Elgato’s HD Homerun … still in the park

Elgato HD HomeRun

Elgato announced the $199 HD Homerun this morning which is a very cool, though limited product.

I love the idea! A centrally located two tuner, HD DVR accessible from any networked computer and ready to share content with my AppleTV, iPod or iPhone. Unfortunately due to one substantial limitation, this box will not be sitting in my equipment rack anytime soon…

The Good – Record two separate HD inputs across your home network. The HD HomeRun sits wherever you’ve got a 100/1000base-T Ethernet connection and a cable box, which is a great option for people like me who have a wired home and a central place for all my gear.

The main negative with this box is that it only works with ATSC and ClearQAM signals meaning you will not be controlling your cable box, but rather working with the unencrypted and freely available signal. This negative is a deal breaker. I have no intention of starting to work with antenna based HD at this point.

Today, I can access our DVRs from any TV thanks to a rather complex installation and networked video. I’d love to export shows from the DVR for use on the AppleTV (more permanent) or to the iPhone, but I can actually do that now with the EyeTV 200 I have currently collecting some dust. Of course I would have to have a computer sitting next to both the cable box (or at least a wired coax connection) and the EyeTV. The HD Home run solves that connection issue by being able to be sit away from my computer, but adds a new wrinkle by only working with Coax connections so there’s no easy way to export from my cable DVR rig. So close…

4 comments for “Elgato’s HD Homerun … still in the park

  1. 9/5/2007 at 4:11 pm

    Here in Seattle, Comcast has HD on coax in ClearQAM so we just have to plugin coax into this device. HDTV lovin after that with no antenna!

  2. 9/5/2007 at 6:54 pm

    No Clear QAM here unfortunately though even with it I would not (and presume you can’t either) see things on HBO or other premium channels.

  3. Seunghan Nam
    10/7/2007 at 1:03 pm

    This is not elgato’s fault. In our network right now, there is no computer based tuner (even if there is, too expensive to consider) that does what you want to do. The “source” is not something that elgato can solve. In fact, no one can solve it.

    The cheapest way to get HD is 1. antenna 2. clear QAM. This will not enable us watch espn in hd, maybe tnt on hd, possibly tbs in hd, since it is up to cable provider.

    Unless they allow the tuner company access their encrypted cables, there is no way any tuner company can provide much better dvr service.

    Think about it, TIVO HD is 299, service fee doubles what cable company charges. Satelite company also charges 299 for their box AND service fee of $6. What they control is content and just because we need to watch hd, they are charging more, more and more. If elgato or any other company can do something else, this is great, but it is like…. impossible. All those companies are fortified the barriers to enter.

  4. 10/7/2007 at 7:27 pm

    I think the best option is actually to placeshift via Slingbox now. I can record it all locally and then stream out when I need it. Worst case I’ll spend 2 bucks at the iTunes store for a flight…

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