Elgato has just released – or to be technically correct, re-released – the latest addition to its line of digital TV tuners for PCs and Macs. The HDHomeRun is a rebranded dual network tuner that has been sold by SiliconDust for nearly five years now and was also sold in its previous incarnation by Elgato since mid-2007. The device has however received an update and is a little smaller and sexier than the original model, but still offers PC and Mac users the same ability to watch and record HDTV over a local wireless network.
The HDHomeRun essentially offers North American viewers the same features as European, Australian and New Zealand users have been able to enjoy with Elgato's NetStream DTT. Namely, watching and recording up to two different channels – either free over the air unencrypted digital broadcast TV (ATSC) or unencrypted digital cable (Clear QAM) channels – on a PC or Mac. Connection is either via Ethernet, which will provide the most reliable results, or wirelessly over a Wi-Fi network, where quality will obviously depend on the network's bandwidth.
The HDHomeRun connects to your antenna or cable TV outlet and your router, which allows it to be hidden away out of sight. PC users get PVR functionality through the device's compatibility with Windows 7 Media Center, while Mac users get Elgato's venerable EyeTV 3 software. With EyeTV, users can export recordings automatically to iTunes for playback on iOS devices and can also stream live and recorded TV to iOS devices via the EyeTV app – however, this is only possible when using a Mac.