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Re: SiliconDust HDHomeRun PRIME - Owner's Thread

Posted: Thu Sep 12, 2013 5:54 am
by gary94080
I have a few basic questions about how the SiliconDust HDHomeRun Prime works

1. before I get a cable card from Comcast will the tuner work for just the unscrambled channels and the QAM channels?

2. do the HD QAM channels work?

3. after I get a cable card if I just have basic digital I get the Comcast lineup on SD, do I have QAM channels or just the what would come through a set top box?

4. I'm assuming that OnDemand does not work and I will have to keep one set top box for that.

Re: SiliconDust HDHomeRun PRIME - Owner's Thread

Posted: Thu Sep 12, 2013 1:36 pm
by mcewinter
^ The Prime will provide the same channel line up you would receive on your cable box but will not provide OnDemand.

Re: SiliconDust HDHomeRun PRIME - Owner's Thread

Posted: Thu Sep 12, 2013 1:53 pm
by barnabas1969
Gary, mcewinter is correct. You'll get all the channels to which you subscribe (scrambled and unscrambled). If you subscribe to HD channels, you'll get them. It's not a matter of QAM. All of the digital channels are QAM, both SD and HD.

On-demand channels won't work, but Pay-Per-View (PPV) will work. The one caveat is that you won't be able to order PPV events with your remote (not even if you keep a cable box). In order to get PPV events, you'll need to call your cable provider (or visit their website, if they allow you to order PPV online). If you order a PPV on your cable box, you'll only be able to watch it on that box, not on your CableCARD tuners. If you order it by phone/online, you'll be able to watch the PPV event on all of your devices (cable boxes and CableCARDs).

When I first got into Media Center, I thought I would miss the on-demand stuff. But I don't. There are so many other options, that the only thing I miss about the on-demand stuff from my cable company is the $4.99 (minimum) charge per movie. It was convenient, when I missed a recording of a broadcast show, to be able to watch it free-on-demand. But Hulu usually fills that gap. With Hulu and the broadcast companies' websites, torrents, etc. I don't miss the free-on-demand stuff. I get better quality video from the other sources anyway. My cable company's on-demand stuff was compressed a lot, so the video quality was terrible.

Re: SiliconDust HDHomeRun PRIME - Owner's Thread

Posted: Fri Sep 13, 2013 12:33 am
by gary94080
thanks for the information and confirming my understanding about On Demand.

I may have used the wrong terms so bear with me.

I would still like to know if the device will work without a Comcast cable card for unscrambled channels and the must carry broadcast HD. that way I can try it out before getting a cable card.

after installing a cable card and subscribing to the basic digital service do I only get SD channels or is there also the must carry broadcast HD.

a little background may explain why I am asking. I currently use a Hauppauge HVR-1850. the digital tuner gets the unscrambled channels and the must carry broadcast HD. the analog tuner is connected to the STB where I get the scrambled channel lineup in my service.

I looking at the HomeRun Prime because it has an additional tuner and to prepare for the day that Comcast goes 100% scrambled.

Re: SiliconDust HDHomeRun PRIME - Owner's Thread

Posted: Fri Sep 13, 2013 3:56 pm
by Cutriss
My turn for a question.

I currently have an InfiniTV 4, one Echo, and a 360 that isn't actively being used.

I have all sorts of problems with the Echo. It's generally serviceable on a day-to-day basis but it stutters frequently on playback (generally less than a full second). On premium channels, playback gets the frame ordering wrong which makes the video quality rather poor. It's nothing dramatic but it makes motion scenes look really weird.

Now that we know the Echo is tombstoned, and I'm reading Barnabas' experience with the HDHRPrime, and the whole DLNA thing, let me see if I understand this right:

I have a Win7MCE recorder PC in a closet (where the InfiniTV is) and Cat5E through the house. Connected to my main TV I have the Echo and a PS3. Does this mean that if I switch the InfiniTV with a HDHRPrime, I can effectively use the PS3 to watch live/recorded TV? I don't really care if the recording is happening on the PS3, and I don't (currently) need to stream stuff from the WMC PC to the PS3.

Game of Thrones is back in seven months and I need to make sure my setup works by then or the wife will murder me!

