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; it has an Ethernet port instead.
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 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.
Initial Checkout and Activation
Complete the first four steps shown in the Quickstart Guide:
- Connect coax cable between HDHomeRun Prime and cable wall outlet or splitter.
- Connect Ethernet cable between HDHomeRun Prime and router.
- Insert M-CARD obtained from your cable provider.
- Connect the power adapter to the HDHomeRun Prime and a power outlet.
On a Linux computer command line:
Install development tools and prepare build directory
sudo apt-get install build-essential mkdir HDHRP cd HDHRP
Copy sources from CD (or download from http://www.silicondust.com/support/hdhomerun/downloads/linux/) and unpack
cp /media/CDROM/linux/* . tar -xzf hdhomerun_config_gui_20120405.tgz tar -xzf libhdhomerun_20120405.tgz
Read installation instructions for the library
ls cd libhdhomerun less README
Build and install the library
make ls sudo cp libhdhomerun.so /usr/lib
Read installation instructions for the GUI
cd ../hdhomerun_config_gui less INSTALL
Install missing development package
apt-cache search gtk+-2.0 sudo apt-get install libspice-client-gtk-2.0-dev
Install the GUI
sudo make install
Check out the options for the command line tool
Learn the IP number for the HDHomeRun Prime
The Prime has an internal Web server that provides configuration and status information such as signal strength and copy protection.
Point a web browser to the address you just found (in my case, 192.168.1.104). You should get this top-level menu:
HDHomeRun Prime Tuner Model: HDHR3-CC Device ID: 131A48E8 Firmware: 20130528 Status Menu Channel Lineup CableCARD Menu Tuning Resolver Menu Download drivers Installation instructions
Click on "CableCARD Menu" to get this menu:
HDHomeRun Prime Tuner CableCARD™ Menu Conditional Access CableCARD(tm) Status Network Setup CableCARD(tm) Pairing DSG Interactive Info CANH Status
Click on "CableCARD(tm) Pairing" to get a menu like this:
In order to start cable service for this device, please contact your cable provider 1-888-266-2278 CableCARD ID: 000-003-561-604-3 Host ID: 064-120-489-704-2 Data: 115-335-810-26 UnitAddress: 000-00035-62504-045 Card S/N: MA0708CAVE15 eCM MAC: Unknown Host MAC: 00:18:DD:13:A4:8E Host Type: One-way REFRESH
NOTES: This display is for a CableCARD that has been paired, so yours will be different. If the HDHomeRun Prime reports no CableCARD, you may have inserted it incorrectly. You will of course have inserted it with the label up. However, the HDHomeRun Prime is quite symmetrical -- with cooling holes on both top and bottom. Its bottom side has a serial number label and four tiny feet. Make sure the serial number label and the CableCARD label are on opposite sides.
Contact your cable provider's CableCARD activation hotline (see http://www.silicondust.com/forum2/viewtopic.php?f=44&t=10490) and recite numbers from the pairing status page as requested. When they claim the card is activated, refresh your browser and note any changes.
Navigate to the HDHomeRun Prime log page (e.g., 192.168.1.104/log.html). It should look something like this:
19700101-00:00:00 System: reset reason = headend reset command 19700101-00:00:01 CableCARD: M-CARD inserted 19700101-00:00:02 System: network link 100f 19700101-00:00:04 System: ip address obtained: 192.168.1.104 / 255.255.255.0 19700101-00:00:05 CableCARD: Motorola card (0000:0625) 19700101-00:00:05 CableCARD: authentication status: authentication in progress 19700101-00:00:05 CableCARD: authentication status: authentication success, activation success 20131109-01:30:00 CableCARD: time changed from Thu Jan 01 00:00:12 1970 to Sat Nov 09 01:30:00 2013
Install VLC if necessary
sudo apt-get install vlc-nox
Try out the hardware using the Silicondust GUI
Select the frequency set appropriately (e.g., us-cable in the U.S.) and hit the "Scan ->>" button to find the first physical channel with TV programs. Hit the "Program" button to show the programs packed into that physical channel. For example, in the Nashua area the first channel has these programs:
10 839 VELOCITY (encrypted) 11 863 ANIMLPL HD (encrypted) 12 871 HIST HD (encrypted)
The first number in each row is the program number within the physical channel. The second number is the virtual channel number assigned by the cable provider. Click on one row, then "View" to start up VLC on that program.
