I just got off the phone with Philips Support. I talked with a very nice, efficient person who took down my suggestions and says he will forward them to a "Level 2 engineer", whatever that may be. He gave me a Case reference number. I had already typed out my suggestions, but as fate would have it, Philips Email support was currently down. I am going to post my suggestions here. I only addressed the four major issues that are bugging me at the moment. We will see what happens from here.
Dear Philips Support,
I purchased a Philips DVDR 3455/37 DVD Recorder with 160gb Hard Drive some months ago. Since that time your company has released two Firmware Updates, both of which I have applied to my unit. Unfortunately, neither of these Firmware Updates addressed the most serious shortcoming of this machine - The inability to begin viewing a Preset Timer Recording from the beginning in True Chase Play function. I am fully aware that the "Live TV Buffer" allows this ability, so I am quite sure the unit should be able to "Pause, Rewind, and Fast Forward" during an Ongoing Preset Timer Recording as well.
Please address this serious flaw with a new Firmware Update as soon as possible. I have been unable to recommend the 3455/37 to my family and friends, and further, unable to recommend it on any of the various Internet DVD Forums that I visit because of this glaring omission. Panasonic, Toshiba and Pioneer all have True Chase Play available on their DVD/Hard Drive Recorders, and so should Philips! Please correct this serious problem as soon as possible.
While you are at it, there are several other less glaring but still quite annoying problems that need improvement as well.
First, please provide a way to "Completely Turn Off" the "Display Bar", or at least a way for the consumer to shorten the amount of time that it remains onscreen. A "zero to 20 second" adjustment would be ideal. When I am viewing a Hard Drive Title Playback with the 3455/37, the "Display Bar" "pops up" and remains onscreen for 20 seconds anytime I press the play/pause, rewind, ff and other buttons. That is waaaaaaay too long. I get tired of having to press the "Display" button twice to clear the "Display Bar" from my screen every time I touch another control button, especially when using the Slow-Motion Forward "NEXT" button during editing! Give us a way to turn this thing completely off, please! Even better would be if you would provide a way for the consumer to choose the number of seconds the "Display Bar" remains onscreen. An adjustment range from zero to 20 seconds would be ideal.
Also, there is no Slow-Motion Reverse available when viewing and editing HDD Titles, only Forward Slow-Motion is available, by presssing the "Pause" button and then pressing the "NEXT" button repeatedly. If possible, it would greatly aid in editing to have a Slow-Motion Reverse available, preferably by pressing the "Pause" button, and then pressing the "PREV" button repeatedly.
Finally, the 3455/37 has the most annoying habit of occasionally "Powering Off" at the end of a preset timer recording, even if I am currently in the middle of watching or editing a Hard Drive Title at the time. Then I have to Power the Unit back on, wait for it to "initialize", switch it back to the HDD Menu and then try to find where I was at in my HDD Title when the unit decided to "turn itself off"! That is very annoying. Please fix this so that the unit will detect other ongoing processes and not "Power Off" while the consumer is involved in other activities with the unit.
I would really like to purchase another 3455/37 for myself because the recording quality is excellent, and overall it is a good unit, but until the No True Chase Play Problem is resolved, I simply cannot buy or recommend the 3455/37 to anyone. The other problems I mentioned should be resolved as well, but they are not as important as having True Chase Play of a Preset Time Recording in Progress! Thank you for your attention to these problems.