Re: SiliconDust HDHomeRun PRIME - Owner's Thread

Posted: Fri Sep 13, 2013 4:56 pm
by staknhalo
I believe the with the PS3 you will be able to watch only, not record. It was a while ago though that press statement came out, so I could be wrong or things could have changed.

Re: SiliconDust HDHomeRun PRIME - Owner's Thread

Posted: Fri Sep 13, 2013 5:15 pm
by barnabas1969
With the current hardware version of the HDHR Prime, you can watch live TV with a PS3. However, the interface is very clunky. If you've ever used any other DLNA devices, you can see what I mean. Basically, you'll be presented with a list of all the channels that your cable company offers (even the ones you don't subscribe to), and you have to scroll through the list and pick a channel to view (no guide data either).

You will not be able to watch the recorded shows that are stored on your Media Center PC with the PS3. You will not be able to record with the PS3. Live TV only.

The DLNA thing with the HDHR Prime can be accessed by any device that supports DLNA and DTCP-IP. There aren't very many devices that do this besides the PS3. And... most of the other devices can only play H.264 (MPEG-4) encoded video. In the US, most cable channels are encoded in MPEG-2. This is why Silicondust is planning to release a new hardware version that will transcode everything to MPEG-4. But, I don't know when that hardware will be released. And... I still don't think you'll be able to record anything at that point using DLNA.

If the Echo has problems for you, then my suggestion would be to use the XBox 360 that you already own... or connect the PC directly to the main TV.

Re: SiliconDust HDHomeRun PRIME - Owner's Thread

Posted: Fri Sep 13, 2013 5:48 pm
by Cutriss
Well, I'm not really worried about recording on any device, just having it on the WMC PC and streaming it elsewhere is fine for me, but sounds like the interface and the inability to use the end-units to play back recorded content is a non-starter. They're just dumb tuners at that point.

What I really wish I could do would be to find someone near me that has an Slim 360 (or even just "another one" and see if that has the same network problem that mine does. I'd be willing to buy another 360 to replace the Echo if that fixed the problem.

Re: SiliconDust HDHomeRun PRIME - Owner's Thread

Posted: Fri Sep 13, 2013 6:35 pm
by barnabas1969
You should start another thread to discuss your 360's network issue... but... if I had to guess, I'd start with the standard question: Is Flow Control enabled on the PC's network interface?

It's a pretty common problem. The PC has a Gigabit network interface, yes? And... you're using a gigabit switch too, right? And the Echo doesn't have a problem, but the 360 does? Well... the Echo has a gigabit interface. The 360 (and all other Media Center extenders besides the Echo) has a 100Mbit interface.

So... your PC sends data to the switch at gigabit speed. The switch has to buffer it, and send it to the 360 at 100Mbit. If flow control is not enabled, the PC will keep sending, even if the 360's (or the switch's) buffer is full... and things get messy. In some cases, even with flow control enabled, the switch isn't fast enough to route the packets, or doesn't have a large enough buffer.

The free/easy thing to check is flow control. If it is enabled and you still have a problem, you can either A) buy a new switch with a bigger buffer, or B) set the PC's network interface to 100Mbit so that the buffer in the 360 does not get overrun.

Re: SiliconDust HDHomeRun PRIME - Owner's Thread

Posted: Fri Sep 13, 2013 6:46 pm
by soccerdad
gary94080 wrote:thanks for the information and confirming my understanding about On Demand.

I may have used the wrong terms so bear with me.

I would still like to know if the device will work without a Comcast cable card for unscrambled channels and the must carry broadcast HD. that way I can try it out before getting a cable card.

after installing a cable card and subscribing to the basic digital service do I only get SD channels or is there also the must carry broadcast HD.

a little background may explain why I am asking. I currently use a Hauppauge HVR-1850. the digital tuner gets the unscrambled channels and the must carry broadcast HD. the analog tuner is connected to the STB where I get the scrambled channel lineup in my service.

I looking at the HomeRun Prime because it has an additional tuner and to prepare for the day that Comcast goes 100% scrambled.
You should be able receive and view any channel (SD or HD)that your 1850 card does without needing a cablecard. It has a QAM tuner included. When you do get a cableCard, you will have to re-setup the Prime in WMC. You can also use the Prime AND the 1850 card together to give you 4 tuners total.

