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<  General Toppy discussions  ~  Toppy replacement - Manhattan T3-R

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Chris R
Posted: Wed Apr 22, 2020 3:20 pm Reply with quote
Frequent contributor Joined: 17 Mar 2006 Posts: 180
A few months ago I bought a Manhattan T3-R to replace my now defunct Toppy. I thought of buying a Humax but read that the latest version was no more responsive than my rather elderly one, so took the plunge and bought the Manhattan. Six months on I am reasonably happy with my purchase - it is by no means perfect but there is quite a lot to like about it.

PROS:
(1) The box has a fast processor and is very responsive (...much less swearing being induced than with the Humax!). Comes up from standby very fast and responds well to the remote control.
(2) The box has very good support. The company is in the UK and if you email a problem you get a quick response - and not usually just a brush-off.
(3) It is a Freeview Play box - which all seems to work well. Move back through the epg and pick a programme - iPlayer or ITV hub etc starts up quickly with the selected programme. All the catch-up apps are available and there is a search facility. There is also a watchlist where you can park episodes to view later - but of course they still expire.
(4) It records in SD and HD. It also supports 4K but since I don't have a source or a TV to support this I can't comment on it.
(5) Recordings are automatically put into folders when they are recorded as a series.
(6) There are a few nice touches -for example, from the Info screen you can press down-arrow to see alternate showings of the same episode, or up-arrow to show when other episodes will be on.
(7) There is a choice of WiFi or hard-wired Ethernet - which both seem to work.
(Cool They update the software at intervals - there has been at least one update already.

CONS:
(1) It has two tuners but if you are recording two programmes it won't let you watch a third one. The company seem reluctant to address this because they think it will confuse people that not all channels are available!!
(2) You have to set up recordings from the epg and it uses the broadcast signals to determine the start and stop points. Mostly this works fine because the box responds so quickly but it does feel a bit limiting. They tell me they are working on the facility to add padding to each end, but I don't think there is a plan for manual timers.
(3) There are a few glitches with the box - the subtitles don't always work for example - but they do respond well to complaints. They are supposed to be rewriting the code for the subtitles.
(4) It doesn't have apps for Netflix or Amazon. They say Netflix consider them too small, but they are in talks with Amazon.

Overall it is a basic box but performs well, partly due to having Freeview Play. The remote is reasonably good - there are dedicated buttons for recordings, epg etc. but you can also access pretty much everything via the main Freeview button. It doesn't have the functionality of a Toppy+MyStuff, nor even a Humax (no PiP for example) but it does the job.

If you want a basic box that is easy to operate and is responsive you'll like it. If you want all the bells and whistles then you might not.

Chris.
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Chris R
Posted: Wed Apr 22, 2020 3:24 pm Reply with quote
Frequent contributor Joined: 17 Mar 2006 Posts: 180
Whoops! My figure 8 turned into a smiley face - not sure how that happened!!
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slimgym
Posted: Thu Apr 23, 2020 1:12 am Reply with quote
Frequent contributor Joined: 19 Aug 2009 Posts: 122 Location: Essendon, Herts.
Thanks for posting this, always interesting to see what is new out there. I bought an FVP-4000T but it's very sluggish indeed and currently a bug in the five app is affecting some boxes (I have two, one works, one doesn't).

I then bought a Zgemmah H7S which is a great box but is frustrating to not have native support for EPG, accurate record and series link.

It will collect Sky, Freesat or Freeview EPGs but the first two are on a schedule basis so do not update dynamically; you have to tune to a special channel and there does not seem to be a way to make one tuner sit on that channel if idle. The timers don't seem to update if the EPG changes nor use now/next to modify behaviour. Only padding and the series link is a text search system that detects duplicates by looking for changes in the description for the episode. So if the broadcaster uses the same description on all episodes it will assume a duplicate and not record or you tell it to ignore that and get tons of duplicates. The box has satellite and terrestrial tuners and of course the description is different so both may be recorded!

On the plus side you can pull even HD content off the hard drive, it will record at least nine maybe ten things at once so long as they are across the same muxes as tuners it has. This is great on Freeview where they are sensibly grouped but less so on satellite where you are unlikely to want to multiple record other things from one mux as they are more likely to be duplicate BBC or ITV services.

Still only one perfect combination there - Topfield and MyStuff. Never equalled IMHO Wink

_________________
TF5810, TS On, F/W: MS6 Recommended F/W 12/9/2009 -Fm+Sc
TAPs: EIT Sub (Game) v0.6; EPG2MEI v0.96; Extend v1.7; MHEG On/Off A3; MPDisplayLITE V1.2; MyInfo B5.6; MyStuff 6.4; SecCache (UK) v0.4; (FastScanGUI v0.6b)
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ccs
Posted: Thu Apr 23, 2020 7:39 am Reply with quote
Frequent contributor Joined: 30 Oct 2007 Posts: 2626
... sounds like you're not setting up your autotimers correctly.

