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242 of 252 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful network tuner with some limitations.
OK, let's get the cons out of the way first: This box does not have a slot for CableCards, which means that you are not going to use it to record anything except either OTA digital TV (from an antenna) or the major networks on clear QAM from your cable. That's just the way it is, that's what this box was designed to do, and that cannot be changed. It will not pick up...
Published on August 10, 2008 by JarOfSonicMen

versus
27 of 36 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good hardware, OK Software and no analog
The concept behind HD HomeRun has the potential to take over the entire TV-PC watching market. Imagine: Cable or TV in, and Ethernet out. Wow! What incredible flexibility!!! Hi Def TV on any computer in your home. DirecTV, Dish and Comcast should take note and buy this company, because this is really what I most want in my own home.

If all you want is...
Published on April 21, 2009 by Nigel Tufnel


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242 of 252 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful network tuner with some limitations., August 10, 2008
This review is from: SiliconDust HDHomeRun HDHR-US Dual Networked High Definition Digital Tuner Device (White) (Personal Computers)
OK, let's get the cons out of the way first: This box does not have a slot for CableCards, which means that you are not going to use it to record anything except either OTA digital TV (from an antenna) or the major networks on clear QAM from your cable. That's just the way it is, that's what this box was designed to do, and that cannot be changed. It will not pick up analog or encrypted-digital cable channels. It does not interact with your television at all, unless you are using your TV as a computer monitor. This is NOT the way to convert your old TV to receive digital TV.

So what good is it? You can use it to pick up digital TV from an antenna or unencrypted QAM (usually network) cable signals, and stream to your computer for watching or recording.

I have two of these on my local network. I use them to stream Fox, NBC, ABC, and CBS to my MythTV box, where I record everything broadcast by the Big 4 in primetime onto 2 750GB disks, which hold about 2 weeks of the programming I record. I have demoted my TiVos to cable-channel and backup network use.

If your computer is not dual-core, it's not powerful enough to watch HDTV with (though it will do OK recording, if you have something else to watch with/on).

This unit also has a builtin infrared port that will transmit the codes from your remote control to your computer after you configure it.

It does come with some software, but I don't know what it does, I already had my older HDHomerun hooked up, and just added this one in MythTVSetup. As another reviewer mentioned, there is not a toll-free number to call for support, they use the internet and forums at silicondust. It's worth some time poking around those forums to see what people are doing, and what problems people are having, to see if this item is really what you are looking for.

It does exactly what I want, and I'm considering adding a third one for PBS and CW recording, and to experiment with building a Gray-Hoverman HDTV antenna.

LAST BUT NOT LEAST It is very important to use only RG6 coax cables and 2MHz-rated splitters for most cable HDTV. 1 foot of RG58 between my splitter and my HDHomerun completely destroyed the signal to that input. Don't convince yourself yours is broken until you know your cables are good.
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89 of 95 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars After 4 Years of Reliable Use Comes a Cheaper Replacement, September 23, 2008
This review is from: SiliconDust HDHomeRun HDHR-US Dual Networked High Definition Digital Tuner Device (White) (Personal Computers)
[Update: Silicon Dust has shipped the HDHomerun Dual as a replacement for this product. I've purchased a copy for testing, and it is nice, replacing my original HDHomerun seamlessly in my antenna system. Signal quality on the newer device seems more consistent with fewer dropouts of marginal channels. As it is cheaper, somewhat more energy efficient and smaller, the only reason not to buy the newer model is if you intend to devote 1 tuner to QAM cable, and the other tuner to an antenna, which would be impossible given the single coax port.]

What I like about this product is the flexibility a networked device delivers. All the computers in my house can access it as needed: the Linux box running MythTV, the Vista PC running Media Center, the Mac running EyeTV. Even my iPhone can access the HDHomerun to check on antenna signal quality (using an iPhone application I wrote: Signal GH). A tuner in a PCI slot or on a USB dongle would not be nearly as useful and would tend to be harder to setup as special device drivers would be required. And if every computer had its own tuner, my antenna signal strength would be split down to nothing.

I was an early adopter of this gadget, purchasing one in November 2006. It has been reliable and has good sensitivity for over the air broadcasts hooked up to my rooftop antenna. The manufacturer has released a steady stream of firmware updates resulting in a gadget you can rely on not to crash. As a software engineer I'm impressed with the quality of the publicly available code for controlling the device.

