Question Topfield replacement

MalR

Novice Member
Hi All,

Happy Christmas and a beverage of choice to all :)

I need to replace my aging and increasingly failing Topfield PVR (DVB-S twin tuner with wifi - TF6000), so i'm currently looking around for decent replacements. It needs to have/be:
twin tuners
Support full HD (so DVB-S2)
not using sky (so, freesat all round then, huh? ;)
built-in HDD storage
able for recordings to be removed so i can watch them on a windows PC (VLC etc)
Easy to use menu system
Plug and play initially, but with the ability for me to play a little afterwards.
Resilient to an inconsistent supply (the power drops off frequently here and the Toppy doesn't cope too well afterwards)
Box colour isn't really important, nor is the ability to pull media from an alternate source on the network (DLNA or whatever)
Wifi at least, and preferably an ethernet connection.

After a little research and review reading I've got the list of candidates down to:
vu+ solo2. (or perhaps a duo2, but that's getting expensive)
Humax HDr1100S
technomate <something or other>

I think i like the Solo2 best but it is a little expensive, although i like the sound of up to 7 concurrent recordings from the "current" 2 transponders, and i think the idea of FTPing .TS files to watch on VLC seems to fit that bill. The Duo2 - is it really worth the extra....?
The Technomate(s) reads like a slightly less well thought of, but perfectly good box that is almost as good as the Vu+ but not quite as expensive.
The Humax seems like a basically competant box, but cheaper than the others. But The Boss thinks she'll miss the lack of front display. And i worry that i can't find anything about copying off the recordings.

Things seems to have moved on a little since i researched the Topfield, so has anyone any comments on the suitability of any of those 3 candidates? Or suggest anything else?

Thanks a lot,

Mal
 

pedro2000uk

Distinguished Member
is it to a fixed dish or motorised or multi lnb setup & is it in the UK
 

logiciel

Moderator
Hi Mal, Welcome to the forum, and a Happy Christmas to you too.
Vu and Humax are OK, but we need to know which Techno.
 

MalR

Novice Member
Hi,

To be honest, i've only come to look at the Technos lately, so i'm a bit unfamiliar with their exact specs. I think i was looking at the Twin, and have perhaps already discounted the nano-2 and <something> OE both for not really inspiring me, although not for any real reason.

Mal
 

logiciel

Moderator
OK, so why not go for Freesat with the Humax?
 

logiciel

Moderator
Hi Mal.
That's right, there are few official Freesat machines, and many Linux ones.
See the Freesat web site for all the available machines.
Logi.
 

MalR

Novice Member
No.
When i got our first decoder (even pre-Toppy) it was all Freeview (DVB-S), Freesat was in its infancy.
I remember though there was some limitation of Freesat compared to Freeview even then but i didn't take much notice as the Freeview was working for us; i dare say Freesat has evolved since then. Freeview even seemed to have been removed from the Lyngsat transponder listing when i was looking at something else a few weeks ago.

I'm not desperate to get Freesat per se, just something that "works".

Is there somewhere i can can find out the difference(s)?

Mal
 

logiciel

Moderator
Freeview refers to terrestrial DVB-T/2 TV.
Freesat refers to satellite DVB-S/2 TV.
Freeview naturally won't be found on Lyngsat.
Freesat is basically just the EPG that many broadcasters pay to be on.
You can get its channels on any receiver but without the official EPG.
FV and FS have their web sites where the full details can be found and compared.
 

Rodders53

Distinguished Member
Freeview(TM) is the UK terrestrial UHF system unavailable in France (except by the coast overlooking Jersey and perhaps near Dover?)

Free to Air (FTA) = no encryption
Free to View (in UK) = may have $ky encryption and need a card but no monthly sub to watch

freesat(TM) = a proprietary EPG for FTA satellite and, to meet freesat spec, they MUST encrypt onto disk / prevent copying to view on other devices. Some older Humax (Foxsat-HDR) had a get-around via the user community but now are only available as 2nd-user models).

Thus the FTA satellite receivers (i.e. non-freesat compliant) seem your only option to do all that you want with add-on apps to utilise the 7-day epg for scheduling recordings.

EDIT and Logi beat me to explain some of that already!
 

logiciel

Moderator
;)
 

kevkbuk

Distinguished Member
In summary, a Freesat box will give you an EPG and series linking for recording and some catchup services. The EPG updates itself if any channels change frequencies etc. As above with the original Humax Foxsat HDR you can load custom firmware to remove the 'encryption' on HD recordings and transfer/stream them via LAN. It is truly plug and play.

