A few months ago, SiliconDust, makers of the very popular HDHomeRun networked tuners, got into the streaming TV business with a soft launch of their new HDHomeRun Premium TV service that provides access to 45 streaming network channels for $34.99 per month. Combined with their existing over-the-air tuners for local channels and their option DVR service, it amounts to one of the most compelling all-in-one cord cutting options. The company has learned a lot from their pool of 5,000 initial beta testers and is ready to go mainstream with improvements to both the service and app that go live today.
At the core of their TV offering are their HDHomeRun networked tuners. Very similar in concept to the recently launched Amazon Fire TV Recast, the device makes broadcast channels from an attached HD antenna available to all of your devices. The HDHomeRun Connect Duo, with 2-tuners, or the HDHomeRun Connect Quatro, with 4 tuners, is likely the best device for most people, but there’s also the HDHomeRun Extend, which also comes with 2 tuners but adds the ability to transcode video streams on-the-fly for people with limited bandwidth on their home network.
Any of the just mentioned HDHomeRun networked tuners, combined with an HD antenna, provide access to local OTA broadcast channels through the HDHomeRun app. The HDHomeRun Premium TV service, which requires an HDHomeRun networked tuner device, expands the offering by adding 45 cable TV channels that stream over the internet through the HDHomeRun. This optional internet TV service costs $34.99 per month with no contract or obligation. SiliconDust is offering a 2-week free trial of the service to all owners of an HDHomeRun.
An HDHomeRun, whether it’s receiving only OTA channels or also the 45 cable channels, can be used with their optional DVR service. This service uses a Windows PC, a Mac, or a networked attached storage (NAS) device to store recordings locally. The beauty of the DVR service is that it works with both broadcast OTA channels, as well as the internet TV channels. Since the DVR files are stored on your own hard drive, they are DRM free and you can do whatever you want with them, including transferring them for offline viewing.
The DVR service costs $35 per year and is available to try for free for 2 months. DVR recordings, OTA channels, and premium internet channels are all available through the same HDHomeRun app which is available on pretty much every major media player, game console, smartphone, and tablet platform. The service is also compatible with numerous 3rd-party apps, such as Channels, Plex, Emby, MrMC, and Kodi.
In conjunction with this full launch of the HDHomeRun Premium TV service, the HDHomeRun app across all platforms is receiving new features and a bit of polish. The Discovery section in the app, which surfaces popular shows, movies, and sports games, can now be time scrolled to find content airing in the future. Users can now also select whether they want the app to launch into the Live TV interface or the DVR interface in a new settings menu.
DVR controls have also been updated with enhanced padding controls that let you set how long before and after a show or game the system should keep recording. Customers can also now manage recording priority so that the most important shows get recorded in the event of a conflict where there aren’t enough available tuners.
What was once just a great way to easily watch over the air content from all of your devices has now grown into quite a compelling all-in-one way to access all of the content and features you could want. If any of these HDHomeRun devices or services interests you, consider waiting until November 22nd when SiliconDust’s Black Friday sales start. The HDHomeRun Connect Duo will drop from $99.99 to $69.99, the HDHomeRun Connect Quatro will drop from $149.99 to $99.99, and the HDHomeRun Extend will drop from $179.99 to $149.99.