I've found it to be extremely easy to use with MythTV, making it one of the few easy things about MythTV. Both tuners are connected to my home's antenna system. I have a large UHF antenna with a pre-amp on a short mast on my roof about 30 miles from the big cluster of antennas near Boston, MA. On occasions when the trees are full of leaves, I get some intermittent picture loss on two of my channels, but for most of the year I get free network television of great quality, although I wish NBC and PBS would cut down on their sub-channels.

My Kill-A-Watt tells me my HDHomerun draws 6W, which isn't horrible, and newer revisions are known for slightly better power usage but something to keep in mind for people worried about yet another constant electricity sink.

In spring of 2010, I also purchased the blue single tuner model. It appears to be just the same quality, ease of use, and signal locking of it's higher priced sibling. I bought it over another dual tuner as there are never four good programs on at the same time but sometimes there are three.
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35 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic device - the future of television?, May 16, 2008
By 
This review is from: SiliconDust HDHomeRun HDHR-US Dual Networked High Definition Digital Tuner Device (White) (Personal Computers)
This product is fantastic. After receiving the device I literally plugged it in to the cable TV, network and power, installed the EyeTV 3.0 software on my iMac and BAM!! It was working. Beautiful high definition television TV right on my Mac desktop. I cannot fault the device. Yes it is ugly but you can put in a cupboard on on a shelf and never have to look at it again. I really don't understand why Amazon doesn't stock the device. The only downsides that I have encountered are with the Electronic Program Guide for the EyeTV software which actually uses TitanTV. It took 24 hours for it to download the first program guide, and then I had to manually tweak all the stations.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Magic!, April 9, 2009
By 
Scott "Scott" (Northwest Washington) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: SiliconDust HDHomeRun HDHR-US Dual Networked High Definition Digital Tuner Device (White) (Personal Computers)
This device is MAGIC. I had XP with Media Center 2005 with a dual-tuner analog (NTSC) card. I needed to add digital (ATSC) tuners for the OTA digital transition in June, but still need analog for some in-house devices that broadcast analog via RF modulators.

I tried several different analog/digital combo and hybrid cards. I had the best luck with the Hauppauge 2250, but that "best" still meant random lockups in MCE, corrupted recordings, codec problems, and hours with technical support and different driver versions. None of the cards provided anything approaching stable operation.

Then I found the HDHomeRun. The install worked first time, XP Media Center saw both the new tuners, and everything works perfectly. I now have FOUR tuners (the two old NTSC, and the two new ATSC in the HDHomeRun) and all work flawlessly. No lockups, no reboots, no driver nightmares.

Some technical tips:
- If you want to use HDHomeRun with XP Media Center 2005, you must have an analog tuner card installed before installing HDHomeRun. This is because XP MCE2005 requires a analog tuner. Vista MCE and Windows7 MCE do not have this requirement, so they can use HDHomeRun without any internal tuner card. Similarly, third-party TV/PVR apps can use the HDHomeRun on XP without an internal tuner card.
- With XP and Media Center 2005, you must have the Media Center Rollup update installed. There are instructions and links for this on SilconDust's web page.
- Two concurrent video streams from the HDHomeRun will generate about 60mbps on your local network. That's 60% of a 100mbps network, which is fine if you don't have much other traffic on your LAN. If you have a lot of other traffic, consider upgrading your LAN to gigabit Nics/Routers/Switches.
- If you have a router and are using MAC filters, be sure to add the HDHomeRun MAC address to your router's MAC filter table. The MAC address is printed on the bottom of the HDHomeRun.
- The HDHomeRun requires DHCP (no way to set a static address, although if your router supports DHCP reservations you can use that).

I have one disagreement with the previous reviewer who said to "use 2MHz-rated splitters". First, I think he meant "2Ghz" since "2Mhz" is far below the TV band. Second, SiliconDust's setup instructions warn that "splitters rated for 2GHz operation should be avoided..." because they "...do not perform well at cable/antenna frequencies." SiliconDust recommends using splitters rated for "50Mhz-900Mhz or 50Mhz-1000Mhz operation" with the HDHomeRun.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This thing rocks!, July 13, 2008
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: SiliconDust HDHomeRun HDHR-US Dual Networked High Definition Digital Tuner Device (White) (Personal Computers)
This thing rocks. Plug in your cable or antenna, attach it to your network, and this thing works. There is Windows software included. Personally, I am using MythTV for Linux, and the installation took me 2 minutes total.