An Enigma 2 Linux based box is a generic, as your Topfield is presumably? By default you'll only get now/next info for the channels on 28.2E but you can load plugins (ala CrossEPG) to load the Sky/Freesat EPG. You can also download channel lists, both of which can be automated. There is also the AutoTimer plugin to simulate series linking. You'll find some unofficial support catchup (eg BBC) and lots of other non-official sources for IPTV. Recordings are unencrypted in standard formats and can be streamed/copied over the LAN from an int/ext HD, NAS or PC share. Solo2 and Duo2 will even transcode for viewing on restricted bandwidth away from home. As you've found VU+ is the most popular here and has by far the best software support which is extremely important.

Whilst not difficult the E2 box is not plug and play in the same fashion as a Freesat box and will require some time and effort learning how to set it up and get the most from it.
 

MalR

Novice Member
Hi Logi, Rodders and Kev,

If it's only the EPG stuff, then yes, we know about it. We've only ever had a "now and next" EPG, so it's not like we're loosing anything. ISTR seeing something about adding a 7 day EPG guide to one of the systems (can't remember which); I can leave investigation of that for a little until i get used to the system - there's no rush.

Sorry, i should have been clearer, i was referring to FTA.
Does it mean then that the channel list will be exactly that of Freesat? I was reading something about the ITV HD channels were not FTA, only FTV, but it could have been an old post somewhere that has now been superceded. And i could have been mistaken. Again. I saw there was an announcement about C5 HD lately, but i'll go back and read that again soon to see how that applies. The iplayer type services are of less interest to us as we're out of the UK so they don't work particularly.... efficiently.

I think a Solo2 is coming our way very soon, and probably with the default Enigma build installed. At least until i can work out what the box is doing and how it is doing it. (Not trying to run before i can walk). Would that be a bad idea?

Cheers,

mal
 

grahamlthompson

Distinguished Member
In summary, a Freesat box will give you an EPG and series linking for recording and some catchup services. The EPG updates itself if any channels change frequencies etc. As above with the original Humax Foxsat HDR you can load custom firmware to remove the 'encryption' on HD recordings and transfer/stream them via LAN. It is truly plug and play.

An Enigma 2 Linux based box is a generic, as your Topfield is presumably? By default you'll only get now/next info for the channels on 28.2E but you can load plugins (ala CrossEPG) to load the Sky/Freesat EPG. You can also download channel lists, both of which can be automated. There is also the AutoTimer plugin to simulate series linking. You'll find some unofficial support catchup (eg BBC) and lots of other non-official sources for IPTV. Recordings are unencrypted in standard formats and can be streamed/copied over the LAN from an int/ext HD, NAS or PC share. Solo2 and Duo2 will even transcode for viewing on restricted bandwidth away from home. As you've found VU+ is the most popular here and has by far the best software support which is extremely important.

Whilst not difficult the E2 box is not plug and play in the same fashion as a Freesat box and will require some time and effort learning how to set it up and get the most from it.
Not possible to remove the encryption on existing HD recordings. A patch to the OS (not part of the CF but relies on the external access to the box provided by the CF to apply it), but once applied future HD recordings are not encrypted. A unmodified Foxsat-hdr is capable of manually recording HD in non-freesat mode without encryption.

The Freeview+ boxes HDR FOX T2, HDR1800/2000T can decrypt existing HD recordings on copying to usb (using Foxy). The HDR FOX T2 can do it in situ thanks to similar custom firmware to the Foxsat HDR.
 

MalR

Novice Member
Thanks good to know, thanks. As long as i can get useable output within 24hours of delivery i think i can stay alive. :)

By the way, you mentioned that SD recordings are unencrypted. How about HD recordings?
 

MalR

Novice Member
Sorry, I misread "....standard formats..." as "Standard Definition". Oops..
That's the problem with researching something new that you're unfamiliar with - you see so much that after a while you start confusing yourself with all the new information you have,... :)

Thanks for your help!
Off to order a solo2. Unless i can convince myself a duo2 is worth the extra....

Cheers,

Mal
 
No.
When i got our first decoder (even pre-Toppy) it was all Freeview (DVB-S), Freesat was in its infancy.
I remember though there was some limitation of Freesat compared to Freeview even then but i didn't take much notice as the Freeview was working for us; i dare say Freesat has evolved since then. Freeview even seemed to have been removed from the Lyngsat transponder listing when i was looking at something else a few weeks ago.

I'm not desperate to get Freesat per se, just something that "works".

Is there somewhere i can can find out the difference(s)?

Mal
Freeview is NOT DVB-S it is DVB-T (received via a terrestrial aerial and NOT a dish) and you will not find Freeview on Lyngsat as it has never been transmitted on satellite. Freeview is nothing to do with satellite please do not confuse it with Free to view (FTV) which means a channel is subscription free but requires a viewing card or particular decoder to view it, there are also Free to air (FTA) chaannels which do not need card or decoder.
 

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