Cord cutting is really easy with an HDHomeRun tuner and a Windows PC.
If you're sick of paying for satellite and cable TV and want to cut the cord completely, an HDHomeRun tuner from SiliconDust is something you need to consider.
It's extremely Windows-friendly, easy to setup and potentially the heart of your cable-free home television experience. All for around $100.
What is the HDHomeRun?
You'd normally plug an OTA antenna or cable box into your TV to get your entertainment fix, but the HDHomeRun is a little box that antenna goes directly into instead.
It takes in the digital TV signal and then distributes it across your home network via the ethernet connection on the box. That means any device that's compatible with HDHomeRun apps can view live, free-to-air TV over your local Wi-Fi network.
There are a few different models available, including one that's compatible with cable subscriptions for "cord shavers" rather than cutters. For the most part, though, the HDHomeRun is appealing because it's a great way to get free television all over your house and on your PC and mobile devices.
It's also compatible with a number of DVR software providers, such as Plex, allowing you to record live-streamed live TV, as well.
What you need to get up and running
You need to have a few things at your disposal to get started, including:
- HDHomeRun tuner.
- Roof-mounted or portable digital TV antenna.
- Ethernet cable (included in the box).
- Coax antenna cable (if using a roof antenna).
- A PC.
Mileage will vary depending on the type of antenna you use and the signal strength in your area. If you're not sure about those things, there are resources to help you find out which channels you can receive, but it might be a good idea to test the signal first before buying the HDHomeRun.
How to set up the HDHomeRun
The first step is to connect up the box correctly:
- Attach the coax cable from your antenna to the input on the rear of the HDHomeRun.
- Connect the Ethernet cable to your HDHomeRun and an output on your router.
- Hook up the power cable and watch the lights come on to make sure everything is OK so far.
That's everything you need to do with the box. The rest of the setup takes place on your PC.
- Head over to my.hdhomerun.com.
- The site should automatically detect your box.
- Download the installer for Windows (or Mac, if that's your thing).
- When the install wizard launches, click on the digital antenna tab.
Click scan to look for available TV channels.
After a little time the channel list will populate, as seen below.
After these steps, you can set up your DVR if you already have one in place. To get down to watching TV, just hit finish.
You're all set to watch TV on your local network using any of the official or third-party apps available that support the HDHomeRun. If you're using Windows 10 on a PC or phone, or on Xbox One, you can grab the official apps from the Windows Store.