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Photo gallery of the new TF5810
Finally, we’ve got our hands on one of the new TF5810 PVRs, which will be being tested by a few users in the UK before going on sale to the general public. To help whet your appetite, we’ve taken one to bits, and snapped a few photos. Apologies for the dodgy lighting in some of these - we’ll try to do something to improve that in future.
Don’t do this at home ...
Obviously, we know the people at Turbosat, the UK importer, pretty well, and they don’t mind us taking the lid off a TF5810, but please do remember that if you open up your own PVR, you will void the warranty.
That warning out of the way, here’s a close up of the front panel. As you can see, it’s pretty uncluttered - and sports far fewer logos than the TF5800, with just the DVB (Digital Video Broadcasting) and all-important Freeview Playback badges.
As with the TF5800, there are two CI slots, which are concealed behind a flap at the right hand end of the panel – just pull down at the top and you’ll see them revealed, as shown here. So, like the TF5800, you’ll be able to watch Setanta Sports on the 5810.
As you can see, the front panel is pretty shiny, especially across the middle, which conceals the display on the left hand side. The large buttons is a four way directional control, which can be used to navigate in menus, as well as to change channel and adjust the volume.
Round the back, there are two significant changes from the 5800. Firstly, there’s no middle set of UHF connectors, because there’s no modulator. And secondly, as you can see in the photograph below, there’s an HDMI output, positioned just above the S-Video connector.
One other aspect that you can’t see in the photos – we just couldn’t get the lighting right – is the word Topfield embossed in the metal lid. And what’s under the lid? Here’s the first photo of the inside of a TF5810; the very observant will notice that the drive in this test unit is just a 250Gb – the ones in the shops will be 500Gb.
The main board is similar – but not identical – to the one in the 5800; the small additional board that you can see towards the bottom left is the HDMI board, which contains the scaler and HDMI chips. The HDMI driver is from Silicon Image, and for those of a technical bent, it’s the 9030CTU, which can output at up to 1080i. The scaler itself is a Pioneer chip. We’ll talk more about upscaling and what it means for users in a later article.
Next, a word about the front panel display; you can’t see it that well here - once again the lighting is a bit of a problem. There are various parts, and it’s much more informative than the display on the 5800. For starters, as well as the channel number, you’ll see the name of the station. There are eight letters, and it can display things much better than the old model - proper letter ‘M’ for example.
If you tune to a channel with a longer name, the display will scroll briefly; it does the same in the menus, so you can navigate to the right menu even if you can’t seen anything on screen, and when you play back a file, the name scrolls across the display too. There’s also a rotating red and blue indicator during playback, and icons for play, fast forward, rewind and to indicate the use of the two recording slots.
Finally, for now at least, here’s a photo of the 5810 with a 5800 sitting on top. Both are almost exactly the same depth, but the 5810 is slightly wider.