I bought a HW-150PVR off Amazon (from third-party seller "DependableResource") in late October. Over the six weeks I've owned it, I've developed a sort of love-hate relationship with it.
I love that it captures the ATSC signal and saves it as-is without re-encoding it, so I get the full clarity of the original broadcast. (This was a beef I had with the Simple.TV: it saved everything as compressed 720p, and the results never looked as sharp as the original.)
However, I hate that I can't count on it to record what I tell it to. Recordings work more often than not, but they fail often enough that it's a serious problem. Also, the "HBPVR" directory in which recordings are saved on the hard disk periodically gets corrupted somehow, where a recording file won't play, but it also can't be deleted. I have to unplug the HD and connect it to my computer to fix the problem.
Here's an example that illustrates the recording problem I'm having. Last Thursday, I pre-scheduled a recording of a three-hour overnight program on my local PBS channel from 3:00am to 6:00am Saturday. Later, on Sunday evening, I tuned into NBC Sunday Night Football on the HW-150 and manually started recording by pressing the "Record" button on the remote, then switched the TV back over to another input so my wife could continue watching her Netflix movie while the game was recording. A couple of hours later, after my wife was done with her movie, I sat back down in front of the TV to watch the game and noticed something was wrong: the activity light on the HD that I have plugged into the Homeworx, which blinks when it's recording, was on steady. Uh-oh.
Sure enough, I discovered that the unit had inexplicably stopped recording the game at some point. Upon investigating, I discovered that it had stopped at the 1:02:03 mark (one hour, two minutes, three seconds), with a file size of about 6.4 GB. So I missed most of the game. Then I checked the pre-scheduled recording from early Saturday morning, and discovered that it too had stopped early. It began at the correct time, but had stopped at the 1:02:04 mark, also with a file size of 6.4 GB. So I missed most of that program as well.
One of these recordings was pre-scheduled, and the other was manually started, but both prematurely stopped recording at exactly the same length. WTF?!
I did another test last night. Late last night, I reformatted the HD in NTFS on my computer, then connected it to the HW-150 and pre-scheduled a three-hour recording for 3:00am to 6:00am this morning. I just went and checked, and sure enough, the recording cut off after 1:02:03.
But what's weird is that these past few days are the first time I've encountered this particular problem. The unit has successfully made a few pre-scheduled recordings of up to four hours (more NFL games) in the past.
This is just the latest example of the many misfires I've suffered with this unit. It's pretty good when it works, but in my experience, it's just not reliable.
I have some relatively minor gripes with the unit's user interface, but that's almost irrelevant when the unit can't be relied upon to perform its most essential function.
If anyone has suggestions for how to overcome these problems, I'm all ears.
FYI, the unit's System Information panel shows:
Model: HW-150 PVR
SW Version: CL630133 130807 V13
HW Version: 7816-ATSC-03
The unit came with the "new" remote. The external HD that I use with the unit is a WD Passport, formatted in NTFS.
Edited by jdmx - 12/10/13 at 10:29am