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HD Homerun - a quick review

 
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eddlestar
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Location: Minneapolis

PostPosted: Sun Aug 12, 2007 11:17 pm    Post subject: HD Homerun - a quick review Reply with quote

Got the HD homerun from el gato a few weeks back to replace my hybrid. So far, I've had some mixed thoughts on the device, but figured I should get the word out to anyone else looking to buy.

First off, my mac mini specs:
1.66 Core Duo
2 Gb RAM
350 GB ESATA 3.5" hard drive

Pros:
* Form factor is nice
* Two tuners - both in HD! Finally, I'm almost at the point where my mini is better/equal to the SA set top box I gave up last year.
* Easy to mix/match tuners between cable and OTA. I currently only use one tuner because of performance issues outline below.

Cons:
* Paid for a second copy of eye tv, which is my fault for buying from el gato.
* dual tuners don't work quite right - if I choose to start recording the program I'm watching (at least in full screen mode), I need to manually switch over to the second tuner to watch a different channel.
* dual tuners take down my mac mini...the mini can kind of display two hd streams, but there are a lot of lost frames...even if in full screen mode. This is because the current version of eye tv has both video streams playing at the same time, one is just in the back ground. El gato recommends a core 2 duo...
* DHCP - the hd homerun needs to be on the network to get an IP address. For me, I have my mini plugged into my tv and my wireless router in another room. I have heard that 802.11g is fast enough to transmit the video signals, but this would be a nightmare - 40mbps (assuming 20 per stream) of multicast would take down a lot of home networks. Silicon dust (the maker) has a dhcp server in their publicly available code and a direct connection makes a lot of sense.
* does this mean I have to pay out to upgrade to the eventual eye tv 3.0??



I would like to think that el gato will shore up some of these issues - they have a great product so far...but I just wonder why they haven't added full dual-tuner support in the last year. It definitely makes sense with this device...maybe 3.0 will be a huge upgrade??

That's all I have so far.
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pmjoe
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 12, 2007 11:45 pm    Post subject: Re: HD Homerun - a quick review Reply with quote

eddlestar wrote:
* dual tuners don't work quite right - if I choose to start recording the program I'm watching (at least in full screen mode), I need to manually switch over to the second tuner to watch a different channel.

My DVR from Comcast does something goofy like this too. Doesn't seem smart enough to realize what you're watching and recording are the same thing.
Quote:
* dual tuners take down my mac mini...the mini can kind of display two hd streams, but there are a lot of lost frames...even if in full screen mode. This is because the current version of eye tv has both video streams playing at the same time, one is just in the back ground. El gato recommends a core 2 duo...
* DHCP - the hd homerun needs to be on the network to get an IP address. For me, I have my mini plugged into my tv and my wireless router in another room. I have heard that 802.11g is fast enough to transmit the video signals, but this would be a nightmare - 40mbps (assuming 20 per stream) of multicast would take down a lot of home networks. Silicon dust (the maker) has a dhcp server in their publicly available code and a direct connection makes a lot of sense.

So are you using wireless with this? Are you certain the network isn't the bottleneck using two tuners simulaneously? It's this kind of stuff that has me thinking that I need to be wiring my rooms for Cat6/gigabit.
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HemiGun
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2007 1:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have a HD Homerun also, so I thought I'd share my experience thus far.

HD Homerun
- Using both turners via an HDTV OTA antenna and a splitter

Network
- Airport Extreme
- Netgear Powerline HD

Mac Mini
- 1.83 C2D
- 2GB RAM
- MacBook Pro Wireless-N card
- Elgato Turbo 264 co-processor
- (2) 500GB MyBook drives in RAID for video

