I am surprised that nobody else has posted anything here on the 3370 unit... so here goes:
In early 2006 I purchased a Philips DVDR3370H/97 [I live on South Africa]. It has 300GB HDD and sounded gr8... but has lots of problems....
Oh, and I was also surprised to see that there was no direct RF cable connection from DVD to TV. If your TV does not have RCA inputs you need an RF modulator.... I needed to keep my old video machine "in the loop"!
In Dec 2006 I upgraded the firmware from the Philips web site: http://www.p4c.philips.com/cgi-bin/dcbint/cpindex.pl?slg=ENG&cat=DVD_HOME_THEATER_CA&sct=DVD_HARDDISK_RECORDERS_SU&session=20070224153545_220.127.116.11&grp=HOME_ENTERTAINMENT_GR&ctn=DVDR3370H/97&mid=Link_Software&hlt=Link_Software
I found that the menu operation was a bit faster and some usability issues were resolved... but nowhere near all of them!
The main issue at the moment seems to be that it locks up or hangs and I need to reset it by pulling out the power plug and then starting it up again! This happens about once a week when it's recording... sometimes I get home after setting it to record only to find that it has locked up and didn't record!
When I remember, I pre-emptively power down weekly... what a pain!
The unit does not handle running out of HDD space very well.... did I mention that it doesn't handle running out of HDD space?
Here's an excerpt from an email that I sent to Philips in 2006:
Time shift buffer: if the time shift buffer has been capturing for a long time (say 2 hours of programs), then I go back 5 minutes and press record then the whole time shift buffer is lost and I cannot explore what's in the previous 2 hours of programs. The recording should start but not erase the time shift buffer.
The HDD list should also include a column called "duration".... if there's a space limitation, then ditch the 1st column (called "No.").
Would be nice to be able to assign a "genre" to each recording...
The "info" window appears during playback whenever a key is pressed on the remote and I need to press the "info" button on the remote control to make the info disappear - is there a way to reduce the on-screen time of the info window?
When a timer recording ends the Time Shift Buffer does not automatically activate i.e. pressing the "left arrow" does nothing. So one cannot explore the time shift buffer after the timer has ended... you need to press the "Tuner" button on the remote for the buffer to "wake up"!
When creating a new entry in the "Timer Editor" the default start and end times should be more useful i.e. the start time should take on the current time plus 5 minutes and the end time should default to 'start time' plus 2 hours
When creating a new entry in the "Timer Editor" the default "Title" is set to "MyTitle0" which is very painful to have to overtype each time - this should rather be blank ready for typing from scratch
When a timer recording is in progress, the time shift buffer does not work....
Timer schedule: sometimes an entry needs to be edited since I realised that the duration of an entry was set too short.... since the time shift buffer is not operational after a timer, I need to i) press record and ii) fix the schedule for next week's recording. So, I go and change the end time which happens to be a time on the future which causes the recorder to go into timer mode and starts recording! This interrupts the recording that I had already started manually! Since the "timer mode recording" limits the time shift buffer operations, I need to then press "stop", then "tuner" (to get out of "timer mode" then "record", then go and clean up the multiple HDD recordings.
Programming a timer always asks for the "G-Code" - I never have this G-Code available, so I always need to navigate to the "cancel" button - can this G-Code question be skipped always?
Leaving the unit in record mode and come back 7 hours later results in multiple recordings of 3h each - I would have expected 1 recording of 7 hours.... this causes programs to be split in the middle - and with no "merge" facility, this is not satisfactory
The keyboard functionality is inconsistent.... rather present the full keyboard (as in the "HDD rename" menu) to the user rather than the in-line character selection (as in the "timer" menu)
HDD menu: The manual says that one can use up to 255 character to name a title - the unit only accepts 12 characters
I am surprised (and very disappointed) at the number of issues that I have listed and I suggest that your software engineers stop what they are doing and take the product home for a couple of days and start using it themselves!
This hanging problem is driving me mad :a
This new technology is obviously better than my old video machine (VHS Mitsubishi B31 VCR)... but it still has a looooong way to go before it catches up in the usability, stability and reliability front!
I expected more firmware updates to resolve most of these issues - so far there's been only 1 in Dec2006 that didn't help too much.
The associated release note was pathetic!
Oh, a "feature" listed mentioned that you need to reprogram your TV channels after the firmware upgrade - how INconvenient!
Oh, and I registered on the Philips "Customer Care" web site and they promised to notify me of firmware updates... but did not get notified. I found the update by manually checking their web site manually
Still looking forward to the next firmware upgrade......