Author Topic: IceTV Compatible EASY to use recorder recommendation  (Read 2969 times)

Offline robsue38

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IceTV Compatible EASY to use recorder recommendation
« on: April 20, 2016, 04:07:36 PM »
Hi,

My very old mother needs to replace her very old standard definition Topfield DVR but she needs a REALLY EASY to use unit. She is so non-tech-savvy that she is not even capable of setting up to record on her Toppy so I was thinking of getting her an IceTV compatible replacement so I can install a wireless modem and remotely do her recording. 

Can anyone recommend which IceTV compatible DVR would be easiest to use, with the least bells and whistles, that a golden oldie may have a hope of learning to drive? Do you know of any other, non IceTV compatible machines that are incredibly simple to use?

Rob

Offline Paul55

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Re: IceTV Compatible EASY to use recorder recommendation
« Reply #1 on: April 20, 2016, 04:32:25 PM »
If she is already using a Topfield, I suggest getting an IceTV compatible TMS Topfield - the user interface is pretty much the same as what she is used to.
If you can get a 2400 - still some around - that would be a good one. The 5300 is the new version of the 2400 and looks and seems very similar - but I have no experience with that model.
If you connect the Toppy to the internet for her, you will be able to manage recordings via IceTV from anywhere with web access - your home, work, smartphone or tablet.

Offline IanL-S

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Re: IceTV Compatible EASY to use recorder recommendation
« Reply #2 on: April 20, 2016, 04:37:48 PM »
I am in general agreement. You can pick up repack and refurbished 2400 with as new warranty from OKShop (part of Topfield Australia group). The 5300 is very similar in features (no analogue input or eSATA or internal fan). I purchased a refurbished 7100+ back in early 2013 and it is still going strong ... no major issues.

Ian
IceTV: 2xTRF-2400 + 2xTF7100HDPVRt + SKIPPA + T2
No IceTV: a few Toppys
Synology NAS
Check out the oztoppy wiki and Topfield Aus Forum for Toppy help
ozSKIPPA wiki coming soon (I hope)

Offline robsue38

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Re: IceTV Compatible EASY to use recorder recommendation
« Reply #3 on: April 20, 2016, 05:15:24 PM »
Thanks very much for your suggestions.

I see there are two refurbished 2400's and a 2460 on the ok web site.
Is the 2460 as good?
It gives no specs on the 2400, so what sized HD do they have?
Will they all record the latest MP??? transmissions that my TV won't show but both my other units will?

Offline IanL-S

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Re: IceTV Compatible EASY to use recorder recommendation
« Reply #4 on: April 20, 2016, 05:20:29 PM »
The only difference between the 2400 and 2460 is the size of the internal HDD; the 2400 is 500gig and the 2460 is 1TB.

Ian

Offline Dave at IceTV

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Re: IceTV Compatible EASY to use recorder recommendation
« Reply #5 on: April 20, 2016, 05:28:17 PM »
Hi Rob,

The only thing to be aware of with a Topfield is daylight saving. If she lives in a state with daylight saving then the Topfield will require some considerable steps be performed twice a year.

If she does live in a state with daylight saving the Humax HDR-7500T may be a better option, and cheaper too.
cheers

Dave
Customer Service

Offline robsue38

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Re: IceTV Compatible EASY to use recorder recommendation
« Reply #6 on: April 20, 2016, 05:38:24 PM »
Thanks. No daylight saving in WA - Unfortunately. Sounds like one of those two will be the right one for her

I originally bought a Humax for her but it's too different and too difficult. It saves some recordings in folders, others not. The fast forward/return arrows jump 30 secs with no scope for finer tuning. And deleting a file is more complicated too.

Offline robsue38

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Re: IceTV Compatible EASY to use recorder recommendation
« Reply #7 on: April 20, 2016, 06:05:09 PM »
Just had a look at the manual for the Topfield and it is very different from her old Toppy.

Sorry to be a pain but why do you say it is easier than the Wiz? 
I like that it has the File button to go straight to the recording list.
But I am worried that it has so many fast forward and rewind options, not to mention the F3 and F4 keys being configurable as jump keys.
Am I right in observing that the F4 key is also the delete key?

Offline Dave at IceTV

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Re: IceTV Compatible EASY to use recorder recommendation
« Reply #8 on: April 20, 2016, 07:31:12 PM »
The FF/REW steps are configurable. You have 2 choices:

4x, 16x, 64x, 128x (for keeping it simple)
2x, 4x, 8x, 16x, 32x, 64x, 128x (for those who like more control... or like pressing the >> button)

In the 2nd option the 128x is shown as 1 ... so there may be other faster speeds as well? I remember an old firmware version or old PVR had some insanely high FF speeds.

The F1 to F4 buttons are the standard coloured buttons on all PVR remotes: Red,  Green, Yellow and Blue.

