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Test Report for Topfield SBP-2000 HDTV PVR

 
Topfield SBP-2000 HDTV PVR

At first glance, this appears to be yet another review of yet another PVR. Sure, this PVR looks a little cooler and seems a bit newer.

The entire system is packaged in an elegant cabinet that is available in silver. An easy-to-read Flexible Numeric Display or 7-segment display is positioned on the left side by the manufacturer. The front panel of the receiver has buttons to control the receiver. There is also a USB port on the front panel. If you have an external hard drive connected to the digital receiver via the USB port, you can record television programmes into it.

As expected from Topfield, the rear panel is nicely equipped: in addition to the IF input and looped-through output and the two scart connectors, you will also find three RCA jacks for video and stereo audio, S/PDIF, and an optical digital audio output. The included user manual is of exceptional quality and describes even for the beginner all functions and settings of the SBP-2000 in great detail. The remote control will never create problems for you during operation. The overall workmanship of SBP-2000 leaves a positive impression on us.

After turning on the receiver for the first time, the new SBP-2000 Topfield box begins by displaying the Main menu and thereby requires the user to set up the box to his specific needs, such as matching it to his antenna system, before using it for the first time. There is no installation assistant but in reality it really isn’t needed since the menu structure of the Topfield is very logically laid out such that even a beginner should easily be able to find his way around.

The SBP-2000 comes with quite a selection to choose from: German, English, French, Spanish, Arabic, Greek, Turkish, Danish, Swedish, Norwegian, Dutch, Polish, Persian, Finnish, Czech and Bulgarian. Once the language has been selected, the user can move on to the individual menu entries.

Topfield SBP-2000 receiver supports various video resolutions from 576 to 1080. In general, the resolution of 720 or more is considered high definition. The picture display can be set to 4:3 as well as 16:9. Additional display modes are available for 4:3 content viewed on a 16:9 TV.

This receiver supports DiSEqC 1.0, 1.1, 1.2 and USALS protocols. It can be used with fixed as well as motorized antenna. It can store up to 7,000 TV services and 3,000 radio services. It comes preprogrammed with updated satellites from worldwide.

Setting up the SBP-2000 is very easy. After I hooked everything up, I plugged in the unit and waited for my time-shifting fun to begin. A few button pushes later, the PVR told me to “Please Wait” while it did its own thing for a few minutes. The conclusion of the setup procedure involves downloading the channel guide.

The receiver scanning channels speed is very fast. 1240 TV and 715 Radio channels were found in 3 minutes. There’s also an expanded scan with manual PID entry. Channels within the channel list can be easily deleted, renamed, moved or locked out with a PIN code so the kids can’t nose around and land on channels not meant for them. The list can be sorted automatically a number of different ways and the more popular channels can be moved to any number of different Favorites lists so that they can be easily found with the push of a button on the remote control.

It presents Electronic Programme Guide (EPG) which allows you to navigate through all available services. It supports time-shift up to 5 hours at maximum. It can play back recorded programmes at up to 64 times speed at maximum. Topfield’s detailed channel list can be accessed simply by pushing the OK button. The switching time between channels is quite good and even if the two channels are not on the same transponder, the switching time is still reasonable at about one second.

The PVR function is undoubtedly at the top of the list. It is mainly ascribed to the NTFS file system which is adopted for user's convenience even though SBP-2000 is running on the Linux operating system. SBP-2000 has no built-in or internal hard drive. You have to plug an external hard drive to the USB port of SBP-2000 to implement its PVR functions. Thanks to the time shift function, it is also possible to pause a currently running programme should there be an interruption such as a ringing telephone.


 

 

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