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Philips DVDR3455H/37 - Page 3

post #61 of 925
This is my take on the Philips DVDR 3455H. I have played with it enough to have a better feel for it by now, so here goes.

It is overall a nice unit with a number of pluses, but also a few very glaring minuses! As some of you here know I got an amazing deal on this unit. The fact that I only have $115.00 incl. tax in this unit has heavily influenced my decision to keep it. At $298 I would not have purchased the Philips to start with, much less decided to keep it. At that price I would likely have opted for a Panasonic or possibly a Pioneer.


By far the largest reason for that is the apparent inability to Chase Play, the ability to watch a pre-set Timer Recording from the beginning while the unit is still recording that Timed Recording. I can do that using DVD-RAM on my Panasonic DMR-ES10K, and it is one of my favorite features. I mistakenly took Philips' description of Watch, pause, and rewind live TV to mean the unit had the Chase Play feature, which it does not. That refers instead to a Live TV buffer that automatically begins to record whatever channel you are currently viewing through the Philips Tuner. Why this cannot be utilized to buffer and view a preset Timer Recording I am sure I have no clue, and it is by far the biggest downer to this unit.

Inability to record or playback DVD-RAM is the other major fault of this device. No Time Slip function enabling you to jump ahead a user selected number of minutes or hours while viewing a Hard Drive Recording is another omission that is hard to understand. That feature is available only while viewing a DVD. Why?!? Some more minor negatives are no Slow-Mo on Playback without accessing it thru the Setup Menu which seems clunky to me, and no Reverse Slow-Mo at all. OK, you can sort of Slow-Mo by pausing and then repeatedly pressing the ( >| ) button, but do this a little too quickly and a FF Mode begins. Commercial Skip is not marked, but is accessible thru the ( > ) Navigation button in 30 second increments. The ( < ) button skips backwards in 10 second hops. Forward and backward Fast Search are limited to a paltry 32x maximum speed. Another negative is that Philips only permits you to use the included YESDVD Software on three DVDs, after that you have to pay for it ($39.95 - Yeah Right!!!) to keep using it. I despise it when companies bundle Pay Software with a unit that is pricey enough so that it should include the software for free. Archive and DVD Titling is limited to a stingy 12 Characters.


Now for the good. For starters, a 160GB Hard Drive is pretty darn nice! This model can record 85 hrs. of video using the SPP Mode, which is pretty high quality video. The Live TV Buffer is indeed a handy feature (tho I would trade it for true Chase Play in a heartbeat!!!!). Compatibility with DVD +/-R and +/-RW Discs is a plus as well. The Philips Tuner is stereo, which remedies a weakness of the Polaroid/Philips 80 GB hard drive model that's also available at Wal-Mart (reportedly with a mono tuner). There are a wide variety of recording speeds available both for Hard Drive and DVD recording. HQ=1hr. per 4.7gb DVD, SP=2hr., SPP=2.5hr., LP=3hr., EP=4hr., SLP=6hr., and SEP=8hr. Using the SPP/2.5hr. Recording Mode I cannot distinguish a Hard Drive Recording from the original source material, but my eyes may not be as discerning as some here. Same goes for a DVD burned from the HD at the SPP mode. To my eyes the recording quality is very good. The Black Level is exceptional, and the colors are vibrant, the picture very clear. The Remote includes a 2 stage Picture ZOOM feature (with pan and scan ability), but again this is available only during DVD Playback, and not functional during Hard Drive Playback. : ( (I have since discovered that the Picture Zoom feature will work with HDD Recordings. Sometimes you have to Pause the picture, then Zoom, and then resume Playback to get it to work)

The DVDR 3455H records video in the VR mode, which means you can still edit a recorded DVD-/+R Disc (before you finalize it) which is nice. The Disc Edit feature allows you to select a new "Title Frame Picture", and hide unwanted Chapters before you finalize the disc. You can also add or remove Chapter Markers. At least one person here has reported Playback difficulty on other DVD Players when using DVD-RW Discs recorded with this unit. I have found no way to finalize a DVD-RW Disc on the Philips unit, neither was my Panasonic DMR-ES10k able to finalize a -RW Disc recorded on the Philips 3455H. The Philips recorded -RW disc plays back fine on my Panny, but not on my old Toshiba. No surprise there, as the Toshi never played any +/-RW discs, nor will it play +Rs. I have experienced perfect compatibility on all DVD Players tested to date when using DVD-R discs recorded and finalized on the Philips. I have found DVDs burned on the Philips to be more difficult to work with on my computer. I am discovering workarounds, but DVDs recorded on my Panny are very easy to transfer and then edit on my computer, so the VRMode recording cuts both ways - it is a negative in this instance.