After viewing a program, return to your browser and navigate to the status page for the tuner you have been using. You should see something like this:
Tuner 2 Status Virtual Channel 839 VELOCITY Frequency 177.000 MHz Program Number 10 Authorization subscribed CCI Protection unrestricted CGMS Protection n/a Modulation Lock qam256 PCR Lock locked Signal Strength 93% (-4.5 dBmV) Signal Quality 100% (37.1 dB) Symbol Quality 100% Streaming Rate 14.571 Mbps Resource Lock none
You can use the command line tool to record a channel scan.
hdhomerun_config 131A48E8 scan 0 /tmp/thescan
A channel scan will take quite a while. You may want to monitor progess in a second terminal
tail -f /tmp/thescan
In Nashua, the entry for physical channel 7 looks like this:
SCANNING: 177000000 (us-irc:7, us-cable:7) LOCK: qam256 (ss=98 snq=100 seq=100) TSID: 0x8320 PROGRAM 10: 839 VELOCITY (encrypted) PROGRAM 11: 863 ANIMLPL HD (encrypted) PROGRAM 12: 872 HIST HD (encrypted)
Navigate to the device's lineup (http://192.168.1.104/lineup.html?show=subscribed) Here, the standard definition signals for several over-the-air programs have low virtual channel numbers, but there are HD versions with 800 series channel numbers:
Channels 2 WENH11 3 HSN 4 CBS4 5 WCVB5 6 WLVI56 7 WHDH7 8 WSBK38 9 WMUR9 10 SNBC WWDP46 11 WENH EXPLORE ... 801 WENH EXPLORE HD 802 WENH HD 803 WBPX HD 804 CBS4HD 805 WCVB HD 806 WFXT HD 807 WHDH HD 808 WLVI HD 809 WMUR HDTV 810 NECN HD ...
You can save a copy of this lineup like this:
lynx -dump 192.168.1.104/lineup.html?show=subscribed >/tmp/thelineup
It's a good idea to sign up for program listings, e.g. from Schedules Direct (https://www.schedulesdirect.org). Configure your lineup, and "enable" all the channels you are subscribed to. Note whether they offer a QAM map for your area. (You can find a discussion of QAM maps at http://forums.schedulesdirect.org/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=1214.)
Illustrated Guide (Master/.25)
If Schedules Direct does not offer a QAM map for your area, consider contributing one. You can get a perl script that performs a scan using a Silicon Dust HDHomeRun Prime: http://forums.schedulesdirect.org/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=1206
The HDHomeRun Prime gets its IP number using DHCP. If your router is the DHCP server, and you ever have a power failure (or have to power-cycle it), then it may assign a different number next time. In that case you will need to discover the new number and update the entry in the MythTV backend. You might monitor this by periodically running a script on some machine with a working mail setup:
if lynx -dump 192.168.1.104 | head -1 | grep -q HDHomeRun ; then true else MSG="HDHomeRun Prime was renumbered - update MythTV backend?" echo $MSG echo $MSG | mail -s "HDHomeRun Prime renumbered" email@example.com fi
You might also periodically dump a lineup and compare with the previous one to check for changes. If programs have changed, you may need to revisit Schedules Direct and update your lineup there.
- 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.
- My HDHomeRun Prime cannot tune certain channels
- You can get a lot of information from the web interface on the hdhomerun prime. You can look at the logs, and if you are tuned to a channel you can look at information about the channel. Also you can get a listing of all of the channels that the hdhomerun knows about. If you know the ip address of your hdhomerun, just point a browser to it.
- If that doesn't work, you can tune to virtual channels and see what the CCI and other information is using the hdhomerun_config tool.
- I had an issue where some of my channels weren't tuning, and I powercycled the hdhomerun and it started working.
- Sometimes DRM may affect tuning some channels. The channels you lost are likely being protected with the "One Copy" protection scheme (or other) that requires DRM to allow access to the stream.
- 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.