Nicholas, I wouldn't recommend the HW-150PVR for cable TV.
The HW-150PVR is a digital tuner; you hook it directly to the RF cable (coming from an antenna or your cable TV company). It cannot record the output of a cable box.
Cable signals are modulated differently than antenna signals. Mediasonic has firmware that will let the HW-150PVR tune cable signals, but:
- Mediasonic doesn't support it; if you use it, you're on your own
- You will only get unencrypted ("clear") digital cable channels. Some cable companies encrypt all their channels; many encrypt most of them. Also, if your cable company still has analog channels, the HW-150PVR doesn't tune them.
- Most cable companies don't broadcast PSIP info. Without PSIP, the HW-150PVR won't have a program guide, correct channel numbers, or even the correct time of day, making timed recordings impossible.
Regarding your other question: yes, the HW-150PVR can power a drive through the USB connection. I don't know how much current it provides, though, so if your drive is particularly power-hungry you might have problems.Edited by JHBrandt - 11/22/13 at 7:47am