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Another Topfield Upgraders Question

Discussion in 'HDR-FOX T2 Freeview Recorder' started by TrevW, Dec 29, 2012.

  1. TrevW

    TrevW New Member


    Sorry for another Topfield updaters question thread, most of my questions have been answered elsewhere but there's a couple that I'd like to clarify before I purchase.

    I've had a bit of a trawl through the threads here and at Digital Spy but am after a couple of clarifications. Sorry if stuff has been asked and answered before.

    Conflict resolution when auto padding and splitting / renaming recordings.

    I'm not a fan of accurate recording, my parents have a Tvonics PVR and, as others point out here, is great when it works but is a bit hit and miss once away from the big 5 channels.

    For the time being, I'll probably use auto padding which is what I use now with the Topfield and have very few failures. How does the FoxT2 cope with the following when auto padding …

    BBC1 20:00-22:00
    BBC2 20:30-21:00
    BBC2 21:00-21:30

    Does auto padding change over the BBC2 recordings at 21:00 or does it refuse to accept them as they “overlap”?

    If I record BBC2 from 20:30 to 21:30 as a single recording, can I split it later and also, can I rename the second half.

    Series Link:

    Can series link be used with Auto Padding or must accurate record be used.

    Rolling Delete:

    Does the custom firmware fully address the “rolling delete” issue? Does it prevent the rolling delete happening or does it just stop it in its tracks requiring all of the recordings to be copied off the box, the disk reformatting and the recordings reinstated.

    Power Failures:

    How does it cope with the power failing a) during a recording. And b) When in standby.

    Archiving Recordings to DVD

    I understand that recordings can be archived off the box to a PC on the network for burning to DVD using the custom firmware. Can this be done directly over the ethernet network or does the transfer need to be done via a USB drive/stick.

    What format are the video files, what software works to then edit / burn to DVD?

    Can HD files be downconverted to SD for burning to DVD? Any software suggestions.

    Currently with video files I use ProjectX to convert to a program stream, PVAstrumento to correct audio offsets and then Nero to edit / burn.

    Can radio (from freeview, not Iplayer) recordings be archived off and converted to MP3 (to play in the car). Again, what format comes off the box and what (if anything) is needed. Currently with the Topfield I use ProjectX to get an MP2 stream and then Audacity to edit / convert to MP3.

    Streaming from the box:

    For these questions, assume that the ethernet and hardware side of things works.

    Can recordings be streamed to a PC on the LAN.

    Can radio recordings be streamed to something like a Roberts radio on the LAN.

    My old Topfield recordings.

    Not that there are many, but would it be possible to transfer the .rec files from my Topfield to the Fox. Would they need any conversion?

    The Youview box.

    My understanding is that recordings cannot (yet) be extracted for archiving from the youview box, is that correct?

    I think that's it, thanks for your time, hopefully, if I go ahead and buy one, I'll be able to return the favour!

  2. Black Hole

    Black Hole Theloniuos Abbot

    Fully explained HERE (click), section 3 (and references therein). Custom firmware lets you choose AR or auto-padding on a recording or channel basis, which is probably a better solution.

    There is a split function in the custom firmware web interface (WebIF). Note that changing the reservation to a manual recording removes all properties of AR/auto-padding and series linking, the recording will start and end at the stated times with the stated repetition (one-off unless you change it).


    This must be a term from Digital Spy because it has not been called that here. There are maintenance tools in the CF to resolve it. Note that the Things Every... topic is written from the non-mod point-of-view, section 10 refers.

    No problems other than the expected ones.

    If you have read my notes in Things Every... about encryption, and the introduction to custom firmware and/or the Wiki, you should be familiar with the options for extracting recordings. In short: yes you can. The Humax records exactly what is broadcast in the DVB-T or DVB-T2 stream, the container file is .ts. Once converted to MPG using the CF, I import the file into Serif MoviePlus for DVD authoring, but I guess most authoring packages will do the same. I prefer to start with StDef, there is no way to easily convert HiDef to StDef, but I have had some success authoring from HiDef using Windows Live Movie Maker.

    The WebIF has a convert to MP3 function.

    Of course, even without CF. Where have you been?

    Don't know. Does the Roberts have a DLNA client function? Or even any kind of interface that you could use to navigate to the recording? Doubt it somehow. The Humax is not compatible with a "DLNA renderer" function which is what I think you must mean - just a straight server-client arrangement.

