We’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.