For years we’ve been using HDHomeRun TV tuners from SiliconDust on our home theater PCs. Usually we’ve paired those tuners with Windows Media Center, but unfortunately Microsoft’s DVR platform hasn’t been updated in years. It’s left users wondering whether Media Center will even be supported going forward, and if it isn’t, then what should users do? SiliconDust is now working on an option. Today they launched a new campaign on Kickstarter for what they are calling HDHomeRun DVR.
The HDHomeRun DVR solution works a little differently from Windows Media Center. Instead of having one central recording machine, you can mix and match tuners, PCs, and network attached storage (NAS) devices. In fact, an always-on PC isn’t required at all. The HDHomeRun DVR software will run directly on Western Digital MyCloud and QNAP NAS devices. If you already have a home theater PC you could set it up to be your HDHomeRun DVR also. It will support Windows, and Mac OSX. Of course you’ll also need one or more HDHomeRun tuner devices. The HDHomeRun CONNECT, EXTEND, and PRIME devices are all supported. If you’re not familiar with these devices, the CONNECT and EXTEND are over-the-air tuners while the PRIME is a CableCARD tuner.
To watch your live or recorded TV HDHomeRun will have apps for Windows, Mac OSX, and Android to start. If they hit their stretch goals (which weren’t specified) they’ll also have apps for iOS and Kodi. The HDHomeRun DVR should even support copy-protected content, but they also list support for copy-protected content as a risk factor for the campaign.
To get access to HDHomeRun DVR early you’ll need to contribute at least $30 to the Kickstarter campaign. That’s also how much a yearly subscription will cost once it’s made available generally. Higher priced tiers of the campaign could get access to the DVR software as early as August of this year. The plan is to have it generally available by September.
So did they get Cablelabs certification or are they going to wing it and see what happens?
Noticed that there are no Roku/Fire TV/Smart TV apps. Android TV is the only option to watch the DVR on a TV? Really? Also, where’s the 6-tuner, single CableCard Prime that was supposed to be available by now?
SiliconDust plans to use DTCP-IP in the HDHomeRun DVR apps. It’s the same technology being used in their apps currently, and it’s a CableLabs approved DRM scheme.
You could hook up a PC or Mac (HTPC) to your TV . Also, SiliconDust never provided a date for the release of the 6-tuner Prime unit.
That does defeat some of the purpose here, doesn’t it? If I’m going to attach computers to my TVs, why not just stick with Windows Media Center? I get that people like the idea of watching on their mobile devices, but shafting Smart TV apps for something that is likely to be watched mostly on TVs strikes me as bizarre.
I realize they never had an official release date, but they’ve been promising it for more than a year now. Why would I want to buy a 3-tuner version on Kickstarter if a 6-tuner one is supposed to hit the market sometime soon. (If it ever does)
FireTV allows download of HDHomeRun VIEW Which plays protected content today. I assume the same would go for HDHomeRun DVR
HDHOMERUN VIEW can be loaded directly onto a Nexus Android TV box or FireTV device and stream to the TV. It is assumed the same goes for HDHomeRun DVR
Also. Any device with Kodi and it is stated that DVR in Kodi is a stretch goal
Yes, you’re right. I got a response from Silicondust and they confirmed that they will have Android TV and Fire TV apps. Which makes sense of course since Fire TV is based on Android – they should include that in their description of apps. Assuming that rumors of Apple opening up a SDK on Apple TV are true, we’ll probably see it there too. (If they get enough funding for an iOS app) So the TV front looks better than I first realized.
Interestingly, the reason why they’re not supporting Roku is because Roku boxes don’t support the codecs used for broadcast TV. (MPEG-2, I think) So that’s out of their hands short of transcoding, which may not be allowed with the required DRM.
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They had issues with the chip maker for the 6 tuner. They had to go back to the drawing boards to work with a new chip maker to get the tuner working with 6. Yes it is still coming but they have a lot of certifications for that still going on.. so I have heard…
[…] in April SiliconDust started a Kickstarter campaign to develop their own DVR. It’s called HDHomeRun DVR. The campaign was wildly successful, and […]