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Modifications to Philips DVDR3440h

8525 Views 17 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  johnofleeds
Well, after sucessfully making my ehr2080 (same as polaroid 2001g) a very expensive door stop after a bad firmware flash i needed to replace my equipment.

I picked up a Philips 3440h in my local currys (blah - it was cheap though £159 as it was ex-display). I thought it would be a unit for me never to open up or fiddle with (killed 3 other units in this way!) but, alas, i cannot resist poking about with these things.

Upon opening it i can confirm:

It has a full sized enclosed Philips loader with standard IDE

Standard IDE drive (more on this later)

excellent build quality overall except for one glaring oversight------- No heatsink on the LSI chip!!!!!!! (easily fixed)

Now on the web this unit no longer seems to be receiving much attention from philips in respect of firmware updates. The last one posted is R19.15 released on 20/oct/06. I found this firmware to be a little buggy. For example, it did not remember the last selected source when you turned it on, no dvd resume and chapter edits were a little iffy. not even the "firmware information" screen worked correctly.

Closer examination of the circuit boards inside revelaed them to be stamped with "PHILIPS DVDR-34xx/ xH BOARD". interesting eh? So i figured what the heck, the guys in currys are chumps and will never know if i broke it with the wrong firmware so ill have a bit of a play.

I noted that on the philips site they still support the 3450h (almost the same unit but with bgger HD and slimmer chassis) with a brand new firmware, R19.20 released on the 7th of May this year. Checking out the fixes listed one of them was "Unit will remember last selected source on wake-up". bonus!

I downloaded it, burnt to cd, stuck it unit and blah- didnt except it. When i looked at the files burnt on CD the were name PS3450___.cub. On the last firmware release for the 3440h the files were named PS3440h___.cub I compared the two with a hex editor and they seemed very similar in structure so decided to go ahead and see if i could get my 3440h to accept it.

I renamed the files included in the firmware ZIP to be called PS3440h___.cub and burnt them to another disk.

When i put this new cd in the unit it accepted the files and the upgrade went ahead.!!!!!!!!!!!!! yay!!!!!!!

On restart the firmware works flawlessly, timer events more reliable, no lockups (probably thanks to me putting a heatsink on the LSI chip), unit remembers last selected source, likes all the media it put into it now. Even in "Firmware information" it now thinks its a 3450H!!!!!

only problem - because the 3440 and 3550 have different remtes, therewere obviousely some remote code differences. All the buttons work as they should but FF/REW no longer work if you hold down next/prev. I can live with that.

I will try to get hold of an original remote for a 3450 and see if it works with my hybrid unit.

Now for the Hard disk-------

Easy to replace, but make sure you have firmware disk to hand as the unit stores its firmware on the HD so when you replace disk it will just say "LOAD" on the front panel and eject they tray. Simply put in the disk, wait a while and eventually it will restart and the new drive will work as normal. If you have performed my firmware mod (as above) you will need to use the original PS3450h___.cub files as it will now think its a 3450 so it wont except a 3440 firmware disk (tested myself)

I have changed mine to a 400gb seagate and all is well.

hope some of you find this interesting and helpful. remember i am NOT responsible for any damages should you try any of these things and kill your unit.

thoughts would be appreciated!
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First off...... Nice Work!! I admire you guys who don't mind tearing these things apart while they are still brand new so the rest of us have a better idea what is going on inside these units. I wonder what USA Model your British unit corresponds too?

I own a Philips DVDR 3455/37 (NTSC Tuner and 160gb HDD) and wonder if adding a heatsink could help end some lockup problems I occ. have with this unit. They primarily occur when I am messing with the DVD Player in the unit. It tends to lock up when I Press "Stop" to end playback of a DVD before it has reached the end. Only an Unplug from the power will reset it when this happens. It's aggravating. I have also considered a HDD Upgrade but will wait until my Warranty is dead. Was the original HDD a Seagate in yours? I have been told the 3455 uses Western Digital IDE ATA100 as the original.
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Originally Posted by FullOnShred /forum/post/0

I own a Philips DVDR 3455/37 (NTSC Tuner and 160gb HDD) and wonder if adding a heatsink could help end some lockup problems.

Before doing anything difficult with your unit, you could see if has the "DST bug" (more info here, if interested) .

Check your clock settings...make sure the clock is set manually and DST is OFF. If this helps, you may even want to reset the unit and start fresh, esp. if it has a TVGOS system or you're connected to a STB.
Thanks, but it was doing it before DST got frikked up by the President
yes the original was a western digital.

be careful on choice of drives you may put into it, i had trouble with a 320gb maxtor and a 400gb western digital as they drew slightly more current than the one supplied or my seagate and they did not function correctly. Im pretty certain the power supply board is very close to max'ed out with the equipment already in it.

No point in changing the optical drive in my opinion as some nero cd/dvd tests on a few of my burns show excellent results. anyway, its fast and quiet so why bother?

i had my machine running consecutive timer records while constantly repeating a single chapter of a dvd for 24hours with absolutely no problems or lockups. im fairly sure the heatsink on the LSI chip has sorted that out.

