Although not the Cadillac of digital video recorders, the Mediasonic ATSC HW-150PVR HomeWorx Digital TV Converter with Media Player and PVR gives its over-priced competitors a run for its money for the mere fact that it combines an ATSC tuner and digital media player into one unit. It is capable of playing .avi, .dat, .m2ts, .mkv, .mpg and .vod video formats, .aac, .mp3 and .wma audio files, and for good measure, it also supports .bmp .jpeg, .png image formats.
Recording to external device:
The Mediasonic ATSC HW-150PVR has a USB connection that allows you to record programming to an external device. Although you can use USB flash drives, a powered external hard drive is recommended.
Quality of Recordings:
Recordings on the Mediasonic ATSC HW-150PVR are high quality HD recordings. The PVR records in .mts format which can be viewed on your PC using Windows Media Player [and many other video players].
Pros: It is a PVR and media player in all-in-one. Booking timers is easy and is done by selecting a program from the EPG. You can create one-time, daily and weekly timers, as well as one-time auto-tune events for programs you want to watch live, but don’t want to forget to tune to when the program starts. Manual one-time, daily and weekly timers can also be created from the Timer menu. Also notable is the HW-150PVR supports clear QAM cable with a firmware update made available by Mediasonic upon request. If you have access to unencrypted cable, and you do not have a set-top box, the HW-150PVR may be just what the doctor ordered.
Cons: It has its issues, and the issues vary by version. V2 seems to be the most stable of the three versions released by Mediasonic thus far. The V2 we tested would reboot when recording for no apparent reason, and some timers failed to start. To be fair, a firmware update solved that problem. However, what remains is still a mystery to most everyone who frequents the Mediasonic forums. Channels appear and disappear. They also reappear after being deleted from the channel list. The availability of program descriptions are mostly nonexistent, compared to two Vizio HDTV’s we used to test the PVR which always included a program description for each program. V3 of the Mediasonic HW-150PVR tends to show the same program description for every program, regardless of the channel the unit is tuned to.
Channel scans leaves little to be desired on the V3 as well. Forum users have complained the PVR does not pick up as many channels as the ATSC tuner built into their TV’s.
Although the Mediasonic ATSC HW-150PVR is also a media player, what we found frustrating, and others in the forum do as well, is it is incapable of deleting files on the external drive that were not recorded by the PVR.
All-in-all, for the price the HW-150PVR is worth taking a look at. However, we’d like to see some improvement in the tuner and feature additions in the next version.