Sunday, December 21, 2014

Review: Silicon Dust HDHomeRun

I'm a notorious cheapskate who refuses to pay for TV. I installed a large TV antenna on my roof, and then ran cables to various parts of the house. But I still had a problem, which is that regular TV is a terrible UI. I hate using paper TV guides, and searching online gave me random results. Furthermore, video from the TV isn't portable: you can't watch it from your smart phone, computer, or tablet.

Amazon recently had a sale on the Silicon Dust HD HomeRun, which solves all the above problems and then some. Basically, this is a device that provides 2 tuners over the network for all your compatible devices, which includes your PCs, Android devices, and even some game consoles.

The coolest thing about this is that all the other non-TV devices provide better UIs for TV than the TV. With a Windows PC that has Windows Media Center, you even get automatic video recording features, including pausing live TV and ad-skipping. Not only that, the tv guide on Windows Media Center gives you search capability, as well as "automatically record all shows in the series." The UI is is as good a UI as I want.

The device comes with 2 tuners, meaning you can record one show while watching another, or have 2 different PCs/tablets/etc. watching different programs.

For $90, it enables us to make full use of the TV antenna, and has no monthly fees. Recommended.

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