Have it set up with a single 90cm dish on Motek dish motor. Have both tuners looped
This is a nice looking piece of kit, not quite full rack width, but a damn sight better looking bit of kit than your average set top box.
It has a Scart In/out, Svideo, Composite, HDMI, Optical digital audio, inputs and loop outputs for the 2 LNBs. The Scart is configurable for RGB, or YUV. The Scart In is for auxiliary signals to your TV, you cannot record from it. It also has USB, RS232 and wired Ethernet connections.
This is a complex bit of kit to configure, it came with D1 channels pre-configured, but not optimally IMHO (see Advice below). You shouldn’t have any problem if you’ve setup a satellite receiver before.
The remote has 40 odd buttons, but the basic functions are reasonably intuitive. If you want one of these, download and read the user manual while you are waiting for your toy to be delivered. Expect to sit in front of it and just play for a couple of (late!) evenings.
The TF6000PVR ES does everything that I expected based on the descriptions I have read on the Topfield website. I haven’t owned a PVR before, so wasn’t quite sure just how flexible it would be.
You can record one channel and time shift another channel simultaneously.
You can record two programs at the same time, and view a third, but cannot timeshift the third channel.
You can chase play either of the two recording programs. IE start playback or timeshifting within the recordings before they have finished.
I’m not sure how many timer events it can store, I’m using 37 so far, and have entered up to 51 and it was still accepting more.
The upscaled image on HDMI looks pretty good on my 40” V series Bravia at 720P. Subjectively there seems to be less blockyness and pixilation than I used to have with my Strong 4658 using component. I’m not sure if this was the Strong, or the scaler in the Bravia. See below for one minor picture quality gripe.
The signal quality reading is higher than I had on my Strong. My Strong was about 85% on D1, & D2, The Topfield says 99%. I have a 90cm dish on about 50m of RG6. I have downloaded the Firmware updater and “Vega” channel editing software. I used both with no problems.
I have also setup a Dynamic DNS name for my home PC and tried accessing the PVR Webserver from work. Works well, but file transfer of the very large files is slow. The Webserver is not secure and does not require a password so I guess if a hacker got your IP or Domain name they could upload or download stuff from your PVR, and add or delete timers. As the PVR supports little application programs (Taps), they could conceivably install some malicious code???. I havn’t tried the FTP server. This is password protected, but not secure.
The main gripes I have (and ther’e pretty minor really) are:
The EPG is pretty clunky. You can load an alternate EPG using Taps, but I havn't investigated any of those yet.
The Timer reservations do not seem to show up properly in the EPG. They show up when first setup, but not subsequently.
The extended program information seems to be displayed twice in the detailed program information display, this is minor but annoying.
The Timer events are listed by channel number & channel name, not by program name, so it is hard at a glance to see what programs you have scheduled. You have to edit each entry to tell this. The recording names however use the program name.
Occasionally I see what I can best describe as "jaggies" on fast moving high contrast parts of an image. This only happens occasionally, I noticed it on horizontally scrolling white "ticker" text on a C4 music program, and the moving white numbers on the “Daily Keno” This happens on the HDMI output, not SVHS. I don't have a SCART lead, so havn't tried 720P component video yet. I can’t say I’ve noticed it during normal programming, but it was damn annoying on C4.
Some of the buttons on the remote don't seem to do what ther’e supposed to. The Aspect ratio, Video Format, and Skip back 20 second buttons don't do anything.
Overall I’m pleased with my new toy, and If I can cure the niggly “jaggy” problem I will be very happy indeed.
One piece of advice if you get one: After you have set it up, use the "Vega" PC application to edit the services for each tuner, and set TV1, 2, Maori, 6, 7, & Sports Extra to always using tuner 1 and TV3, C4, Stratos, Cue, Parliament, & Te Reo always use tuner 2. This seems to be the optimum way of getting the most flexibility out of the EPG initiated recordings. If you copy these services to both tuners the EPG chooses which tuner to use, and this can end up creating avoidable scheduling conflicts, or tying up both tuners on the same transponder making the other channels unavailable for viewing until one of the recordings finishes. I’m not sure how well I’ve explained this, just take my advice here.
I hope this is helpfull to prospective buyers.
P.S. I've had this reboot on me twice now, the first time while I was configuring it, which I forgave, but last night after I posted this, it rebooted just as it was starting a scheduled recording. I had the "Program information display" or "recorded services" list up at the time, I'm not sure which. I'll try and repeat this and report the bug if I can repeat it.
PPS. 15/6/08 I have posted a new reply to this topic that expands on the "Jaggie" problem mentioned above and includes screenshots.