Topfield TF5000PVRt Masterpiece
- USB port, well designed interface
- No HD support
Topfield has done nearly everything right with the TF5000PVRt. It's beautifully designed, can talk to PCs and is only lacking when it comes to HDTV.
Price$ 999.00 (AUD)
A dual-tuner SDTV PVR, the Topfield TF5000PVRt is, in fact, a Masterpiece. It's an outstanding product, extremely well engineered and thought out. It has a few gremlins, but is certainly one of the best PVRs on the market today. It even looks good, with sleek black styling and a useful digital display.
The on-screen display is top-notch, both intuitive and effective, and channel changes while viewing television are smooth and fast. We were most impressed by the recording timer. You have to go through a couple of menus to find it, but setting a time to record was quick--and it supported daily or weekly scheduling. Unlike most other PVRs, it also recognises weekends and weekdays. In addition, because it has two tuners, you can watch one show while recording another (or watch two shows at once using picture-in-picture).
The Topfield keeps all EPG information with recorded television shows, and gives files sensible names, based on the information contained within the show. Getting a list of your library of recorded shows is a one-touch operation on the remote, and browsing and managing files is breezy.
Timeshifting in the Topfield is implemented near-perfectly. It's always active, so if you decide on a whim to rewind the TV, you can do so. There is some slight stuttering on the rewind, but it's barely noticeable.
The Topfield contains a huge 160GB hard disk, capable of storing 80 hours or more of video. We're not entirely sure about the choice of hard disk model, however, since the acoustics of the hard disk in the PVR are not quite up to scratch. There was a discernable track-change clicking, especially when rewinding video. It's not terrible by any means, and would usually be drowned out by other ambient noises, but it's the only PVR we've looked at that wasn't almost totally silent.
Videophiles would not be disappointed by the output options provided by the Topfield either. It has two SCART outputs, dual antenna loop-through, composite output, S-Video and S/PDIF for digital audio output.
The feature that will put it over the edge for many PC users, however, is the Topfield's support for USB 2.0. By linking the TF5000PVRt to your PC, you can use your PC to archive recorded MPEG-2 videos, or even upload MP3s and MPEG-2 video to the hard disk of the PVR, which the PVR can then play in jukebox style. You need to download file management software, called Altair, from the vendor's Web site to do so, but this is nonetheless a major advantage for an already excellent product.
Join the PC World newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Huawei P10 smartphone review
- 2 Huawei P10 Plus phone: Full, in-depth review
- 3 Motorola Moto G5 smartphone review
- 4 Oppo A57 phone: full, in-depth review
- 5 Moto G5 Plus phone: full, in-depth review
Latest News Articles
- Plex Cloud is now open to all paid users
- YouTube launches streaming TV service with 40 channels and unlimited cloud DVR storage
- Up next for Apple TV: 4K streaming reportedly in the works
- Apple’s original TV shows are almost ready for prime time
- Apple snags Amazon Fire TV exec to lead Apple TV efforts
PCW Evaluation Team
A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.
I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.
As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
- LG 2017 OLED TV range full review: W7 Signature Wallpaper, G7, E7 and C7 UHD TVs
- Huawei P10 smartphone review
- Huawei P10 Plus phone: Full, in-depth review
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
- FTSocial Media Executive / Specialist (Facebook) - online gamblingNSW
- CCSolution ArchitectQLD
- FTSharepoint DeveloperQLD
- FTLAMP Stack DeveloperNSW
- FTSolution Architect - Datacentre / StorageQLD
- FTSenior Front End DeveloperQLD
- TPSolution Architect - InfrastructureQLD
- FTSecurity Engineer (IPS & Firewall exp essential) - Perm - IT Services - SydneyNSW
- FTIteration ManagerQLD
- CCPeopleSoft Functional AnalystVIC
- FTNetwork AdministratorQLD
- CCSplunk Software DeveloperVIC
- TPSenior Project Manager - Digital Application CX TransformationNSW
- FTNetwork EngineerQLD
- CCSenior Communications Advisor - Australian TelcoVIC
- TPProgram Governance Lead (PMO)VIC
- FTSenior Android DeveloperNSW
- FTSoftware EngineerWA
- FTProject Manager - PCI compliance projectQLD
- FTData Analyst/DeveloperNSW
- FTDigital Business Analyst | Online BookingQLD
- FTDesktop Support OfficerSA
- TPProject Test ManagerQLD
- CCState-wide Business Transition Lead - BrisbaneVIC
- CCReporting System Specialist - Port MacquarieQLD