HDHomeRun Extend

Review: SiliconDust’s HDHomeRun Extend – Stream Your Antenna Through Your WiFi


The ability to stream your antenna to a wide range of devices is something many cord cutters have wanted for a while. Now with the HDHomeRun Extend you can do just that.

The HDHomeRun Extend allows you to stream your antenna to devices including the Fire TV, Android TV, iOS, Android, Xbox One, Windows 10, and Mac.

Here is our full video review:

Pros

  • Easy to set up
  • Fast channel loading
  • Offers two tuners allowing multiple TVs to use the same device
  • Works with Plex DVR service

Cons

  • No Roku support
  • Needs an Ethernet cable
  • Only works inside your home network

Final Thoughts

There are a few tradeoffs here. To use the DVR feature you need an always-on media center, which could be a PC or an TV device such as the Nvidia Shield.

You also need to make sure the HDHomeRun is close enough to your router to plug in an Ethernet cable as the HDHomeRun needs a ethernet cable to work. After you connect it to your router with an Ethernet cable you can use Wi-Fi to connect a Fire TV for example.

Now with that said the HDHomeRun Extend is flexible and a great option for anyone who has a home media service. You can use it with Kodi, Plex, and HDHomeRun’s own apps and DVR service giving you a great deal of flexibility for those who are looking for it.

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  • Pebo Bryson

    I had gotten one of these to pair with my Shield TV, didn’t work well at all. Constant buffering of channels that usual came in fine through my TVs tuner. Tried to troubleshoot it, eliminated chance for interference ect and still nothing. Returned it and chalked it up to an inferior tuner. Guess it works great for some people though.

  • I have one and the nice part about it connecting to Ethernet is that it can be used by any device on your home network. I can watch it on my AppleTV and my FireTV, as well as on my desktop computer.

    That being said, antenna support should be bundled into Apple and Fire TVs

    • Thomas Hessel

      I ended up going with the Tablo Dual as the HD Home Run didn’t have native Roku support. I had to run it through Plex on my Synology NAS which to transcode was burning up too many resources. Tablo has native Roku and Roku has been the platform we went with on all TVs. Regardless, they were both good we just choose Tablo for Roku.

      • Chris K.

        I’ve had the same problem and used the same solution. What I haven’t decided yet is if I should replace the HDHomerun with a Tablo, or just replace the Roku boxes with Fire TV sticks.

        • Thomas Hessel

          I didn’t spend much time on the HD Home Run after I tested it, rather just went with the tablo. A family preference, they prefer Roku, so needed to make them happy. Roku seems to be smoother, more responsive, minimalist, simple all that. Which I am sure is subjective, vs others, but family likes that over FireTV as we had both.

      • Greg S

        Thomas Hessel, were you using the Hdhomerun Extend or Connect? I’m in the boat of trying to figure out if I should do an Hdhomerun/Plex with a WD NAS vs Tablo. I am concerned about the load this would put on the NAS, and you mention this. Do you find any large buffering delays on Tablo? I think both systems look great, but would like to understand more the practical implementation. Thanks!

        • Thomas Hessel

          Greg, I tested with the HD HomeRun Connect, when I wasn’t real happy with it I thought about the Extend as it does transcoding in box but still doesn’t give you native Roku support. When I used the HD HomeRun Connect with my Synology NAS for their OTA DVR service, which at that time didn’t do live just recorded shows via Plex, I didn’t like the load it put on my Synology converting mpeg2 to 4. This is on a Synology DS916+, 4-core with 8gig of RAM and using this to transcode on my local network stuttered and buffered a lot.

          Moving to the HD HomeRun Extend would provide inbox transcoding to Plex and my Synology would not have to transcode but still wouldn’t get live shows from Plex as it was just a DVR service and still wouldn’t have Roku support without Plex, wasn’t best solution in my opinion.

          I went with the Tablo Dual (2-tuner) which I think is enough for our family of 5 for Local OTA and added a small pocket 1TB HD for expanded DVR function. I have not experienced any buffering at all with GOOD signal channels :). I did mount my HD antenna on the roof by removing my directv dish from its mount and mounting the antenna on the dishes mount. I get awesome signal strength on all the major locals. What I found was some of the side loaded channels had lower performance, like 3.1 or 5.1 and 5.2 etc… when trying to watch those I would get buffering and errors. So I just removed lower signal channels from the guide and problem solved.

          What I like about my attempt to cut the cord, and what I set out to do, was solve it all in ONE appliance, Roku. So we get OTA live/DVR from Tablo Dual, still deciding on Sling or DTVNow for the rest and Plex for all our ripped libraries, photos and music. This puts everything under a single interface, single appliance at every TV.

          All of this runs just fine on wired (main TV) and wireless (all other TVs) with no issues. My home WIFI is comprise of Aruba products which I can explain if needed.

          I hope this helps, let me know if ya have more questions.

      • DefectiveSpleen

        Q: Can you still access your antenna via Tablo if you internet connection goes down? That is can I watch OTA channels even if my internet is offline for some reason?

  • Evan

    I never understood the purpose of this device it requires an antenna. ? If I have an antenna I don’t need to stream anything. If I want to stream channels in the country and of course an antenna is completely useless to me then this device is useless to me. Won’t this streaming device be just as useless when it rains outside?

    • Chris K.

      Depends how you watch TV. If all the televisions in your house are receiving OTA signals and you don’t DVR anything, you really don’t need one of these devices. If your family has a mix of TVs and projectors without tuners (or watches on computers or smart phones/tablets) and/or wants to occasionally DVR live shows to watch, say, an hour later instead of waiting for them to appear on Hulu the next day- these kinds of devices are a perfect solution.

      And if your antenna is so badly affected by weather, you may need to mount a better antenna in a higher location. My HDHomerun is tied to a 30-year-old attic antenna, and I have great signal even in heavy rainstorms. Much better than I had with satellite signals from Dish.

  • JGaLaXY

    Been using this and the Channels app on my Apple TV, great looking, channels load right up, subtitles. Will keep using until DirecTV Now gets CBS and Fox in my area

    • Karl Childers

      Same here. We keep the HdHomeRun and antenna out of sight in our computer room and then use it to stream live shows to any of the three TVs in our house. The Channels app is awesome.

  • Todd

    This device does support wireless, btw. It recommends at least wireless N to provide enough throughput to broadcast the video stream. https://www.silicondust.com/hdhomerun/

  • Alan Burton

    Hopefully to make things more clear. The HD Homerun tuner is a network connected tuner box that requires an ethernet (cable connection) connection to connect to your network. The box itself does not have the ability to connect to the network.

    Devices that can access the box via your network can be connected via wireless or wired. Silicondust recommends you use the Extend (internal trans-coding) if your wireless network only supports wireless N technology/speeds. If you have a newer wireless AC network you can also use the Connect which does not have internal trans-coding. Internal trans-coding converts the older Mpeg 2 stream used for OTA broadcasts to a Mpeg4 stream which requires less data bandwidth to send to your devices/computers for viewing. If you have a wired connection you can use either box.