Editing with the Philips Hard Drive by Remote is a little twitchy, but the edit points seem pretty easy to hit, and I suspect all the editing will become much easier with practice. At times it seems to want to reset if I make too many mistakes/retakes during editing, but it may just be my unfamiliarity with the process at this point. My big ol fingers may be hitting the wrong buttons a time or two. A key is to sit pretty close to the unit when using Edit functions, and point the Remote right at the DVDR unit. This unit also plays DIVX, which is pretty neat, but it seems to pick and choose exactly which files it will and won't play. I couldn't begin to tell you why. I don't know a lot about different DVD/Video formats in general. The DIVX playback quality is in accordance with the quality of the original source recording.

As to appearance, I find it a very attractive unit. I much prefer AV Equipment in Black, and that is distressingly hard to find with the "Silver Craze" of the last 5 years or so. The Top and Bottom of the Philips is silver, but the faceplate is a very nice black, so this unit could blend into both a Black or Silver equipment stack. The Blue "HD Light" and the BRIGHT red "Record Light" both look very sharp and improve the overall look of this DVDR. The unit is amazingly quiet as well, particularly when recording from the Hard Drive.

In summation, had I not gotten such an incredible deal on this recorder I would have looked elsewhere, most likely to a Panny EH75 at the now reduced prices, or possibly to the Panny EH55. I listed the negatives of the Philips 3455H first, because at $298 they would have combined to keep me from purchasing/keeping this unit. But at $115, I think I'll keep her!
post #62 of 925
FullOnShred

Your negatives are some of the same ones that I found. And like you have no understanding how such basic very standard dvd player functions are missing from this unit. Those negatives make this unit a non buy at its current price. All the things you pointed out can be corrected through a good firmware rewrite. But it looks like it is not coming. For it should have been done by now. All I can say to anyone is stay away from this machine at this price. Those little left out things will drive you crazy if you try to use this machine on a daily basis. All the machine is good for is recording and playing back from its hard drive. Because it makes a very poor dvd player and dvd burner.
post #63 of 925
Nice review, but the panny's you mention are at least $450 or more making them 50% more expensive, and like all units likely be obsolete once digital tuners/built-in HD/blu-ray players, and possibly HD recording etc. come to market in a couple of years. So, I think at $300 it's still a good buy as an interim unit, and at your price it's a definite steal.
post #64 of 925
I know the Pannys are a bit more expensive. I did have a line on Open Box Full Warranty units of the EH75 for $325 OTD. The downside is a Hard Drive that is half as big as the Philips, but it does include a VCR with the Panny. I would pay a few bucks more for the pannys as I have always had good service from Panasonic electronics, barring the terrible 2-line phone of theirs I bought a few years back.

In all honesty, if the Philips had true "Chase Play" of a timed recording, my other complaints with it would seem rather minor. That is a HUGE feature for me. I have read one review elsewhere that says the Panny EH75 doesn't support that feature from HD recordings. Is that true?? Anyway,there is lots to like with the Philips, but some simply glaring omissions that are hard to fathom.
post #65 of 925
Hi guys,

I'm a beginner about DVD recorders, and I have read this forum, to try choose a better DVD recorder to buy.
I'm needing help, because I'm doubt about two differente models:

- Pioneer DVR-640H-S
- Philips DVDR3455H/37

I would like to know if somebody have some information about the Philips DVD, this is more cheap, but they're similar.