Comcast in Pennsylvania encrypts most channels, and your cable provider may do this too. There is no reason they should do this, other than to ensure that non Comcast boxes will not work. Instead, an old UHF television antenna is ideal for watching HDTV television from your local broadcast television networks.

This device is not designed to pick-up analog television stations. Some cable providers will rebroadcast analog stations digitally, which will allow you to tune them in -- if they are not encrypted.

None of these problems are related to the functionality of this device, which has been FLAWLESS, and the thing never needs to be reset. The company also releases updated drivers and firmware often, and they also support their products pretty well, even replacing defective power adaptors for free (and in 5 days!).

If you're on the fence with this unit, just get it -- two tuners, multiplatform operation, and the unit not does not crash.
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22 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome product...., September 26, 2008
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: SiliconDust HDHomeRun HDHR-US Dual Networked High Definition Digital Tuner Device (White) (Personal Computers)
I was debating for a while if I should purchase a mac mini with the hd homerun or an apple tv or tivo. A tivo will cost me $299 plus a monthly cost. The apple tv will cost $299. A mac mini is $599 plus $170 for the hd homerun for a total of $769.

It cost more than tivo or the apple tv but you can do a lot more with a mac mini and hd homerun combined. You can use it as a standalone computer and dvd player.

The hd homerun can record two shows at once and will work just like the tivo.

If you pair the hd homerun with elgato eyetv software this setup becomes superior and easy to use.

The mac mini can do the same as the apple tv. You get less memory on the mini but cheap external hard drives take care of the problem. The mini comes with a remote and front row as well.

Here is my setup:
-Mac Mini 1.83ghz c2d
-Silicon Dust HD HomeRun
-Elgato EyeTV Software
-Google these free plugins for EyeTV: pyetv (integrates eyetv into front row), etvcomskip (skips commercials automatically when watching a recorded show.
-Logitech Dinovo Edge Mac Edition: This is essential to the setup. Its a keyboard with a built it trackpad. No more shuffling between a keyboard and mouse. Its an all in one making life a lot easier.

The hd homerun works perfect. With elgato eyetv software setup was really easy.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wish I never messed with PCI cards. This is perfect., September 11, 2010
This review is from: SiliconDust HDHomeRun HDHR-US Dual Networked High Definition Digital Tuner Device (White) (Personal Computers)
I've tried several PCI tuner cards in my Windows Media PC, and then finally got this. I wish I'd gotten this guy first. I was worried that using a networked tuner would involve latency, but I've tuned the same channel on my laptop (via wireless, even) and our TV, and there was only a barely perceptible difference in the timing. Most importantly, there is no noticeable lag in changing channels relative to a tuner card.

The reception is flawless, which is likely due both to a very good late generation tuner chip, but also (I speculate) to the fact that the tuner is not stuck inside the incredibly high-RF-interference environment of a computer case. I can't imagine being stuck next to a chip radiating RF harmonic all the way from MHz to GHz would be a great thing for a tuner to pull in weak signals. This certainly seems to have much less trouble than my old tuner cards.

A really cool benefit of this tuner is that you can watch TV from any computer in the house, as well. So, if my wife is watching something horrifying like "Grey's Anatomy," on the media center PC, I can just watch something else on my laptop instead of looking for a pen to stick in my neck.

One final advantage, that I haven't needed to try, is that this allows you to put the tuner as close as possible to the antenna. For example, you could have this up in the attic and only have to run a short cable from your aerial to this box. The reason this is important is that the raw RF signal coming from the antenna is the most prone to interference and attenuation, it being analog and extremely broadband. You thus want to demodulate it as close as possible to the antenna. Once you've got the digital stream, then it's no problem running a long ethernet cable or just using WiFi.

In summary, this is, after trying many options, the best way to get high def over the air TV (or unencrypted cable) into your computer.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great product at good price, September 21, 2008
By 
tech guy "tech guy" (small town, Texas, USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: SiliconDust HDHomeRun HDHR-US Dual Networked High Definition Digital Tuner Device (White) (Personal Computers)
SUMMARY: I have had this product for over a year now. I use it with windows media center for Vista and the product works great. The SiliconDust web site was very helpful getting me set up and running. It has all the latest firmware and software you will need.

