HDHomeRun, a device made by Silicon Dust, is a networked TV tuner that when connected to your home network, can provide TV streams across it.
How does it work?
HDHomeRun TV tuners rebroadcast TV signals from your antenna over your home network. This means you can get TV anywhere in your home. Channels uses the HDHomeRun over your home network to play back any channel that the HDHomeRun provides.
Plug your antenna into the HDHomeRun, the HDHomeRun into your home network, and Channels will have access to all of the TV that comes over your antenna. It just works.
This sounds like a big hassle, is it really this hard?
It really isn’t! It’s as simple as plugging your HDTV antenna into the back of the HDHomeRun instead of your TV, then plugging in the HDHomeRun into your router.
That’s it. It’s basically set it and forget it. You won’t have to mess with the HDHomeRun device again.
Channels can utilize multiple HDHomeRun devices at the same time. Need more tuners to watch and record more things? Just buy another HDHomeRun. Channels will show the same guide and intelligently decide which HDHomeRun to use.
Do I need an antenna?
Yes, if you receive TV via your antenna, you will still need it when using the HDHomeRun Connect model. Your antenna is what receives your free over-the-air HD broadcasts. It plugs into the back of the HDHomeRun. The HDHomeRun then simply provides a video stream for each channel that can be watched and recorded.
Can it work with my cable?
Yes. The HDHomeRun Prime model uses a CableCARD from your cable provider, just like how TiVo works. You will be able to watch all of the channels you get with your cable plan, except premium channels like HBO.
One caveat is that this model is no longer manufactured. You can still find them on Ebay though.
Note: Some cable operators protect their channels with Copy Once protection which is incompatible with Channels. Please contact your cable provider.
Which HDHomeRun do I need?
HDHomeRun comes in many models and Channels supports all of them.
- Antenna - HDHomeRun Connect Quatro
- Cable - HDHomeRun Prime
Here are the two things to consider when picking an HDHomeRun:
- OTA TV or Cable?
- How many streams do you need at once?
Once it is set up, Channels uses it so you can watch live TV right on your streaming device.
HDHomeRun has multiple different models that work with antennas.
The Connect model simply broadcasts your OTA TV over the network. It comes in two models, a 2 tuner model and a 4 tuner model.
This is the OTA model that we suggest.
The extend works exactly like the Connect, but it has the ability to transcode video right on the device. Transcoding the video compresses it to be smaller. This helps in situations where your home network is slow and you can’t do anything about making it faster.
By renting a cable card from your operator, you can plug it right into the HDHomeRun Prime and use Channels with all of the channels in your plan.
The HDHomeRun Prime has 3 tuners letting you record or watch 3 things at once.
The HDHomeRun Prime is not currently being manufactured anymore. But you can find it used at places like Ebay.
Note: Channels can not play back Copy-Once encoded channels. Some operators encode premium subscription channels like HBO with this format. Some operators encode all of their channels with this format. Please check with your cable operator to see how they treat their channels.
Number of Tuners
Every stream from an HDHomeRun that’s being watched or recorded uses up a single tuner. If you have 3 TVs in the house that could have TV being watched on them at once, you’ll need 3 tuners.
You’ll need to consider this when picking an HDHomeRun to use.