Somebody could help me.
post #66 of 925
I guess the Pioneer is still coming with that TVGuide software (TVGOS). It's just glitchy as hell and I seriously doubt they have straightened it out. But when it works, it's a dream. Lots of gizmos,sex appeal, ways to search, easy recording. I had lots of fun with it, but every month I had to send the machine back, reboot, or some such pain in the neck. If you want to go that route, be sure and buy your unit at a store, such as WalMart, with a really easy, long, no questions asked return policy, because you might very well end up there. I waited about six months and WalMart grumbled but said okay if I took store credit instead of money. So, I ended up with a Phillips because that's the best WalMart had at the time. (They apparently discontinued the Pioneer, which tells you something. What electronics manufacturer doesn't drool over having WalMart carry its products?) The Phillips is a very reliable, kind of boring workhorse, even though it's missing some really obvious tools (see earlier posts for everyone's complaints about that) and I'm happy with it for now. It does get the job done and never screws up. In a year or two, I'll cruise the net and see if people are happier with newer versions of the TVGOS software and maybe switch back to Pioneer at the time.
Hope this helps.

- Charley
post #67 of 925
Hey Burns, in a few days I will post a list of complaints/improvement suggestions here and maybe we can all use it, add to it, etc. , and send some emails to Philips urging them to address what they can through a Firmware update. Just a thought.
post #68 of 925
Quote:
Originally Posted by FullOnShred View Post

Hey Burns, in a few days I will post a list of complaints/improvement suggestions here and maybe we can all use it, add to it, etc. , and send some emails to Philips urging them to address what they can through a Firmware update. Just a thought.


The only item that stops me from getting the Phillips is the VR mode used to move from hard disck to DVD. I record TV on DVD recorder, but then always watch the DVD's on a different (OPPO) DVD player. The Oppo won't play DVD's from my Emerson DVD player if I use VR mode (it does play DVD's from Emerson recorder if I use the DVD-Video mode.).

There are ways around this, but they are not good work aounds. Right now it looks like I'll end up with a Pio 640, A Panny 55, or a Tosh 35 I think it is.

Rick
post #69 of 925
Quote:
Originally Posted by burnspc View Post

I guess the Pioneer is still coming with that TVGuide software (TVGOS). It's just glitchy as hell and I seriously doubt they have straightened it out. ..

Actually it looks like Pioneer threw in the towel with respect to TVGOS; the 2006 models don't have it at all.

From all accounts, if you don't need TVGOS and a DV input, the Pioneer DVR-640H-S is a very nice unit.

Tony
post #70 of 925
Quote:
Originally Posted by arciervo View Post

Actually it looks like Pioneer threw in the towel with respect to TVGOS; the 2006 models don't have it at all.
Tony

That's only true in the US and Canada. In Europe and elsewhere, the 2006 Pioneer DVD models come with the GUIDE Plus+ EPG, which is essentially the same as TVGOS and is provided by the same company, GemStar.
post #71 of 925
Philips DVDR3455H/37 Could someone please help me set up the VCR Plus Feature Step by step. Thank You
post #72 of 925
Has anyone tried to use the firewire or usb port to connect to a computer to download from the hard drive. I am looking at one of thes uint at a pawn shop
for about 175.00 and want to copy all of my old 8mm tapes to dvd. After editing them.
Thanks Lee
post #73 of 925
gamex2000

At 175 dollars what you want to do can probably be done on your computer with the right usb interface and software. $175 is too much to pay for this machine it is a good recorder and play back machine. But its performance in all other areas is suspect to say the least.
post #74 of 925
Quote:
Originally Posted by gamex2000 View Post

Has anyone tried to use the firewire or usb port to connect to a computer to download from the hard drive. I am looking at one of thes uint at a pawn shop
for about 175.00 and want to copy all of my old 8mm tapes to dvd. After editing them.
Thanks Lee

Manual states that the USB Port is for Portable USB Flash Drive/USB Memory Card Reader only. Also, it will not allow recording of the contents of the USB Flash Drives/USB Memory Card Reader to the HDD or to a DVD Blank. It will not read a USB Hard Drive(according to the manual). I assume this means there is no provision for reading from a Computer via the USB port either, at least without some kind of hacked Firmware. Sorry. Keep in mind, I haven't attempted any of these things personally. I am just going from the manual.
post #75 of 925
They have released a firmware up grade for this model. I will try and flash tomorrow. But the notes on the firmware upgrade dosen't look all that hot. Plus they are vague about how to name the upgrade disc.
post #76 of 925
Quote:
Originally Posted by gamex2000 View Post

Has anyone tried to use the firewire or usb port to connect to a computer to download from the hard drive.

