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[Review] HDHomeRun Dual DVB-T Tuner



HDHomeRun Dual DVB-T HDTV

Have you ever had the problem where you wanted to watch another channel on your TV but someone is hogging that one and only TV? Well don’t fret, Silicon’s HDHomeRun device has come to the rescue! This device is available for purchase in New Zealand from Nicegear!

The HDHomeRun device allows you to watch and record HDTV, yes that’s right -High Definition, from the comfort of your own PC! The device sends raw broadcast to your PC, so make sure you have a good video card that preferably does hardware accelerated decoding, and that your codecs support H.264/AAC.
All you have to do is to connect the HomeRun device (via ethernet cable) to your router and TV jack-point.

There are two tuners on-board, so you can watch, pause and/or record two different programmes simultaneously. And different to its predecessor, this device only has one antenna port on the back of the device, while still giving you two tuners. So it is basically a “2-in-1” tuner, which saves you from having to buy two additional splitters for the TV jack-point. The device will automatically allocate available tuners to your PCs.

What makes this small and lightweight device interesting, is how easy it is to add digital TV reception to your computer, or to your whole LAN, all without having to open your PC! In total time to set-up, this literally took me just under three minutes to set-up – Plug in to the TV jack-point, link it up to your router (via ethernet), and then connect the power supply. Then you had to install the appropriate drivers on your PC. You could then search for the device in the HDHomeRun Setup program, and determine it whether you want one or two tuners enabled.

To watch TV streams from your computer, it would be best to have a wired network all the way, or have a good network-card adapter (Wireless N). If you have anything less than this, for example, a bad network adapter, then the HDTV broadcast will ruin the channel to an un-watchable state.

The HDHomeRun also supports integrated TV guide, but this will be provided by your DVR software. So in my case, Windows Media Center 7. Once I had set up the HDHomeRun device on my computer to run on WMC, the TV guide in WMC automatically picked up the source.

If you have like an HTPC setup, you can also schedule recordings to your HTPC’s HDD. It is recommended that you have enough HDD capacity to record HDTV 1-4 GB per half-hour of DTV recording.

You can also use your iOS device to watch TV from the HomeRun source. I haven’t tried this out as I do not have an iOS device, so I tried searching for an Android version. But they did not have an official version from SiliconDust. But there is an unofficial app for Android – HomeRun TV. Hopefully SiliconDust will release an official Android version.

You can buy additional HDHomeRun devices and connect them up to your router. Then you would get double the tuners for more recording or more watching!

The HDHomeRun device is compatible with the following programs:

  • Windows Media Center
  • Elgato EyeTV – DVR for Mac
  • MythTV – DVR for Linux
  • SageTV – DVR for Windows/Linux/Mac
  • MediaPortal – DVR for Windows
  • GB-PVR – DVR for Windows
  • VLC – Multi-platform media viewer
  • TSReader – MPEG-2 transport stream analysis
Overall, I think this device is a sleek, and amazing for its size. It is very easy to setup, and supports many different DVR software. It can be viewed on an iOS device, but there is no official app for Android. If SiliconDust releases an app for Android, it may be just the perfect device for home use!
For more information please go to: http://www.hdhomerun.co.nz/
What is your thoughts on this amazing, sleek product? Does it live up to your expectations? Let us know in the comments down below!