Saturday, October 17, 2020

One Last Chance to Buy a New HDHomeRun Prime

SiliconDust, the manufacturer of the of the HDHomeRun Prime will be providing new three-tuner Primes for a limited time after it was decided to discontinue the development of the six-tuner Prime 6.  It was previously reported by SiliconDust that the three-tuner Prime has not been available new due to some of the hardware components not being available to produce the device.  At that time, it was decided to not develop new hardware for the three-tuner Prime and have a gap in time in which no Prime device would be available from SiliconDust.  The six-tuner Prime 6 was discontinued after some development setbacks and after the Federal Communications Commission announced there is no longer a mandate that requires cable television companies to provide CableCARDs.  The new three-tuner Prime is currently in production according the SiliconDust as of the date of this blog post, and since it is the same as the original Prime, it has already gone through the required costly certification process.   

SiliconDust indicated that support will continue for the Prime, which includes guide data and DVR software from SiliconDust.  Until the new three-tuner Primes are available, used three-tuner Primes are sometimes available on Amazon here.  An alternative device by Hauppauge with two tuners is available new on Amazon here.

HDHomeRun Prime Description

The Prime is a device that connects to a home network instead of connecting directly to a television as is done with some other DVR solutions.  It allows the user to eliminate the cable boxes and DVRs that are available from the cable television company, and it allows the user to stream the content to multiple devices in the user's home.  Software that allows the user to view and record content is available from SiliconDust and was previously available from Microsoft.  Additionally, the Prime is compatible with open-source DVR software such as MythTV.  With MythTV and currently with SiliconDust's DVR software, the cable television content can be encrypted, but it cannot be copy restricted.  

The History of the HDHomeRun Prime

The three-tuner Prime became available in 2011, and it remained available to purchase new until approximately 2018.  It is difficult to identify the date when the Prime ceased to be available new because some smaller resellers continued to sell them after the larger providers depleted their stock.  In September 2020, the Federal Communications Commission ended the CableCARD mandate.  Shortly after this FCC rule change, SiliconDust announced the six-tuner Prime 6 would not be produced.  In October 2020, SiliconDust announced the three-tuner Prime will once again be available for a limited time, and SiliconDust indicated the production is possible due to the discovery and procurement of a limited supply of hardware components needed to produce the device. 

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