Ok, I was so fracking pissed I don't even want to even talk about it...
Mine went back to the store (constant freezing, not recognizing blank DVD+Rs) so I could try the new Philips, although the Philips doesn't have the "Yes Video" feature which is totally cool when you see what is does (automatic menu system with chapters and motion thumbnails). I live in Northern AZ and so far the Philips has not appeared yet. Last week I picked up another Polaroid 1601A to give it another fracking try while I'm waiting to try the new Philips and the bloody thing works perfectly! I've been trying most features as much as possible the past 5 days and the thing hasn't froze once! USB and SD card works, timeshift and timeshift recording to hdd works, record to hdd perfect, record to DVD great, recognizes every blank I put in, picture quality is as clean as could be, quiet as a mouse. Even the remote, although having to face the unit, works 25 feet away and way better than the previous ones! I don't know. Now I'm really pissed. I'm afraid if I keep this thing it will take a dump 4 months from now or something. I know there is no QC so this thing may be a fluke. As soon as Philips shows up I'm going to pick one up and do a side by side comparison. I'm going to benchflow these frackers. In reality the Polaroid's feature set is sweet, if the bloody thing would just work for a year or two. Hell, at this point I'd take 9 months. From anything. The Polaroid bastages obviously don't give a flying rat about anything they themselves don't make. They just import the crap and throw it all up against the wall and what sticks sticks, what doesn't doesn't and the consumer can just grab their package and squeel. No wonder their warranty is 90 days. They're not stupid. I am. However, from most of the forums I've read it seem that most DVD/HDD Recorders have issues of one kind or another. I guess it depends on what features are important to you. Of course it would be of some relative help if the BLOODY THING WOULD WORK CONSISTENTLY FOR MORE THAN A COUPLE WEEKS!! Anyway, that's my take on it.
It DOES play AND record in 16x9 as posted elsewhere on this forum. You have to adjust your Picture mode on the TV itself. For example, when viewing an HD channel (without the Polaroid) in my TV's "Normal" picture mode the picture is 16x9 but it doesn't fill up the screen (black bars). As per the instruction manual with my 37" 16x9 LCD TV as well as the manual with the Polaroid unit you have to adjust the picture mode (Normal, Wide, Panoramic, Partial Zoom, whatever) of the TV software to obtain the full screen 16x9. Also, if you have a Satellite receiver it too has to be in the proper Picture mode. When viewing JPGs (there are 2 buttons on the remote to view actual size or reduced or zoom for JPGs) or from an external video scource the principle is the same. Adjust your TVs picture mode (TV brands software varies) and you will view 16x9 full screen, nothing cut off. I've tried every mode including freezing the picture and comparing the different picture modes while frozen and it does record in 16x9 from the hdd or a DVD+R.
On another side note:
When the new Philips showed up on the Wal-Nuts website I checked the Philips website and no mention of it. I called Philips Customer Service rep and they said there is no such model, nothing showing in their information on computer, paper updates or otherwise and they checked with a manager and they suggested it must be a Wal-Mart mistake. Oh yeah? You fracking idiots! I emailed Philips AND used their pop-up survey and asked them why should I ever buy or expect support from a Philips product when Philips doesn't even know what the hell they have?!! A week later it showed up on their website on the page for HDD Recorders with 2 other models that don't have HDDs. I couldn't help but LMAO.