Any Warnings re Sony HDD 250?

One such unit remains at a local store as out of box return–no manual, no remote etc. As designed, unit has no burner, just a tuner and hard drive for replaying over TV or High Def TV.

I’ve downloaded the owners manual and read a few other forums but the following questions remain:

  1. Its not crystal clear–can this unit record a digital cable signal?

  2. MUST the tv guide be utilized BEFORE any recording can take place?? Amazon forum post said you can watch channels out of the box but the guide must be installed for any recording. That would make sense for “timed” recordings but not for recording what you are watching??

  3. MOST IMPORTANT–the manual says all the menu commands can be accessed on the front panel. Too often “sometimes” the remote is the only thing that can access some commands. Whats the truth regarding this unit?

Lots of other questions I’m willing to wait on the unit to provide, but any other words of caution? Thanks. //// bobbo.