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A brief introduction to TAPs

TAPs are one of the neatest things about Topfield PVRs, but they’re also a bit confusing for some newcomers. So, let’s make one thing clear right away - you don’t have to install any on your Toppy. The majority of people don’t, and find it does everything that they need right out of the box.

And, while some people will recommend one TAP and tell you that you absolutely must install it, that’s just their opinion. You might prefer a different one – and that’s one of the beauties of the system. It has the potential to be customised by everyone to suit their needs exactly.

There’s another thing to make clear too. Whatever you do, you cannot damage your PVR by installing TAPs; while some of them are pretty clever, there are limits to what they can do. And if you find your PVR is behaving oddly with a TAP installed, you can just press one button when you turn it on, and it will disable all the TAPs, so it’s very easy to sort out any problems.

So, what can they do?

Well, there are TAPs that do all sorts of things, even down to letting you program your PVR via a mobile phone. But the most popular are ones that change some of the features of the unit. For example, there are several alternative EPGs, and a few MP3 players - so if you don’t like the look of the built in programme guide, you can try a different one. There are also some that make it easy to skip through adverts, by pressing a button to jump forward a couple of minutes or back a few seconds.

We have a library of TAPs on this site - you can access it via the link at the left of the screen - divided into categories; the ones marked with a “Tip Top” icon are ones that we think are worth looking at if you’re a new user, and definitely work on the UK Toppy model - differences in the remote control mean there are sometimes missing buttons.

But, before you browse through the library, we think you should get to grips with your PVR as it comes, then decide what extra things you’d like it to do, or what you’d like to change, and then choose some TAPs to try.

Remember that you can download a few and copy them to your PVR, and just try them one at a time - so you don’t need to connect it to the computer many times. You should read section 5 of the manual to find out how to install the software on your computer, and section 6 for information about TAP installation. We also have some guides in our Documents area, including an overview of the different EPG TAPs, and a Beginner’s guide to installation. Just click ‘Documents’ in the left hand panel, and choose the ‘User contributed guides’ area.