My HDHomerun Prime arrived in the mail last week. I pre-ordered in May and once the tuner hit the streats, it took about 3 weeks for Neweeg to send me one.
If you are going to use Windows Media Center as your DVR, a cablecard tuner is a “must have.” Over the last 10 months, I have been using a Ceton cablecard tuner in my main HTPC. The tuner worked well, except for a hiccup trying to make it network accessible. I actually had to send my card back to Ceton. In fairness, the networking process was stull a beta at the time.
I have made the switch to the Prime because I have three computers I use to watch TV, all connected to a wired network. One is connected to my Epson projector and serves as my main media center. The other is my desktop I use as a general computer with a 24 inch Dell monitor. The last computer I have is a nettop connected to my Toshiba 42 inch LCD in my den. The nettop is primarily used as a streaming box since it cannot support the size of a tuner.
HDHomerum Prime Set-up
The Prime, which is almost the same size as the original HdHomerun QAM tuner (see picture to the right), was setup without a hitch, especially since my cablecard had already been activated by Verizon (note: Verizon does not tie your card to a specific device so you can smply switch it to a new tuner). The setup process involved installing the Silicondust HDHomerun software and then setting up the tuner in media center. Simple.
Pros and Cons
The only issue I have run into is the fact that my Dell monitor does not support HDCP.
The advantages of the HDHomerun Prime include:
1) One cablecard can be used for 3 seperate streams to three different locations.
2) Smaller computer cases can be used without worrying about the size of the tuner.
3) Ipad 2 support through Elgato. Unfortunately I have the original ipad. No dice.
4) You are not reliant on one media center to be always on.
5) Low power consumption at less than 10 watts.
If the network capacibility of the Prime does not interest you, a cheaper option is the upcoming Happauge cablecard tuner that has two tuners (compared to 3 for the Prime) and costs about $140.