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A first look at the forthcoming firmware

As regular readers will know, there’s a new firmware for the TF5800 coming soon, which will include Freeview Playback functionality. We’ll look at that in more detail – and provide a downloadable guide to using it – in a later article. For now, though, we’ll mention some of the other changes that you’ll be seeing shortly on your TF5800.

Updates to the interface

Besides the changes under the hood, one of the things that you’ll notice in the new firmware is that quite a few of the screens have been updated – not with a whole new look, but with improvements to the on-screen messages and information. In the rest of this article, we’ll show you some of the key ones.

Key to the changes is removing american spellings and making messages clearer. So, for example the EPG is now the Programme Guide, instead of the Program Guide:

EPG Channel view

You can also see that the first option is now labelled “Switch EPG view” and other text has been improved too, so the record button is described as “Schedule or cancel recording.” And there’s a new keypress available from this screen - press the white button to reach the list of timers. As with all the images in this article, click to see them full size.

Timer settings screen

As you can see, there’s a big improvement on this screen, with the name of each recording shown. Items with a yellow S are series link timers – we’ll look at those in more detail when we cover Freeview Playback in a later article.

There are changes to the main menus too, for example, “Favorites” are now “Favourites”, “IRD Status” has changed to the less cryptic “System status” and the informational text that appears when you highlight a menu option is more useful. Here, for example, is the main system settings menu, and you can see that when the Interactive option is highlighted, the descriptive text gives the more useful commentary “If set to No, you cannot use Interactive (red button) services.” The choices are now “Yes” and “No” rather than the sometimes confusing “Enable” and “Disable.”

System settings menu

Changes have popped up elsewhere too - the list of recordings now just says “Recordings” at the top, rather than “Recorded services” and the amount of disk space remaining is shown as both a percentage and in megabytes:

Recordings list

The standard info box hasn’t escaped change either, and now includes a progress bar, at the bottom right, so you can see at a glance how long a program has been on for:

Info box

Finally, for this article at least, here’s a look at the new version of one of the Toppy’s most confusing messages in the past, the “Check your reservation” message that appears when the PVR needs to change the channel you’re watching so that a recording can start. It’s now much clearer about what’s happening and what the options available to you are:

CYR message

We don’t yet have a date for the official firmware release, but we’ll bring news as soon as we have it – it certainly looks like we won’t be waiting too long after the release of the new TF5810 to get most of the same features on the TF5800.