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Buy now or wait 6 months?


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So I'm in two minds; Wait until the 7000pvr is released so I can watch *and* record HD as well as SD and do away with my VCR...

or...

Buy a Topfield 5000pvr now and get an HD set-top later, connect that to the topfield and record using that...

I'm a picture/audio quality freak, but I'm beginning to wonder how important HD really should be to me - how much content is there really (that I would watch), and will my TV get the best out of it (probably at this stage going to be a 76 or 86cm Pana200a).

Two mates now have a 5000pvr and its great being able to setup tv shows to record regularly without having to remember to swap tapes in and out... also I don't have a settop box yet, and ABC is marginal in my area and have no doubt that a dtv settop would cure this.

I'm really in two minds and am just looking for a little advice.

Or if not the Topfield, are any other contenders looking worthy?

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Well first of all, you cannot just connect a HD STB to the 5000prv to record HD (nor any other external source, only the 2 tuners). If you want to record HD you will have to go for the 7000.

As for deciding if there is enough on in HD, there is a list of what is widescreen and what is HD here.

If picture and audio quality is that important to you, then I suggest you wait for the 7000, but on the other hand, you’re living with analogue at the moment!

For a 76/86 cm TV I don't think you will notice too much difference. I had a HD box for my 119cm rear projection (HD) for a while, and while you could notice the difference it was not that much. The major problem I found was that the bandwidth for HD is too small, so the picture gets a bit blocky during fast action (which is not as evident on SD).

While you can see problems with the SD picture, they are only noticeable when you look for them, once you start watching you are paying more attention to what is going on rather than what is wrong with the picture.

I would suggest when you go to the store to buy the TV, go during a time when there will be a show on in HD (I would suggest during CSI if you can, as it is one of the higher quality shows) and flick between the SD and HD channel on their demo set.

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Buy a Topfield 5000pvr now and get an HD set-top later, connect that to the topfield and record using that...

They're a bunch of toppy rah rahs in here mate, so here is my single opinion (which will be against the grain).

I trialled the toppy 5000 for a while against my existing DGTEC 2000a STB with the keen intention to purchase the toppy. However, the toppy picture quality was very poor compared to the DGTEC (on SD material and using either s-video or component) so I gave up on the toppy. You really do need to see machines side by side to do a real comparison regardless of what others here will say about "how good their toppy PQ is".

I agree with you about not bothering with HD however. The networks have totally scant commitment to HD. It's been like that for the 2 years I've had my setup and it doesn't look like changing in the forseeable future.

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I agree with you about not bothering with HD however. The networks have totally scant commitment to HD. It's been like that for the 2 years I've had my setup and it doesn't look like changing in the forseeable future.

And thats the rub isnt it - HD equipment is significantly more expensive; Looking at the list of content in HD there is probably very minimal stuff aired that I would be likely to watch.

Coupled with not having a huge Plasma (where the cheap ones IMO have absolutely terrible PQ) nor a DLP RearPro, and I think the decision to stick with SD is becoming clearer at least for a couple more years until its a worthwhile expense.

I'm no Toppy fanboi - it seems to have its share of problems and glitches but so does everything in this area it seems... I've just started doing the research again on what is available now, and if there are alternatives to the Toppy I'd be happy to hear them - The HomeCast looks like a nice set-top, but there is no harddrive based model out yet.

Additionally, the DVD recorders with built in harddrives look promising, but I have been waiting for somebody to integrate a DTV tuner into them. One of the things that drives me up the wall when recording from a settop to a vcr, is when somebody comes along and changes the settop channel while you're recording. There goes your show :-\ Whereas, with an integrated tuner, changing the channel whilst recording is blocked as is the case when using the vcr to record analogue.

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...However, the toppy picture quality was very poor compared to the DGTEC (on SD material and using either s-video or component) so I gave up on the Toppy.

Without trying RGB? You missed out there.

Plus the DGTEC 2000a STB is not a PVR. This seems to be the main point of cmcdonald's original post - he want's to record.

V.

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Without trying RGB? You missed out there.

My TV, like many (most?) others, does not accept RGB input. I'm aware others have purchased expensive RGB to component adaptors to overcome the toppy component bugs but I wasn't willing to spend so much time and money on the mere "potential" improvement.

Plus the DGTEC 2000a STB  is not a PVR. This seems to be the main point of cmcdonald's original post - he want's to record.

Well, the point of my reply was only about the picture quality - which is probably the most important issue don't you think?

