- Easy to use, good performance.
- Lacks advanced features.
The TF7000HT makes up for its lack of advanced features with great picture quality and intuitive operation.
Price$ 599.00 (AUD)
Overall the Topfield TF7000HT is a great set top box. It has all the necessary connections, is easy to use and offers good performance. It may lack the advanced features that would have made it an outstanding product, but the average user will not regret this purchase.
The TF7000HT supports the whole gamut of connection options with composite, component, S-Video, HDMI, digital coaxial and digital optical. There's also an RGB connection for computer monitors so everyone should be happy. Once the set top box is connected it's on to tuning, a pleasingly simple and intuitive process. The TF7000HT displays a percentage graph on-screen as its working. Each time a new channel is encountered it is filtered into either television or radio groups. We found the TF7000HT to take slightly longer than average when scanning frequencies, and it certainly appeared to be more thorough, picking up a greater number of channels than usual. The downside to this was the number of repetitions received, with no less than four versions of Channel ten's EPG for instance. Many of these repetitions were of a very weak signal and unusable, so it was necessary to sort through the list and clear out any duplicates.
Once setup is complete it's then left to pick the desired output mode. The TF7000HT has four video resolution modes: 576p, 720p, 1080i and auto. The first three are self explanatory, and the fourth outputs the broadcast resolution without performing any conversions. Navigating through channels is made easy with several EPG modes and an on-screen list. A "now" and "next" list covering all the channels can also be brought up, which is unusual for Australian set top boxes and a useful feature. It's not as good as it sounds, however, as this only works if you have already navigated to each channel in turn.
The on-screen display is refined and crisp, with the option to set the transparency level which is a nice touch. Navigation is also speedy, with no lag between switching channels. As the unit only includes a single tuner, there are no advanced features such as picture in picture, but for the average user the standard inclusions should suffice. Picture and sound quality are good, with no signs of compression or decoding evident and crisp images throughout.
The design of the TF7000HT is a little bit classier than a regular set top box. Instead of a slab of bland grey plastic, Topfield has opted for a minimalist glossy panel with a subdued, yet clear LCD floating beneath. The unit looks great, with the barest minimum of buttons hidden beneath the front panel. That said, it is slightly larger than the average set top box, certainly in width, so it needs more careful consideration when being placed under the television. The remote control is also well designed, though doesn't quite fit with the svelte aesthetic. Buttons are easy to press, with intuitive labeling. The LCD itself is also well labeled, with not only the channel number but the channel name scrolling across the front.
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