General chat about the TF5800 and TF5810 PVRs, along with other European Topfield models, customer service, plus other Toppy issues not covered elsewhere

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jimi
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Post by jimi »

cuthbert wrote:Testing update. I managed to find a quick way to download and use all channel logos.

Also, regarding power consumption, the whole setup runs at on 6 W now, even when doing multiple recordings. That's if your storage takes the form of a memory stick. With an external spinning disk it is more like 12W.
Excellent, 12w is nothing, less than the Toppy and I'm happy with it's power consumption
cuthbert wrote: I've written this procedure explaining how to build a similar setup:
http://unixetc.co.uk/2019/11/22/how-to- ... pberry-pi/
Jim.
I've just a quick scan of your article, looks super, very comprehensive. I'll definitely be having a play with this setup on my Pi although I possibly won't have time until after Christmas/New Year.

Jimi
TF5800, TS On, F/W: MS6 Recommended F/W 12/9/2009 -Sy+Pe
TAPs: PcControl B1.4; Extend v1.7; EPG2MEI v0.96; SecCache (UK) v0.4; EIT Sub (Game) v0.6; Font Manager 1.0d; MHEG On/Off A3; (MyInfo B5.6); PruneEPG 1.0; MyStuff 6.6;
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shenson
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Post by shenson »

cuthbert wrote: I've written this procedure explaining how to build a similar setup:
http://unixetc.co.uk/2019/11/22/how-to- ... pberry-pi/
That's very interesting. I wondered if a Pi was up to the job of being a Toppy replacement. I may well look into that when mine is finally retired.

Regarding a remote control. In the past I've managed to get HDMI-CEC to work as a remote control for Kodi it has the advantage of not needing any new hadrware at all. YMMV on that though.
TF5800, F/W: MS6 Recommended F/W 12/9/2009 -Fm+EvEzMPeUUuZ
TAPs: PcControl B1.4; EIT Sub (Game) v0.6; EPG2MEI v0.96; Extend v1.7; MyInfo B5.6; MyStuff 6.6; PruneEPG 1.0; SecCache (UK) v0.4; TAP Commander 1.34; UK Subtitle 1.9;
munk
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Post by munk »

shenson wrote:
cuthbert wrote: I've written this procedure explaining how to build a similar setup:
http://unixetc.co.uk/2019/11/22/how-to- ... pberry-pi/
That's very interesting. I wondered if a Pi was up to the job of being a Toppy replacement. I may well look into that when mine is finally retired.

Regarding a remote control. In the past I've managed to get HDMI-CEC to work as a remote control for Kodi it has the advantage of not needing any new hadrware at all. YMMV on that though.
Yes I'm also spurred on by cuthbert's post / article / site to look into the Raspberry Pi for DVR duties, or if not for DVR duty then as a conduit for file transfers to / from the MyStuff. Despite being into Unix OS stuff for a long time I never got around to trying out the Pi, it always seemed like a solution for a niche problem that I'd never had (or at least 'never knew I had', I'm sure if I thought about it there would have been something or other I could have used the Pi for in the past!).

I don't know if it's been mentioned on this forum before (edit: google says 'no'!) but I've been testing out a SiliconDust HDHomeRun network dual tuner with Plex as an 'alternative' DVR solution. The HDHomeRun is a dedicated / standalone network tv tuner - it's a tiny 15x100x100mm box with 3 inputs: one for power, one for a TV aerial and one for a network cable. Once hooked up, you connect to the unit via the local network using either their own client or a suitable 3rd party client (I used Plex which is hosted on a FreeBSD box, although I believe you can use TV HeadEnd which cuthbert mentioned or something like VLC on a windows host). It's a very basic system, the hardware itself does nothing really other than decode a TV signal and transmit it out onto the network. It's down to other software hosted on host machines to perform EPG / recording / playback duties.

I found several issues with this HDHomeRun setup though. Using it on the same network as as a Powerline network link introduced network interference which was a real headache to diagnose / work around. Basically I had to run a very long CAT5 cable directly to/from the homerun/router, rather than use the powerline network which would have been a lot easier.

Also at the time I was testing it out, Plex was not working so well with the homerun... I had thought it would be ideal to be able to fire up Plex on my phone, browse through an EPG on Plex and schedule recordings that I could then watch later over the network on one of the connected smart TVs or HTPCs / PCs in Plex. However unfortunately at that time the Plex smartphone app had no EPG functionality, and even the Plex web /desktop app EPGs weren't always as reliable as they could have been in various respects.

