Topfield can't output S-Video AND RGB. How stupid?


Well-known Member
Just got a Topfield 5800 PVR. Nice machine to replace my Sky+ box.

But I have a problem. The SKy+ box could output RGB via scart (which was connected directly to my display), AND S-Video (which was connected to my AV Amp) at the same time.

Now although the Topfield has and S-Video socket AND an RGB capable scart socket, it appears that the S-Video ouput doesn't work if you configure the scart to RGB.

They may aswell not have bothered sticking the S-Video socket on the back... I mean if you use it, the scart must be S-Video aswell...pointless!
Seams like a cheap marketing trick to me to fool you into thinking it is feature packed with connection options.

Shame really, it's a good machine... but it has messed up my system so I can't watch programs directly on the TV without firing up the AV Amp.
Stupid, stupid, stupid!


Well-known Member
I do see your point, but I guess there would be a development cost that surely most people would never use as most people run everything through the amp.

Why not invest in a Harmony remote, the 655's are cheap as chips now, and just run everything through you amp.

Chris Muriel

Well-known Member
Have you actually confirmed this with Topfield ?
The user manual doesn't refer to either of these apparent oversights.

Chris Muriel, Manchester


Well-known Member
I already have a harmony 895 and a Pronto Pro so its not ease of control that bothers me.
The point is that sometimes it is nice to watch directly on the Plasma without having to fire up the AV amp... for example, just catching up on the news or watching old programmes in mono.

Somebody will probably suggest just connecting RGB directly to the Plasma and forget the video conenction to the Amp.
The trouble with that is that the amp feeds my Projector aswell.

So this rediculous connection flaw is proving quite a problem.

I have found 1 solution though... but its very fiddly.
Whilst it is set to S-video you do have 2 S-Video signals available (1 from the scart and 1 from the S-Video socket).
So I have connected the 2nd S-video output to my DVD recorder's input.
With the DVD Recorder switched on, this will upconvert the output signal to RGB scart.. and voila problem solved.

The problem with that though is that the DVD Recorder takes 30 seconds to boot up, needs to be set to the correct input and is... well, frankly a fart arse way round it.

This is a major pain in the backside, and prospective Topfield purchasers should take note... particularly those with dual screen setups.


Novice Member
Fair point in your set up but I've not actually used the speakers on my TV since I bought it. That's 9 years ago:eek: Especially if you've got a Pronto with macros set up theres no real reason not to fire up the amp. If programmed, one buton press can turn on the Tv or projector, turn on the Topfield and then switch on the amp ensuring the right inputs and outputs were selected.

Hang on you've got me worried now. Do the TV speakers still work?..............................................................................................................................................................

Yep.:) Wonder if it will be another 9 years until I test them again, mind you to be fair, time I bought a new TV.

Paul Shirley

Novice Member
SCART uses pins 13&15 for Red in RGB and chroma in Svideo mode, its physically not possible to output both at the same time. Depending on how the sockets were wired that may also stop use of the svideo socket in component mode, if wired another way a firmware change might fix it.

Ask Topfield if a fix is possible, it may just be an oversight based on the limitations of SCART pinout.


Well-known Member
Thanks for the reply. I'll look into contacting Topfield on the possibility of a firmware fix. Component + S-Video would be fine.

However, with regards to S-Video + RGB
its physically not possible to output both at the same time.
How come Sky+ boxes manage it?


Novice Member
Does Sky+ use SCART for S Video too? Or have a separate connector?

What Paul was saying is that since common SCART pins are used for different purposes, depending on the mode, you obviously can't run both modes over the SCART at the same time.

And if the S-Video connector is effectively just wired in parallel with the SCART, then that's why you can't have RGB via SCART at the same time as S-Video.

If Sky+ has a different arrangement, perhaps feeding each connector entirely separately, then it may well be able to do something differently.



Well-known Member
Sky+ has a seperate S-Video connector just like the Topfield... except the Sky+ S-Video socket is a real one.

Also every DVD player I've ever used (and I've used a few) is capable of outputting RGB via scart AND S-Video via a dedicated socket.

I understand that if the S-Video socket is wired in parallel to the scart then it will share its setting.

The point I'm making is why is it wired in paralell... to save a few pennies!
Why can it not have a truly independent S-Video socket like you will find even on budget DVD players <£100.

I think Topfield is conning us here, saying it has a dedicated S-Video socket, RGB socket etc when the waters are somewhat muddier.

Now don't get me wrong, it's a good machine in all other respects.
If it's possible to update the firmware to allow simultaneous S-Video & Component ouput then fair enough. But as it stands I feel a little cheated!

Paul Shirley

Novice Member
Jules said:
The point I'm making is why is it wired in paralell... to save a few pennies!
Bear in mind non-Europeans don't use SCART and that could cause a design error like this with a small company. Just pray its a programming error.
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