SiliconDust, makers of the various HDHomeRun networked tuner devices, have just announced a surprising new TV subscription service called HDHomeRun Premium TV. For $34.99 per month, the service gives you access to 45 cable TV networks including ESPN, USA, TNT, FX, TBS, and more. The service works through their existing HDHomeRun devices. While that does mean that at least one tuner box is required to access the service, it comes with the unique flexibility of being able to watch the channels through several apps and DVR solutions, such as Plex, Channels app, Emby, and even Kodi.
At its core, HDHomeRun Premium TV is an over-the-top TV subscription service that streams cable networks over the internet to your connected devices. They have an HDHomeRun app for Fire TV, as well as most major platforms, that you can use to watch the included channels live. What differentiates it from services like Sling TV, PlayStation Vue, and other streaming TV services is it requires an additional piece of hardware to work. My buddy Lon Seidman does a great job demonstrating the new service in his YouTube video, for those of you who want to see it in action.
To view HDHomeRun Premium TV channels, you’ll need one of their compatible tuner boxes connected to your home network. SiliconDust’s newer HDHomeRun CONNECT DUO and HDHomeRun CONNECT QUATRO work with the service, as do their older CONNECT and EXTEND models. The HDHomeRun PRIME tuner made for cable cards does not work with the HDHomeRun Premium TV service at this time.
Even though the HDHomeRun Premium TV channels are being streamed over the internet to your home, the service actually uses the tuner in the HDHomeRun devices to work. This means that the number of available physical tuners you have will determine how many concurrent channels can be viewed or recorded at the same time. So, two different channels can be watched/recorded simultaneously with a HDHomeRun CONNECT DUO and four different channels can be watched/recorded simultaneously with the HDHomeRun CONNECT QUATRO, so keep that in mind if you’re thinking of buying a new device to try the service.
While it might seem strange to require an additional piece of hardware in order to stream the channels, doing so adds flexibility to the service that you won’t find with any other streaming TV services. The premium paid channels are treated just like over-the-air channels, so you can view them through numerous 3rd-party apps in addition to the official HDHomeRun apps. This means that you can have access to your paid channels directly within apps like Plex, Channels, Emby, and Kodi. Your paid channels can live right next to your over-the-air channels and your local content in a single app interface. See Lon Seidman’s follow-up video demonstrating how the premium channels are set up inside of Plex.
Additionally, since HDHomeRun Premium TV channels are treated like over-the-air channels, they all work with existing DVR services that support HDHomeRun. This includes Plex DVR, Channels DVR, and HDHomeRun’s own DVR service. An advantage of these DVR solutions, versus the cloud DVRs that come with traditional streaming TV services, is that you’re in full control of your recordings, since they are stored on your own hard drives. This means that the recorded video files are portable, so you can move them to any device and even watch them offline.
The HDHomeRun Premium TV service is available today in the US for $34.99 a month and will be coming to Canada soon. There is no contract, so you can subscribe month-to-month and cancel anytime. There isn’t a free trial that gives you access for a certain number of days, but everyone with a compatible HDHomeRun device is able to instantly tune to any channel for two minutes without needing to sign up for anything. Once you become a subscriber, the 2-minute cap is removed.
So can we get 4 streams if we have two EXTEND units?
Their FAQ says yes
How many concurrent HDHomeRun Premium TV channels can my household watch?
Your household can view up to 2 concurrent Premium TV channels with a 2-tuner HDHomeRun model, or up to 4 concurrent Premium TV channels with a 4-tuner HDHomeRun model (or multiple 2-tuner HDHomeRun models).
Updated my firmware and added the Premium Demo channels to the lineup last night. The PQ didn’t seem to be quite as good as DirecTV Now but it was good enough that I think I am gonna dump AT&T/DirecTV Now for T-Mobile/HD Homerun Premium and save $30/month.
The big seller is how smoothly the premiums integrate with my OTA channels using the Channels App on all of my Gen 2 FireTVs and Sticks. It’s just like the old Cable and Satellite systems now, thereby upping the WAF.
WAF = Wife Acceptance Factor
Never seen it appreciated. I love it! It even has a Wikipedia page. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wife_acceptance_factor
Nice job bringing in Lon’s videos!
Always happy to give Lon exposure! He’s how I learned about this and he has the best demo/explanation of it. Everyone interested in this should watch his videos.
Will it work with Live Channels DVR app on Nvidia Shield TV?
Yes. They are working on the guide now.
This is awesome how when i get my tuner and get a bigger hard drive i can have easier dvring with everything. I was so annoyed when i got rid of my comcast dvr and lost all my saved shows. I had a recording of the big lebowski where they bleeped out the curses. Now i need to wait for my kids to go to bed before watching the dude.
Hey is it me or does lon remind anyone of alan harper from two and a half men?
Just curious, as i’m thinking of going with
HDhomerun when my current Fios contract ends, are there taxes/fees on top of the $34.99 and how snappy are the boxes when changing channels, is there any lag?
No fees. Our goal is to keep lag under the cable labs approved 2 seconds between switching channels, so switching between regular Over the Air channels and Premium TV channels should feel almost exactly the same.