Since then I believe the phone app now has an EPG, so it might be worth a look again, although for me the bigger issue is getting a dedicated TV feed in to the homerun - that was the biggest stumbling block for me, the homerun seemed to need a really solid TV signal to work at even the most basic level, so a new aerial would be required to make it work for me at least.

In the end I ditched the HDHomeRun and haven't used it for the last few months. MyStuff is still my primary DVR solution and gets used for about 4-6hrs of recording per day. Short of the SD signal being cancelled I don't envisage moving from Toppy / MyStuff soon, although that said I do keep thinking about investing in an OpenVix box but there never seems to be a really compelling offering to dive in to. Maybe I should just go for a cheap and cheerful vix option just to test the waters.


As an aside, just out of curiosity can you watch live TV via a network connection on an OpenVix DVR? ie in an upstairs bedroom, fire up the PC and be able to watch live TV on the zgemma (or whatever) box downstairs in the living room?
TF5800, TS On, F/W: MS6 Recommended F/W 12/9/2009 -Sy
TAPs:PcControl B1.4; EPG2MEI v0.96; MyStuff 6.6; PruneEPG 1.0; MyInfo B5.6; SecCache (UK) v0.4; EIT Sub (Game) v0.6; MHEG On/Off A3; TSSaver v0.5; UK Subtitle 1.9;
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alan_m
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Post by alan_m »

munk wrote: As an aside, just out of curiosity can you watch live TV via a network connection on an OpenVix DVR? ie in an upstairs bedroom, fire up the PC and be able to watch live TV on the zgemma (or whatever) box downstairs in the living room?
Yes, you can watch live TV on a networked device and simultaneously a second, different, live TV program on the TV directly connected to the box - assuming you have enough free tuners (not being used for a recording at the same time)
Ex Toppy 5800 user - now migrated to Xtrend ET10000 Enigma 2 box with 2 terrestrial and 2 satellite tuners. Second box Zgemma H9S (Enigma 2, satellite)
munk
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Post by munk »

alan_m wrote:
munk wrote: As an aside, just out of curiosity can you watch live TV via a network connection on an OpenVix DVR? ie in an upstairs bedroom, fire up the PC and be able to watch live TV on the zgemma (or whatever) box downstairs in the living room?
Yes, you can watch live TV on a networked device and simultaneously a second, different, live TV program on the TV directly connected to the box - assuming you have enough free tuners (not being used for a recording at the same time)
:) cheers
TF5800, TS On, F/W: MS6 Recommended F/W 12/9/2009 -Sy
TAPs:PcControl B1.4; EPG2MEI v0.96; MyStuff 6.6; PruneEPG 1.0; MyInfo B5.6; SecCache (UK) v0.4; EIT Sub (Game) v0.6; MHEG On/Off A3; TSSaver v0.5; UK Subtitle 1.9;
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cuthbert
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Post by cuthbert »

Testing update of Raspberry Pi solution.

My Rpi setup is finished now, and has been running alongside the Toppy for a couple of months. Both have their advantages. The RPi is quicker (no waiting for it to boot, it runs constantly), more responsive and has HD capability. The Toppy is somewhat easier to use and prettier with its bright, cheerful colours and excellent remote control. Other than that, both systems are pretty equal.

Pi setup consists of:

- a Pi 2
- Dual SD/HD Terrestrial Freeview Tuner
- a "flirc" for remote control
- storage for recordings: an external SD card, 512 GB.

- full details on above blog article.

Regarding storage, I chose an SD card where most people would probably go for a spinning disk. For the same money, about £65, you could have a 4 GB spinner. I like the SD card for its total silence and immediate response. Also I got a bit obsessed with low power consumption. The whole setup runs at about 5.5 W.

As time passes, prices will drop and I can upgrade eg. by adding another dual tuner (currently £63) and perhaps extra storage, easy upgrades being an advantage of the DIY solution.

I was able to watch TV remotely on a recent holiday in Northumberland, on my phone, tablet and on the TV in the holiday house (to which I connected another Pi, running Kodi).

Unfortunately a data error on the SD card meant that watching recordings remotely wasn't possible. I later traced the error to an incompatibility in, of all things, the external SD card reader holding the 512 GB card. Yes, SD card readers have their own internal hardware and firmware and this one, branded EasyACC, couldn't cope with the Pi's internal bus simultaneously conducting both USB and network traffic. A simple fix was to replace it with a more modern unit from Beikell.

