Have the pause status bar disappear after a couple of seconds. This would allow viewing of the whole picture without interference. A small status icon up in a corner would work to indicate the pause status.
On the Apple TV you can press the down arrow and it goes away.
Much better if it just disappeared after a few seconds.
Settings > Playback > Seek Options
You can change how long (if at all) the seek bar/timeline displays.
I experimented with this last night and it seems pressing "up" on the remote control ring makes it go away.
Just make sure you don't accidentally have the PIP button selected or else the timeline will never disappear due to a recent bug I reported about here.