I tried my laptop to a Pioneer 640 USB port and it did not work.
post #77 of 925
Wait before trying the firmware upgrade tried it, it hung up after about a minute. I do not know what to do.
post #78 of 925
I have a question regarding using this machine to edit programs recorded to the HDD.

I am hoping to use a unit like this to archive some TV programs I have on VHS. My goal is to copy each such tape to the HDD, edit out the commercials and then archive the resultant commercial-free programs to DVD.

It says you can use Chapter Markers do edit out (or "hide" as they say) commercials from programs recorded on the HDD. If you then copy this program to DVD,

1. Are these Chapter Markers automatically retained on the DVD? Will all the marked commercials be automatically skipped?

2. Or, are those sections of the program which are marked as hidden even copied to the DVD? In other words, if I record a 60 minute program to HDD that has 16 minutes of commercials, will it end up occupying 60 minutes worth of "space" on my DVD, or 44?

Additionally, what speed would be recommended for this type of archiving? I want to be able to store a fair amount of video per DVD, but I also want something that looks reasonably good. I'm thinking in the neighborhood of 3-4 hours per DVD (this should equate well with my VHS recordings which were mostly done in SLP).
post #79 of 925
I did the Firmware Update last night. It was not all I had hoped for. I will post how I did it just because. You don't have to name the Update Disc.

I just went to the Philips Website and downloaded the new Firmware dated 8-23-06 and installed it in my 3455H/37. It can be found here.

Philips DVDR 3455H/37 Firmare Upgrade

I just downloaded the Firmware, and then opened the Firmware Upgrade PDF on the Philips Website and followed the included instructions. I unzipped and extracted the Firmware Upgrade Files to a folder in My Documents, and then I used Nero 6 to burn the unzipped files to a DVD-R as a Data DVD following the settings specified in the PDF file. I then inserted the DVD-R into my DVDR and it automatically began the update process. It didn't take long at all. Do remember to remove the Firmware DVD-R from the Philips Unit before Pressing the Final "OK" command that restarts the DVDR and completes the Upgrade.

The procedure went flawlessly. The downsides are that I had to reprogram all my channels and reprogram all my Timer Recording Presets. That, and that the Update did not fix the "No True Chase Play of a Preset Timer Recording" problem. I do wonder what type of Chimps they have working over at Philips. Uuuuuuugggghhhh!!!!!!!!

Main thing of (to me) minor value is they claim to have fixed it so you can now pause the playback while recording in the TimeShift Mode. Big Whoop, I want TRUE CHASE PLAY during an Ongoing Preset Timer Recording!!!!

Added 1-06-07 Apparently in some cases this Firmware Upgrade is necessary to be able to view a previously recorded HDD Title or to view a DVD while a Preset Timer Recording is still in progress. So - it is a pretty major upgrade if it accomplishes this........'Shred
post #80 of 925
I took back the Phillips and bought the Pioneer 640...For me the the Pioneer wins hands down. It was a little more expensive, but the Philips inability to "chase play" a timer recording was the dealbreaker!

The pioneer will even let you record a live channel, and watch something from the HDD at the same time..sweet feature.

There is thread here about the pioneer that is quite extensive. If you are considering that model, check it out!

AVS Pioneer Thread

RF
post #81 of 925
Richard, If I had even $175 in this Philips I would take it back for a refund and get the Pio 640 or the New Panny. I am still hoping Philips may actually put out a Firmware Update that is worth a crap that will fix the "No True Chase Play" problem, but even if they don't, at $115 I gotta keep the Philips. : P lol..... It is a nice burner and has some other nice features as well. To me it just seems that Philips brought it to market in an immature state. It isn't very well thought out for a $300 product. Maybe they thought Walmart customers wouldn't know the difference, or wouldn't care. They were wrong, at least about This customer, anyway.
post #82 of 925
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sofa Spud View Post

I have a question regarding using this machine to edit programs recorded to the HDD.

I am hoping to use a unit like this to archive some TV programs I have on VHS. My goal is to copy each such tape to the HDD, edit out the commercials and then archive the resultant commercial-free programs to DVD.

