Wednesday, February 17, 2010

HDHomeRun for Media Center

As I have mentioned before, I am looking to cancel our cable TV service.  This weekend I purchased a HDHomeRun Dual network tuner.  The HDHomeRun is an ATSC and QAM tuner that you connect to your network.  You are able to access the tuners with any Mac, PC or linux computer on the network.

I installed it in our attic, where our networking panel is, and the installation was very easy.  All I had to do was connect the antenna cables and connect the tuner to the network.  When I installed the software on one of my computers, I was able to scan for channels and make sure that the antenna was pointed in the right direction.

I was then able to install the tuner software on our Windows 7 Media Center.  The tuners were instantly recognized, and the Microsoft's program guide had all of the data for those channels.  The quality of video is very good.  I can tell that the video is not as compressed as it is through Comcast.

There is one thing that I still want to do to make this setup better.  I will be upgrading the Ethernet drop from the network closet to the media center to Gigabit Ethernet.  I want to make sure that there is enough bandwidth to handle recording two HD streams, while playing a video from our Home Server, while potentially a backup is happening.

I will be cancelling my cable TV service soon.