Re: SiliconDust HDHomeRun PRIME - Owner's Thread

Posted: Sat Sep 14, 2013 2:37 am
by UCBearcat
soccerdad wrote:
gary94080 wrote:thanks for the information and confirming my understanding about On Demand.

I may have used the wrong terms so bear with me.

I would still like to know if the device will work without a Comcast cable card for unscrambled channels and the must carry broadcast HD. that way I can try it out before getting a cable card.

after installing a cable card and subscribing to the basic digital service do I only get SD channels or is there also the must carry broadcast HD.

a little background may explain why I am asking. I currently use a Hauppauge HVR-1850. the digital tuner gets the unscrambled channels and the must carry broadcast HD. the analog tuner is connected to the STB where I get the scrambled channel lineup in my service.

I looking at the HomeRun Prime because it has an additional tuner and to prepare for the day that Comcast goes 100% scrambled.
You should be able receive and view any channel (SD or HD)that your 1850 card does without needing a cablecard. It has a QAM tuner included. When you do get a cableCard, you will have to re-setup the Prime in WMC. You can also use the Prime AND the 1850 card together to give you 4 tuners total.
I will add one "gotcha" to what soccerdad said. Your 1850 also has an old-school NTSC analog tuner built in. The PRIME does not have an analog tuner. Why do we care about analog?? I can only speak about my TimeWarner service here - They still broadcast about 40+ analog channels over the cable... Unscrambled - no box required.
I don't know what Comcast broadcasts, but keep in mind that some of the channels you get on your 1850 may not come through on the Prime.. but no worries, because you still have the 1850 to fit that need. :thumbup:
I hope I didn't confuse the issue any more.

Re: SiliconDust HDHomeRun PRIME - Owner's Thread

Posted: Sat Sep 14, 2013 6:23 am
by gary94080
UCBearcat wrote:I will add one "gotcha" to what soccerdad said. Your 1850 also has an old-school NTSC analog tuner built in. The PRIME does not have an analog tuner. Why do we care about analog?? I can only speak about my TimeWarner service here - They still broadcast about 40+ analog channels over the cable... Unscrambled - no box required.
I don't know what Comcast broadcasts, but keep in mind that some of the channels you get on your 1850 may not come through on the Prime.. but no worries, because you still have the 1850 to fit that need. :thumbup:
I hope I didn't confuse the issue any more.
Comcast SF Bay Area stopped broadcasting analog channels. I connect my analog tuner to a Comcast set top box to get the "standard" digital channels that are above the "basic" digital levels that they scramble.

Re: SiliconDust HDHomeRun PRIME - Owner's Thread

Posted: Sat Sep 14, 2013 6:34 am
by gary94080
soccerdad wrote: You should be able receive and view any channel (SD or HD)that your 1850 card does without needing a cablecard. It has a QAM tuner included. When you do get a cableCard, you will have to re-setup the Prime in WMC. You can also use the Prime AND the 1850 card together to give you 4 tuners total.
thanks, I was worried that once a cable card was installed it would be limited to just what a cable company box would give you.

I had thought about using both Prime and 1850 card together giving me 4 digital and 1 analog tuners. I have read on some threads that using tuners from different manufactures sometimes cause problems.

Re: SiliconDust HDHomeRun PRIME - Owner's Thread

Posted: Sat Sep 14, 2013 2:13 pm
by soccerdad
I don't quite get why the cable company box would not give you less than your 1850 card does but I guess that does not matter here.

I have been running a Hauppauge HVR-2250 and a Prime for a couple of years. They play nicely together. The 2250 is set to do the network channels as the priority, and the cable card does all of the non-network stuff, or the additional network stuff if I use both of the 2250's tuners. Hauppauge and SiliconDust have a decent relationship as SiliconDust actually makes the DCR-2650 (two tuner cable card receiver) for Hauppauge. (at least they are the ones that developed it for them.)
Yeah, I neglected to mention the analog stuff, but it does not look like that is an issue anyway.