It says you can use Chapter Markers do edit out (or "hide" as they say) commercials from programs recorded on the HDD. If you then copy this program to DVD,

1. Are these Chapter Markers automatically retained on the DVD? Will all the marked commercials be automatically skipped?

2. Or, are those sections of the program which are marked as hidden even copied to the DVD? In other words, if I record a 60 minute program to HDD that has 16 minutes of commercials, will it end up occupying 60 minutes worth of "space" on my DVD, or 44?

Additionally, what speed would be recommended for this type of archiving? I want to be able to store a fair amount of video per DVD, but I also want something that looks reasonably good. I'm thinking in the neighborhood of 3-4 hours per DVD (this should equate well with my VHS recordings which were mostly done in SLP).

Spud, sorry for the delay in the answer. I wanted to make sure I was giving you accurate info. With this unit the commercials that you "Hide" by "editing them out" on the HDD are Not recorded to the DVD Blank. Tonite I recorded a program that was 3 hrs. long in the SPP Mode which only lets me record 2.5 hrs onto a 4.7gb disc. However, after "Hiding" all the commercials the Program was now only 2:10 and filled up approx. 90% of a 4.7gb DVD-R Blank Disc.

As to what speed to use, it depends on how sensitve you are to picture quality. I find the SPP (2.5 Hr.) Mode to produce a very nice picture after burning to a DVD-R. If you are shooting for VHS SLP quality I think you would be fine with the EP Mode which allows 4hrs. per 4.7gb Disc. But honestly, the best way to do it is to burn a few test discs of the same original program onto DVD-RWs and compare and see what speed suits your needs best. IMHO it is better not to cheap out and just burn more discs at a higher quality. I have some old VHS stuff that I consolidated from SP onto another tape at SLP to "save a few tapes" back when $$$ was tighter. I am now kicking my own butt for this short sighted approach. Some of those tapes are basketball games that are simply irreplaceable. Arggghhhhh!!
post #83 of 925
Thanks for the reply.

I picked up one of these units the other day, but haven't had a great deal of chance to play with it yet...perhaps this weekend.

It's good news to see that "hidden" commercials edited out on the HDD are not transferred to the DVD.

As far as recording speed / quality vs. space goes, you're right. I'll have to do some of my own testing. Since most of my stuff was recorded in SLP, I was wondering if recording it to the HDD at a higher quality would be a waste (since the source video was already at a lower quality).

On the upside, all of my VHS tapes were brand new at the time of recording and most have never been played more than once. I'm guessing I should get reasonable results at EP (where I could squeeze 5 hours of broadcast television without commercials onto one DVD), but I may opt for LP (4 hours of same).

Thanks again for your reply, FOS. Much appreciated.

Quote:
Originally Posted by FullOnShred View Post

Spud, sorry for the delay in the answer. I wanted to make sure I was giving you accurate info. With this unit the commercials that you "Hide" by "editing them out" on the HDD are Not recorded to the DVD Blank. Tonite I recorded a program that was 3 hrs. long in the SPP Mode which only lets me record 2.5 hrs onto a 4.7gb disc. However, after "Hiding" all the commercials the Program was now only 2:10 and filled up approx. 90% of a 4.7gb DVD-R Blank Disc.

As to what speed to use, it depends on how sensitve you are to picture quality. I find the SPP (2.5 Hr.) Mode to produce a very nice picture after burning to a DVD-R. If you are shooting for VHS SLP quality I think you would be fine with the EP Mode which allows 4hrs. per 4.7gb Disc. But honestly, the best way to do it is to burn a few test discs of the same original program onto DVD-RWs and compare and see what speed suits your needs best. IMHO it is better not to cheap out and just burn more discs at a higher quality. I have some old VHS stuff that I consolidated from SP onto another tape at SLP to "save a few tapes" back when $$$ was tighter. I am now kicking my own butt for this short sighted approach. Some of those tapes are basketball games that are simply irreplaceable. Arggghhhhh!!
post #84 of 925
Spud, you are most welcome. As you learn more about the unit be sure to post it here. We usually learn from each other more than from the manual. : )

It makes me happy that the commercials are skipped in recording. I plan to tape some basketball games to the HDD in the SP mode, and they wouldn't fit on one DVD unless the commercials are cut on the dump to DVD.
post #85 of 925
The first 2 discs that I've tried to burn with my DVDR3455H have produced some mixed results. I used the "edit" option to cut out commercials and then burn to a Memorex DVD+R 16x 4.7GB disc.

