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!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Google Pixel XL full, in-depth smartphone review: Phones just got smarter
- 2 Sony Xperia XZ review: turbo-charged last-gen phone
- 3 Hisense Series 7 ULED 4K UHD TV review
- 4 Sony X9300D and X8500D UHD 4K TV review
- 5 Moto X Force review: Leading features from a mid-range phone
Latest News Articles
- Say goodbye to Apple's third-generation Apple TV
- Google's 4K HDR Chromecast Ultra costs US$69, and will launch in November
- Xiaomi's 4K-capable Mi Box is the most affordable Android TV device yet
- Amazon's faster new Fire TV Stick comes with an Alexa-enabled voice remote
- 4K Chromecast Ultra details leak ahead of Google event
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.
- Google Pixel XL full, in-depth smartphone review: The new best Android phone
- Japan Robot, gadget and car expo slideshow
- Panasonic DX900U UHD 4K smart TV review: Best all-round TV ever?
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
- FTAgile Front End Developer- HTML5 & CSS3NSW
- FTSenior Commercial and Bid ManagerVIC
- CCPerformance AnalystNSW
- FTProject ManagerSA
- CCSenior Consultant, Enterpreneur in ResidenceVIC
- FTSenior Application SupportSA
- CCResident Engineer - Nexus 2K, 5K, 7K & 9KNSW
- FTInformation Architect, DataNSW
- FTCustomer Solutions Engineer | Voice | Data | TelcoNSW
- CCInfrastructure & Security Solution ArchitectVIC
- CCNetwork Capacity PlannerVIC
- FTCRM Developer - MS Dynamics CRMNSW
- CCSystem TestersQLD
- FTSolutions ArchitectNSW
- CCSystem & Network EngineerVIC
- CCIT Risk ManagerNSW
- CCUnix Project LeadNSW
- CCL1 Desktop Support - 3 days a weekNSW
- CCProject SchedulerVIC
- FTSolution ArchitectACT
- CCDevOps/Automation EngineerNSW
- CCSAP FunctionalistACT
- CCFront End Developer - Mid LevelNSW
- CCPOS EngineerNSW
- CCOracle Functional Consultant | 6mth ContractVIC