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TF5800 manual: recording and playing

Recording and playing TV programmes

At the heart of your Topfield PVR is its ability to record and play back television programmes using its hard disk. You don’t need to worry about finding a blank tape, or recording over something important – and, unlike a VCR, the quality of the recordings is just the same as the original broadcast.

With a large hard drive, you can store many hours of recordings – roughly 80 hours if your PVR has a 160Gb disk, or 125 hours on one fitted with a 250Gb disk.

In this chapter, we’ll explain how you can set your PVR to record programmes for you, how to play them back, and some of the other basic functions that will help you make the most of your TF5800.

How your PVR records

Before we start looking at the different ways you can record, we’ll explain each of them, so you can decide which is the best option to use.

Instant recordings are just like pressing the record button on a video recorder; the PVR starts to record the programme that you’re watching, so if a programme is just about to start, you could begin an instant recording, without having to worry about setting the timer.

Current event recordings are similar to instant recordings, for the channel that you’re viewing. But instead of just recording from when you start, they include some or all of the time shift information, allowing you to save material that you’ve already seen. So, if you’ve been watching a programme and decide that you’d like to see it again, a ‘current event’ recording will save the parts you’ve already watched, as well as the rest of the programme.

Note that only material that’s in the time shift can be saved, so if you’ve just changed to a channel, you won’t be able to save parts of the programme that were on before you changed channel.

Scheduled recordings are recordings that are made by telling your PVR what channel you would like it to record, and at which time. The PVR will automatically turn on if it’s in standby mode, save the programme on the hard disk, and the switch off again – just like setting a recording on a VCR.

So, as you can see, there are different ways of starting recordings, depending on the circumstances, but don’t worry – they’re all quite easy to use, and we’ll explain each one in turn.

And, thanks to the Electronic Programme Guide, scheduling recordings is much, much easier than with a video recorder. You can simply look through the EPG, and press a couple of buttons to select programmes that you would like to have recorded.

Thanks to its twin tuners, the TF5800 can actually record two things at the same time, so you don’t need to miss out on anything just because two programmes clash on a night when you’re out with friends. You can even watch a programme you’ve recorded previously while it’s making two new recordings, or watch a different TV channel. We’ll explain later how all of this is done – and some restrictions on what you can do when recordings are being made – but first, we’ll look at the basics. You’ll be recording your favourite shows in no time at all.

Next: Instant recording