Formatting and partitioning a USB hard disk for use with Sony Bravia TV recording

Sony RD453 TV

I recently purchased a Sony Bravia RD-453 TV which is able to record to a USB hard disk. However after plugging in two different USB drives and attempting to register them they both errored mid way through.

The TV formats the drive during the registration process so I assumed the initial configuration wouldn't matter, however this is not the case. I spent a few hours experimenting with different formats and found the following process to work reliably. Basically the disk needs to be formatted as NTFS (I found FAT32 to be detected but error later in the process).

This seems to be a common issue with Sony TVs and isn't well documented. I've only tried this on my TV but I suspect it'll work on any similar TV. I tried a few different drives and the same solution seemed to work on them all.