My TV over the air TV antenna was not located near where I have my PC so I needed something that I could put near my TV Antenna and communicate over a network to my PC. I have the LinkSys Media Center Extender and the HD HomeRun located near my TV and the PC is in another room completely. I have a hardwired network in the house so there are no network issues. My TV has an HD tuner, so I can actually record 2 programs and watch a third program.

I have had absolutely no issues with this product and it has worked great for me for over a year now. I recommend it.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Product, Outstanding Support, August 19, 2009
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: SiliconDust HDHomeRun HDHR-US Dual Networked High Definition Digital Tuner Device (White) (Personal Computers)
CUSTOMER SERVICE
----------------
Would give more stars, if I could, for customer service!

We had oddball hesitation problems -- which turned out to be PC hardware (a network card setting). SiliconDust support, via email, was quick, and they know their stuff. There is a software option to allow their support to examine your log, which was key to solving our problem (it turns itself off after 10 days).

PERFORMANCE
-----------
The product does what it says, and performs well. Software drivers to access the tuner signal are available for PC, Mac and Linux (I only use PCs). Also, ARCSOFT "TotalMedia" DVR software is included. IMPORTANT NOTE: The current version of the software must be downloaded from the website; it will automatically update the hardware's firmware, too, if needed -- very slick.

CURRENT AND PROPOSED USE OF THIS PRODUCT
----------------------------------------
We only use the broadcast signal functions, known as "ATSC". I got this after the Analog-to-Digital broadcast switchover. Since we now get 2-4 sub-channels for each primary channel, our selection is far greater than before. We are in a rural area with a tower antenna; digital reception from surrounding areas works well. As long as we can get PBS Kids for the little ones, we're good.

Our plan is to use a PC as a TIVO/DVR, plus Veoh and Hulu via DSL internet, with movies on DVD from Netflix, which also has SOME instant internet access.

Dumping satellite service (DirecTV, at $[...]+/month -- cable is not available here) ought to pay for a big screen, a new PC as a DVR and basic NetFlix.

PROBLEMS WITH MICROSOFT MEDIA CENTER
------------------------------------
"Media Center" doesn't work right. Not even "XP Media Center Edition." Nor the Vista versions. All sources I've checked say that Microsoft does NOT intend to fix problems with either version.

The first failure is that you CANNOT set it up for digital only; you will have to get an analog tuner, just to get into SETUP mode. I bought one on [...] (this part may be XP only).

The MAIN FAILURE is that the EPG (Program Guide) does not display sub-channel data -- and there are more subchannels than primary channels! The Guide -- and therefore, the DVR functions -- are USELESS for sub-channels. This DEFECT is inexcusable, in an age where analog broadcast is obsolete. FWIW, my two main computers are less than 1 1/2 years old!

I'm told Vista has the same sub-channel problem, and further, that this will NOT be fixed for either Vista or XP. The words "piss-poor design and engineering" do come to mind...as do "lack of quality control".

That said, my experience is that Windows Media Center has better DVR features. On the plus side, the included ARCSOFT "TotalMedia" actually works, although the DVR options are not that sophisticated. The only problem I've had with the "TotalMedia" software is that it cannot be dragged to a 2nd monitor (Media Center can be).

Bottom line: We will wait 'til October 09, for Windows 7, as I'm told the Media Center problems are definitely fixed.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just works, September 12, 2008
By 
Scott Lindner (Colorado Springs, CO) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: SiliconDust HDHomeRun HDHR-US Dual Networked High Definition Digital Tuner Device (White) (Personal Computers)
The simplest way to describe this tiny little thing is it just works. I had BeyondTV PVR up and running within 15 minutes of receiving this unit and I hadn't even downloaded and installed BeyondTV yet! Yes, it is that easy to get the HD HomeRun working. Plug it in, hook up the cable, and use the software.

One thing of note. The product dimensions listed are for the box, not the unit itself. I bought a 2U shelf for this unit and when I took it out of the box it's about the size of a tiny four port network switch.

On the technical side, it uses about 20Mbps per HD channel. If you're using both tuners concurrently, that's 40% of your network's theoretical capacity. This shouldn't be an issue for most people, but it is something to consider when setting up your network.

Scott
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