• What is the default PIN number?

For most Toppys it is 0000, although in some ancient firmware it was something different. The default PIN for the TBF-100HD and TBF200HD is 2010. If you forget the PIN number you have created, it should be changed to the default by doing a reset to factory settings.

  • When I change channels I lose picture

If your video settings are set to Auto, change this to 1080i or to whatever is suited to your TV

  • My PVR restarts by itself

Check your firmware version. If it is older than 2012 you should upgrade. Otherwise if you run any TAPs first try disabling them by moving them out of the AutoStart folder and then reboot. Then when its stable introduce them one at a time until you find the offending TAP. There is an extended discussion of possible cause here.

  • The picture quality is not very good

If you have Composite cables (yellow red and white) between the PVR and the TV then this is probably the worst type of connection apart from the RF (aerial cable). The best is either HDMI or Component (red green blue). Also check that the video output setting is set to something equivalent to your TV. Try 1080i first. Some actually work better on the Auto setting which just transfers the signal to the TV for scaling.

  • My recordings are short - they don't contain the end of the shows

If you set your timers from the EPG they will be set according to the EPG at that time. Quite often, the program's actual start time will start a little later (sometimes substantially later on commercial networks) and so the recording timer will stop before the end of the show. The way to fix this is to extend the end time of the timer by editing it. If you want to do this for all timers/recordings, then you can set padding in the Settings menu (Menu->Settings->Recording). Front padding applies to the beginning of the recording (ie, start "n" minutes before the scheduled time) and Rear padding applies to the end of the recording. Most people have a 0 or very short front padding and a much longer rear padding, say 20-30 minutes. Maximum padding is 30 minutes.

There are TAPs that update the starting time and length of a recording (for example TMSTimer and SmartEPG TMS). SmatEPG TMS allows larger padding and can be customised for particular series.

Short recordings can be a result of the Toppy spontaneously rebooting.

  • How do I record 4 channels?

The high end Topfield PVRs support recording 4 channels simultaneously. However that is within 2 channel groups (or networks). For example you can record 7, 71, 7Mate, and 2 (two networks: 7 and ABC) but NOT 7, 71, 9, and 2 (three networks: 7, 9, and ABC).

  • What options for Series Recording are there?
  1. IceTV - this is probably the most sophisticated option but it is a commercial service and your Topfield needs to support IceTV
  2. Intelligent Recording (IR) [TRF-2400/2460/2470/7160/7170/7260] - this records a "series" by matching the title of the show on the EPG. However if the program name varies, say when the Network adds "(sneak peek of …)" then it will not match that episode.
  3. Record Series (RS) [TRF-2200/5300/5310/5320, TF-T6211] - this records a "series" by matching the CRID id for the program. (This is unreliable due to the way it has been implemented.)
  4. TAPs such as TMSAutoScheduler or SmartEPG - these allow more sophisticated name matches that circumvent the naming shenanigans of the networks.
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