Customer Review

221 of 244 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great, after a little work, September 24, 2011
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This review is from: SiliconDust HDHomeRun PRIME 3-Tuner DLNA/UPnP Compatible Streaming Media Player, HDHR3-CC (Old Version) (Electronics)
I've been following this product since it was first promised earlier this year. I read all the gotchas, problems, etc, and thought I would be able to use that knowledge to help when I finally got the product myself and installed it. I also have an HDHR so thought it would be similar. Here's my experience:

I received it today (wonderful one-day shipping from Amazon), and had picked up my MCard (CableCard) at Cox yesterday. Hooked everything up, plugged everything in, and went through the install - so far pretty straightforward. The setup did upgrade the firmware to 20110830, however, on SiliconDust's website they've released 20110920beta1, so I went ahead and upgraded to the latest. Finally get to the part where you call your cable company, and that's where things started getting interesting. The first call activated successfully, and I thought it was done, I said thank you and goodbye. But I only got basic channels, not extended (no ESPN, CNN, etc). So I called back, and she sent "hits" and "INITs", to no avail. Finally she had me unplug the Prime, pull out the CableCard, plug it back in and re-insert the CableCard. Then she re-paired it. But in my error, I gave her the wrong codes (you give them three ID codes). I didn't know that when you unplug, remove and reinsert the CableCard, it generates a new ID for the Data code. The other two codes are static. She couldn't get it to pair up again, but strangely, I started receiving all the channels! So we assumed everything was fine, even though it wasn't activated. Sure enough, in a few minutes I lost the channels again. A third call to Cox, and I gave him the correct codes (even though he was on the verge of saying he would just as soon send a tech out), and finally, it all worked!

My recommendations:
1. Get the setup and card activation done before even going into Windows Media Center. Use the SiliconDust Setup and QuickTV to verify things are working. Get familiar with the Prime setup web browser, so you can get the codes and see the status of the activation. Check the logs to see if the channels are subscribed or not.

2. Be prepared to give the cable company what they need - the three (correct!) codes from a web browser pointing to the Prime. Cox didn't need any special instructions for this product. The last tech kept referring to my Tivo (I didn't correct him).

3. Once you've verified it all works from the Setup/QuickTV, close all of the HDHomeRun windows so you won't get tuner availability errors, then go into WMC and configure your TV Signal. This part actually worked great for me.

I've been watching TV for a few hours now, both on my computer and on my Windows Media Extender, with no glitches or hiccups. Will withhold final judgement until I've gone a few weeks.

(ETA, just want to say that Cox was very helpful, this was all done on a Saturday night, and the second tech even called me back after giving me some time to find the codes and so she could do some research on it.)

Update 3 1/2 weeks later: So I was missing a bunch of channels, and after several calls to Cox and an onsite visit, they said I needed a tuning adapter for Switched Digital Video (SDV) channels. The tech that came onsite didn't have any, so another trip to the Cox store, and then I hooked it up at home. The TA wouldn't lock on the signal, so a few more calls to Cox, and another onsite visit finally resulted in the SDV channels coming in, but no cable channels! Finally one more call to Cox, and now I'm getting all the channels I should be getting.
Other than the channel problem though, I have been recording several shows a week, sometimes two shows at a time, and have had zero problems! It has been very reliable.
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Tracked by 5 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 13 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Feb 5, 2012 3:19:43 PM PST
S. Riddle says:
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

Posted on Sep 3, 2012 10:54:14 AM PDT
klopas says:
Thank you for the review, especially the update. I have the same problem - picking up most channels wonderfully, including HD channels, but missing quite a few. I think that I need a tuning adapter. I will drive to Time Warner tomorrow (since it's Labor Day today) and see if I can get one.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 4, 2012 10:28:39 AM PDT
S. Riddle says:
I went to Comcast and asked them about a tuning adapter and they didn't know what I was talking about!

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 18, 2012 9:11:40 PM PDT
E. Snyder says:
BTW, I notice the product description on amazon mentions you need a "tuning adapter" and I think they list another name for it too. I have a very old WinTV board (definitely over 5 years old, could be 10+ years old!). One of these day's I'll upgrade

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 11, 2013 5:45:27 PM PDT
S. Riddle, Comcast doesn't use Switched Digital Video so no tuning adapter is needed with the HD Homerun Prime. Mine is running fine with Comcast.

