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Answer:
Well, let me answer this way: It is essentially a cable box for your network.
If, you currently enjoy cable television from someone like Time Warner, you have a cable box at each of your televisions that allow you to select the QAM channels on their wire, some open and others subscription required. Within each of th… see more
Well, let me answer this way: It is essentially a cable box for your network.
If, you currently enjoy cable television from someone like Time Warner, you have a cable box at each of your televisions that allow you to select the QAM channels on their wire, some open and others subscription required. Within each of those boxes is the functional equivalent of a 'cable card.' The cable card tells the tuner box which channels are a part of your particular subscription package and allows access accordingly.
HR Prime serves the same tuning purpose as does the box but instead of pushing the tuned channel(s) directly to your TV, makes them accessible to computers on your network via Ethernet connection. The cable card (available from your TV provider) serves the same function in the HR Prime as in the cable box.
Each PC on your network does require installation of Silicon Dust's HDHomeRun software (http://www.silicondust.com/support/hdhomerun/downloads/) in order to 'talk' with the HR Prime.
I personally use my HR Prime with a Time Warner-provided cable card and watch/record my subscription channels using the Windows Media Center application found on my Windows 7 PCs, laptops and Media Center Extenders. I retained only one cable box from TWC for the TV in my living room, and have never looked back.
Hope this helps. see less

By Rev Bob on December 6, 2013
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It depends on which model you want. The basic versions (the two tuner SD-standard definition and HD-high definition) have two connections: 1) a coaxial RF port (connects to over the air antenna from which you get free tv) and 2) a network port that connects to your home network using an Ethernet cable (i.e. not wifi). … see more It depends on which model you want. The basic versions (the two tuner SD-standard definition and HD-high definition) have two connections: 1) a coaxial RF port (connects to over the air antenna from which you get free tv) and 2) a network port that connects to your home network using an Ethernet cable (i.e. not wifi). The device itself is a tuner, which is an electronic device that lets you select a tv channel. You have to use a computer and TV recording software, such as Windows Media Center and others mentioned in other posts, to set it up. Your software of choice will find the device on the network and you tell it to record (or just watch) the tv channel/show you want. If you record it records to a hard drive you select on the computer. After a show is finished recording, you can watch it on your computer or on some hdtvs and other devices (PS3, XBO360, some Blu-ray players) by streaming from your computer to the device (DLNA) depending on the software you choose.
There is also a model with 3 tuners that allows you to record/watch cable channels. This requires the cable card mentioned in other posts. see less

By mdmarti3 on April 19, 2014
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The biggest feature here is DLNA... so you can in theory watch TV from DLNA supported client, like PS3
By A. WU on February 5, 2014
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I only use one of the tuners for my Silicon Dust tuner and that works perfect to see HD TV from a computer monitor;you must pay for a media card from your cable company, about $2 a month. The other two can be for game consoles, media players or any DLNA compatible device.
By Amazon Customer on March 3, 2014
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From what I can gather, you still have to pay for the channels and a card. This only allows you to stream to all the other devises in your house without having to pay the cable co for other boxes.
By Cynthia on June 2, 2014
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If you are wanting to view the HD homerun on your laptop it should be fine. If you are wanting to use this laptops as a WMC to an external TV it may be sketchy. I use a Lenovo I5 laptop with HD video card on a 55 inch LED and it gets choppy at times.
By JMB on March 1, 2014
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The CONNECT version allows HD (1080i) viewing over wired Ethernet but only SD over WiFi. Probably because compressing HD to fit over WiFi requires more processing power (hence the more expensive EXTEND model which encodes using H.264 and supports HD over WiFi).
By Miles O on April 2, 2015
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I'm not entirely sure if you would see the difference, the issue being more about the size of the screen, the quality of that screen (be it TV or monitor) & how far away would you be sitting from it. Having said that, any time you convert something from it's original source, you will lose some sort of quality. Whereas … see more I'm not entirely sure if you would see the difference, the issue being more about the size of the screen, the quality of that screen (be it TV or monitor) & how far away would you be sitting from it. Having said that, any time you convert something from it's original source, you will lose some sort of quality. Whereas with the DUAL you're getting exactly what is being received. The selling point of the PLUS device is that when using it, less bandwidth will be taken up within your network. So let's say you got a 100mb wired network, the PLUS would be a boon, as less data will be needed to get the picture to your screen. However, if you're using wireless dual-N or a wired 1gb network, the PLUS isnt really needed because you have plenty of "pipe" to get video to your screen. Hope this helps. see less
By Emmanuel Savopoulos on June 22, 2014
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Like a lot of things when dealing with cable providers it really depends on the cable provider. Some provider enable strong copy protection flags that require the PC to be cable ready (See W. Sung answer). Under those providers you can record / watch HBO on that 1 windows media machine only and any Media Center Exten… see more Like a lot of things when dealing with cable providers it really depends on the cable provider. Some provider enable strong copy protection flags that require the PC to be cable ready (See W. Sung answer). Under those providers you can record / watch HBO on that 1 windows media machine only and any Media Center Extenders (Pretty much only the XBOX). So if you happen to have 2 windows media centers you would only be able to play it back on the one that recorded it. That is worse case but you have to assume you will be one of the unlucky ones. see less
By Robert Middleswarth on April 30, 2014