SiliconDust Update on HDHomeRun DVR and More

Jan 6, 2017 by

silicondust-logo-wideWe’ve been keeping a close eye on SiliconDust for many years, but even more so since they announced the HDHomeRun DVR. It’s been a few months since we’ve heard much, but they were able to answer many of our questions when we met with them at CES this week.

Everyone wants to know when HDHomeRun DVR is going to be released. Their plan is to launch a release candidate (RC) in Q1 this year. That RC will include over the air (OTA) and unencrypted cable support in the United States, Canada, U.K., New Zealand, most of Western Europe, and Finland. For those of you with copy-protected channels using the HDHomeRun Prime, unfortunately you’re going to need to a wait a little longer. They’ve not forgotten about you,¬†and there’s been a tremendous amount of work in making sure they will be able to support the capability on multiple platforms. They also need to make sure they do it right otherwise they could face massive fines. So expect support for copy-protected cable to come after the official release. The release candidate period is expected to last for two to four weeks.

There’s one last thing to remind those of you who were Kickstarter backers about. As part of your pledge you’re receiving a one-year subscription to the HDHomeRun DVR service. Don’t worry, because your year of service hasn’t even started yet. It won’t start until they’ve officially released the product.

One thing that you may or may not have noticed over the New Year holiday is that SiliconDust changed the guide data provider in many regions. Previously they were using multiple sources for different regions. Over the New Year holiday they completed the transition to put everyone on Gracenote. If you’re seeing any guide data issues, make sure that your tuners are using the latest firmware.

There’s another initiative that SiliconDust would like to make their customers aware of. They recently released a redesigned version of the HDHomeRun Extend. They were able to remove the fan from the device and simply use a better heatsink to keep the temperatures down. If you’ve got a model with a fan in it, you can send it to SiliconDust to have them swap the fan out for the new heatsink.

Lastly, SiliconDust continues to work with other partners. For example we discussed recently that some Samsung TVs were able to natively connect to HDHomeRun tuners. Unfortunately that functionality was disabled shortly after it was released. It turns out the firmware that enabled it was never mean to be released. SiliconDust continues to work with Samsung to get that feature optimized and turned back on. Maybe you’ve purchased an LG TV because you love their WebOS user interface. If so, you’ll be pleased to know that SiliconDust is also in talks with the Korean manufacturer to enable playback on their TVs also.

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  • gasz

    It is nice to get an update, since SiliconDust has not found the time to post an update to the Kickstarter since Aug 2016. If they are not delivering the protected content recording when coming out of beta, SiliconDust can now be added to the same list as Ouya, who delivered a product but failed in the delivery.

  • staknhalo

    A clusterf* from the start. Thank God I got my money back from the Kickstarter. I would be even more pissed now by their (sometimes lack of) actions/attitude/and (lack of) development than I was when I initially sought the refund. Feel bad for those who were holding out hope until now and believed they’d deliver on their promises.

  • jjwatmyself

    Thank you for posting this article. It’s great to see that SD were at CES. I’m in CT USA using Comcast and think SD have done a great job with the DVR product. Yes it’s a shame that DRM isn’t there yet, but pretty much everything else is in my opinion. There are some DVR playback features that need to be added as well as other UI usability improvements that I’m hoping to see too. Their platform along with TiVo are about the only alternatives to traditional set top box rentals, which is an unfortunate monopoly that the cable providers were able to establish. I would hope that SD post similar updates on their site as well as on Kickstarter to announce the things that they are talking about at CES.

  • http://fitness-singles.com MindYerNoggin

    I have FiOS, do not subscribe to HBO, and am extremely happy with Hdhomerun DVR. while I understand frustration of others, I have about 8 or 10 devices in my home running very smoothly with six tuners.

  • unklmik

    As a Silicondust Kickstarter,I’ve waited for DRM since day one. Consequently, since DRM seems to be a back burner project (and I hope I’m wrong about this), I’ll stick with WMC on Windows 8.1 Pro. Quite frankly, I’m surprised that WMC, now long unsupported by Microsoft, is still the premier computer based TV/DVR system that exists; it just works.

    Silicondust’s hardware is the best there is. My HDHR-3CC has worked flawlessly since I installed it in August of 2011. Never been turned off except for power failures and installing new routers, switches, cables, etc. However, their software development (or lack of it), has been poor. Also, their communication to their base customers, even in their own forums, has been almost non-existent.

    Being a Windows Insider, I know that using beta software is, at best, a crap shoot. I can’t imagine the nightmares the small crew at Silicondust has had trying to develop software for multiple platforms. But two years is fast approaching since the Kickstarter announcement. Seems like a long time to solve the DRM problem.

  • Jpoint

    I know this is slightly off topic, but does anyone know what happened to the new single CableCard 6-tuner HDHomeRun Prime that SD showed at the 2014 CES? For 2 years they promised it was coming, then …. nothing. Just like the DVR app.

  • jpollarddmz

    They didn’t actually show it to years ago. They just talked about making it. The short answer is that there has been a lot of upheaval in the chip market as many of the chip manufactures have been involved in massive acquisitions. That’s made nailing down a consistent hardware partner difficult. At least that’s one answer they gave us.

  • Jpoint

    Thanks for the info. Would love to know if they’ve given up on it completely or still are trying to make it happen.

  • jpollarddmz

    They are still working on it.

  • MPDano

    I just got my HDHomeRun Extend set up last and just got my NAS (My Cloud 4TB) connected to it. I am ready to pull the plug and get the DVR going or should I?????

  • staknhalo

    Hold off at the very least until it’s RTM.