The HDHomeRun Prime 6 has been one of the most anticipated devices in the home theater PC space since it was initially announced back at CES in 2018. SiliconDust never provided a firm release date for the device, and despite having other devices to announce at CES in 2019, the main thing everyone wanted to know was when they’d be able to order the Prime 6. It became an even more important question at that event because the company also officially discontinued the three-tuner version of the HDHomeRun Prime. Our almost three-year-long wait for an answer has finally come to a conclusion but we’re not getting the answer we hoped for. Instead, we’re getting the answer we expected. The HDHomeRun Prime 6 has been canceled.
There were two device options when the HDHomeRun Prime was initially released. One had three tuners, the other had six tuners. The six-tuner model was basically just two of the three-tuner models in an enclosure. It required two CableCARDs and two RF connections. Unsurprisingly, that model didn’t last long but the three-tuner version lived on until late 2018. The three-tuner limitation always seemed arbitrary considering CableCARDs can offer devices access to six streams at once. CableCARDs were typically only a few dollars per month to lease but why deal with the awful process of pairing two of them if it was technically possible to use one? When SiliconDust finally announced the Prime 6 they were already trailing their primary rival by a few years. Ceton launched the InfiniTV 6, a six-tuner Ethernet-connected device, in 2013.
While we think there are many reasons that factored into SiliconDust’s decision to cancel the HDHomeRun Prime 6, the primary reason was the recent decision by the FCC. In September the agency declared they wouldn’t require cable companies to provide CableCARDs anymore. CableCARD usage has been dropping significantly over the last few years in part due to people cutting the cord. Despite the frequent comments on our site and around the rest of the web, the market for the HDHomeRun Prime 6 was drying up.
We’re sad that the HDHomeRun Prime 6 has been canceled. We’re not surprised by it though and we completely agree that it was time to pull the plug.
Update: Despite this bad news, SiliconDust has the HDHomeRun Prime (the three-tuner model) back in stock!