Warning: This program comes with absolutely NO WARRANTY!
It will destroy your box and then your life. Use it at your
for all questions, please contact:
Topfield and TF4000PVR are trademarks of the Topfield Korea.
All other mentioned trademarks belong to their respective
This program is free software, and is distibuted under GPL. See
COPYING for details
spectemu (c) 1995-1998 Szeredi Miklos
unofficial TAP SDK (c) 2001 PeN
tfspect port (c) 2003 Alexander Ponomarenko
TFSPECT is the port of the
SPECTEMU, a ZX Spectrum emulator for UNIX by Miklos Szeredi,
to the Topfield TF4000PVR. Now you can play games from the
childhood on your favorite STB ;)
ZX Spectrum is the famous game computer from early 1980s. It was
based on the Z80 CPU, and had 48K of RAM. More than 5000 games
were developed for this platform, most of them are available for
TFSPECT is based on the unpublished TAP API by Topfield, virtuously reverse-engineered by PeN.
Don"t ask me about porting to the other boxes - I know nothing
1. WHERE TO GET AND HOW TO RUN EMULATOR
1.1 Download the last development version (0.4) here:
There is no "stable" version yet. See BUGS. Also you can download sources here
(although they aren"t required to run the emulator):
1.2 Download the TAP uploader application from
1.3 Upload tfspect.bin to the box using TAP downloader.
Make sure that the file type switch is in the "program"
position, and "tap name" is set to "tfspect.tap"
1.4 Upload games the same way, but now change
file type to "data" and make sure that "tap name" is
the same as the original filename.
You can use .tzx, .tap, .z80 and .sna files with the
1.5 Press "0" at the remote and choose "tfspect.tap" in the list,
or type "exec tfspect.tap" at the console. To exit the emulator, press "mute" key,
and then "pause" key.
by the "power" key
2. HOW TO USE THE EMULATOR
ZX Spectrum has 40 keys, topfield"s remote has 42, including
an unusable power on/off key. So, 40 keys are mapped to the
corresponding Spectrum keys, and 41th (mute) is used to
control the emulator.
Look at two attached files - spectkey.gif and topfkb.gif. First one
contain the image of the original Spectrum keyboard, and the
second explains keymapping of the Topfield"s remote. I suggest
you to have these images by hand or to print them.
In addition to the CTRL key (mapped to the "mute"), there are
two keys with special meaning - CS (Caps Shift) and SS (Symbol
Shift). Unfortunately, you cannot simultaneously press two keys
on the Topfield"s remote. So if you want to enter a CTRL+c
combination (which stops the emulation), you"ll need to
sequentally press CTRL, (i.e. MUTE), and then "C" (i.e. PAUSE).
CTRL, CS and SS keys are automatically released when you press
any other key, thus they don"t act like the CAPS key of the PCs
As I said before, there is no way to press two keys simultaneously,
but this is required by most games. You can play such games only in
the Kempston joystick mode, which is turned on and off by the
CTRL+d command. In this mode, "1" is mapped to left-and-up, "2" is
mapped to "up", "3" is mapped to right-and-up, and so on. "5" is
mapped to "fire".
2.2 Useful CTRL combinations
- CTRL+c: stop emulator.
- CTRL+d: swich Kempston mode on/off
- CTRL+l: load snapshot (requires console!)
- CTRL+t: save snapshot (requires console!)
- CTRL+w: save temporary snapshot
- CTRL+e: load temporary snapshot
- CTRL+q: reset Spectrum
2.3 Starting the game.
When you start the emulator, it suggests you to choose a game to load.
If you press "EXIT", the Sinclair BASIC will start. Some games may
take several minutes to load, this is normal, so don"t panic.
2.4 About loading and saving files
When you issue a LOAD/SAVE command, or request snapshot loading or
saving, the emulator asks you for the file name on the console
Even if you decide to cancel operation, you still need to press
"ENTER" on the console. It is impossible to recover from a
load/save request if you don"t have console attached! Please be careful.
Snapshots are loaded much faster than tap"s and tzx"es, so I suggest
you to to make snapshots of your favorite games once you loaded them
into the box.
3. KNOWN BUGS
3.1 Topfield has a bug in TAP API - the box hangs on the exit of large
TAP applications. To avoid this, emulator reboots the box at exit request.
3.2 File I/O is very slow. Loading of snapshot usually ocuppies 30-120
seconds, please be patient
3.3 There is still no sound.
3.4 When emulator runs, it freezes box"s clock. Theoretically time
should return to normal after emulator exit. But I didn"t checked this
3.5 Keyboard emulation also needs improvements. There is significant
lag, and some games don"t respond to the keypresses/releases as expected.
3.6 Mapping of the remote keys to Spectrum keys is inconvenient for
most games. We"ll change it in some way or implement a personal keymap
for each game.
4. GAME NOTES
4.1 Where to get games
World Of Spectrum, is an excellent site, containing
thousands of games. If you don"t know which games are the best ones,
look at one of their top100 ratings, for example this one:
Magazine top100 rating
4.2 Game notes.
I didn"t inspected many games yet, but this is the list of games I use
to test the emulator:
- Saboteur 2 from Durell
- Lightforce (very screen-intensive game, not yet perfect)
- H.A.T.E (also very screen-intensive game)
- 3D Deathrace (Hit #1 ;)
If your favorite game doesn"t run on tfspect, write me, and probably
(but I don"t promise anything!) I"ll fix this someday.
5. CONTACT DETAILS
Please note that tfspect is a patch, and the author of the original
emulator doesn"t support it. If you have any questions regarding
tfspect, contact us at:
Official tfspect project page:
6. REVISION HISTORY
- 0.4 - bugfix release. LNB issue fixed (now emulator works with
LNB connected and powered on. Hang on exit issue partially fixed (now
emulator reboots the box to avoid hangup)
- 0.3 - initial public release.