Silicondust HDHomeRun

The HDHomeRun is a networked digital television receiver made by Silicondust. Multiple versions exist, including:

Some models can tune 8VSB (ATSC), QAM64, and QAM256, as well, 2 tuner models can also tune DVB-T and DVB-C.

The focus of this documentation are the HDHomeRun Dual and HDHomeRun original (now discontinued) devices, although some or all of this information may apply to other devices.

Requirements

  • Your HDHomeRun tuner and the client systems accessing it must be on the same network (same subnet). It will not function across multiple routers or gateways.
  • About 8GB of disk space per hour of HD stream recording
  • DVB drivers if you wish to use the HDHomeRun with software that detect and require a DVB device

Hardware setup

THe HDHomeRun does not have a web interface for setup purposes, only for informational purposes. It requests a local IP address from the network it will be connected on. You may want to dedicate a specific IP address based on its MAC address (this is often known as "static DHCP lease").

Software setup

  • For basic detection, troubleshooting and firmware management, the hdhomerun_config and hdhomerun_config_gui utilities are required. See below (Managing the HDHomeRun in Ubuntu). Such utilities also provide direct access to video streams and manual scanning/watching/recording.

  • The HDHomeRun works like a regular DVB device under Ubuntu, DVB drivers are required. Software known to work with these includes:

    • Kaffeine (a desktop application) - this media player application includes channel scanning, setup, playback and recording in a single package. It can be installed via your favorite package manager.
    • The various dvb command line tools
    • HDHomeRun/MythTV - a full-blown PVR and media center, available via Ubuntu packages or as an Ubuntu derivative.

    • TVheadend (a web-based PVR)

  • Basic PVR operation can be obtained via scripting, provided the hdhomerun-config package is installed:
    • NASDVR - a combination of python scripts and Perl web application originally for NAS devices, tested on Ubuntu 12.04 LTS

    • Tunerie - a Ruby on Rails web application that provides the ability to control your tuner with a web browser.

    • HDHomeRun recorder - a simple Python script that will record specific channels based on a pre-established schedule

Managing the HDHomeRun in Ubuntu

SiliconDust regularly releases firmware updates that enhance the functionality and performance of the HDHomeRun. Before getting started, its a very good idea to upgrade the firmware to the latest release to rule outdated firmware problems out.

Install the HDHomeRun configuration utility

Ubuntu includes both graphical and command line utilities to manage HDHomeRun devices since Ubuntu 10.04 and Ubuntu 8.04 LTS respectively. Their corresponding packages are:

  • hdhomerun-config-gui - Graphical configuration utility for Silicon Dust HDHomeRun

  • hdhomerun-config - Configuration utility for Silicon Dust HDHomeRun

Once installed the graphical configuration utility can be found in Applications > Sound & Video > HD Homerun Config UI.

Note: hdhomerun-config is not a dependency of hdhomerun-config-gui, as such if you require it, you will need to install it separately.

They can both be used for:

  • Discovering your tuner location and name
  • Gathering tuner settings
  • Setting tuner settings
  • Performing channel scans
  • Performing firmware upgrades

Both can be installed via your favorite package manager. If you're using Ubuntu Software Center, only the graphical utility can be installed (search for "HDHomeRun").

Download firmware

The latest firmware is available from the SiliconDust website.

Discover your device

In order to verify that your device is responding as well as to locate it on your network, you can use hdhomerun_config to discover its location. The device's current IP address and device ID will be returned. Note that this device ID can also be obtained from looking on the bottom of your HDHomeRun.

  • hdhomerun_config discover
    Here is an example of the output from the device used to write this page:
    • supermario@portablemario:~$ hdhomerun_config discover
      hdhomerun device 1010C032 found at 192.168.4.220

Upgrade your firmware

In the previous step, you discovered the device ID in use by your HDHomeRun. You will now use this ID to perform the firmware upgrade.

  • hdhomerun_config ID upgrade FILE
  • ID is the device ID discovered previously
  • FILE is the filename of the firmware upgrade Here is an exmaple of the output from the device used to write this page:
    • supermario@portablemario:~$ hdhomerun_config 1010C032 upgrade ~/Desktop/hdhomerun_firmware_20110323.bin 
      upgrade complete

Troubleshooting

Unable to find the HDHomeRun

If you have more than one network interface and MythTV cannot find the HDHomeRun then you need to install a newer MythTV build. The latest MythTV 0.20 build can be installed by using the Mythbuntu repository.

Intermittently dropping connection

You may notice that many packets are being dropped, or your communication is being interrupted. Often, this is supplemented by the network LED on the front of the HDHomeRun flashing. Under normal or idle activity the LED will always be solid green.

Try replacing your ethernet cable(s), or removing switches between the connection to the HDHomeRun and the PC(s) using it.

Credits

A lot of this guide is taken from or based upon information gathered at the Silicon Dust website. See this site for more information not mentioned here: http://www.silicondust.com

HDHomeRun (last edited 2012-02-24 03:04:07 by magicfab)