Topfield TRF7160 review: Topfield TRF7160

CNET Editors' Rating

3 stars Good
Review Date:
Updated on:

The Good Dual tuners. 500GB storage. Not Freeview crippled. Supports net access.

The Bad Poorly designed remote control. Ethernet port configuration best left to networking types.

The Bottom Line A PVR that performs the essential PVR functions, but without much in the way of grace.

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Design

The TRF7160's design is pretty nondescript. We're quite used to set-top boxes being black little numbers with not much pizzazz, and that's the TRF7160 in a nutshell. It's visually very similar to the TBF-7120 , except that the hard drive's internal and the LCD display extends to more than four characters. Bland isn't necessarily bad in the PVR space, though, as ideally you're going to want to spend more time looking at the display above it anyway. From the rear you'll find composite, component and HDMI video output, optical audio and a single USB and LAN port.

One thing you shouldn't have to spend much time looking at is a good remote control, but the TRF7160's remote is far from good. It's cluttered with way too many buttons that are all closely grouped together and similarly shaped. Even after extensive testing, we still couldn't confidently hit the play button on the middle of a group of similar sized buttons without visually checking first. To make matters worse the buttons are squishy and sometimes unresponsive.

Features

The TRF7160 is a dual-tuner EPG with a 500GB hard drive with support for up to 1080i video output. In terms of digital free-to-air that's fine — nobody's yet broadcasting in 1080p — but in terms of playing back other video it's a slightly limiting factor. The TRF7160 is capable of media playback in DivX, .vob, .mkv or MP4 format, although annoyingly it can't do so over a network despite the presence of an Ethernet port. Instead, it can only handle those media files if they're on a USB flash drive, the port for which is on the rear of the unit. That means if the playback feature is important to you, you can't put it into an AV cabinet.

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Where to Buy

Topfield TRF7160

Part Number: CNETTopfield TRF7160

Typical Price: $699.00

See manufacturer website for availability.