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kaytie
Posted: Tue Apr 26, 2005 6:22 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 26 Apr 2005 Posts: 16
God, you shouldn't let Koreans write software. The user interface to this box breaks just about every guideline in the book. It's AWFUL.

How long should I persist before the box goes back? It's flaky, unreliable, inconsistent.

Example: I just set the Simpsons to record. I didn't bother to record it. Nothing. Nada. The Simpsons starts, nothing. Nada.

Example: I recorded something on UK History. It's half way through playing. I try to play it and it jumps to live TV. I try to bring up the stupid window for rewind (like, why should I have to do this?). Won't rewind. Won't jump.

Example: The manual refers to V- and V+. This does nothing other than change the volume level.

Example: The box is now saying "No Signal". Giving 9%. It's not true: I haven't touched the hardware. I was trying to play back my UK History test record and the box threw a tiz. It's done this before. The only way I can get the signals back is to do a restore to factory settings and re-search for all the channels.

Example: I was trying to get the UK History test program to play after it had finished. Only now it says that the file is zero bytes long and it somehow has mangled the info to refer to a CBBC programme.

This is CRAP! The only saving grace with these moronic developers that produced this is that they opened the API to allow competent users to re-do the system properly. I'd rather they published the complete hardware design and let us do it from scratch ourselves. At least we could build a clean box.

If this is the best Freeview PVR then Rupert's Sky+ has nothing to fear.

Tell me I'm wrong, please. I'd rather keep this box. Please tell me I'm wrong.

K.
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sneeks
Posted: Tue Apr 26, 2005 6:34 pm Reply with quote
Regular contributor Joined: 20 Apr 2005 Posts: 62
Your experiences certainly are the worst i've read yet and do not reflect most peoples general feelings for the Toppy.

What signal strength do you normally have displayed before it starts to misbehave?
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kaytie
Posted: Tue Apr 26, 2005 6:59 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 26 Apr 2005 Posts: 16
Yes, I know I'm seeming to have bad luck. I have made another recording which... [drum roll] worked! I think I may be unlucky with choosing UK History given the reports of some people having problems with UK History..

In terms of signal strength. 9% when it decides there's no signal (pull the antenna out and it stays at 9%). Plug the antenna into the other RF in socket and pow! Signal back. Right now it's hard to tell because the Installation menu is greyed out (why?). It looks like 50% signal strength and 100% signal quality.

K.


[Edit] Darkmatter: Removed duplicate post and removed full quote of preceding post
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IanP
Posted: Tue Apr 26, 2005 7:02 pm Reply with quote
Frequent contributor Joined: 05 Apr 2005 Posts: 330
I think the installation menu is greyed out whilst recording. I guess this is to stop people doing a channel search mid recording.
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kaytie
Posted: Tue Apr 26, 2005 7:11 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 26 Apr 2005 Posts: 16
I still can't get chase play to work. Play the programme, you get a red "playback" icon in the top right. Rew ("<<") doesn't do anything (neither immediately nor with the progress window).

Pressing pause doesn't help. Hit pause, and it freezes. Then hit rewind and ping.. straight back to live TV.

I've got to ask the question: what room-temperate-IQ Aspergers-suffering moron decided that this was the best way of doing chase play? Why on earth would I want to play a recorded programme from the END of the recording? If I wanted to do that I'd have switched to the TV station, wouldn't I?

How could these engineers make a deliberate design decision to make it like this? It's insane. And don't get me started on the quality of the user guide...

K.
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Darkmatter
Posted: Tue Apr 26, 2005 8:20 pm Reply with quote
Forum moderator Joined: 21 Mar 2005 Posts: 1237
Hello kaytie and welcome to the UK Toppy users forum. You seem to be a very angry person. The Toppy is a complicated piece of electronic equipment ? you need to set aside an evening to sit down and calmly work through your issues. Throwing insults at Topfield is not going to get you anywhere.

I?ll give you an example of things you need to understand: If the Toppy loses signal it will not record. That?s a feature inherent to the digital data stream. If it can?t decode a channel, there?s no information to write to disk.

If you want help working through your issues, by all means ask. However, this is not a place to take out your frustrations. Please take a deep breath, and re-phrase your questions in a calm and friendly manner.

Darkmatter
Moderator, UK Toppy forums
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glesgaguy
Posted: Tue Apr 26, 2005 8:40 pm Reply with quote
Frequent contributor Joined: 27 Mar 2005 Posts: 178
Kaytie, you seem to be having a few problems.

1.yes the manual is rubbish only use it as a guide not how to use the machine.

2. Your machine could be faulty in which case there's nothing you can do.

3. First things to try before sending it back
Check your aerial connections if you have a bad connection then the signal quality will degrade, If you can, try and use a splitter to supply 2 inputs to the aerial inputs, the loop through cable can cause problems.
If your happy with the connections tune in to each channel and note the signal strength/quality bars a the bottom of the screen, the signal strength is not too important but you need a fairly good quality signal. (the one at the bottom)
If you have a good signal then the EPG should poulate fairly quickly.
If the machine is OK then your other problems should be able to be ironed out, you'll have to learn how to use the machine and the manual won't help, but this forum should.
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glesgaguy
Posted: Tue Apr 26, 2005 9:05 pm Reply with quote
Frequent contributor Joined: 27 Mar 2005 Posts: 178
Just looking at your "chase and play" question.

When you hit pause it freezes.... that's what it's supposed to do when watching live TV, it should work like a VCR on pause, just press play and the program continues.

