Customer Review

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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Tracked by 3 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 10 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jun 9, 2009 6:21:00 AM PDT
[Deleted by the author on Jan 13, 2013 7:09:54 AM PST]

Posted on Jul 8, 2010 2:29:49 PM PDT
jp2code says:
Glenn,

Does MythTV allow me to stop the Show A at Position X, play Show B, then return to Show A at either Position X or Position 0?

How much bandwidth is needed when playing a show? I can either run a 10 MB CAT5 or stream over my 802.11G wireless.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 22, 2010 11:10:02 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 22, 2010 11:11:26 AM PDT
MythTV allows you to configure it to autosave the last place you were watching a show and return to it, or manually save a bookmark.

I think that ATSC allows for up to 18 megabits per second (or a comparable number) which should be marginal with 802.11g. I use 802.11n whenever I'm streaming OTA video to my MacBook, and that's reasonably reliable.

If you own your own house, I'd seriously take the effort to run some CAT-6 to your TV room. Right now I have 5 devices with Ethernet ports under my TV (a HTPC, AppleTV, TiVo, Blueray Player and some box that gets Chinese programming.) And I'll be taking delivery of an Internet radio that Amazon Vine is having me evaluate today.

Posted on Jan 11, 2011 6:41:11 PM PST
Whats the diff between these two (the dual/single) and the Tech version which is between $200-$300?

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 12, 2011 6:20:53 AM PST
jp2code says:
I believe the Tech version can be accessed over the network by multiple PCs. I've got the Dual (non-tech), and every time I access the tuner on another PC, it says it is in use. I can take ownership, but then our Media Center PC stops reading from the tuner until I go in and manually tell it to take ownership.

Also, the TECH version is supposed to have a set of tools that you can use to fine tune it.

I do not have the TECH, so this is just what I was told when I asked Silicon Dust a year or so ago.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 12, 2011 12:45:17 PM PST
According to the SiliconDust website, the Tech allows multicasting--sending the datastream to the whole subnet simultaneously--and various analytic functionality to figure out problems with the broadcast signal. It seems a much more specialized product that consumers wouldn't need.

When I only had the dual, I would often stream the output of one tuner to one computer on my network and that of the other tuner to another computer. But this isn't multicasting.

Posted on Mar 26, 2011 5:57:25 AM PDT
Ali Julia says:
Hi Glenn,
What distro are you running on your Linux box? Ubuntu or Fedora? I had trouble getting MythTV to run on Fedora.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 27, 2011 1:57:32 PM PDT
I'm running the MythTV specific version of Ubuntu, Mythbuntu.

Posted on Jan 12, 2013 4:37:43 PM PST
Tim says:
Ah, do you think this guy works for the co.

com on man.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 12, 2013 4:44:56 PM PST
At the moment I work for myself as an independent iOS developer. I've never worked for Silicon Dust.
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Review Details

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Reviewer

Glenn R. Howes
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   

Location: Nashua, NH

Top Reviewer Ranking: 413