    Regarding Topfield recordings and YouView I shall defer to somebody with specific knowledge.
  3. TrevW

    TrevW New Member

    Oops, I'd read the bit linked but missed the extra link at the end of section 3, I understand now.

    Thanks for the warning about no padding on manual recordings. I take it that the split parts can be renamed?

    I probably have picked the term up from there, does the CF prevent the issue or does it just provide recovery tools for if it happens?
    Although its a rare issue, it would annoy me greatly to return from working away from home to find that the entire library had been deleted.

    The extraction of recordings is something that I think I'll "worry" about the actual mechanics of later, as long as it can be done great. Nero will import .MPG. StDef is probably all I'll ever archive but its nice to know that HDef can probably be downconverted with a bit of work.

    Yes, the Roberts is a DLNA client, I assume it should work then?

    Thanks again for your quick reply, I think I'll be off to the shops on Monday!

  4. Black Hole

    Black Hole Theloniuos Abbot

    Files can be renamed by conventional means (non-mod) or WebIF tools. The "rolling delete" (I like it!) can be stopped by intervention (if it starts) but not prevented. However, I am not sure if it only starts following an actual delete operation. It is also possible the CF recycle bin might catch files deleted by it.

    Not sure. It depends whether the Humax server is willing to access a file format which the Roberts is prepared to receive. There is a fall-back: the Mediatomb server installed under the CF.
  5. af123

    af123 Administrator Staff Member

    You're right, they would be caught by undelete if its installed. From what I've read, it seems to be triggered by shutting down while a long background delete is running.

    Undelete massively speeds up delete operations anyway so, if what's above is right, would help stop it triggering in the first place.
  6. TrevW

    TrevW New Member

    An update:

    I now have a 500Gb Fox T2!

    Initial impressions are OK, I'm going to run the factory firmware for a couple of weeks before going custom.

    Good things:

    It's quiet, probably quieter than the Topfield which has no fan.

    It's quick to respond to the remote and reasonably intuitive.

    I managed to move my Topfield recordings across, they just needed a run through Project X with the "to TS" option but it was a quick process and the FTP transfer was super quick compared to the Topfield.

    A couple of niggles though:

    1: The clock runs fast. Its gained about 2 mins in a week. It did seem to correct itself last night.
    I've seen a couple of threads here referring to inaccurate clocks and it seems that the custom firmware has an ntp sync module which I may have to use. I've not noticed one but a broadcast time sync module would be better for me as I dont intend the box to be permanantly networked. Is there such a thing for the CF?

    2: Series links record to subfolders: I find this annoying, I'd prefer everything went into the root and then I move to one of a small number of subfolders. There does seem to be a CF module for this but its not compatible with undelete (mentioned above as a workaround to "rolling delete" which may never affect me).
    The folder arrangement is purely personal preference and I'm sure that for everyone who would want it to work like I do, there are 10 others who prefer it a different way.

    3: I'd prefer a "single line" media list to get more on screen at one and the ability to change the sort order so that the oldest recordings are at the top, do I have the option to do this or will I have to get used to it?

  7. Brian

    Brian Administrator Staff Member

    The clocks tend to run fast on my HDR's, but this doesn't seem to be a problem unless you are using auto padding, when you may be likely to lose the ends of programmes. If you use AR like I do, you are unlikely to have any problem.
    I agree with you about series link folders, and suggest that you use the CF package flatten this will allow you to do what you want, and it is also fully compatible with undelete.
    If you use Browse Media Files in the webif, you get a single line list that can be sorted in date order with the oldest recording at the top. I would also like to see this available in the native Humax list.
  8. Black Hole

    Black Hole Theloniuos Abbot

    Having the oldest recordings at the bottom of this list isn't too much of a problem, moving the cursor up from the top rolls it over to the bottom.
  9. Brian

    Brian Administrator Staff Member

    It's just one of the many useful features that fellow Toppy owners running MyStuff take for granted, being able to sort things in every way possible.:)
  10. amjl2000

    amjl2000 Member

    This, this, and this again. It is my only serious gripe from my 9200 (and no, it's not really that serious). Only 5 programmes per page... it's terrible (OK, so it's not that terrible). A screengrab icon?... what a pointless waste of developer effort! I want my 10 rows per page (at least)!
  11. af123

    af123 Administrator Staff Member

    Yes, I agree with you (although some of my aging relatives who have these boxes don't).
    At least the page-up/page-down keys give a quick way to page through.