4:02 pm Reply with quote
Regular contributor Joined: 24 Apr 2007 Posts: 84 Location: Rayleigh Crystal Palace Tx
juwlz wrote:

Any suggestions welcome.

Julie


If you initially installed the Foxsat with only one feed and later connected two feeds you must do a factory reset for the second feed to be recognised.

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Darucla
Posted: Mon Feb 21, 2011 4:32 pm Reply with quote
Frequent contributor Joined: 06 Jun 2007 Posts: 1544
@juwlz

Personally I use a PC to record HD satellite and sometimes watch via my Panasonic Freesat TV, but have found that connections on satellite systems are very touchy. Obviously your system should work on both tuners, so something is wrong. Also everything should be off before disconnecting and reconnecting or just fiddling about.

Check connectors, connections etc. What sort of signal does the box report?
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juwlz
Posted: Mon Feb 21, 2011 7:30 pm Reply with quote
MyStuff Team Joined: 12 Aug 2005 Posts: 10802 Location: Wokingham, Berkshire (Hannington transmitter)
alpine* wrote:
If you initially installed the Foxsat with only one feed and later connected two feeds you must do a factory reset for the second feed to be recognised.
We did (although the machine has reported two tuners since - assuming we're interpreting the info correctly, of course). I guess we'd better work out how to Factory Reset the beast then Wink.

Julie

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