Its easy to put on it really. Buy yourself a small northbridge chipset cooler (preferably with a fan and make sure it has no sticky crap on the bottom-if it does remove it!) and a molex to 3pin fan adaptor with passtrhough. unplug the power plug going to the optical drive and fit the adaptor, then plug the drive back in. Add a good smear of thermal compound on the centre metallic disc of the LSI chip (dont smear onto the plastic) add a teenie tiny drop of super-glue to each of the four corners on the plastic (right at the edge) and push the heatsink down hard on the chip. hold for a few minutes and voila! then plug the fan into the adaptor. DO NOT USE THE UNIT FOR AN HOUR AS THE GLUE NEEDS TO DRY FIRST.

hope this helps

oh, and our machines dont have even a slight possibility of a DST bug as they do not have these settings
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Originally Posted by FullOnShred /forum/post/0

Thanks, but it was doing it before DST got frikked up by the President

Timing for the DST bug can be after or before the actual change in date. The SW to correct the DST change was updated by cable/sat companies and networks well before the start of DST.

Originally Posted by silicon_psycho /forum/post/0

oh, and our machines dont have even a slight possibility of a DST bug as they do not have these settings

So your machine doesn't have an auto-clock setting...it's always manual?

Originally Posted by wabjxo /forum/post/0

Timing for the DST bug can be after or before the actual change in date. The SW to correct the DST change was updated by cable/sat companies and networks well before the start of DST.

I only have problems when using the DVD Playback feature on this machine, and specifically when I press the STOP button before a DVD Playback has ended on it's own. Oddly enough I have learned that if I press the HDD button and shift to the HDD for a moment and then switch back to the DVD Section instead of futzing with the DVD controls anymore, the lockup never occurs. All HDD functions and Timer Recordings are functioning perfectly. So I reaaaaalllly don't think it is a DST bug. But thank you for the link. You never know.
Psycho, reason I asked about what brand HDD is because I had read elsewhere that Seagates generally were more power hungry than WD IDE Drives and people had encountered problems putting Seagate and Maxtor drives in to replace WDs because of this. Where can I find power requirements of various Hard Drives? Thanks again for posting this stuff.
power requirements are on the drive label itself

would read somethin like.....

12v: 0.65a

5v: 0.80a

or it could be in mA either way, only ever seen them on the drive label!

I also really dont think its a DST bug as mine was randomly locking up on me and has not even got an aerial plugged into it!

anything above 12v .8a and 5v .8a it seems to have issues with

hope this helps!



ps: my real screen name is Silicon_Psychosis but this forum had a character limit....hehe but you guys can call me gavin!
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oh, FullOnShred, what firmware is your unit running?? hint
ress setup 3-2-1 select and it should give you an R number

and to answer an earlier question of yours i think the hardware of my unit compares to US model 3440h/37 but because of my firmware modification it would be like your model 3450h/37

the /xx number appears to be a regioning system for the machine. i have the codes to change it on the machine if you would like but i have not really played around with this!
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i have been looking in the firmware files and there is an interesting possibility that i could change most of the on-screen messages. Looking at the code it seems to follow a standard C practise of storing all text used in the GUI in a string array, and that this array is compiled into the final executable with data unaltered.

If im feeling really brave i might crack out my hexediting skills and maybe change one letter of a string (so i dont alter the filesize) and see if a: the unit takes it, and b: i can actually see the difference!

could make for some amusing, and some slightly more sensible displays! such as...."Dont press cancel if you want to finalize this disk, cos if you press it, my god thats the end of all things!!!!! muwahahahahahaaaaaa" [ok] [cancel]

oh how that would confuse my over-buttonned girlfriend (she thinks i have too many remotes)

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SP, thanks for the info as i was pretty sure I would need to get a close match on power requirements for a HDD upgrade. I have the last Firmware update Philips offered for my unit. I called their CS dept with a number of suggestions and was told no more updates for the 3455/37 were forthcoming. I have been a bit disappointed with my unit, and with the Philips CS dept. response.

I would love to learn how to alter/create Firmwares, but have zero programming skills at this time. And I am pretty lazy to boot!
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i just use a hex editor and look for patterns in the firmware files themselves. if you know what to look for they can be quite interesting (for me anyway )

im pretty sure that all philips updates for their units with the lsi8652 chip will be the same firmware base, and hence can be modified for our machines. im quite happy to carry on experimenting!!!!!

glad the power info helped.
i have tried a wd3200aajb 320 gb but it seems impossible to accept it. I insert the firmware disk in but it keeps trying to read the hd with no success(it works with an other 80gb disk). The wd hd works no problem on a computer. I format fat 32 and try again- no sucess. I make an exact copy (disk to disk}of my original 80 gb hd , i try all possible jumper positions- no sucess.

I have run out of ideas.Anyone
Hi I know this is an old thread but where did you get a 400 gig ide drive ?Thanks john

Originally Posted by johnofleeds  /t/847197/modifications-to-philips-dvdr3440h/0_100#post_23758612

Hi I know this is an old thread but where did you get a 400 gig ide drive ?Thanks john
Easy enough to search for in pricegrabber. Here, take your pick .
Hi Again scott thanks for your reply When you said a 320 gig h/d I thought you had a eide drive so it must be sata am I correct? I haven't been inside my machine yet so I assumed it was an old ide drive-So I think that's what confused meThe lagest eide drive I have found over here in the U.K. is 250 gig. Thanks for your time-By the way your very lucky to have prices like yours because we pay pound per dollar for our goods never at the true conversion rate.Thanks john
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