And now something for the cordcutters. I picked up the $30-something Mediasonic HW-150PVR over-the-air converter and poor man’s DVR and I am already using it for real world watching and recording. This is the first post in a series, covering what’s included and how it looks. More posts are coming on this. Based on my initial usage, this has exceeded expectations (granted, I was expecting a disaster). If you have any questions or want me to test anything specific, please leave a comment and I’ll try it if I can. I purchased this with my own money in mid-January 2016 at Amazon.
Considering the price, the included items are about as good as it is gonna get. You get the following:
- the actual Mediasonic box, sealed in bubble wrap, with the AC adapter permanently attached to it (the AC adapter is not user-removable)
- the AC cable is around 55 inches long (approximate measurement, it’s still twisted from storage, the AC head had a protective film on it)
- the remote control sealed in its own little bag (batteries are NOT included – it takes two AAA)
- one RCA cable (yellow, white, red), twisty-tied
- other connection cables are NOT included – you have to provide your own RF or HDMI or component or USB cables if you want to use those
- Paperwork sealed in its own bag
- User Manual: 18 pages per language in English, Spanish, French (one booklet)
- Quick Install Guide: two pages per language in the above languages (three separate sheets)
- Warranty (one sheet of paper)
I am going to pretend this is an artistic picture, and not out of focus 🙂 On the left, you see the power button. It’s a push-button. You push it, it turns ON, you push it again, it turns OFF. It is not a volume button. It retreats into the body by about half its height when it is ON. On the right side we have the USB Input, and the Channel UP and Channel DOWN buttons. The stuff is green are my annotations 🙂 It’s mouse-writing – in case you are wondering why it’s so anti-caligraphy 🙂
As you can barely see below, this is USB 2.0, there is no blue in the USB port.
CONNECTIONS PARADISE on THE BACK
If you are a fan of many different connections, this will not disappoint! On the middle and right side of the back of the device you will find an HDMI output, an RCA trio (red, white, yellow) output, the component tri-color (green, blue, orange) output, and coaxial too!
These are in addition to the two RF cable ports on the left side on the back (the picture is cropped – the serial number is above the RF ports). One is RF Input, the other is RF Output. You can select using the menus whether you want the RF Out to pass the RF In signal (so you can watch a different channel using your own TV’s tuner) or output Mediasonic’s output.
I forgot to take a close-up of the remote, this is the best one I had during the “photoshoot”. But there will be a lot more on the remote during the upcoming review. I typically keep remotes in bags. True story, one time a remote (I had no replacement of) accidentally fell into my recycling box and I threw it in the trash. Thanks to the bag, I was able to fish it out without any contamination 🙂 So yes, bagging pays off!
THE AC CABLE
Below you will find two pictures spliced together. The first half is the top view, facing down on the device. The second half is looking at the device from behind. As you can see, the AC cable CANNOT be removed.
OPENING is EASY
Opening things is only relevant when there are issues. This is very easy to open. You just slice a sticker-dot gently at the bottom of the box, and it opens up like a pizza box. Then you simply remove the included items.
The whole Mediasonic package, unopened, weighs around 2 lbs (1 lb, 15 oz). The DVR on its own with its AC cable (since the cable is not removable) weighs around 1 lb and 3.6 oz. The measurement is approximate (I am using a small postal scale).
This is a partial list of specs, it’s from the back of the cardboard box it comes in. A lot more on this in the upcoming review.