Posted on Oct 11, 2013 6:43:29 PM PDT
Eric DeSouza says:
Additional Notes:

1. Install Playready (64bit) and (32bit)
2. Make sure to run the digital cable advisor tool. Should already be installed natively in Windows, but sometimes it doesn't exist (for whatever reason) You go to WMC (Windows Media Center) -> do your initial setup -> Green Button -> Extras -> Digital Cable Advisor. If it is not listed, download it here:

If you do not perform these steps, you will have difficulty watching recorded shows. Running the advisor tool and playready will unlock the WMC features of high definition cable playback. Otherwise, you will get "Subscription Required" errors when trying to watch a recording of Game of Thrones for example.

BTW... Been using this product since release (2.5 years?) and has been flawless.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 12, 2014 1:04:52 PM PDT
Is there any way you could find it in your heart to put this all in laymen's terms. Single mom just trying to avoid paying TWC 12.00 monthly fee for a DVR because of my work schedule I am missing my favorite shows. Have a fairly new Samsung smart tv. A very new Linksys A900 smart Wi-Fi router. I am so confused in trying to read about this type vs. Tivo. The only thing I think I got from Tivo thing is I'd have to pay a fee to them to use theirs. Kind of need directions like step one) hook DVR through hdmi cable or (whatever) to router, to tv, or what I am truly lost. Was wanting a Wi-Fi DVR now just to confused. Email is if you can find time to help or advise me. Thanks for taking the time to read this even if you can't help.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 13, 2014 7:35:49 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 13, 2014 7:55:07 AM PDT
S. Riddle says:
There are alot of hidden cost with some of these DVR's, I'm not that happy with my Tivo, the internet stuff like youtube and netfilx is pretty crappy, video quality is very poor, logging on to youtube every time I want to use it is a pain, and I can't get hulu or amazon prime.

One important thing you should know is that you can't use on demand video like comcast has or pay per view because it requires two way communication between the cable company and your DVR, Tivo's requires a cablecard owned by the cable company that the cable company has to install into your DVR and charges you a monthly fee for. So your loosing pay per view options too, there is just so many negatives to Tivo...

I have an internet tv that I don't use that much, it won't work with recording internet videos from the TV (most don't) and if it does its pretty complicated to set up. I can transfer videos from the Tivo DVR to my desktop and watch it on my laptop but guess what you have to pay for Tivo Desktop too Tivo has came out with some new DVR's that I know very little about, the problem with tivo is that you get penalized for upgrading I would have to pay another $500 for Tivo Service on the new DVR.

When I bought mine I paid the $500 one time fee for using the Tivo service that is usually $20 a month which in your case would be more expensive than you just using a cable DVR. DVR's are great though, I only have two tuners on my DVR which only records two channels at once (you can watch tv on one channel go from one show to another and record on the other) most DVR's have more like four tuners now which I highly recommend.

I would recommend going to bestbuy or an actual store and ask questions does the DVR have two way communication (does it require a cable card?), do your homework first and figure out with ones have the things you want go to the store get some advice then come back and check pricing on Amazon.

Good thing about Best Buy is that you can get the geek squad to come to your home and get it going. Or the cable company will have to do it if it requires a cable card. I hope this helps, I'm not sure if your asking about DVR's or that you have bought one and don't know how to set it up... Unfortunately I've wasted too much money on a Tivo system to change now and the cable card is a real nuisance Comcast is pretty hit and miss when it comes to pairing the DVR with the cable company, one time it two weeks for them to get it right, So, I have to wait for it to crap out for an alternative or just eat another $900, Sam

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 13, 2014 8:02:15 AM PDT
S. Riddle says:
I just noticed this in my last response below, and will check into it thanks alot... Sam

Posted on Sep 7, 2014 7:29:23 AM PDT
J. Diaz says:
You mentioned "(you give them three ID codes)"? What are the three? I found my Cable Card Id and Host ID.. thats all Cox cable asked me fore. Where and what is the third id?
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