Topfield Picture Quality

Discussion in 'Digital TV & Video Players & Recorders' started by s7eve, Dec 30, 2006.

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  1. s7eve

    s7eve
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    I've had the Topfield 5800 for about a year now, and I think the Freeview picture quality on my Pioneer 435XDE Plasma is as good as using the Pioneer tuner. Even watching recordings I can't see any noticable degredation. So when a couple of friends with 32" LCD screens asked me about PVRs, I didn't hesitate to recommend the Toppy.

    Both of my friends complained that picture quality is worse than what they got through thier built in tuners.

    They seem to be using the best setting (RGB Scart). And the only difference between my setup (apart from plasma vs LCD) is that I have a Thor Scart Lead, and my friends are using the Scart lead that came with the Topfield.

    Could it be the quality of the lead that is the problem? Or is it just that LCD screens get worse pictures through the Topfield than Plasma?

    Second question....

    Doing some digging, I noticed that the Topfield has a YUV output setting. Will using a Scart to RCA Component lead give a better picture than the RGB Scart to Scart?

    Thanks!
    Steve
     
  2. mark.king

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    I doubt it would make a great difference. Are they using the RGB setting? Are there screens set up properly?

    I have the toppy and my picture is really good using a good scart and RGB though to be honest I did have a cheep one at the beggining and it was still good. I don't know the answer as I think the pic is one of the best freeview I have seen. My girlfriend bought a Panny dvd writer and hooked it up at mine and complained the pic wasn't as good! She was right it was not as sharp as the toppy.
     
  3. Andy ARB

    Andy ARB
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    I've got a Topfield connected to a Plasma too and, IMO, you recommended the best PVR that there is - the picture is excellent.

    However, no matter what external freeview box is used or how it's connected it always going to give a worse picture (by varying degrees) than the TV's internal freeview tuner as more 'stuff' becomes a factor (more leads , more connections, more processing (from RGB or whatever to whatever the TV uses internally) etc. etc.) - Whereas the internal tuner might be able to bypass alot of the above and so preserve the picture quality).

    If you can't tell the difference on your Plasma its because of the quality of its components / processing / connections etc. etc. etc. your TV has.

    If your friends can seen a marked difference then it's down to their TV - you didnt recommend that too did you !!!! ;)

    I'd recommend a better scart lead and if it's still a problem then keep a straight face and tell them thank god they have a Topfield as it could well be worse with one of the other 'lesser' makes ;)
     
  4. per-Sony-fied

    per-Sony-fied
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    Well I've compared a Toppy to a Sony VTX-D800 to see if I'd be happy with the quality and I rate the Sony as a real top notch picture and I was pleasently surprised to find after some some knob (button) twiddling to the TV settings I thought the picture was exasperatingly close and the sound was possibly better! Having a stronger lower mid response but having a more distant upper mid which in all seemed to be nicer on the ears.

    I used QED scart leads for all comparisons.

    While on the Toppy subject, I can categorically say the tuners sensitivity (C1.01 models) are not quite on a par with the Sony. The Toppy broke up losing stations before the Sony gave up.
     
  5. Richard46

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    Steve; One of my Toppys uses Component to run a 30" LCD and picture looks very good to me. If it is better than RGB I do not know. However a friend has a Toppy and a 32" Sharp LCD with RGB and I think their picture is slightly better than mine but it is a much newer TV. I think they are just using the supplied Scart.
    That probably just confuses things I suspect. :D
     
  6. nwhitfield

    nwhitfield
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    LCDs can be very unforgiving of the artefacts on some digital channels - and in some cases, the 'smart' picture processing on them can make things seem worse.

    It's worth looking through the menus on the TVs to see what 'noise reduction' and similar settings they have.

    Nigel.
     
  7. per-Sony-fied

    per-Sony-fied
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    That is true provided the installed tuner is more than average in the first place (in this case they could well be). Anything that does not start out as so can not be made up by less connections and processing. It's also clear that some external Freeview boxes provide a fantastic picture on many a set. So it could just as likely be that their RGB sources (inputs) are not up to scratch.
     
