So this is kind of unexpected. SiliconDust is the latest company to launch an internet TV streaming service, with a new offering called HDHomeRun Premium TV that gives you access to 45 premium TV channels for $35.
SiliconDust may not be as well known as other players in this space including DirecTV Now, YouTube TV, Sling TV, or PlayStation Vue. But the company has been around for a long time, offering the HDHomeRun line of network-attached TV tuners that let you capture video from an antenna and watch it on any device connected to your home network.
A few years ago the company added a DVR feature that lets you pause and rewind live TV, schedule recordings, and save them to a network-attached storage device.
And now HDHomeRUn boxes also let you access premium channels including AMC, TBS, FX, USA, Cartoon Network, TLC, Comedy Central, and ESPN.
On the one hand, there are plenty of other services that already let you stream those channels to a PC, smartphone, or smart TV. On the other, the HDHomeRun Premium TV service might be one of the most versatile options around… albeit one that might take a little work to set up.
Connect a HDHomeRun to your network, sign up for the premium TV service and you’ll be able to stream channels through the box to a whole bunch of different gadgets including:
- Windows or Mac PCs
- Android or iOS phones or tablets
- Android TV devices
- Apple TV 4 (with AirPlay Mirroring)
- Amazon Fire TV Box, Fire TV Stick (2nd-gen) or Fire TV Edition
- Media center software apps including Plex, Emby, Insta TV for Apple TV 4 or Channels for Apple TV 4
If you’re paying $35 per year for the HDHomeRun DVR functionality, you can also record streaming programs in addition to anything you pick up from over-the-air broadcasts using an antenna. Both Premium TV and broadcast recordings can be saved to a NAS device including Qnap, Synology, WD, Asustor, or FreeNAS devices.
While YouTube TV, Sling TV, and other streaming TV services have a “DVR” feature, anything you record is saved in the cloud. Stop paying for your subscription and your videos will disappear. The HDHomeRun option gives you more control over your saved recordings and allows you to move your saved recordings between devices and watch on any compatible device.
That said, you do need extra hardware which might not be necessary with other streaming TV services. And HDHomeRun Premium TV only lets you watch and/or record as many signals as you have tuners in your device. So if you have a dual tuner device you can watch one TV channel and record another, or record two and… watch one of them.
Lon Seidman has a pretty good break-down of how the new service works in this video:
HDHomeRun Premium TV is currently available in the US, and it’s coming soon to Canada.