Topfield TF7100HDPVRt

There's not a lot the 7100 can't do. Topfield's done a fine job in combining all the relevant features users and PVR buyers will be looking for.


8.3
CNET Rating
5.2
User Rating

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PVRs are a hot item if you're into recording your favourite TV programs. Foxtel recently launched its iQ2 and TiVo's HD box is everywhere, so simply having to watch what's "on the box" just isn't good enough these days. Topfield has also been high on many a PVR shopping list in the past and it hopes to continue that reputation with its AU$899 TF7100HDPVRt. Let's keep it simple and call it the 7100.

Design
Aesthetically, the 7100's a good-looker — relatively slim, its shiny fascia is devoid of superfluous controls with just a power on/off button, channel and volume controls and a single front USB port (there's another round the back). Fire it up and a pleasant blue display illuminates. But, before we hooked the 7100 up proper, a note in the box informed us that a firmware upgrade was available on the supplied USB key, so we dutifully installed it. A re-partition and format later, the Topfield was ready for action.

Features
The Topfield is well equipped, with 320GB internal hard disk drive, twin HD tuners, wireless and Ethernet networking, plus USB 2.0 HDD support for up to a terabyte of external storage being the 7100's main features. IceTV support is also on the Topfield's agenda, and the aforementioned firmware upgrade allows the 7100 full access to IceTV's Remote Record, meaning the PVR can be set to record from an internet browser or any Web-enabled mobile phone. The technical bods at IceTV and Topfield have been working furiously on the firmware upgrade to iron out any software bugs, such as program names not showing in the timer list recording schedule. The firmware upgrade doesn't appear on the company's website, so if your box is missing a key it has already been updated, say the company.

The 7100 replaces the popular 7000 and many of the features its predecessor lacked are now included on the new model. It's nice to see Topfield has brought back the Wi-Fi and Ethernet network support, which was sorely missed on the 7000. The larger hard disk storage equates to around 172 hours worth of SD recording, or 43 hours of HD content. The twin HD tuners mean you can record one program, while watching another and the 7100 has a new "trick mode" up its sleeve — which gives you one-touch recording, timed recording and touch shifting. Useful features for the more "involved" TV watcher.

Connectivity is also well represented with all the usual types. Video is catered for all the way through from composite to HDMI and there are both coaxial and optical digital audio outs.

Performance
Even if you're a PVR "greenie", Topfield's usual ease of use makes the 7100 a doddle to find your way around. Set-up's a breeze — including IceTV subscription — and in just a few minutes you've a nice, crisp, HD image on your screen. Thankfully, HD broadcasts are on the increase, so you no longer have to endure Kerri-Anne in the mornings just to see (and hear) what high-def is all about.

The 7100 does a fine decoding job with both images and sound. Resolution maxes out at 720p or 1080i, which are currently the two highest standards that free-to-air broadcasters have adopted, and when set at 1080i the picture quality is impressive. The one-touch record works … well … with a single button press and, much like Foxtel's iQ2, recording, pausing and viewing live TV are plain sailing. The EPG is easy to navigate and user-friendly. Channel changing is fast, much like analog TV of old, and it would seem that Topfield has finally combined all that is good about PVRs in a single, affordable package.

Aside from initial IceTV listing hiccups, the 7100 (with the firmware upgrade) is the sort of PVR package that does it all, for now. During our time with it, we did notice a bit of a lip-sync problem with a locally broadcast channel, NBN, but upon switching to the Sydney-sourced channel (Nine) there was no such lag.

Topfield has certainly returned to form with the 7100. It's convenient with a capital "C" to use and the expandable USB storage feature will future-proof it for a while — something that definitely gives this PVR a distinct edge in the current marketplace.

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Pidgeon2113 Facebook
3
Rating
 

"PIP or No PIP?"

Pidgeon2113 posted a review   
Australia

The Good:Looks nice

The Bad:No PIP

Can someone tell me if this PVR has PIP? According to the Topfield website it is suppose to have it (and it was a major reason in buying it) but the manual and it seems other users have nothing to indicate that this feature can be accessed.

