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<  New users start here  ~  Comparative sound & video clip of the Toppy

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Darkmatter
Posted: Sun May 01, 2005 3:44 pm Reply with quote
Forum moderator Joined: 21 Mar 2005 Posts: 1237
To the potential Toppy buyer:

You may have seen some posts recently, commenting on just how noisy the Toppy is. This doesn?t reflect my experience.

It?s very quite ? not silent, but I?m only aware of it with the TV off ? and even then, it?s well below what I consider an intrusive level. Occasionally, I am aware of it reading, or writing more than one file at once, and turning timeshift on causes a little trickle of data on to the hard disk every second, or so, but that even that can be turned off.

Here?s a comparative recording. It?s taken on a rare occasion where there was no room noise, the TV?s off, and there?s only me around. You?ll hear some noise coming from outside (birds, dog, car) - it was the middle of a hot day, and I had the window open.




---------------------------------------------------------------
Some details on the setup:
Microphone distance: 2ft measured from the front of the Toppy, and at the same level.
Microphone and video: Logitech Quick Cam Sphere
Microphone record level: Maximum
DVD player: Sony Playstation 2 (includes a small fan to the rear)

Toppy setup:
Timeshift enabled
Lots of TAPs loading from the AutoStart folder

Sorry the video/audio clip is in a large zip file at the moment. If there are any video wizards out there, I could do with your help in compressing the clip down to a sensible size without loosing sound quality.
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Beancounter
Posted: Sun May 01, 2005 5:48 pm Reply with quote
Frequent contributor Joined: 02 Apr 2005 Posts: 163
Good idea although most of the noise I experience comes when the Toppy is recording.

At least my machine doesn't make seagull noises though Laughing
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Brava_210
Posted: Sun May 01, 2005 6:29 pm Reply with quote
Frequent contributor Joined: 06 Apr 2005 Posts: 328 Location: Bristol
listened in interested anticipation to the clip
(well thats 2 minutes of my life i will never get back)
Rolling Eyes
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waistcoat
Posted: Mon May 02, 2005 9:41 am Reply with quote
Frequent contributor Joined: 04 Apr 2005 Posts: 109 Location: Welwyn Garden City [CP Transmitter]
Do you have timeshifting turned off? I think most of the noise from my toppy comes from that.

-Waistcoat
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Darkmatter
Posted: Mon May 02, 2005 10:53 am Reply with quote
Forum moderator Joined: 21 Mar 2005 Posts: 1237
I made sure Timeshift was active during the test. Generally, it?s very quite when it?s sitting there doing nothing. Even with timeshift enabled the noise is only noticeable at night, in a quite room, and that?s a rare situation ? TV off, Toppy on. Most of the time, if I turn the TV off, then I also turn the Toppy off too. The only exception is when I want to record something; in those situations I had got used to the noise from the VCR, and because the Toppy makes much less noise than that, it?s not intrusive.

By all means post a recording of your Toppy, particularly if you have an issue with the noise. There are some ground rules I followed, in order to make the comparison fair:

* The microphone is set a 2ft from the front of the Toppy, and at the same level.
* The audio/video clip must include a comparison with some other piece of AV equipment (a VCR, DVD, or another PVR)
* The video/audio clip must be one recording, and not a compilation of clips
* The microphone record level must remain constant throughout the test
* You must post details of the setup used in the recording
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Seb
Posted: Mon May 02, 2005 1:26 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 02 May 2005 Posts: 2
As a potential Toppy buyer whose main concern is noise level, your recording is just what I wanted to hear! Many thanks for posting.

I'm still a bit confused about exactly what it is I'm supposed to be hearing though. Present throughout the clip is a background 'fan'-type drone which drowns out almost everything ( I can barely hear the Toppy HDD clicks). Is that your PC? I'm led to believe the Toppy has no fan...

Your comparison with the PS2 is good idea but unfortunetly there have been a couple of different models over its lifetime - a noisy one and a quiet one. Smile Can you tell me if yours has an i-Link port on the bottom-left blue section (it's hard to tell from the clip) or just the 2 USB ports? The old ones with i-Link are noisy as hell but if yours is a more recent model than I'm impressed with the level of the Toppy.

Thanks.
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sneeks
Posted: Mon May 02, 2005 1:30 pm Reply with quote
Regular contributor Joined: 20 Apr 2005 Posts: 62
I wish i'd done this with my Toppy so that I could have asked if the noise I experienced was worse than most other owners.

On listening to your clip Darkmatter I couldn't really hear any of the noises that my Toppy was making. I had a constant hard disk clicking noise while the unit was on and timeshifting. Even worse when recording but strangely far quieter while recording live tv and watching a previous recording.
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Darkmatter
Posted: Mon May 02, 2005 2:46 pm Reply with quote
Forum moderator Joined: 21 Mar 2005 Posts: 1237
I think the drone is coming from the outside world. Certainly as I sit here at my PC playing around with that clip, I hear a similar sort of drone. It?s comes across as a tad filtered ? listening to the window, I hear mainly white noise, layered on top of that are waves of muddled sounds, punctuated occasionally with the odd distinct noise ? you know, it?s the typical middle of the day in an urban environment.

I made a few attempts at recording the Toppy. Believe it, or not, that was the one with the least outside noise. Invariably I got a dog barking, or a child screaming, or the birds going just going nuts. Even so, the final version has the seagull flying over the house, a car driving up a neighbouring street, and that bird whittering away in the background. You have to remember the microphone is set to maximum record level. Sorry it?s all a bit Radio 4 (setting the recording in the context of it?s environment) ? I thought it gave many, and good references to common sounds.
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Seb
Posted: Mon May 02, 2005 4:27 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 02 May 2005 Posts: 2
I guess you're just trying to use a webcam for something it wasn't designed for - making accurate low-level sound recordings. Wink A lot of it may be self-noise from the camera/mic itself!

Background noise aside, I can hear enough to tell that the Toppy disc noise is insignificant compared to the PS2 disc noise - something which has never bothered me so it looks like I'll order one. I'll be putting it in a glass fronted cabinet anyway.

Thanks for your help.
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sneeks
Posted: Mon May 02, 2005 7:04 pm Reply with quote
Regular contributor Joined: 20 Apr 2005 Posts: 62
Seb, if it's a glass fronted cabinet then you'll have no noise problems at all.
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Refrenz
Posted: Fri May 06, 2005 11:33 pm Reply with quote
Regular contributor Joined: 06 May 2005 Posts: 45 Location: Wales, UK
Just got my toppy today, and its quieter than a church mouse. At the moment its recording one channel, and has timeslip on whilst watching another channel. I can hear a faint hard drive noise now and then if I am right next to it, but a metre away its really hard to hear anything. This is of course, with no other noises in the background.
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