MacBook
- 1.83 C2D
- 2GB RAM

***Not trying to brag to about my setup, but wanted to outline how/with what I'm using the device. The mini is hooked up to a TV and connects to the Airport via wireless. The Airport has a Powerline HD unit hooked to it, and the antenna/Homerun have the other Powerline HD unit in another room. With this configuration, I can record a show and watch another with no framedrop from either machine, or a combination of the two. I don't know if the Turbo 264 hooked to the mini really helps until you're looking to convert the media, as watch/record performance is the same on my laptop. The only time I get dropout is when my antenna can't hold the station. When that happens, the EyeTV app shuts down. If I hold a signal from the antenna, the setup runs all day without issues. I'm running this all in a crappy apartment with no cable. When I get to my real place and can get cable, (and IF cable here is still Clear QAM), I expect this thing to work flawlessly.
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arachide
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2007 11:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Is anyone using the HD Homerun and an EyeTV hybrid on the same machine? I bought an EyeTV to record analog cable on my Mac Mini and then decided to buy a WinTV-HVR 950 to add as a second tuner for ATSC. EyeTV sees the two units but will only let me record in either Analog or ATSC - I can't make each tuner independent. I just want a way to be able to record analog cable, ATSC and QAM on one box and then convert the data so that I can watch it on my Apple TV as well. Can this be done or do I need to give up on my Mac Mini HTPC dream?
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eddlestar
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2007 1:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm using a second wired router that only has the hd homerun to the mini. My mini gets two dhcp addresses (setup to have different subnets) and I configured the mini to use the wireless for the internet and the other one for just data.

The hd homerun has the ability to run each tuner independently (one could be clear QAM the other ATSC)...I don't really see the advantge to doing this - it would be nice to have clear QAM and analog cable. I would imagine using the hybrid as a third tuner would give eyetv all sorts of grief.
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arachide
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2007 2:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My understanding is the HD Homerun only processes a digital source (ATSC/QAM). It doesn't have an NTSC tuner or have the ability to convert an analog signal to a digital format (i.e. you can't plug your VCR into a HD Homerun and expect it to be able to play back your VHS tapes).

I submitted a ticket with Elgato asking the same question. I'll let you guys know what they say.
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yipikyer
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2007 5:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd like to know something before i buy this unit:
We have a particular problem, we have 2 antenna pointing on 2 different location. Can we get the device to combine the 2 antennas into one.
Antenena A: Channel 3, 5, 6, 33, 44, 57
Antenna B : Channel 2, 22

Can it be done?
_________________
Mini 2.16 C2D 2GB RAM, 80GB HD, Super Drive
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eddlestar
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2007 6:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

1) the hd homerun only processes digital video...you can look at the el gato faq section for more on this.

2) The device would allow you to tune in the different channels and put them into a combined channel list. Hypothetically from there switching channel between the two would work, but I doubt that the SW works correctly. In a future release maybe.
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arachide
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2007 6:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You could install an antenna joiner like this one: http://www.starkelectronic.com/cmjoiner.htm
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devo
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 15, 2007 7:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was thinking about the HDHomerun the other day. It sounds like the product is a solid triple. Wink

Have either of you actually tried streaming over N or G?
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eddlestar
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 17, 2007 12:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I tried running my ATSC antenna in a second room to see if I got better reception, but my reception isn't very good, so I couldn't tell if it was a network or only an antenna thing. I've heard 802.11g works, but I can't confirm it.
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WahWahWatson
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 19, 2007 1:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I read the HDHomeRun comes with the software for two computers, but it says to contact sales for additional 3 packs. Does anyone know what the price is for these packs?
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transco
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 23, 2007 10:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

HemiGun wrote:
I have a HD Homerun also, so I thought I'd share my experience thus far.

The Airport has a Powerline HD unit hooked to it, and the antenna/Homerun have the other Powerline HD unit in another room. With this configuration, I can record a show and watch another with no framedrop from either machine, or a combination of the two.


What exactly do you have in your other room; i.e. how are you going from the PowerlineHD to what I assume is a second TV? Does the MacMini-C2 have enough horsepower to allow you to simultaneously record two shows while watching a show that was previously recorded?
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JohnnyJolt
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Location: Kelowna, BC, Canada

PostPosted: Tue May 24, 2011 12:24 pm    Post subject: Excited But .... Reply with quote

I was totally excited when I got the e-mail announcing the HD HomeRun. Then the let down.

The product sounds great and it sounds like it works as advertised, however, I want more. I want to be able to do all of this with the signal coming out of my HD Digital box. Or, the streaming video signals over the web, MLB TV.

Very nice start, and I am totally excited about the possibilities, but I will wait for the next version, or two.

Why is it so hard to get a TV signal over your computer media system?

JohnnyJolt
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