Jim
TF5800, IA On, TS On, F/W: 5.13.65AbBfBqCeCkCwCyDeEcEfErEsFGmHHeKtMhNfOtPPcPfRRaRe
RhRpRsSSdSrStSyT2TdTfXpXw
TAPs: MyStuff 6.5; EPG2MEI v0.96; MyInfo B5.6;
Sig generated by MyInfo on 14/9/1
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YorkshireJumbo
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Post by YorkshireJumbo »

Interesting - thanks
YJ - You may have speed, but I have momentum
Black Panther since Sep '05, Caps replaced July '10
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Laser
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Post by Laser »

cuthbert wrote:My Rpi setup is finished now, and has been running alongside the Toppy for a couple of months. Both have their advantages.
First of all, thank you for a very well written article guiding the installation of the necessary software for the Pi. 8)

This is potentially of considerable interest to me, but I would appreciate if you could answer some burning questions:

1) The one MyStuff feature that I really want on another platform is the ability to have searches. They don't have to be as comprehensive, but I value the ability to leave it continually looking for a particular programme or keyword so I don't have to manually search or spot it in the EPG. Does your set-up support this?

2) Earlier in this thread was a discussion of not recording repeat episodes. Can I infer from that the system supports series links?

3) Can recording padding be configured? Or does it force you to trust the transmitted timing markers?

4) I already have a Raspberry Pi 2B running LibreELEC Kodi, with a Flirc and a large external HDD. Can I just install TVHeadend on top of that, or does it have to be with OSMC?

Thanks...
TF5800 Black Panther with 500GB 2.5" SATA HDD FW 5.13.65 (Patched)
TAPs: MS6.6, EPG2MEI 0.96, Extend 1.7, SecCacheUK, EIT_Sub, UKSubtitle, SDS
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cuthbert
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Post by cuthbert »

Questions answered...
Laser wrote:1) The one MyStuff feature that I really want on another platform is the ability to have searches. They don't have to be as comprehensive, but I value the ability to leave it continually looking for a particular programme or keyword so I don't have to manually search or spot it in the EPG. Does your set-up support this?
Yes. You can have as many searches as you want, searching just the program title or the description too, like the Toppy. Search strings can also be full "regular expressions", if you are into that. For example, I have 15 searches. Most of my viewing time is spent watching the recordings rather than live TV.
Laser wrote:2) Earlier in this thread was a discussion of not recording repeat episodes. Can I infer from that the system supports series links?
I think it does support series links. I don't use them. I just create a search and set it to "not record duplicates". You can also delete the original recording, and it still won't record a duplicate of it, because a separate record is kept elsewhere (in a text file).
Laser wrote:3) Can recording padding be configured? Or does it force you to trust the transmitted timing markers?
Yes, it can be configured. For example. I have it set to 2 minutes beforehand and 3 minutes after, slightly different from the default.
Laser wrote:4) I already have a Raspberry Pi 2B running LibreELEC Kodi, with a Flirc and a large external HDD. Can I just install TVHeadend on top of that, or does it have to be with OSMC?
I haven't tried this and can't say for certain. Probably best would be to get a new SD card and try the OSMC procedure from scratch. Meanwhile, preserve the existing LibreELEC setup on the original card. If OSMC disappoints, you can easily go back to LibreELEC.

Cheer,
Jim
TF5800, IA On, TS On, F/W: 5.13.65AbBfBqCeCkCwCyDeEcEfErEsFGmHHeKtMhNfOtPPcPfRRaRe
RhRpRsSSdSrStSyT2TdTfXpXw
TAPs: MyStuff 6.5; EPG2MEI v0.96; MyInfo B5.6;
Sig generated by MyInfo on 14/9/1
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Laser
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Post by Laser »

Great answers, thank you.

