While walking through Fry’s, I came across an HD Homerun Connect Duo for $89 (about a hundred bucks, after tax). Knew nothing about it, grabbed one and sped home. Comparing this experience with that of my Tablo, there is much good to be said about it, and gave me a reason to consider replacing my Tablo as my primary OTA / DVR appliance.
What I liked about it: Setup was EASY, (for me) much easier than my initial setup with Tablo. Worked equally well across all platforms (***Corrected to read Fire TV, Kodi, Android TV etc.). What I liked most: the fact that everything was Instant. Instant, on demand. One click of a channel button and you’ve got CHANNEL! No buffering, no waiting, none of the 2-5 second delay that I’ve grown accustomed to on my Tablo. This goes for Guide, Channel Switching, everything.
What I didn’t like: No Wifi option. HD Homerun requires hard wire to the router, which meant running about 50 feet of cable. One of the things I find most convenient on the Tablo, is that fact you can set it up anywhere in the home, anywhere you’ve got an antenna lead-in.
What I disliked most: the Live TV Guide and overall Interface. In my personal view and to my eye, it is awkward, clunky and horrible. There is a third-party Guide you can by for $25 (which I did), that gives you a fantastic, beautiful (conventional) Grid Guide, which I like a LOT, as much as the Tablo UI (which I’ve always loved).
What I really didn’t like: DVR option. Unlike Tablo, it’s not baked in & you can’t just buy or grab an inexpensive external hard drive & plug it in. You need to download a separate piece of software, make your PC (or some PC) a server, or spend an extra $200 - 400 on a good NAS and make that the server. Do all of this and then you can have DVR capabilities.
For the purposes of this learning experiment, I ordered an ACEPC AK1. It’s something I can stow easily, don’t mind having it on all day (and night) and costs less than an NAS:
My $89 box has now become a $300 solution and I’m still not completely happy with it. I’ve bought it, paid for it (for better or for worse), I own it. The DVR cost is only $35 a year, which I think is great, except that I’m doing all the heavy lifting.
I’ve been switching back and forth between my Tablo and the Homerun. The Tablo is familiar, easy & Excellent, and I think “This is great, leave well enough alone”. But when I switch back to the Homerun, I am excited by how FAST everything is (I do understand the reasons behind the difference here).
This is a difficult conundrum and these are just a few of the “Plus and Minus” I’ve experienced so far. I’m not stating one solution is better than the other, simply pointing out a few of my personal observations along the way. I don’t need to be flamed and told about how great Tablo is (I already know that), or why HD Homerun is crap (it’s not).
Incidentally, both Tuners scanned in the exact same channels, and on the same level of quality, clarity and degree of excellence.