Playback on the Philips is fine with no problems. When I put the finalized disc in another player, whether it be a stand-alone DVD player or PC DVD player, the program freezes at the "edited" chapter stops. The only way to continue playback is to hit the chapter advance. Also, fast forward/reverse will cause the playback to jump ahead or behind at odd increments including several chapters.

Has anyone encountered the same problem or if there is a simple workaround?
Do I need to go back into the disc before I finalize and add in chapter markers at the edited points?

Any help would be appreciated.
post #86 of 925
Quote:
Originally Posted by FullOnShred View Post

Spud, you are most welcome. As you learn more about the unit be sure to post it here. We usually learn from each other more than from the manual. : )

It makes me happy that the commercials are skipped in recording. I plan to tape some basketball games to the HDD in the SP mode, and they wouldn't fit on one DVD unless the commercials are cut on the dump to DVD.

I dubbed all episodes of "Survivor: The Australian Outback" to the HDD a few nights ago and last night began the task of dividing everything up into individual episodes.

A couple of things I noticed:

When recording to the HDD, you can press the record button multiple times to set how long you want the recording process to last. Each press (after the initial one to start recording) increments the timer by 30-minutes. You cannot, however, go beyond a six-hour timer; it reverts back to "manual" mode whereby recording continues until you press the stop button.

If your HDD recording extends beyond six hours, a new title is automatically created. And, once that new title is created, there is no way to join it to the end of the previous title to form one new contiguous title even if the resultant title would be less than 6-hours in length. Since both of my tapes had 8-hours of footage, I'll have to redo the last episode on the first tape (as it actually ran over 3 or 4 minutes past the six-hour mark which put the end of that episode onto the new title). The same is true for last epsiode on the second tape (which was two hours in length).

The Morale: When dubbing episodic TV from VHS tapes having six or more hours of content, set the HDD to record for 5.5 hours. You should easily get the first 5 hours of television in one title even if it runs a few minutes extra.

Next Challenge: Editing out (or "hiding") the commercials. I've fooled around with this a bit already, and I must say I find it to be a little cumbersome. If I mark them correctly the first time and everything plays back to my satisfaction, I'm OK. Sometimes, the edit isn't to my liking and I'd like to do it again, but in order to do this, I need to remove the markers I added the first time. I am finding it difficult to navigate to the exact point where I put the original markers (as this is the only way they can be removed). If I do get there, the unit doesn't pause or stop to let me know I am at a marked point; it just keeps playing. So, when I hit OK to try to delete the marker, sometimes I get it right, but more often than not, I just end up putting another marker in the vicinity of the one I was trying to get rid of in the first place. What am I doing wrong? There must be an easier way to do this that I am missing or overlooking?

Also, does anyone else find this unit to be slow to respond to the remote? Sometimes I have to push a button a couple of times in order for it to be recognized. It is especially noticeable when I use the unit as a tuner and press the "Channel +/-" buttons; there is literally a second's wait time between the time I press the button and the time the unit changes the channel. Batteries are brand new, but I am going to try a different set. Is this an issue with the remote or the unit? Would a good universal remote work better? Any ideas?
post #87 of 925
Navigating to the exact point where you put the original marker: try this; pause the playback, then use the Chapter Skip button to jump the next Chapter Mark. Just a thought. I don't have that model but it works on other models that I have.
post #88 of 925
I can get this recorder for $270 shipped. I know it has some drawbacks from the reviews I've read here but it seems like at least a step up from my old LiteOn that does not even have a hard drive. How does this unit do with Directv?
post #89 of 925
Marty, I haven't a clue. The recording quality in general is quite nice though.
post #90 of 925
Quote:
Originally Posted by milacqua View Post

I can get this recorder for $270 shipped. I know it has some drawbacks from the reviews I've read here but it seems like at least a step up from my old LiteOn that does not even have a hard drive. How does this unit do with Directv?

At that price, you're fairly close to a Pioneer 640...$347 shipped!

The Polaroid price of $219 at Wal-Mart is a little more "distant," but $270?
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