Customer Review

77 of 87 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Installation can be non-trivial, April 21, 2011
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This review is from: SiliconDust HDHomeRun DUAL High Definition Digital TV Tuner HDHR3-US (Black) (2013 Model) (Electronics)
The installation may be non-trivial if you already have another tuner on your PC. If you do not have a pre-existing tuner, then I would think the HDHR3 setup would be extremely easy.

For my setup, I had to
a) disable the Windows7 LAN firewall (until I got it working and specifically added firewall rules for the two programs involved (QuickTV and Windows Media Center)
b) remove my other QAM tuner device and deleted all the old program guide data from Windows7 Media Center to get the HDHR3 channels to be seen inside Windows Media Center without manually adding them each, one-at-a-time. This involved more complexities than can be explained here.
c) Every time I ran the HDHR3 setup program, the bad firewall settings are put back. I'm running the latest available windows software from 2 weeks ago. Be certain you get the latest available from the SiliconDust website.

IP Addresses
There is no way to set a static IP within the device. You'll need a DHCP server on your network and if you want a static IP, then your DHCP server will need to provide that. This probably isn't important to all but a very few users. If you don't have DHCP then it gets more complicated since a 169.x.x.x address will be used by the device and you'll need to set that up on your PC.

Encrypted Cable
More and more digital cable channels are being encrypted. A year ago, I received over 100 ClearQAM channels, then the cable company started encrypting them. Now we are down to about 15 useful channels (local broadcast + community access + lots of shopping). Channels above 30 are all encrypted by my cable provider and cannot be viewed through this device. Modern HDTVs have built in QAM tuners, so you can probably use that to see which channels will be viewable through the HDHR3 at your location. It does not have an analog cable channel tuner like the old "cable ready" VCRs or TVs, only ClearQAM.

Multiple Sources
Though it is a dual tuner, since there is only 1 coax input, you will need to choose either digital cable QAM or ATSC/OTA broadcast reception for both tuners. Don't expect this model to support 1 tuner on ATSC and the other on QAM regardless of the ability to select one for each tuner in the GUI.

Very Happy
Besides those items, it works wonderfully and I wish I'd purchased it sooner. The recordings are beautiful and the integration with Windows7 Media Center is great, once it is setup. I haven't tried MythTV or GB-PVR or XBMC or any other options for tuning, but suspect they will each work as expected.

2013 Update:
I've been using the HDHR3 for over a year now. For the first few months, it was tuning ClearQAM from Comcast, I got tired of paying $32/month for channels that were available with a $50 OTA antenna in the attic, so fired Comcast and built a DB4 antenna that was coax connected to the HDHR3 - 69 channels, including many that Comcast was not providing. This tuner is more sensitive than the one in my TVs.
Since it is a network tuner, I've been running Win7 Media Center inside a Linux KVM virtual machine. There are trade-offs in doing this, but if you don't plan to dedicate a PC just to 7MC, it works well provided media extenders or some other playback devices are setup. The recorded shows/movies are put into a WTV container, but I've never had any issues stripping commercials and transcoding to more efficient formats - xvid/h.264. Most of that work can be automated.

If you live in a location where multiple antennas are desirable, get a few of the HDHR3 devices (1 for each antenna) and let 7MC know which stations to record from which tuner device. Magic. Also, if you have ClearQAM cable, but want to watch OTA channels too, each device can be used for different needs - 1 for cableTV and the other for OTA antenna use.

I still wish I'd purchased the HDHR3 sooner than I did. It has been amazing.
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Comments

Tracked by 2 customers

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Showing 1-6 of 6 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jan 6, 2012 7:15:18 PM PST
Howdy Ho says:
were you able to get the preexisting tuners to work?

In reply to an earlier post on May 17, 2012 9:07:41 AM PDT
TunaMan says:
Both USB and network tuners always worked, it was just the schedule data that wasn't correct.

The fact that my setup was already using it for the same ClearQAM channels is what I believe caused my issue. I'd highly customized the channel names and the order using the older, USB device, so the old channel names were not correct for the HDHR3 channels.

Posted on Jun 19, 2014 7:22:48 AM PDT
Comcast (Tallahassee, FL 32304) even encrypted FOX and NBC, so I can only get CW, ABC, CBS, and PBS for HD local programming. No OTA, as I can barely pick up any stations that I can get in my apartment. Well, except PBS and sometimes ABC. Ugh! I need to move... I hate Comcast (haters gonna hate, but it's true). :(

I suspect HD Frequency Frequency Cable Cutter will not do any help for me:
HD Frequency Cable Cutter Indoor/Outdoor HD Digital TV Antenna (CC-17)

I hate to waste my money on things that will not work out and returning products is a hassle for me.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 21, 2014 6:20:00 AM PDT
TunaMan says:
Comcast encrypted all channels, even all locals, here about 2 yrs ago. The FCC dropped the ball on this, IMHO. Cable Ready TVs mean squat now.

For OTA - check out TVfool, enter your street address. I used the zip code and picked an address - appeared to me that OTA you should get the main stations with a $40-$80 DB4 antenna facing E-NE (56 degs). If it doesn't have a reflector, you'd get the channels in the opposite direction too. Plus it appears you are lucky - none of the stations is VHF, so a good UHF antenna gets them all.

You can build a DB4 antenna with $20 in parts that works just as good as the $50 commercial versions.

That antenna link you provided looks like a gimmick and 2x too much cost, IMHO. 10ft higher added 30 channels for me. Higher is better for antennas. We get stations from 50+ miles away using an attic antenna.

So, you have a decision to make. Put $100 or so into an antenna+HDHR (one time) and stop paying Comcast monthly for TV or not.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 21, 2014 10:44:09 PM PDT
I tried a Mohu Leaf and that did not help. I've once tried Channel Master CM4221 years ago and I've struggled with it in the past. I could go with an 8-bay antenna, but I live in a first floor apartment. I can barely get WTXL (ABC; -33dBm), could never get WCTV (CBS; -60dBm), WTWC (NBC; -60dBm), and WTLH (FOX -60dBm). I will probably have to buy a super-high-gain amplifier if I were to get it to work. The apartment I am living in has got brick walls outside and I don't have a window facing NE.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 22, 2014 6:47:20 AM PDT
TunaMan says:
1st floor, facing the wrong direction?

You are screwed. Keep paying Comcast or go satellit. I cannot imagine any antenna that you can fit inside a room helping. Does the apartment complex NOT have a community antenna jack for every apartment building?

Location, location, location is what matters for antennas. If you are on the wrong side of the building, you might be able to point a DB4 towards the opposite direction and get the 2 main channels in that direction. Amplifiers don't help if there isn't ANY signal, but you know that already. I'd visit the TV-fool forums and explain your situation there for expert advice. They need to know EXACTLY which direction your outdoor windows face too and the altitude. Plus, TV fool's datbase isn't 100% accurate. I get many more stations than in that list, but my antenna is 30ft off the ground.

Moving may be the only solution for you to get more OTA TV. Notice that I didn't say "better." ;)
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