Topfield TRF2400 Masterpiece HD review: Topfield TRF2400 Masterpiece HD

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CNET Editors' Rating

3.5 stars Very good
Review Date:
Updated on:

The Good Good recording quality. Excellent feature set including YouTube and Flickr. Decent amount of storage. DRM-free recordings playable on PC.

The Bad Some recorders are capable of a better image. User interface is a little sparse. Component input only accepts 576p.

The Bottom Line The Topfield Masterpiece HD is a very capable PVR that offers a lot of recording flexibility and just as many cutting edge features as the "big boys".

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Design

The design of the TRF2400 is in keeping with a "Masterpiece" and mimics the austere elegance of other Topfield devices like the TF7100HDPVRt . It's smaller than most PVRs and features a glossy black front with a round control panel in the centre. The front panel also features a green LCD readout, which is quite easy to discern from across a room. There is a pull-down flap on the right-hand side that hides two USB ports as well.

We really like the new remote control. It may look like a 70's scientific calculator, but it's actually quite fun. It's also a learning remote and can control up to three other devices.

Features

We'll get the tech specs out of the way first: the Masterpiece features twin high-definition tuners, which means you can record one channel while watching/recording another; it comes with a 500GB hard drive; and it will accept an extra external drive up to 1TB.

As an internet-connected device, the Topfield offers several web services to users including weather, and YouTube (with search) and Flickr. In addition, the unit is able to play media files from an external drive and most codecs are supported, including HD video favourite MKV. While not a well-publicised feature, the Topfield does offer you the ability to move your recorded files off the machine and onto a PC. Topfield offers a browser which is actually quite intuitive, and means you can access the drive from any web browser. You can also move files onto the device's drive if you like.

The PVR supports the free seven-day electronic program guide, but the best functionality such as series and remote recording are available if you sign up for an account with IceTV. Though the unit supports the all-important MPEG4, the box is not Freeview compatible.

Topfield is one of the few companies that still allow 30-sec skipping (for ads, dontcha know) but it's a little tricky to get a handle on for first-time users because you use the coloured buttons instead. For this, the "Yellow" button skips forward and the "Green" button sets a bookmark that you can return to later.

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Where to Buy

Topfield TRF2400 Masterpiece HD

Part Number: CNETTopfield TRF2400 Masterpiece HD

Typical Price: $1,099.00

See manufacturer website for availability.