For real this time, SiliconDust has officially announced the pre-order availability of the long-awaited HDHomeRun Prime CableCARD tuners. They’ve also provided us with a lot more information about what they are actually releasing, when, and prices. During the false-start perpetrated by an unruly partner apparently, SiliconDust did let us know that they were releasing the 3-tuner version of the Prime soon, but not before releasing a 6-tuner device. They weren’t very specific about what that 6-tuner device was, and we incorrectly speculated that it would be the 6-tuner ATSC/ClearQAM tuner that they announced at CES 2011. It is actually a 6-tuner CableCARD device though. Still, not everything is completely known yet.
So here are the details:
Pre-order Date: May 14th, 2011 (from Newegg)
Ship Date: July 2011, after the HDHR3-6CC-3×2 begins shipping
Pre-Order Date: “In the coming week”
Ship Date: July 2011, before the HDHR3-CC
Unfortunately we still don’t know what the 6-tuner, HDHR3-6CC-3×2, looks like as even the image for it on the SiliconDust website is a broken link, but this is the device that will be shipped first. We do know though that the 6-tuner version is literally two of the HDHR3-CC packaged together. It will require two separate CableCARDs and presumably two cable inputs. What I would also expect is that if you’re unfortunate enough to be on a cable provider who is using switched digital video, like Time Warner, that you may need multiple tunning adapters (TA)even if they provide you with a Motorola TA. Of course if you’re even more unlucky, and they only have 2-stream capable Cisco tunning adapters, then you’ll need three of them to have the ability to use all 6 tuners. This would be the case with a 6-tuner Ceton InfiniTV tuner though also.
Clearly SiliconDust’s reason behind going with this model for the 6-tuner device was to avoid needing to get a second device certified by CableLabs. Consumers win in the respect that they will have access to the 6-tuner device earlier than if it had to go through separate certification, but they lose in that they now will need to rent two CableCARDs from their cable provider to receive six streams when a single M-Card is already capable of providing six streams.