  8. Goldfiinger

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    Good to know you changed from the Sony freeview to the toppy PVR and had no issues with picture quality im thinking about doing the same, but wont be able to test the difference. It's nice to know someones made the same change and has been happy. :)
     
  9. per-Sony-fied

    per-Sony-fied
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    Not changed, running alongside at present! Not gonna get rid of my beloved Sony until I'm absolutely positive it is the right thing to do :)
    The user interface on the Toppy as standard supply is not even a scratch on the Sony's :( This is certainly a machine that needs TAPS just to improve the way it looks never mind functions! The remote is a sore loser too to the Sony. Has no provision for operating your TV other than aspect ratio :confused: and those buttons are very hard to understand what's what.
    As you know you could use the Sony remote (well I can) with your eyes closed.

    I was lucky to test the differences, I bought one but it arrived with damage to the casing so I sent it back, after a little play ;) I'm also glad that happened because I've now got the latest version Toppy :thumbsup:
     
  10. Goldfiinger

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    Yeah i love the sony remote gonna be a shame to see it go, is the user interface better than the Sony with TAPS or even with TAPS would you still say the Sony has the edge and by how much ?

    Think im gonna have to invest in a all singing all dancing remote if/when i do change.
     
  11. Bl4ckGryph0n

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    I'm running mine with a Harmony 885....Works a treat.....I know everyone is different, but what remote comes with the device is the least of my concerns....

    In order to keep an objective mind, you should not forget how attached you've grown to your Sony interface.....Now don't get me wrong, I don't like the stock Toppy interface either, but then I have been using Sky+ for 5 years, so I've made my toppy look like Sky+....But I do have family and friend who never had freeview or Sky and they love the Toppy interface.....So it is all down to what you like....But at least you can change it to your liking on the Toppy....
     
  12. Bearded_Malc

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    Very true. Everyone seems to think their way is the right way and if it isn't that way it is poor/wrong. I have a toppy and run the toppy EPG because I prefer that to all the others available that tend to emulate sky (and I don't like sky's ui either). Luckily on the toppy I have the choice of UI so this is not a problem, unlike humy/sony/etc. :smashin:

    I also have no opinion on the toppy remote. It's a remote like any other and I find it no harder to operate than most. Buttons are a resonable size and convienently placed. It doesn't work my TV but then I wouldn't expect it to. If I wanted a remote to do both I'd get a universal remote. Generally you have to stick to one make if you want one supplied remote to do TV / Video which is too restrictive IMO.
     
  13. PhillH

    PhillH
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    I used the Sky UI for the first time in a while, visiting relatives over Christmas, and I was struck by how inferior it is to the UI I have on the Topfield (I'm using MyStuff, but much the same could be said about other TAPs). You can't watch (or hear) TV while you browse the EPG. You can't see the programme description without pressing another button. The whole thing is sluggish and unresponsive. Ugh. People pay for this? The Sky remote is a lot better, but that's about it. I was glad to get back to the Toppy.
     
  14. per-Sony-fied

    per-Sony-fied
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    I've only had the Toppy a few days and as yet not managed to get any taps on it! (god I can be slow :) ) I havn't even done one solitary recording :eek: There me with two tuners and a whopping HD and still using the Sony :D

    I so far only managed to do some swatting on the new Mystuff 5.0 which does seem very comprehensive and have some lovely features that the Sony doesn't!! so at least for Mystuff 5.0 it does look promising and with a patient hand and time you could customise the various styles of EPG background colours so it has more than a passing similarity to the Sony EPG :D well in theory!
     
  15. per-Sony-fied

    per-Sony-fied
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    Yea but if your into relaxing music then the EPG is for you ;)
     
  16. per-Sony-fied

    per-Sony-fied
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    It would be nice if they either used more colour buttons and/or text so you could see at a glance which button does what. Instead they use weird barelly eligible symbols and strange shaped buttons. I always have to think and look twice to see which is the Guide,menu and exit buttons and really scrutinize those small buttons under the HD contols.

    Besides the Sony/Humax/Sky remote that controls all TV's to name 3 of the top of my head. Universals are great but it's a lot to fork out just to get it to do a few basic TV functions along with everything the Freeview remote would do.
     

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