Re: SiliconDust HDHomeRun PRIME - Owner's Thread

Posted: Sun Sep 15, 2013 1:38 am
by gary94080
soccerdad wrote:I don't quite get why the cable company box would not give you less than your 1850 card does but I guess that does not matter here.
I currently subscribe to standard digital service which gives me the broadcast stations and the most popular cable channels in SD. these come through the cable company box in analog, the box does not pass through the digital signals so you don't see the HD from the broadcast stations unless you know how to hook up your TV or you have a dual tuner card with separate coaxial connections for the analog and digital tuners.

my fear was that the cable card would turn the prime into a cable company box and not pass through the must carry HD broadcast signal unless I upgraded to their full HD service.

Re: SiliconDust HDHomeRun PRIME - Owner's Thread

Posted: Mon Mar 17, 2014 10:11 pm
by dvd.vrl
Hey Gary,

Comcast HD fee is just really a higher rental price for an HD Capable STB. I do not pay for HD, only for the cable card (1.50) and get HD channels. The HD fee is a fraud as the signal and decoder are the same SD or HD but how the signal is outputted is the difference. If your machine can output HD, then fine, just tune into the HD channel (702, 703, etc..).

Hope this offers clarification!
gary94080 wrote:
soccerdad wrote:I don't quite get why the cable company box would not give you less than your 1850 card does but I guess that does not matter here.
I currently subscribe to standard digital service which gives me the broadcast stations and the most popular cable channels in SD. these come through the cable company box in analog, the box does not pass through the digital signals so you don't see the HD from the broadcast stations unless you know how to hook up your TV or you have a dual tuner card with separate coaxial connections for the analog and digital tuners.

my fear was that the cable card would turn the prime into a cable company box and not pass through the must carry HD broadcast signal unless I upgraded to their full HD service.

Re: SiliconDust HDHomeRun PRIME - Owner's Thread

Posted: Tue Mar 18, 2014 5:00 pm
by slowbiscuit
You realize that you just responded to a six month old post, right?

But yeah, the Comcast HD Tech fee should only be there if you have one of their boxes. Unfortunately in some areas they are sticking it to Cablecard-only users, and customers with Tivos etc. have been unsuccessful in getting it removed. Luckily my area is not one of them, all we get hit with are the bogus outlet fees for extra cards.

Re: SiliconDust HDHomeRun PRIME - Owner's Thread

Posted: Tue Mar 18, 2014 7:43 pm
by dvd.vrl
slowbiscuit wrote:You realize that you just responded to a six month old post, right?

But yeah, the Comcast HD Tech fee should only be there if you have one of their boxes. Unfortunately in some areas they are sticking it to Cablecard-only users, and customers with Tivos etc. have been unsuccessful in getting it removed. Luckily my area is not one of them, all we get hit with are the bogus outlet fees for extra cards.
Well this may answer a question from a new user. But to be honest, I did not see the date ;)

Re: SiliconDust HDHomeRun PRIME - Owner's Thread

Posted: Thu Mar 20, 2014 7:27 pm
by gary94080
dvd.vrl wrote:Hey Gary,

Comcast HD fee is just really a higher rental price for an HD Capable STB. I do not pay for HD, only for the cable card (1.50) and get HD channels. The HD fee is a fraud as the signal and decoder are the same SD or HD but how the signal is outputted is the difference. If your machine can output HD, then fine, just tune into the HD channel (702, 703, etc..).

Hope this offers clarification!
thanks for the information. I have been sidetracked for a while, so I haven't gotten around to getting a cable card yet. when I do, I will not add HD service and see how it goes.

Re: SiliconDust HDHomeRun PRIME - Owner's Thread

Posted: Thu Mar 20, 2014 8:22 pm
by Dragonfly
barnabas1969 wrote:With the current hardware version of the HDHR Prime, you can watch live TV with a PS3. However, the interface is very clunky. If you've ever used any other DLNA devices, you can see what I mean. Basically, you'll be presented with a list of all the channels that your cable company offers (even the ones you don't subscribe to), and you have to scroll through the list and pick a channel to view (no guide data either).
Since we're bumping old posts, I might as well update this.

Recent HDHR software/firmware allows one to designate Favorite Channels for DLNA, which cuts down on the number of channels one has to scroll through on the DLNA device.