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 Post subject: HDHomeRun Prime and Comcast/Xfinity Feedback
PostPosted: Tue Dec 05, 2017 2:41 pm 
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Joined: Tue Oct 01, 2013 7:18 pm
Posts: 160
Hi...

Anybody out there with experience using HDHomeRun Prime with Comcast/Xfinity?

I currently subscribe to Comcast and do my captures via a firewire connection to the set-top boxes. However, during a recent conversation with a Comcast rep I was told they will be phasing out the older boxes in favor of the X1 units, which don't have a firewire port. Assuming no major issues, my plan is to use an HDHomeRun Prime box and run some sort of media software on my Linux computer.

Anyway, I'm just looking for feedback on any issues with install, operation, quality of captures, etc..

Thanks in advance!


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 Post subject: Re: HDHomeRun Prime and Comcast/Xfinity Feedback
PostPosted: Sat Dec 09, 2017 11:49 pm 
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Joined: Wed Nov 05, 2008 1:55 am
Posts: 2092
I've used it and loved it.

It's a digital tuner, so whatever signal your TV provider sends is exactly what you get. In this case, Comcast uses H.264 compression on all their channels in 720p at 6Mbps (at least that's what it was when I had Comcast last year), therefore that's what it'll record.

Install was easy once you get the CableCARD from Comcast, but getting the card paired to the tuner through Comcast costumer service will be the only difficult part. You'll need to give them the serial number of the CableCARD to pair it with the tuner. It's been a few years so there may be some other steps that I can't remember.

SiliconDust makes their own recording software for the Prime and it's also available for Linux. You'll have to pay $35 annually to use it though. It was an alpha software when I last used it so only the basics that you'd expect from recording software were there, like scheduling recordings and a TV guide. I'm sure it's been developed much further now with more features, but I'd definitely give that a look.

Definitely the best tuner I've used. And quite frankly, it's your only option as far as digital tuners are concerned.


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 Post subject: Re: HDHomeRun Prime and Comcast/Xfinity Feedback
PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 2017 5:10 pm 
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WWoW Artist

Joined: Tue Oct 01, 2013 7:18 pm
Posts: 160
Thanks for the feedback!

I'm going to order the HDHomeRun Prime box. Unfortunately there's no competition in my area so I'm stuck with Comcast and the whole H264 thing....

At least when I can get the HDHomeRun setup going to my satisfaction then I can get rid of the Comcast DVRs and cut my bill down a bit.


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 Post subject: Re: HDHomeRun Prime and Comcast/Xfinity Feedback
PostPosted: Sun Jan 14, 2018 11:10 pm 
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WWoW Artist

Joined: Tue Oct 01, 2013 7:18 pm
Posts: 160
Well, since I last posted on this topic I purchased an HDHomerun Prime box for my Comcast service and was so impressed with it that I bought the
HDHomerun Connect Quatro 4-tuner unit for over-the-air broadcasts.

Installation/Setup of the Prime amounted to a few simple steps:
- Follow instructions to insert cable card and connect ethernet cable, Comcast cable, and power cable.
- Access device via web browser and navigate to one of the pages containing device info for cable card activation.
- By google search I found a Comcast link to a cable card activation page, so I went to that page, entered the required info, and cable card was active.
- Access Prime again via browser and clicked on the option to start a channel scan.

Installation/Setup of the Connect Quatro was even easier. Just attach ethernet cable, antenna cable, and power cable. Once power is plugged in a
channel scan is performed automatically.

For both units once the channel scan is completed you can view the channel listings by again accessing each device by web browser and clicking on the
appropriate option.

To view the channels I was able to use VLC on my desktop computer residing on the same IP network as the HDHomerun boxes. It's just a matter of running
VLC and clicking on Universal Plug and Play. One thing to note is that if there's any kind of security between the HDHomerun boxes and a client (like a desktop
computer, for example), then the security rules must permit UPnP traffic.

Within VLC, any UPnP devices that are discovered will appear in the playlist. Either one of the HDHomerun boxes can then be clicked on and both will have the
same lower level options: Favorites and Channels. Click on Channels to list all discovered channels and click one to start viewing.

For recording, the one key feature that makes these HDHomerun boxes worthwhile is the Web API. Without obtaining any additional software, one can access a
media stream using a URL. On a Linux computer to perform a recording interactively from a command line, one would type the following:

$ curl -o <output filename> "http://<hdhomerun ip addr>:5004/auto/<channel number>?duration=<time in seconds>"

For example, if my Prime box has an address of 192.168.1.100 and I wanted to record TNTHD on channel 204 I would type:

$ curl -o testvideo.ts "http://192.168.1.100:5004/auto/v204?duration=60"

This will record channel 204 for 60 seconds and save the content stream to file testvideo.ts. The 'auto' portion of the URL just specifies that an available tuner
should be automatically selected. As I understand it, instead of 'auto' the other option would be to specify a particular tuner (tuner0, tuner1, tuner2, etc..).

Obviously recording could be made easier and more friendly by writing some sort of shell scripts, using host table entries instead of ip addresses, etc. Also recording
can be scheduled and automated using 'cron', or one-time recordings using 'at'.

Sorry about my Linux only perspective. I gave up on Microsoft products after Windows 7 so I can't do any testing/evaluation.

Anyway, just thought I'd provide my own feedback. Hopefully some will find this info to be useful.


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