Topfield TRF-2100 PVR set top box
A simple, speedy, bare-bones set top box
- Simple operation and interface
- Fast, trouble-free navigation
- Comparatively small hard drive
- Inferior fast forward/rewind speed
- No Internet capability
The Topfield TRF-2100 is a basic set top box, with dual TV tuners that let you record one program while you're watching another. It's simple, easy to operate and quick to respond to commands. We wish it had more hard drive capacity though, and the lack of Internet features (included on a cheaper model) is disappointing.
Price$ 249.00 (AUD)
The Topfield TRF-2100, new to the company’s set top box range, is a personal video recorder with twin digital TV tuners and an internal 320GB hard drive. It’s small and discreet, quiet and quick to operate, but misses out on some features that we would have liked to see.
Topfield TRF-2100: Design and setup
The TRF-2100 is much smaller than its companion TRF-2470, measuring only 260 x 195 x 50mm. It’s able to be hidden out of the way behind any reasonably-sized TV stand, and will fit in discreetly with any other devices in your home entertainment setup.
The three-digit, single-line liquid crystal display on the front of the TRF-2100 is extremely basic, only showing up the channel number of whatever you’re currently watching. Apart from that, the front of the set top box is almost blank — you’ll find a central power button and channel buttons near the screen, but that’s it.
Around the back, the TRF-2100 has connectors for antenna input and output, component video and composite A/V, optical digital audio output, HDMI output, a USB input, and 12V DC power input. We would have liked to see the USB port on the front of the box, but otherwise we’re happy with the TRF-2100’s range and variety of inputs and outputs.
The remote control bundled with the Topfield TRF-2100 is as simple as the set top box itself. A central five-way navigational pad also handles volume and channel changing, there’s a number pad up top and play/stop/pause/rewind/fast forward buttons down the bottom. The labelling is OK, not great; we would have liked to see better descriptions on some of the buttons to save reading the manual for information.
Topfield TRF-2100: Performance and features
The menu system of the Topfield TRF-2100 is the same as the more expensive TRF-2470 — it’s simple, relies largely on text rather than graphics, and is thankfully quick to respond to commands. It’s also logically laid out, and easy to navigate to both common and less common functions.
The twin digital TV tuners of the TRF-2100 mean that you can record one program while still watching another live TV channel, or record two programs while watching something you’ve previously taped.
What you’ll be using most is the Recording menu and its EPG, which makes adding reminders and scheduling recordings a relatively easy process. The TRF-2100’s 320GB internal hard drive can store around about 80 hours of high definition digital TV recordings, and about double that if you’re only recording in standard definition (or if you’re just recording a standard definition channel). This is a fair amount of hard drive space, but it pales in comparison to competing brands’ 500GB models which only cost slightly more.
In terms of its feature-set, the TRF-2100 lags behind the TRF-2470 it was announced alongside, but also behind the cheaper non-recording TBF-7300. Both of these models include access to YouTube and the ABC iView catch-up TV service, but the TRF-2100 isn’t able to connect to the Internet. You can still use the rear USB port to play back compressed audio and picture files (JPEG picture, MP3 audio), but video isn’t supported.
Similarly, the TRF-2100 isn’t able to deliver the same 128x fast forward/rewind speeds that the TRF-2470 can. The cheaper set top box is limited to only 64x — while this might still seem like a lot, if you’re watching a longer video and want to skip ahead, the extra speed is useful.
Topfield TRF-2100: Conclusion
The Topfield TRF-2100 is a very simple personal video recorder, and while its simplicity isn’t necessarily a bad thing, you can find more fully-featured competitors for similar price tags. We do wonder why the TRF-2100 is lacking the Internet capability and iView access of the cheaper TBF-7300, though.
If you’re just looking for a reasonably cheap PVR that’s easy to understand and easy to operate, the Topfield TRF-2100 ticks all your boxes.
Join the newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 LG Gram 17 (2021) review: Super lightweight and primed for productivity
- 2 Microsoft Surface Pro 8 review: A superior tablet with baffling quirks
- 3 Acer Aspire Vero review: An eco-friendly Windows 11 laptop
- 4 Seagate Firecuda 530 (2TB) review: It's very, very fast
- 5 Windows 11 review: An unnecessary replacement for Windows 10
Latest News Articles
- Fetch TV releases the Fetch Mini 4K set-top-box with voice activated remote
- Sony announces X-Series speakers for music lovers of every genre
- JBL PartyBox 310 lets you party in wet and dark places and sing duets
- 'Black Widow' and 'Cruella' will stream on Disney+ the same day they hit theaters
- Why did Apple’s original HomePod fail? Let’s count the ways
PCW Evaluation Team
Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.
This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.
It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.
As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.
The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.
This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.
- Vodafone launches Aussie giveaway worth 100K
- HyperX releases new starter pack for aspiring streamers
- Ookla's report sheds light on the fastest Aussie broadband provider
- 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