Review Price free/subscription
Topfield TF5810PVRt Personal Video Recorder - Topfield TF5810PVRt
In action the unit is wonderfully slick; changing channels in less than a second and sailing through menu options without any pauses - all of which makes the user experience a pleasant one. Even when it's busy recording two channels, you can access the EPG and carry out other functions without any detrimental effect on performance. On the downside, the remote is heavy on buttons, but among them are dedicated buttons to change the aspect ratio and HDMI resolution, plus a convenient Options button that brings up a mini menu of key functions.
If you hit record while watching a programme, the unit will record for a set amount of time (the default is two hours) and won't stop at the end of the programme unless you tell it to, which is a slight niggle in an otherwise a magnificent operating system.
Freeview picture quality is right out of the top drawer. The HDMI output and HD upscaling prove their worth, subjectively giving the image an extra boost of sharpness and clarity that you don't get from the RGB SCART. Colours are powerful too, and although there's evidence of MPEG block noise (which is sadly part and parcel of Freeview broadcasts) it's nothing more than a minor distraction and some channels look better than others. Also impressive is the stability of the tuners and the quality of recordings, which look identical to the original live broadcast.
Ladies and gentlemen, say hello to your new PVR champion. The Humax PVR-9200T has finally been ousted from power and replaced by a superior product that adds a greater hard-disk capacity and an HDMI output, as well as delivering a flawless performance and a magnificent user interface. But such brilliance comes at a price - at around £300, the TF5810PVRt is expensive, particularly when you compare it to the sub-£200 asking price for the Humax. But if money is no object (and if you don't fancy subscribing to Sky) then this is the best Freeview PVR we've encountered.
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