Installation of two HDHomeRun Dual Tuners on a Friday night – Part...

Installation of two HDHomeRun Dual Tuners on a Friday night – Part One

This is the first of two articles where I will be installing two HDHomeRun Dual TV Tuners. This week I will walk you through the easy installation and software setup. Next week I will show you how to customize and use the HDHomeRun tuners for Windows Media Center.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) now requires that I disclose any relationship I may have with anyone that provides something of value in connection with my reviews. I would like to disclose that I do not accept any form of cash compensation. I purchased the first tuner from Ritz Camera and Andrew had the second one shipped to me.

Invoice

 

HDHomeRun® Dual ATSC/QAM Digital TV Tuner

The Dual tuner model from SiliconDust:

  • 8-VSB (ATSC over-the-air digital TV)
  • QAM64/256 (unencrypted digital cable TV)
  • 100baseTX high speed network
  • 1 year warranty – Full specifications and a detailed description can be found on their website at:http://www.hdhomerun.com/products/hdhomerun_atsc

    Background

    In July of last year Andrew did a great review of the European HDHomeRun model at:

    http://connecteddigitalworld.com/2009/07/25/review-of-hdhomerun-networked-digital-tv-tuner/

    After reading Andrew’s article I became curious about what these HDHomeRun network tuners have to offer. I had a bad taste for digital antenna as I have been running an ATI TV USB 650 dual tuner for the last six months with limited success. Ugh.

    I met Jason Ludka at CES 2010 and he took the time to explain all of the SiliconDust equipment. Thank you again Jason! After CES I decided to get me one for the garage HTPC and trash the 650. Two months have gone by and now I have two tuners ready for installation tonight.

    Why Four Tuners?

    Three words. Thursday Night TV. At the 8:00 PM slot there is:

    • Survivor on CBS
    • Community on NBC
    • Grey’s Anatomy on ABC
    • American Idol on Fox

    With four tuners I can record all four shows at the same time and not miss a show! Well, I only watch Survivor actually but I am sure many of you watch more than one. Once Flash Forward comes back and V is on then I will need the multiple tuner set up anyway…

    But You Pay For Cable Service…

    Now, I have been a advocate of CableCARD for the last few years (and still am) but there is something good to say for a standard digital antenna. In my area just outside of Los Angeles I can get secondary channels for most of the networks. Most of these channels are lower resolution but are only available from a digital antenna. They often have good shows, weather or even raw feeds for viewing. These channels are NOT available anywhere else in my area! Oh, and they are FREE!

    Check out your own local channels with the HDHomeRun listings:

    http://www.hdhomerun.com/hdhomerun/channels_us

    Azusa Channels

    Having a digital antenna in case of emergency or cable outage is a silent added bonus.

    Equipment Needed:

    • 2 HDHomeRun Dual Tuners
    • 3 Beers or Pints as my neighbor to the North calls them (Optional as always)
    • Digital Antenna and/or Cable Service
    • 2 Coax Splitters (Home Depot $8)

    Dual HDHomeRun Dual Tuners

    HDHomeRun Tuner Installation

    Installation is quite simple. I used a couple of splitters for the cable and digital antenna connections. The Tuner comes with all of the cables you need but you may need a splitter if you do not have two input sources.

    HDHomeRun Tuners with Splitters

    • Cabldevil

      Tim,

      Do you have any suggestions on a Digital antenna? I am stuck right in the middle of NYC and Phil so I would like to get an omni directional. Just wondering what you are using or are you so close that an average ant works for you?

      Thanks

      Bill

    • Timothy Daleo

      I am exactly 10 miles LOS from the Mount Wilson Electronics Reservation which arguably has the best signal anywhere but I am close to the mountain so some of the channels are hard to get.

      I would suggest going to this site and checking your signal before buying any antenna.

      http://www.antennaweb.org/aw/welcome.aspx

      Once you see what channels it shows do a comparison to see if it makes a difference. You may not get good signal anyway.

      I went through three different antennas before I found the one I liked. They are shown at:

      http://usingwindowshomeserver.com/2009/10/19/wind

      Tim

      • Cabldevil

        That is funny. I used the same website and I own the same RCA HD ant. I think I need to go with a better ant. But 1st I am going to build one to see if its better than the RCA.

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s6CV1qPorq0&fe

        Ill let you know if this homemade junk works as good or better.

        Bill

    • Timothy Daleo

      Then you can change your username to Antendevil

    • Timothy Daleo

      …and I am glad I do not live across the street from you. That device is for catching raccoons not signal.

    • Cabldevil

      Hahaha – No Ill install it in the attic, my wife would kill me if I had it in her sight line!

      O I guess you are using 2 rca ant one for each home run

    • Timothy Daleo

      I am using the RCA antenna split for one HDHomeRun dual tuner and Charter cable split for the second HD. With four tuners I can watch from any PC and not worry about something recording that would create a conflict.

    • chris

      what happend to the secod part of this?

      "I will be back next week to show you how to customize the channels, explain the network function and set up some of the recording features in Windows Media Center."

      Have i missed it someplace?

    • Timothy Daleo

      No, I totally got sidetracked with the 3.0 update, RAM change and Media Center. I will post the second article this weekend.

    • minime

      if you have cable internet you may be able to plug coax into tv and cat over the air or even basic cable…you should try it.

      • Timothy Daleo

        I have one dual tuner with Digital Antenna and one dual tuner with QAM cable signal. With QAM (unencrypted) I get 57 channels from Charter on the HDHomeRun.

        Tim

    • Timothy Daleo

      I have been waiting on some updates from SD before I publish article two. Sorry for the long delay!

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