This sounds like a really promising althernative. Must try to find the time to try it out!
TF5800 Black Panther with 500GB 2.5" SATA HDD FW 5.13.65 (Patched)
TAPs: MS6.6, EPG2MEI 0.96, Extend 1.7, SecCacheUK, EIT_Sub, UKSubtitle, SDS
TV: Pioneer PDP-4280XD. AVR: Denon AVR-X2600H. Transmitter: Tacolneston
jimi
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Post by jimi »

Can you set searches via the epg similar to MyStuff?
TF5800, TS On, F/W: MS6 Recommended F/W 12/9/2009 -Sy+Pe
TAPs: PcControl B1.4; Extend v1.7; EPG2MEI v0.96; SecCache (UK) v0.4; EIT Sub (Game) v0.6; Font Manager 1.0d; MHEG On/Off A3; (MyInfo B5.6); PruneEPG 1.0; MyStuff 6.6;
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cuthbert
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Post by cuthbert »

Yes. Highlight the show of interest in the EPG. Then context menu -> create timer.

You can edit the search details before saving. All shows having the same name will then be recorded.
TF5800, IA On, TS On, F/W: 5.13.65AbBfBqCeCkCwCyDeEcEfErEsFGmHHeKtMhNfOtPPcPfRRaRe
RhRpRsSSdSrStSyT2TdTfXpXw
TAPs: MyStuff 6.5; EPG2MEI v0.96; MyInfo B5.6;
Sig generated by MyInfo on 14/9/1
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TF5800, OSMC/Pi, All in One 7145, Sansa Clip Zip/Rockbox, Sony Blu-ray, Leak Delta 70/Sandwich 600
jimi
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Post by jimi »

8) pretty much the same as MS, sounds great.
A couple more questions if you don't mind?
Does the dual tuner allow you to record 2 programs and watch a third (or a recording)? Can the set up handle 2 twin usb tuners?
I'm going to try the 2 card trick with my Pi and setup another sd card following your article. Then it's just a card swop if I need remote access to the Toppy
TF5800, TS On, F/W: MS6 Recommended F/W 12/9/2009 -Sy+Pe
TAPs: PcControl B1.4; Extend v1.7; EPG2MEI v0.96; SecCache (UK) v0.4; EIT Sub (Game) v0.6; Font Manager 1.0d; MHEG On/Off A3; (MyInfo B5.6); PruneEPG 1.0; MyStuff 6.6;
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cuthbert
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Post by cuthbert »

Hi Jimi

Yes, the dual tuner allows you to record 2 programs and watch a third. Sometimes you can record 3 programs and watch a fourth.

One thing it doesn't do is highlight what channels are available to watch. With the Toppy, when you are recording 2 things, unavailable channels are highlighted in red in the EPG. This doesn't happen in OSMC. You just have to click on a channel. If available, you can watch it. If not, it says "no spare tuner".

Another thing - you can be watching a channel, and it will stop and go blank. Why? Because a recording has started. If multiple recordings are running, they get prioritised over your viewing. Not exactly elegant behaviour. In the same situation, the Toppy puts up a message saying "retuning soon", or something, and switch you to one of the channels being recorded.

At some point I will buy another dual tuner (£61), making four in all. Up to 16 channels should then become viewable/recordable at once.

Jim
TF5800, IA On, TS On, F/W: 5.13.65AbBfBqCeCkCwCyDeEcEfErEsFGmHHeKtMhNfOtPPcPfRRaRe
RhRpRsSSdSrStSyT2TdTfXpXw
TAPs: MyStuff 6.5; EPG2MEI v0.96; MyInfo B5.6;
Sig generated by MyInfo on 14/9/1
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TF5800, OSMC/Pi, All in One 7145, Sansa Clip Zip/Rockbox, Sony Blu-ray, Leak Delta 70/Sandwich 600
cuthbert
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Post by cuthbert »

Note on a small difference between the Toppy and OSMC:

With OSMC, you don't *have* to be watching anything. With the Toppy, there is always some TV channel playing, or a recording playing. With OSMC, you can just press "stop" in live TV, and the TV stops. Silence. Pick a recording or another channel in the EPG, and it plays.

A small thing, but it changes the way you watch TV, slightly. At first it was wierd but now I quite like it.
TF5800, IA On, TS On, F/W: 5.13.65AbBfBqCeCkCwCyDeEcEfErEsFGmHHeKtMhNfOtPPcPfRRaRe
RhRpRsSSdSrStSyT2TdTfXpXw
TAPs: MyStuff 6.5; EPG2MEI v0.96; MyInfo B5.6;
Sig generated by MyInfo on 14/9/1
4

TF5800, OSMC/Pi, All in One 7145, Sansa Clip Zip/Rockbox, Sony Blu-ray, Leak Delta 70/Sandwich 600
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