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Tuesday
Sep282010

SiliconDust HDHomeRun Dual SiliconDust HDHomeRun Network Dual DTV TunerDigital TV Tuner

SiliconDust HDHomeRun Network Dual DTV Tuner

When my HTPC (Home Theater PC) was acting up, it took a while to troubleshoot the problem.  I replaced the memory, the hard drive, the motherboard, and the power supply - basically a brand new PC.  Short of replacing the video card and TV tuner cards, it was practically a new PC!

I had a total of 4 tuners (2 PCI cards, and 1 PCI-E card that has dual tuners).  I took out the PCI cards, and found that fixed the instability issues!  A single dual-tuner card was not enough, however, as I find myself missing TV shows (recording more than 2 TV shows at the same time slot would not be possible).

The single PCI-E dual tuner card I have was performing admirably, so I was about to buy another one (Hauppauge WinTV-HVR-2250).

Hauppauge WinTV-HVR-2250 PCI-E Dual DTV Tuner with FM Radio

 

However, after reading some of the HTPC enthusiast sites like AVSForums and The Green Button, it seems that SiliconDust HDHomeRun is a very highly recommended product.  It turns out that it is an external DTV tuner that supports over-the-air digital TV (ATSC) and unencrypted cable channels (QAM), and instead of connecting to your PC via USB, it connects via Ethernet.  SiliconDust promises a product in the near future that allows for encrypted premium cable channels via Cable Card.  Why is this a big deal?

Because it is a network device, you can share the tuner with more than one PC!  Of course, you can't use the tuner simultaneously, but if your main HTPC isn't using it, you can actually use it to watch or record TV on another PC.  Imagine that your front room is being used by someone else, but you want to watch your soap opera.  Now you can on a laptop with Windows Media Center!

SiliconDust makes both a single and dual tuner.  I bought the dual tuner, of course.

Here is a video review of the SiliconDust HDHomeRun.  I also have a written review at ePinions.

 

 

An addendum to my review, this video shows what what would happen if you type in the IP address of the HDHomeRun into your web browser.

 

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