Silicondust HDHomeRun Prime
The HDHomeRun Prime, by SiliconDust USA (a wholly owned subsidiary of SiliconDust Engineering, New Zealand), is an external HDTV tuner for personal computers. It has three or six independent tuners, interfaces to the computer via ethernet, and supports a multi-stream CableCARD. Support has been added as of the 0.24 release. The Hauppauge DCR-2650 is a similar, USB-based CableCARD tuner manufactured by SiliconDust.
The Prime is essentially SiliconDust's HDHomeRun tuner with over-the-air ATSC support removed and CableCARD support added. (It thus retains the HDHomeRun's ability to receive clear QAM channels without a CableCARD.) Unlike the Ceton InfiniTV 4 the Prime does not require a PCI slot. Full support of CableCARD requires that every device and software in the recording chain be certified as enforcing the copy protection mandated by the software. For insurmountable technical reasons, MythTV cannot comply with this. Because of this, the HDHomeRun Prime will only allow MythTV access to those shows that are not copy protected. These copy freely shows may be encrypted and inaccessible to a standard QAM tuner, but will be decrypted and made available through the HDHomeRun Prime. These are the same shows that can presently be accessed through firewire capture from a cable box.
While this is a digital tuner, CableCARD does not support the kind of access needed by multirec to record multiple shows from a single tuner. This device can only record three (or, for the rackmount version using two CableCARDs, six) shows at a time.
The Prime has an internal Web server that provides configuration and status information such as signal strength and copy protection. Access it by
Illustrated Guide (Master/.25)
- I'm not able to tune any of my channels! The OSD simply says "Partial Lock" and "LAMc". What gives?
- A lock message of LAMc indicates the channel is encrypted and untunable. There are multiple possibilities. Either the channel might not be copy-freely, and thus is uncapturable in MythTV, or your CableCARD may not have been properly activated. Check your HDHomeRun Prime's Web page (by bringing up its IP address in a Web browser). Click Status Menu. You should be able to see the tuner which is currently recording, and the channel to which it is tuned. Click the link for that tuner number at the top. The value for Authorization should be subscribed (A valid value in some cases is "unspecified". If a non-working channel says "unspecified", see what appears for nearby working channels before assuming that it indicates an error.) and the CCI Protection should be unrestricted. If either of these values are different, and you are certain your CableCARD and HDHR Prime are properly paired, then this channel may not be capturable in MythTV. A value of "unknown" most likely means that your card is not properly provisioned. For clear QAM channels (channels which can be tuned with any QAM tuner), Authorization may be unknown, but the channel may still be capturable.
- Because many technicians (even those allegedly trained on the subject) are unfamiliar with CableCARD setups, particularly with devices like the HDHomeRun Prime, there is a good chance that you will have to call your cable provider a couple of times to get things worked out. If a regular reset doesn't work (sometimes it can take more than one to "stick"), ask for a "Cold Hit", "DAC Init" or "Grand Slam Init/Hit". For some reason, the phone representatives are hesitant to try these, so be insistent.
- The direct number to the Comcast CableCARD activation line is 877-405-2298, which should connect you directly to a human. Don't bother calling the number that your device recommends; that is just the normal customer service number.
- I have defined my tuners by IP address, but when I try to use more than one of them, all my recordings fail!
- You must update to (at a minimum) latest .24-fixes to use the HDHomeRun Prime. Numerous bugs, notably one which caused failed recordings when defined by IP address, have been fixed.
- I want to use the Prime only to tune in Clear QAM channels.
- The PrimeUpdateScript will be of interest.
- My recordings are being mysteriously truncated.
- Try increasing the network buffers: sysctl -w net.core.rmem_max=1048576
- There is a bug in certain HDHomeRun Prime tuners with the 20120405 firmware which leads to it dropping off the network, leading to truncated recordings, broken LiveTV streams, and glitchy recordings. The workaround is to continuously ping the HDHR.
- Check for packet loss, see the Troubleshooting section on the SiliconDust HDHomeRun page.
- I am having trouble configuring MythTV 0.24 with the HDHR Prime
- If using MythTV .24-fixes, it is currently necessary to use some "tricks" to get a working lineup, and to use all three tuners on each HDHomeRun Device. A summary of the steps needed in the older version of this page.