The rewind of the live TV is also quite simple, your watching something and missed the important part or want to hear something again...just press play.. the play bar shows at the top..t.use the rewind button to move the red bar to the required point.

Also the red icon in the top corner is not playback if it's red it's recording, if it's green it's playback.

As I said if your machine is faulty then there's not much you can do.
But the Toppy is a good machine and is fairly easy to use when you know how
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sneeks
Posted: Tue Apr 26, 2005 9:06 pm Reply with quote
Regular contributor Joined: 20 Apr 2005 Posts: 62
I'd also highly recommend that you do establish if your signal is sufficient or not as this could be causing major problems for you. If all is well with the signal then i'd have to think that there is a fault with your Toppy. Your experiences are definately far more unfortunate than most other members here and at other forums.
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kaytie
Posted: Tue Apr 26, 2005 9:37 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 26 Apr 2005 Posts: 16
glesgaguy wrote:
Just looking at your "chase and play" question.

When you hit pause it freezes.... that's what it's supposed to do when watching live TV, it should work like a VCR on pause, just press play and the program continues.

As I said if your machine is faulty then there's not much you can do.
But the Toppy is a good machine and is fairly easy to use when you know how


The live pause/rewind works OK (pity the skip 30 secs yellow button of the Oz version isn't here, but nevermind). I can't get it to play a programme that's still being recorded. It starts playing at the end of the programme (i.e. live). It won't rewind to the start of the recording.

I'm dubious that the machine is faulty (ie. hardware faulty). The problems have all the hallmarks of flaky software.

I'm going to see if the signal levels can be improved. The signal strength is 50% with about 90% signal quality. The decode appears to be much better than the old Goodmans Freeview box the Toppy has replaced: no blocking, no freezing. And the EPG populates quickly. It's worth a try to improve the signals. I've noticed that when the signal is lost, it can be recovered by pulling the antenna out of one of the antenna slots and into the other one.

Yes, I have been angry trying to fight with the box (I just measured my blood pressure and it's gone up to 140 over 85: 20 points higher than this morning!). I get angry when companies and developers don't do their jobs properly and write software that's correct. I just spent ten years running an embedded software company in the car industry and I can tell you we shipped software that had zero bugs after we spent weeks testing it. People will quite rightly complain about their cars stalling for unknown reasons, or the doorlocks popping open while out shopping, and I don't see why the consumer electronics industry shouldn't be held to the same standards.

K.
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sneeks
Posted: Tue Apr 26, 2005 9:42 pm Reply with quote
Regular contributor Joined: 20 Apr 2005 Posts: 62
Kaytie when you are rewinding a live recording if you press and hold the rewind button do you not get any form of rewind bar appear on the screen? Also have you double checked that the chase play feature is enabled in the setup menu?
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Darkmatter
Posted: Tue Apr 26, 2005 9:47 pm Reply with quote
Forum moderator Joined: 21 Mar 2005 Posts: 1237
Yes, that will happen if you only connect one aerial input. The Toppy requires a signal in both inputs. The easiest way to achieve this is using the supplied loopthrough cable. Connect your aerial to tuner1, connect the output of tuner 1 to the input of tuner 2. If that doesn?t work try replacing the loopthrough cable, as that known to be faulty.

With regard to the signal level ? yes 50% is too low, and may well be the source of many of your problems. You need to be above the 70% mark, particularly as the second tuner receives a reduced signal level due to the signal splitting.
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nwhitfield
Posted: Tue Apr 26, 2005 11:50 pm Reply with quote
Site Admin Joined: 20 Mar 2005 Posts: 9579
kaytie wrote:
In terms of signal strength. 9% when it decides there's no signal (pull the antenna out and it stays at 9%). Plug the antenna into the other RF in socket and pow! Signal back.


I really do have to ask, since you've referred to doing this in a couple of posts - have you got both antenna inputs connected to your aerial?

I was speaking with Turbosat today and it appears that a few people have overlooked that, and then wondered why things went wrong when they did something that required the second tuner to kick in.

Also, while we welcome all contributions, I do think you could perhaps lay off a little on the intemperate language. Save it up for the next time you receive a phone call from an american company that's not heard of TPS; that's what I do.

Nigel.
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Normsthename
Posted: Wed Apr 27, 2005 9:56 am Reply with quote
Frequent contributor Joined: 12 Apr 2005 Posts: 118
I am with you on this, kaytie Very Happy
A box should be functional and usuable straight out of the packaging.
Shipping it with some of the more serious 'Bugs' it has got is unforgivable.
I can put up with slight niggles, and features not present, but a Video recorder should record video 100 times out of 100

After shellling out over 300, I do object having to be a Beta tester for Topfield.

So keep ranting! Laughing
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rodneyfoy
Posted: Wed Apr 27, 2005 10:23 am Reply with quote
Regular contributor Joined: 02 Apr 2005 Posts: 66
Although I agree with what you're saying, Normsthename, I think it's the reality of the competitive world we live in. Companies want to get their products quickly to market.

I sort of knew I'd be a bit of a beta tester, but I figured the bugs weren't too bad. Hopefully they'll be fixed within 2 weeks. In the last few weeks I've only missed 2 recordings. With a VCR I missed a large number due to insufficient tape space, or couldn't be bothered setting the timer.

I find the machine easy to use, and can't understand kaytie's critisisms. I haven't even read the manual, but hear that it's aweful. Hopefully, Kaytie will do something to get a better signal in both tuners, and maybe this will sort out his problems.
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