Silicon Dust To Launch HDHomeRun DVR Software

Dave Zatz —  April 30, 2015

As with Pebble, Silicon Dust has leveraged Kickstarter as a marketing tool and storefront, versus a startup fundraiser. And they’re now accepting preorders for their upcoming HDHomeRun DVR software and service. Basically, the new DVR experience will leverage existing HDHomeRun networked tuning hardware and a QNAP NAS, Western Digital MyCloud NAS, or computer for storage. The headless approach is not new (in fact, they pioneered it) and similar in concept to Tablo, yet instead of requiring USB-attached storage, your hard drive can live elsewhere on the network. Also, unlike Tablo, HDHomeRun offers both over-the-air (OTA) and CableCARD tuners… making this a whole lot more versitile for those of us unwilling to cut the cord. Given the sunsetting of Windows Media Center and the hot mess that is Simple.TV (powered by SiliconDust), it’s not so surprising they would venture into software and services to round out their offerings.

hdhomerun-dvr-bundleEarly adopters who already sport the requisite hardware can access HDHomeRun DVR software and a year service for $30, one month before the general populace – perhaps as early as June. However, Silicondust is also offering quite a few bundles should you require tuners and/or network storage. Beyond the tuner and NAS/computer software required to power the DVR experience, Silicon Dust will also make Windows, Mac, and Android (set-top or mobile) viewing clients available at launch. iOS and Kodi/XBMC integration are also possibilities down the line with a graphic indicating smart TVs and gaming consoles might also act as end-points one day (via DLNA?). Sadly, it doesn’t appear Silicon Dust will have any sort of transcoding from MPEG-2 as they’ve indicated no Roku channel given it doesn’t support “video formats used for broadcast television” (and we should expect this to impact remote streaming bandwidth requirements, if supported).

[youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?t=262&v=hbkMqcWkFQ0&w=580]

18 responses to Silicon Dust To Launch HDHomeRun DVR Software

  1. Wonder what Ceton is working on, if anything…

  2. Awesome! This is great news as I’ve been contemplating at least tinkering with a “network tuner” setup, but with only the Windows Media Center/Xbox 360 combo, I haven’t been all that thrilled to try it out. BUT, if I could install Silicon Dust DVR software on my Windows 8 server and view from any device (including Xbox One) this could actually give some competition to TiVo. Although, they’ll need a lifetime subscription to make it worthwhile. Yearly subscriptions are a showstopper.

    Aside from Ceton, I’m also wondering about Hauppauge. I know they now have an OTA/clear QAM tuner that works with the Xbox One, but when I emailed them, there didn’t seem to be any interest in developing their own software that could be used on all platforms. They do of course already have DVR software, but it seems fairly limited to the desktop.

  3. $30/year is the smallest annual fee you’ll ever see… doesn’t bother me. Limited endpoints and functionality at launch are more concerning. But good to see a new player in this space.

  4. Yea, good point. I guess compared to $400 lifetime for TiVo it’s a steal. :)

  5. Assuming it doesn’t stink! My Tivo isn’t even a year old, so I’ll hold off for a while!

  6. I like the idea, but I hope what they showed in the video is an early beta of UI. It’s pretty ugly. I’m currently using a Roamio OTA, and when my year is up in about 6 months I might be tempted to get another HDHomeRun if this software is a little more mature.

  7. Silicon Dust recently released a Kodi addon for live TV streaming that supposedly looks and works great. Sadly it requires a more recent HDHomerun supporting DLNA streaming so I haven’t played with it myself.

    Anyway, the Kodi DVR addon seems likely, and you can run Kodi quite well on a FireTV or FireTV stick, both of which do hardware decode MPEG2.

    I agree that $30/year seems like a completely reasonable price for service.

  8. Let us know if you find out anything about remote streaming, if that is included I’m sold.

  9. MPEG2 HD is ~18Mbps, so you’d need a pretty hefty upload speed. From Seidman’s video, the saved movies are simply files on disk, so you could transcode them in real time with something like Plex Media Server, or batch transcode to h.264 MP4s in the background, the latter of which would also save a ton of space.

  10. I hope this space fills up with more and more competition. I like the TiVo for now but in the future if they can close the gap a little more(and by that I mean the Wife use/acceptance factor) then these guys can have my business. Keep up the good work.

  11. Rodalpho, over-the-air recordings might just be unencrypted video files. For CableCARD-sourced stuff, it may be protected in some way that’ll require reverse engineering and decryption (like TiVoToGo).

  12. That’s possible, but Seidman does use a cablecard HDHomerun. They might have been cci0 copy freely, I guess.

    I suppose DRM’d files could play in Kodi now that it supports binary addons.

  13. Rodalpho, my assumption was based on some status notes, things they are working on from the Kickstarter page:

    There are some key things to do. In particular recording protected content and preventing duplicates from recording.

    support playing protected content

  14. Ahh. Must have been copy freely, then.

    Those two missing features are kinda important!

  15. Kickstarter total is only $50,000 short of the stretch goal to provide apps on a wider range of clients. Anyone want to kick in an extra $50 grand?

  16. It looks like SiliconDust just changed their stretch goal for more apps to “Plex support”. That’s one way to get it on just about every client.

  17. I’m trying to two find how to get the DVR software. Seems to me like it’s not even out yet? But I’m looking forward to getting it, to replace Windows media Center because at the end of July Microsoft is coming out with Windows 10 and as we all know Windows media center will not be in that software. If anyone knows how to get the DVR please let me know.

  18. I checked with SiliconDust a few weeks ago and the best they could tell me is that public release is scheduled for Fall this year. The only other alternative DVR software for Windows that I could find was NextPVR.