Topfield for me have really lost the plot and I for one will look else where for my next PVR .... very disappointing

RichGet2012
2
Rating
 

"HDD reset every time power off. Firmware updated, no resolution"

RichGet2012 posted a review   
Australia

The Good:The 4 channels of recording

The Bad:Total loss of HDD recordings

I have had my TF7100HD PVRt plus for about 18 months and we have just lost all our recordings for the 6th time. When ever the power is switched off or a power dip we loose all on the HDD. I have e-mailed Topfield several times and they have not sent me anything helpful and usually no reply.
If a PVR cannot securely hold the recordings than what is it?

steveciscos
1
Rating
 

"DO NOT waste your money!"

steveciscos posted a review   
Australia

The Good:It looks nice

The Bad:Its rubbish

My Topfield 7100 has not worked well from day one, as suggested we have removed it from a cabinet (where my Dennon DVD player and NAD Amp work fine) to improve airflow, but all to no avail. This unit is rubbish it locks up at least twice a week, forcing you to remove the power chord for up to 12 hours to allow it to reset. If it starts up in the morning we will leave it on all day so we know the kids can watch their TV shows in the afternoon. This unit is junk, I should have purchased the Beyonwiz!

morro
8
Rating
 

morro posted a review   

We are pretty well stisfied with the performance except when the guide is different to the printed one and you only get half a movie.

Stu
8
Rating
 

Stu posted a review   

The Good:Looks good, wireless connectivity

The Bad:User interface can be clumky

We've had ours for nearly 12 months with IceTV and it's worked great. Can be a bit technical to set up and maintain i.e neede firmware upgrads to get Ice connectivity working well. No real problems at all.

H-Dog
4
Rating
 

H-Dog posted a review   

The Good:When its working properly, its fabulous

The Bad:We have issues regularly.

I love my Topfield but I also hate it with a passion. We have ours registered to Ice TV so we can record series etc. When it is all working properly it is absolutely wonderful. However, we regularly have "hiccups" with our system. It jams, it loses its TV guide, it for no known reason decides not to record something it has been scheduled to record or, as it has done recently, decides to record the show - on the wrong channel. There is nothing more frustrating than finally getting to sit down at the end of the day only to find that the shows you were looking forward to watching have not been recorded. Grrrrr!

On top of this, to do a firmware upgrade you lose all data on the system. Apparently you can transfer the date (like recorded shows etc) to an external drive but we have tried on several occasions without success.

I really really wish we had bought the Tivo instead.

my
3
Rating
 

my posted a review   

fed up
sent off for repairs under warranty so many times -
once replaced HDD,
2nd time replaced motherboard - it stopped working after 1 week
3rd time replcaed unit - BUT it was obviously WITH A RECYCLED unit!!
4th time, said 'don't know how that happened, we'll upgrade you to a 7100 Plus replacement'
when it arrived, it was clearly ANOTHER RECYCLED UNIT. obviously one someone else had returned.
Fair trading says they are obliged to refund or replace with new unit - i'm still trying
and it's very trying
i wish i'd seen these comments before i bought it
has anyone any comments on the topfield 7100 PVRt Plus?

jibbs
4
Rating
 

jibbs posted a review   

The Good:ok sometimes

The Bad:i turn it off and lose all

Thought i was getting the best????? well no not at all

Burkie
3
Rating
 

Burkie posted a review   

The Good:Can skip far ahead when FFW shows

The Bad:to unstable and unreliable.

I bought this unit to upgrade from a Hot chip SD box with 160G HDD as it was getting to full all the time. While the interface, favourites and program recording set up is ok the box is far to unstable and firmware updates seem to keep reverting. I have rang top field a bunch of times and can't seem to get good help. Our unit locks up almost every day requiring it to be turned off and back on, at least once a week it drops all channels and program time settings and needs to be completely re-installed. Wife finally cracked it yesterday and we are going to look for a replacement this weekend.

 

Jarodkyle posted a comment   

The Good:not at this time

The Bad:dont be fooled

i dont need to tell ya check this out it explains the issues in detail http://topfieldishell.blogspot.com/2010/06/topfiled-is-hell.html


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User Reviews / Comments  Topfield TF7100HDPVRt

  • Pidgeon2113

    Pidgeon2113

    Rating3

    "Can someone tell me if this PVR has PIP? According to the Topfield website it is suppose to have it (and it was a major reason in buying it) but the manual and it seems other users have nothing to ..."

  • RichGet2012

    RichGet2012

    Rating2

    "I have had my TF7100HD PVRt plus for about 18 months and we have just lost all our recordings for the 6th time. When ever the power is switched off or a power dip we loose all on the HDD. I have e-..."

  • steveciscos

    steveciscos

    Rating1

    "My Topfield 7100 has not worked well from day one, as suggested we have removed it from a cabinet (where my Dennon DVD player and NAD Amp work fine) to improve airflow, but all to no avail. This un..."

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