Most PVRs reuse some buttons for multiple functions. While playing a file a certain button may be the skip button. While in the guide that same button may be the 'next day' button. While in the file list that button may be the delete button. it all becomes second nature after reading the help icons at the bottom of each menu screen that tells you what buttons do what in that window.

There are a some of quirks with any PVR. You just need to pick a PVR whose quirks you can live with. As you mentioned with the Humax it sometimes loses track of which shows are series recordings and then does not put those recordings in their folder. I'd prefer it not to automatically put any shows in folders.

The Humax has 4 skip buttons. 2 are configurable. The 2 that aren't configurable jump faster and faster if you hold the button so you can jump through an hour in seconds.
  • The amount that the |<< button, above the yellow button, skips backwards can be set to 7, 15 or 30 in the menu.
  • The amount that the >>| button, above the blue button, skips forward can be set to 30, 60, 120 or 240 in the menu.
  • The < button, next to the OK button, opens the progress bar, and a 2nd press skips back 30 seconds.
  • The > button, next to the OK button, opens the progress bar, and a 2nd press skips forward 30 seconds.

I never set a forward skip button to less than 30 seconds on any PVR. But I do set the back skip button to 7 or 12 seconds. Using these 2 buttons in combination allows jumping back 2 seconds or forward 5 seconds.

The old DP series Beyonwiz has quite a few features that no other PVR has (which makes them my favourite PVR) but they also have their share of quirks that can trip up elderly or inexperienced users.

Offline robsue38

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Re: IceTV Compatible EASY to use recorder recommendation
« Reply #9 on: April 20, 2016, 10:31:07 PM »
Thanks very much for your clarification.

It occurred to me that rather than try to find a PVR that suits an elderly person's learning limitations, it may be wiser for me to simply invest in a programmable remote. That way I could set the buttons that are most needed (forward 30 seconds, back 5 seconds; display the file list, play, stop etc) and "lose" the ones that could lead to trouble. An added advantage would be that I could upgrade the PVR at any time and simply reconfigure the remote to do what it always did (or close to what it used to).

Does that sound like a sensible solution? If so do you know of a suitable remote? I was looking at the Logitech Harmony 350.

Also, like you Dave, I hate the Humax saving things in folders. Is there any way to stop that? Does the Topfiled do that?

Offline IanL-S

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Re: IceTV Compatible EASY to use recorder recommendation
« Reply #10 on: April 21, 2016, 08:00:51 AM »
TMS Toppys save all recordings in the top folder called Data Files. Harmony RCUs support all Toppy models.

It is also possible to use the RCU from the old Toppy with the new Toppy which may make things a little easier; there are two TAPs you can use to do this.

The only possible issue is that Topfield chop and change what the coloured keys do in file manager (mainly when renaming files not sure if they do so elsewhere). TMS Toppys use the blue key to delete files and white key for 'options'. My old SD Toppy (5000 Masterpiece uses white key to delete file and blue key for option - or so the manual claims).

Ian

Offline robsue38

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Re: IceTV Compatible EASY to use recorder recommendation
« Reply #11 on: April 21, 2016, 10:03:04 AM »
Thanks for the added comments Ian. I had a look last night and her existing Toppy is a TF4400PVRt - very old but still works. It's actually the remote control that is failing but I don't see the point replacing the remote control on such an old machine that's likely to have a hard disc crash any day and can't record HD channels. I had a closer look at the Topfield and I think the thing that is more complicated (more comprehensive) is the remote control and I am thinking of buying a new Topfield and a Harmony remote control. I can then set the buttons on the remote that she uses - one fast forward speed, one rewind, one button to delete etc.With IceTV I can still set the recordings for her and it will record all shows.

Based on your knowledge of the Toppy 2400 and 2460 I would welcome your further opinion. Also do you think the refurbed 2400 and 2460 models will be around for a while longer? I was thinking of getting her used to the new remote first then, after she's had that a few months, replacing the Toppy. Or are the refurbed 2400s and 2460s now getting harder to find such that it's not worth taking the risk on a delay?

Offline IanL-S

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Re: IceTV Compatible EASY to use recorder recommendation
« Reply #12 on: April 21, 2016, 12:21:34 PM »
The 2400 is still in production, so reconditioned units should be around for quite a while. The 2460 has been discontinued, but they started shipping in late 2009 and were current for about 6 years, so there will be a lot out there. The only difference is the HDD size, and if the current unit is a 4400 then the 500gig HDD should be OK.

I agree it is not worth buying a new 4400 RCU; you can get a programmable Harmony for the same price. There are other brands of programmable RCU, not sure if the have native support for Toppys or not, but must are capable of learning keys (rather slow, but I did this to get my Harmony RCU to do mode 2 and 3 5000 Masterpiece RCU emulation).

Ian

Offline robsue38

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Re: IceTV Compatible EASY to use recorder recommendation
« Reply #13 on: April 21, 2016, 01:13:39 PM »
Thanks again. Sounds to me like the best option is to try the remote first, then wait and buy a new Topfield in a month or so. Really appreciate your help on this to everyone whose contributed.


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