The Channels app, which gives owners of HDHomerun networked TV tuners an alternative way to watch live TV debuted in the Amazon Fire TV appstore last month. At the time, it was only available for the Fire TV 3 because that was the only Fire TV model that supported native hardware deinterlacing. Channels has just released an update that adds support for the Fire TV 1, Fire TV 2, Fire TV Stick 2, and all Fire TV Edition televisions. The only device not supported by the app is now the 1st Gen Fire TV Stick. The app’s developers tell me they were able to support older models by writing their own custom deinterlacer that uses the GPU to perform the necessary deinterlacing process.
Google’s Android TV has supported live channel viewing for a couple years now. The feature was mainly added for televisions that ship with Android TV as their main operating system, but it also works with set-top boxes, like the NVIDIA Shield TV, when teamed up with networked antenna tuners, like the HDHomeRun devices. SilconDust, the makers of HDHomeRun, have announced that they’ve worked with Google to support native DVR capabilities with Android TV’s live channels interface. Read more ›
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The SiliconDust HDHomeRun Extend is currently on sale for $119.99 on Amazon. In the last year, I’ve only seen this priced lower once, which was when it was $110 around Black Friday. The SiliconDust HDHomeRun Extend is a simple device that lets you watch over-the-air (OTA) local broadcasts through your Fire TV. Simply connect it to your network, via WiFi or ethernet, and plug in a digital antenna. Then load up the HDHomeRun App on your Fire TV and watch live TV. Alternatively, you can use the official Kodi plugin that lets you watch live TV directly within Kodi. Using a PC and software like NextPVR you can even have DVR functionality. HDHomeRun themselves will soon be releasing their own DVR software as a result of their successful Kickstarter campaign. The HDHomeRun Extend has two tuners, so you can watch or record two different channels simultaneously.
The SiliconDust HDHomeRun Prime is currently on sale for $99.99 on Amazon. This is the first time I have ever seen this unit drop below $100. This is the top of the line 3-tuner HDHomeRun model which retails for a little over $200. If you have a cable subscription and don’t plan on cutting the cord in the next few months, this little box could save you a lot of money in cable box rental fees while adding a lot of convenience. The HDHomeRun is essentially a networked cable box that streams your cable television subscription to any number of internet connected devices, like Fire TVs and Fire TV Sticks. This model does not support antennas or over-the-air broadcasts, so you will need a cablecard from your cable TV provider for it to work. Once you pop a cablecard into the slot on the back, you can view all of your cable TV channels through the Fire TV HDHomeRun app or any of their supported devices. They even have an official Kodi plugin that lets you watch cable TV directly within Kodi. Using a PC and software like NextPVR you can even have DVR functionality. HDHomeRun themselves will soon be releasing their own DVR software as a result of their successful Kickstarter campaign. With this HDHomeRun Prime and its 3-tuners, you can watch or record 3 different channels simultaneously, which should be enough for most people to get rid of their clunky cable boxes and switch to a pure Fire TV setup.