Do I absolutely need to use a HD HomeRun Tuner?

Hello all,

I've tried searching the forums for an answer to this question, but couldn't get a definitive answer, so I signed up to post this. My current setup is:

TiVo Roamio Pro with 6 Tuner Cable Card (Verizon FIOS)
MacBook Pro (2017, two Thunderbolt ports)
AppleTV 4K

I would like to try out Channels Plus, since the first month is free. I intend to login with my Verizon credentials to use TVE as a source. I would also use Locast as a source for local OTA channels. I will install the DVR server on my MacBook for testing. If I decide to continue using Channels Plus beyond the free trial, I would purchase a dedicated NAS device or mini PC to configure as an always on DVR server.

According to this page, I need an HD HomeRun Tuner:

Minimum Requirements:

  • HDHomeRun network TV tuner
  • 1GHz CPU (64-bit Intel, or 32-bit/64-bit ARM)
  • 512MB RAM
  • Large HDD for storing recordings
  • HDTV is on average ~8GB per hour

Is this information still correct? Do I need to buy a HD HomeRun just to test this out? I'd rather not burn my free month trial to find out. If the answer is yes, why would I need an HD HomeRun if I'm logging in with my online credentials and not using an antenna to receive broadcasting? Do I absolutely need to use a HD HomeRun Tuner?

Thank you for any insight you can offer — smile

That fine print is a bit dated. You're fine with just Locast and/or TVE unless you decide you want surround sound or a channel you can't get otherwise.


The big caveat here is that TV Everywhere and Locast support is marked as a beta feature. And it's likely to stay that way indefinitely due to the tenuous nature of working with the auth/provider websites.

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We started out exactly the same way, transitioning from a TiVo Roamio to Channels. TVE works well with Verizon Fios, but keep in mind that the quality isn’t as good as what you’d get with a CableCARD. Once we were sure that Channels DVR would meet our needs, I bought a HDHomeRun PRIME on eBay, pulled the recordings off our old TiVo, switched over the CableCARD and used Verizon’s automated system to get the CableCARD going on the HDHomeRun.

We’ve been very happy Channels DVR customers since…


After 20 years, I left TiVo. I did this about month ago, after considering it for a long while. I moved to Channels, and am a very happy camper.

I get all the channels I want via TVE providers and Locast. I have no HDHomeRun or antenna involved at all. I'm fine not having surround sound for DVR content and the picture quality is fine for my needs. If and when SiliconDust sells their ATSC 3.0 Quad tuner, I will reconsider my setup. For now I am pleased with how everything works and my only regret is not switching over sooner.

Previously I had a CableCard in my Roamio Pro. Returning it to Spectrum is saving me lots of money per month, and the overall user experience, of everything being consolidated on the same AppleTV interface, without having to switch inputs, has made TV watching much more enjoyable in this house too.

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Wow! I can see how that’s confusing. This isn’t the case anymore. I’ll get it changed up.

Sorry for that confusion!!


Have you encountered any issues with DRM on premium channels like HBO, Showtime, etc? — smile

Thanks for the feedback. Personally, I can't dump my cable card entirely. I subscribe to premium channels and I already use their various apps for stuff, but occasionally there are things that aren't available to stream. For example, every so often I get this screen if I'm watching a network feed in an app:

Basically, even though the channel itself isn't blocked by any kind of DRM, individual titles have contractual issues that limit their availability. I've been using TVE with my FIOS login the past few days to test, and aside from issues like that, it's acceptable to me. For anyone who doesn't absolutely need the cable card, TVE (at least through Verizon) totally works — smile

This is broadly true, but I've just realized that, in at least a few cases, it's the opposite. With the C-SPAN channels, for example, Fios only carries them in SD, but the TVE streams are HD. I think there are others -- those are just the first I noticed.

There's also a subtle difference that might be seen as an advantage: Some of the TVE channels have at least some of their commercial blocks replaced by silent "in commercial" cards. :slight_smile:

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I find my Local PBS (TVE-6004) is better quality than my Xfinity feed of same (downrezzed 1080i to 720p).
I can't get it OTA since it's VHF and only have UHF for OTA, but even OTA it would be 1080i and TVE feed is 1080p.
Only thing lacking with TVE feed is it's only 2 channel audio, but most of my PBS is stereo anyway.
Unlike most TVE channels, I have no problem recording this one, tunes fast and no errors.

Yeah this is one thing I only discovered after jumping into Channels with TVE. I sometimes leave TV on in the background, as white noise. So I go back and forth on this difference, I'm not sure if I love it or hate it :laughing: