Topfield TBF100HD set-top box
A small set-top box that can be used as a recorder and media player
- Works as a recorder and media player if you plug in a USB hard drive
- Sluggish channel changes
- Remote isn't great
This inexpensive Topfield set-top box allows you to tune in to SD and HD digital TV broadcasts easily. It even has a USB port so that you can plug in a hard drive and use it as a recorder and media player. Great for anyone who doesn't want to splash out on a large PVR.
Price$ 69.00 (AUD)
Topfield's TBF100HD is budget set-top box device with basic functionality and a small size. It's a useful device to consider if you want to add digital TV reception to an old TV, or even if you want a tuner for a caravan or garage.
There isn't much to this unit at all. You get a small box with a channel display on the front and some ports on the back, as well as remote control. Connections include HDMI, composite video and audio, a USB port and two antenna ports (one which is a pass-through). It ships with a small 12V power adapter rather than an internal power supply, and it's a breeze to set up and use. For our tests, we plugged in a rooftop antenna and connected it to a TV using both HDMI and composite connections (not at the same time of course).
When you switch it on for the first time, the set-top box asks you to confirm the language and country details, and it does a sweep to detect the channels in your area. For us, the scan took only a few minutes and it found all of the channels it was supposed to. it's an HD tuner, so this included channels such as One HD and ABD News 24. Channel changes were sluggish compared to many new tuners we've seen, but since this is such an inexpensive box, we weren't surprised by this. Picture quality was decent and signal quality was excellent for all channels except ABC, which was a little erratic in our environment.
Because this device is only a set-top box, you can't use it to record any shows unless you plug in a USB hard drive. Once you do, you'll be able to hit record manually, or use the timer (or EPG) for any shows that you want to watch later on — you'll even be able to use time-shifting. We had no problems using a regular, 500GB, NTFS-based USB hard drive with the Topfield. It was able to record programs without requiring a format. We were also able to play media files (AVI and MP4) off the hard drive through the set-top box's media player function, as well as listen to MP3s.
The remote control could be better. It has very small playback control buttons that are hard to use and the buttons are very squishy overall. But apart from that, this little set-top box is ideal if all you want is something basic through which to watch and record digital TV, although you'll need to supply your own external hard drive for the latter. It's also a decent media player.
Join the PC World newsletter!
Gadgets & Things
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Finally! LG OLED TV 2016 range review
- 2 Huawei Nova Plus smartphone review
- 3 Apple iPhone 7 Plus review: including Portrait Mode
- 4 Google Daydream View VR full, in-depth review
- 5 Google Pixel XL full, in-depth smartphone review: Phones just got smarter
Latest News Articles
- AirTV's slick marriage of Sling TV and OTA channels isn't in the product yet
- Here's what's coming next from Sling TV
- The guts of Onkyo's SBT-A500 sound bar come in an external box to give the speaker an ultra-low profile
- Plex embraces Kodi as Plex Media Player becomes available to all
- 'Google Cast' is being phased out in favor of Chromecast for connected TVs and speakers
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.
- Time to ditch Foxtel and the iQ3: How to replace Foxtel packages with cheaper alternatives
- The top 10 best and worst tech gadgets and products of 2016
- TV of the year award 2016
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
- FTBrand Marketing Manager - Premium Entertainment BrandNSW
- FTLife/400 Testers - Permanent - North Ryde areaNSW
- TPProgram ManagerNSW
- TPAEM DeveloperNSW
- FTJava DeveloperNSW
- FTNetwork EngineerNSW
- FTTechnical Account ManagerNSW
- TPSenior Business Analyst - Risk & ComplianceNSW
- FTLead Software Engineer - JavaQLD
- FTLevel 2 Help Desk SupportQLD
- FTIT Procurement AdvisorQLD
- CCSenior Developer - Appian/PegaVIC
- CCBiztalk DeveloperVIC
- FTSystem AdministratorNSW
- FTSalesforce Technical Business AnalystQLD
- FTSolutions Architect - Data Centre/ NetworkNSW
- FTLevel 3 EngineerNSW
- FTITCM EngineerNSW
- FTSolutions Architect - Data Centre/ NetworkSA
- CCTest Automation ArchitectQLD
- FTTechnical Content CoordinatorVIC
- FTAndroid DeveloperNSW
- TPProject Manager with a Development BackgroundQLD
- TPProject Manager - SAPQLD