- Excellent range of recording options, quick and responsive interface
- Limited editing options, no preset recording quality modes, no ability to record from the time shift buffer
A powerful recording unit, the Topfield TF7000HDPVRt is let down by the omission of a few features and options that we would've liked to have seen, but overall, it's a top-notch PVR.
Price$ 1,299.00 (AUD)
With almost every new television being released today also coming with an integrated digital tuner, the demand for digital set top boxes is falling. Nevertheless, companies like Topfield are still managing to make them an incredibly attractive proposition. The Topfield TF7000HDPVRt probably shouldn't be called a digital set top box, since it's technically a PVR, or personal video recorder. Whatever the term you use, however, this thing is a beast. With a 250GB hard drive, dual high definition (HD) tuners, HDMI and USB connections, and an extensive and highly functional interface, the TF7000HDPVRt is an incredibly powerful and useful device.
Digital television reception on the Topfield is top-notch. The unit picked up all local channels within a few minutes during our testing; it isn't the fastest we've seen, but it's definitely one of the most comprehensive. We then started flicking through them, noticing almost no lag when switching channels.
Recording functionality is just as good. With a relatively long history in the PVR market, Topfield has had the time to get their stuff right. Timed recording, time-shifted playback, one-touch recording and the option to automatically stop recording after a program ends are just a handful of the recording features boasted by this model. The twin tuners work very well, allowing you to record one channel while watching another. You can even record two at once, as long as you're watching one of them. In fact, the only fault we could find during our testing of the recording functionality was the inability to start a recording from the time-shift buffer (ie, if you've just rewound a TV program, you'll need to skip back to the live broadcast to start recording). Apart from this, however, the functionality was excellent; Topfield has included everything you'll need to record TV with this device.
To top it off (so to speak), the TF7000HDPVRt has an intuitive and easy-to-use interface. The remote is comfortable, well laid out and responsive, and the on-screen interface is simple and intuitive to navigate. Connections are simple but all-inclusive, including HDMI, component, composite, S-Video, and optical and coaxial audio.
Unfortunately, as great as the interface is, it doesn't deliver a lot of options, and there are some omitted features which are missed. Most notably the ability to select recording quality modes, and the ability to edit recordings. These two features are important when trying to maximise the amount of video stored on the HDD, and without them, the Topfield is limited to approximately 70 hours of standard definition footage, or 30 hours of high definition footage. Without a way to transfer files off the HDD, this means you'll have to be very selective about what you decide to keep and what gets deleted.
Still, the TF7000HDPVRt is a great option for users looking for a powerful, HD PVR. It doesn't have all the features that we'd like to see, but the core stuff - recording and digital reception - is very well implemented.
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 LG 2017 OLED TV range full review: W7 Signature Wallpaper, G7, E7 and C7 UHD TVs
- 2 Subaru XV 2017 review
- 3 Samsung 2017 QLED Q7 TV: Full, in-depth review
- 4 Kogan Atlas UltraSlim Pro laptop: full, in-depth review
- 5 Gigabyte Aorus GA-AX370-Gaming 5 AMD Ryzen AM4 motherboard review
Latest News Articles
- Plex Cloud is now open to all paid users
- Up next for Apple TV: 4K streaming reportedly in the works
- Apple’s original TV shows are almost ready for prime time
- Apple snags Amazon Fire TV exec to lead Apple TV efforts
- AirTV's slick marriage of Sling TV and OTA channels isn't in the product yet
PCW Evaluation Team
A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.
I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.
As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
- LG 2017 OLED TV range full review: W7 Signature Wallpaper, G7, E7 and C7 UHD TVs
- Huawei P10 smartphone review
- Huawei P10 Plus phone: Full, in-depth review
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- FTSocial Media Executive / Specialist (Facebook) - online gamblingNSW
- FTIntermediate Project ManagerQLD
- CCApplications Support/ DevOps EngineerQLD
- TPSenior Project Manager | DETQLD
- CCVDI EngineerACT
- FTNetwork EngineerACT
- TPPrincipal Data Analyst | ArcGIS | Power BI | QlikQLD
- FTSenior .Net DeveloperVIC
- FTEnterprise Architect - BusinessQLD
- CCPHP DeveloperNSW
- CCProject Manager - Salesforce ImplementationVIC
- FTBI BA Consultant l Microstrategy, Business ObjectsNSW
- CCWeb DesignerQLD
- CCState-wide Business Transition Lead - BrisbaneVIC
- FTFrontend DeveloperNSW
- CCSenior Systems Engineer - WintelNSW
- CCSenior Process ModellerNSW
- CCSolution ArchitectQLD
- CCData AnalystNSW
- TPSharepoint DeveloperQLD
- FTQueue ManagerACT
- TPProject Test ManagerQLD
- FTData ScientistACT
- FTSecurity Engineer (IPS & Firewall exp essential) - Perm - IT Services - SydneyNSW
- CCState-wide Business Transition LeadQLD