Topfield Freeview PVR

Welcome to the wonderful world of Topfield. Once you enter this world, your TV life will never be the same again. You will be liberated from the wicked constraints of the schedulers. Continue reading if you dare . . .

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What on earth is it?

The Topfield TF5800PVRt (or Toppy as we like to call it), is a freeview box with an integrated 160 Gigabyte hard drive and twin tuners. This means you can record TV on one channel while watching another. In fact, if you want to get technical, and the wind is blowing in the right direction, you can record 2 channels, while watching 2 others. And all with no need for tapes, since the video is saved to the hard drive (in the same quality as it is broadcast).

Essentially it allows you to watch what you want, when you want. You will soon find that watching a program when it is broadcast is a thing of the past. Record it instead (after all you have over 80 hours of recording space), and watch it at your leisure, skipping those pesky adverts as you go. If that on its own is not enough, then it does all this stuff too:

MP3 Jukebox

Ever fancied your very own Jukebox? If so, then look no further, for the Toppy will provide (less the flashing neon lights). Play your entire music collection any which way you please. You can rediscover forgotten album tracks by using the fully random mode, create your own bespoke playlist for the evening, or just listen to an album the old fashioned way, in the original track order. It even displays your album cover on screen for you.

TAP it up

A unique feature of the Toppy is its ability to run TAPs (Topfield Applications). These are programs anyone can write to add extra functionality to the device. e.g. If you don't like the look of the program guide which comes with the box, then try a program guide someone else has written. TAPs means that the box is continually being improved by like minded Toppy lovers. And best of all, it needn't cost you a penny. I have thoughtfully written a guide to the Ultimate TAPs, according to me at least.

Lots more besides

Did I mention that the Toppy has a USB 2.0 port. This means that you can copy recorded programs to a PC and then edit and burn them to DVD as you please. This is a two way process, so you could also load a video onto the Toppy for viewing on your TV, which may be useful for any home vidoes. And it is not only videos and MP3s that the Topfield handles, it also displays photos. So now you can showcase a slideshow of your holiday pics in glorious widescreen.

Along with all these special features, you can also do all the standard PVR things like pause or rewind live TV (up to an hour), schedule recordings via the inbuilt 7 day TV Guide, edit recorded programs to trim off the start and end. Then, once you start loading TAPs, whole new areas of functionality open up. Before you know it you are recording an entire series of programs at the press of a button using a record by searchword function. Well Ok, so it may be a couple of presses, but hey, you will never miss another episode of Doctor Who again, and that has to be a good thing. For a comprehensive list of built in functions, read my Technical specs.