So I can copy on Plex what are ordinarily DRM protected channels on other services and then download them to whatever ever device I have. How did HDhomerun ever get permission to do this? This can’t be correct.
They are only DRM protected because your cable provider made them that way. Which cable provider do you have?
I had Spectrum. Almost everything was protected. I now have Youtube TV and a HDhomerun connect with Plex DVR. This doesn’t do much for me that the present setup cannot do. With free Netflix, Youtube TV is cheaper.
I get the impression you can DVR premium content, as well as the OTA content, which kind of surprises me. Is this true?
This is an interesting offering. However, it doesn’t appear to include on-demand versions of the channels so I’ll stick with Playstation Vue. My wife seems to tolerate the built-in DVR and like the on-demand content.
So far so good. Will have to buy more tuners though. Luckily I can use Quatro with no Antenna for the Premium channels and my Connect for OTA. Win Win.
Yes, this is nice for people who have an old unit laying around.
I was told by support a few months ago that the past generation Connect is identical to the new model, except for the enclosure, and has the same function and will continue to get all updates. So, don’t toss out your old unit.
I love their lineup, seems like they hit every major popular basic cable channel. Probably because they don’t include local because of OTA. Only bummer for me is no FSN local. In testing some of the picture quality could use some work. With it just being launched I’m sure it will get better.
I just purchase the first month of the Premium TV but I am having a hard time having my HDRun quarto to recognize that I have already subscription. It continues to tease me with two minute broadcast followed by Premium TV promotion..
Power cycle your device. Unplug the power cable for a minute or two and it should reset it.
Mine took awhile to show up as well. I have 2 extends and 2 connects and the extends and one connected updated in a few hours but the 2nd connect took days to update.
This is interesting to me in that it allows to use it with Plex and Emby and have the recording in my Library in an open format with no limits. But it is still lacking a few key channels. Mostly FS1, FS2 and NBCSN. There are also some other channels that I would like but could live without. My YouTube TV overall offers better value. But…it does work perfectly with Plex in my testing. And…I really like having the recording in my library without restrictions.
Hopefully they can add some channels even as addons that would make this a little more complete.
This. It is so close to making me want to pull the trigger, but I’ve got the grandfathered pricing on DirecTV Now which has all my locals and regional Fox Sports network. If it just had a couple more key channels it would win out for the way it integrates with Plex/Kodi.
Yeah no FSN Midwest is the deal breaker for me. Watch alot of Cardinals, Blues games. Would also love to have NBCsports but not necessary other than the 10 blues games they air a year.
…still waiting for the Longhorn Network. No LHN, no deal.
Price point is competitive but doesn’t give SD any edge in the market. Expanded basic on Comcast including locals and some other minor channels are only $4 more per month. Seems like $10 less and they’d slam dunk this.
Being able to route this through Plex and watch overseas is a great benefit, especially since I already have all the hardware and software running.
Wish it was $29.99
Your forgetting about equipment fees, dvr fees, and tax.
If this had NBCSN I might replace my YouTube TV subscription.
Getting HDHomerun Premium TV($35) vs. keeping Comcast($100+): Don’t forget Local Broadcast Fee $8, Regional Sports Fee $6.75, 911 Fee, Sales Tax, etc. Adds an extra $20+ on my bill if I keep basic channels. Plus Equipment Rentals.
Let me think about that for a minute.
I’m expecting the answer to this is no, but do any of the channel-specific apps recognize this as a service provider for purposes of authenticating channel subscription? You know, those annoying apps I want to one-star that say “just log in with your cable provider…” that have no business being on streaming devices.
They are called everywhere apps. Not every provider participates with every app. I don’t know why, guess they have to pay a fee for them. https://www.fomopop.com/guides/live-tv-streaming/tv-everywhere-apps
This sounds good. But i have Tivo bolt for my dvr. And Hulu now has live tv with local channels. Hulu costs 35.00 and they do need to do somethings to make there service better. For instance the Hulu app with live tv and local channels works on fire tv, both my samsung-700 and 900 series tv’s. Not on the shield or the tivo bolt, those just have the regular hulu app. But hulu is working on changing that.
oh ps. the picture quality and audio is very good hd quality.
So in total, assuming I get a Quattro, can I record 4 total channels or 8 channels concurrently (being 4 OTA and 4 premium)? I currently have the Prime 3 with Plex as my network DVR, but have been eyeballing the Quattro for less compression OTA recordings and a total of 7 tuners to record (been turning gray waiting on the Prime 6).
I’m going to go through the channels we watch/record and see what HDHR Premium has and probably pull the cord on Comcast TV.
How’s the quality of the HDHR Premium channels?
How about foreign language channels? The only reason my mother has Comcast service is she watches a few Chinese- and Vietnamese language channels that are parts of a Comcast package that has over 20 channels. I wish services like HDHomerun would let people cherry-pick the channels a la cart and only pay for those channels instead of packages. I read somewhere that these channels by law may not sell their services to the viewers directly. Because they may only sell their channels to service providers like Comcast, these providers then can then create packages such as “basic” and “premium”. If I can just get channels like KTSF, Jade, Vietoday, then these are the only channels I will get for my subscription to the likes of HDHomerun.