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Yep very important. I'm happy with RGB, but as you say the component signals out of this box are just not up to scratch (even with the latest factory hardware mod apparently).

I'm also surprised that you found the Toppy's svideo to be poor, I've never used it but have heard only praise for it till now.

V.

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In my opinion it really depends on how patient you are... not in respect to the three or four months until the HD product arrives but in regards to your patience in waiting for a stable product. I was an early adopter (pre-ordered) of the SD model and personally went through months of frustration with the unit before all the critical software bugs were resolved.

The current version of the TF5000 is quite good and given the opportunity to purchase again I would - the current firmware is not without fault but the previous versions were crap.

Last night for example my recording of Brat Camp was truncated to a single 1/2 second blimp of image for some unknown reason - Anyone care to send me a PM telling me what happened??.

In regards to picture and sound glitches for me they occur once every half hour. Liveable but not perfect. My main gripe is that the upgrade to the 120GB hard disk was a waste of time as for me 200GB is too small.

Anyway I will be ordering the new model (Are there are going to be competitors?) but not until such time as the new unit becomes stable.

Markus

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Guys,

Toppy Scart-RGB quality is superb - every bit as good as the TEAC HD-STB RGB - IF you use decent shielded interconnects ('Crest' metal Scart/RGB adapter plus dual-shield interconnects). If your display allows RGBS input (ie. separate composite synch), then the Toppy supports this using a dual-shield Composite cable from the Toppy RCA-video to the H-synch terminal on your TV/panel - this is what I use.

Toppy YUV (Component) is crap (on mine, anyway) irrespective of interconnects.

Toppy s-video is 'poor' - but able to be adjusted to 'good' IF no other s-video inputs share the same brightness/contrast/etc settings. Note that free/cheap s-video leads are only single-(braid)-shielded and should be avoided if you are interested in PQ.

My opinions (repeated for the Nth time),

Ian

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Assuming it is well constructed (shielding, impedance matching etc...) it will not degrade the picture.

RGB to component and vice versa is a lossless process (there is a direct mathematical relationship between the two systems).

If you are handy with a soldering iron you might be able to save a few bucks by building this:

http://www.siliconchip.com.au/cms/A_102648/article.html

V.

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Hi Lynn,

I have 2 Toppies connected via the Cypress RGB(1 converter each) to component converter and the Picture quality is stunning., and equal to RGB...

I have done many reports on this product and my opinion has not changed...

fantastic and well worth it...I had one Toppy... component modded and the other one was not modded...these were early model Toppies...I needed 2 good component outputs of the same quality to run through my A/V unit.so when I chose the next Toppy I had no adjustments to make.....and that is what I have...the Cypress converter gives a pixel perfect picture...and that is guaranteed...there are many users of the converter in this forum and I have never seen a bad report...

I did not have to change my plasma's picture from default, whereas I would have had many adjustments without it

foss

OK, so if the Toppy is crap with Component, would it be OK to use the Scart -> Component adapter that Hantrex has? Would it degrade the picture at all? I don't have Scart on my TV.

http://www.australiandigitaltv.com/accessories/rgbcomp.htm

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Assuming it is well constructed (shielding, impedance matching etc...) it will not degrade the picture.

RGB to component and vice versa is a lossless process (there is a direct mathematical relationship between the two systems).

If you are handy with a soldering iron you might be able to save a few bucks by building this:

http://www.siliconchip.com.au/cms/A_102648/article.html

V.

I wish I had my own circuit board manufacturing equipment. I would love to build one of these but it adds up quickly:

circuit board : $35

magazine (back issue) : $8.80

so its already at almost $45 without even adding all the components!

Still, this could prove an interesting activity for me during the uni break.

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Thanks fossil,

That's just what I wanted to hear :blink: Think I may take the plunge and retire the Strong 5390 to the 2nd tele.

Thanks for the suggestion Vermin, but I couldn't solder to save my life!

Hi Lynn,

I have 2 Toppies connected via the Cypress RGB(1 converter each) to component converter and the Picture quality is stunning., and equal to RGB...

I have done many reports on this product  and my opinion has not changed...

fantastic and well worth it...I had one Toppy... component modded and the other one was not modded...these were early model Toppies...I needed 2 good component  outputs of the same quality to run through my A/V unit.so when I chose the next Toppy I had no adjustments to make.....and that is what I have...the Cypress converter gives a pixel perfect picture...and that is guaranteed...there are many users of the converter in this forum and I have never seen a bad report...

I did not have to change my plasma's picture from default, whereas I would have had many adjustments without it

foss

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