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TF5810, F/W: MS6 Recommended F/W 12/9/2009 -FmXl+CtEzIScVdZ
TAPs: EIT Sub v0.6; EPG2MEI v0.96; MPDisplayLITE V1.2; MyInfo B5.6; SecCache (UK) v0.4; Extend v1.7; MyStuff 6.6;
Sig generated by MyInfo on 20/10/14
ccsx
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juwlz
Posted: Thu Apr 23, 2020 10:23 am Reply with quote
MyStuff Team Joined: 12 Aug 2005 Posts: 10804 Location: Wokingham, Berkshire (Hannington transmitter)
Chris R wrote:
A few months ago I bought a Manhattan T3-R to replace my now defunct Toppy.

Thanks for the review. That looks quite promising (and it's currently £198 from Amazon).

We already have a unix-based box (with all the tinkering that typically entails) for our main TV, and we can distribute anything from our HDMI amp to various other places in the house, but sometimes it's helpful to have an independent solution that doesn't necessarily rely on streaming services, so I'm interested in this for that use.

I have some questions for you:

a) can you record the currently showing programme either from the current point or from the beginning?
(e.g. if you turn on the TV and find it halfway through something interesting)

b) can you record (aka download) previously broadcast programmes from the various on-demand players? You mentioned the Watchlist, but I assume that's still streaming?

c) does it have a web browser? If so, I could use it to access my main PVR to play things I've recorded on that.

None of this would be a deal breaker if it's not possible, but it's nice to know.

Thanks
Julie

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5800, TS On, F/W: MS6 Recommended F/W 12/9/2009 -Sy+BmC0CfCtFsIMPePsR3UUuUxZ
5810, TS On, F/W: F/W: MS6 Recommended F/W 12/9/2009 +BmCfCtFsR3Z
MyStuff info; Help!; Reference
Harmony 885 remote. Sig date 8 April 2012
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Chris R
Posted: Thu Apr 23, 2020 11:37 am Reply with quote
Frequent contributor Joined: 17 Mar 2006 Posts: 180
Hi Julie,

1) Yes. The box has a two hour buffer so if you press record part-way through a programme it will record from the start of the programme if it is in the buffer, or from whatever point is available. You don't get any options - it just does it automatically. There are currently no bookmarks, but I have requested them and they are coming round to the idea of adding them!

2) No. There is no way to download from the catch-up services. I will ask them about this since you can do it on a PC so it ought to be possible. If you put things in the Watchlist they still stream - it is like the Add function on iPlayer, I think, but for all the channels together. I asked whether I could add a whole series to the Watchlist but that isn't possible at present. They are quite keen on the idea but the function isn't currently offered by iplayer etc.

3) There is no browser and I can't see any way of accessing other items on the network. There is a USB port though - you can use it to update software - not sure whether you can run videos from it.

Hope this helps.

Chris.
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Chris R
Posted: Thu Apr 23, 2020 4:17 pm Reply with quote
Frequent contributor Joined: 17 Mar 2006 Posts: 180
I sent the following questions to Manhattan this morning....

============

1. Is there any way of downloading from the catch-up apps? iPlayer allows downloads on PCs and on the mobile app so it ought to be possible.

2. I was asked about the ability to start recording a programme part-way through. It occurs to me that if you do decide to implement bookmarks, being able to bookmark a live recording would be useful since the box automatically records from the start of the programme, so a bookmark would allow you to mark how far through you had got.

3. Is there any way of accessing files on the local network? Alternatively could you copy a programme from a USB stick on to the drive so it could be played back through your box?

=============

This is their reply received this afternoon:

================
Thanks for posting a review and your questions. Your review was very fair and I'm pleased that we're in the process of addressing most of your cons – you will soon be able to watch a 3rd channel and we are adding padding Smile

With regards to your questions:

1. It's absolutely possible technically but the BBC do not allow this. They allow it on PCs and mobile devices because they may be used offline.

2. Good idea. With our upcoming padding feature, if you add padding to the start of recordings, we're considering adding a marker for when the programme was signalled to start, so playback can start from there and you can rewind only if you need to. Broadcaster signalling of the start of programmes is normally very good so it feels like less work for you to have to rewind very occasionally than fast forward through padding every time!

We could have an option in the Recording & Playback settings menu where if you'd added padding to the start you could choose for playback of recordings to start from the beginning (at the start of the padding) or the signalled time. Essentially this would be a bookmark, so perhaps we could combine this idea with bookmarks and then make greater use of them as you suggest. I've noted it down to discuss. We don't want to delay the padding feature though so this would probably all come after we release the initial update with padding.

3. Media playback was on our roadmap but postponed for launch and since then we've seen little interest in it, so it's been shelved. By comparison, things like Padding, Remote Recording, etc, we're actively working on, and get asked about all the time.

==================

As you can see they do respond to questions quickly (!) and listen to what is being said.

Hope this is useful Julie.

Chris.
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juwlz
Posted: Thu Apr 23, 2020 10:17 pm Reply with quote
MyStuff Team Joined: 12 Aug 2005 Posts: 10804 Location: Wokingham, Berkshire (Hannington transmitter)
Thanks very much, Chris.

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5800, TS On, F/W: MS6 Recommended F/W 12/9/2009 -Sy+BmC0CfCtFsIMPePsR3UUuUxZ
5810, TS On, F/W: F/W: MS6 Recommended F/W 12/9/2009 +BmCfCtFsR3Z
MyStuff info; Help!; Reference
Harmony 885 remote. Sig date 8 April 2012
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