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First of all you need to check if your TV supports recording. Some 2010 models do and most 2011 have it implemented. Look for stickers or logos such as:
PVR (Personal Video Recorder)
DVR (Digital Video Recorder
The following manufacturers support it in some of their models. Typically mid-end to high-end models. Check the manufacturer web site if you are unsure.
Sharp (only Time Shift pausing)
What you need
Many consumers have USB recording enabled TVs without actually using the function - simply because it requires an extra USB hard drive ou need the following:
USB Recording: A HDTV that supports recording.
A USB HDD: FlatpanelsHD uses a USB HDD from Transcend.
Digital channels: Recording is only enabled on digital channels - not analog. You can record SD, HD and 3D.
Some manufacturers recommend USB hard drives with external power supplies but we have used a Trandscend USB HDD that takes power from the USB plug on all manufacturers' TVs without any problems. Manufacturers typically allow 1:1 recording, meaning that you will see no loss in picture quality.
How to set up USB Recording
Once you have purchased a USB hard drive and connected it on the back of the TV you can move on to "pairing" the USB HDD with the TV. Here is how to set up USB recording.
Connect the USB HDD to a free USB port on the back of the TV.
The USB hard drive now needs to be formatted (all data will be deleted).
Most TVs help you to format the USB HDD automatically but on some models you need to enter the menu and select format HDD (or something similar)
You can't connect a hard drive to a tv and record to it even if you have a usb port on the tv. The tv will read from the usb port pictures and music but it will not record to it. The tv does not have any software built into it that will let you use the usb port as a personal video recorder. It won't work.