Potential New User with A Few Questions

Current Tablo user looking into potentially switching to Channels. I have a few questions:

  1. What is the quality of the stream to the AppleTV? I have a 4K AppleTV unit and a 4K TV and would really like to see my shows in full glorious 4K. Is this possible?
  2. Any Optimum or FIOS users out there who are happy with the interface?
  3. How is the DVR functionality? The wife wants to have access to a traditional DVR where she can skip the commercials on recorded shows.

Thanks in advance for everyone's input in helping me make the switch!


Forgot to share that I plan on using it with a cable subscription, not through an antenna.

To my knowledge the only provider currently offering any 4k stream is FuboTV.

I'm a new user with an existing FIOS cable plan and can say that the quality of the cablecard streams (for me at least) trumps the quality of the TV Everywhere streams for the channels we watch.

The DVR functionality is great - easily on par with my experience with Xfinity X1 and way better than the FIOS boxes we had.

Thanks for the reply. Is there a reason you wouldn't get all of your channels from the cable card? Sorry for the newbie questions!

You won't be able to get DRM protected channels with an HDHR Prime.

As axm300c stated - you won't get DRM protected channels through the HDHR. From my research it looks like people have had good luck with a combo of TVE (TVeverywhere streams) + HDHR to cover the majority of your bases. Things like HBO/Cinemax/Starz - you'd need to use their respective apps.

We do not watch any of the movie channels. Looking to watch local network channels (ABC, NBC, CBS, etc) as well as basic cable (ESPN, MSG, HGTV, etc.). Would we be able to get all of these through the HDHR Prime? Thanks everyone!

It depends upon your cable provider. Some cable companies flag nearly every channel as DRM protected except for locals, other almost none. Most cable companies are somewhere in the middle. I had Spectrum, and only a few (DIY, Cooking, Sundance, FXM) were flagged, but only the HD feeds. All the rest were available.

As far as 4K: I believe on Verizon FiOS has a few 4K sports events sometimes delivered via cable. The rest are only accessible through their cable box as it's delivered via IPTV. But, Channels shouldn't have a problem with those few 4K channels, as SD's DVR can handle them fine.

FIOS does not use much DRM (Fox News, Fox Sports, HBO/Showtime only).

Optimum I'm not sure about, they might use DRM on a lot more channels.

Thanks everyone, looks like FIOS might be a good solution for us. How about the video quality? Will I only be able to get 4K quality through the cable box? My concerns lies from the quality I get from my current Tablo box. The quality of the stream to my AppleTV is atrocious. I am assuming that the HDHR Prime also takes the cable signal and degrade it to get it to the AppleTV unit. How would you compare the quality from the cable box to that from the Channels app on the AppleTV? Any and allinsight is greatly appreciated (don't want my recent 4K TV purchase to be for nothing).

There is very little 4K content available from Cable at this time.

That said, the quality you get from the HDHR PRIME and in the Channels app is the original quality coming through on the cable feed. Unlike Tablo, no post-processing is performed and the video is untouched.

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tmm1, thanks for your time and response - I am charging ahead full steam.

In an effort to not start a new thread, does anyone know why the HDHR Prime is so difficult to find for purchase?

Because some of its components are no longer manufactured or have been EOLed, so they are no longer in production.

That being said, I am currently selling 2 Primes:

I posted them for sale here first before offering them over at the SiliconDust forums.

Thanks racameron, is there a newer version of the box someone like myself would purchase to get started?

The Chips for the HDHomeRun prime that they were using are no longer being manufactured. They are working on getting a Prime 6 but there is no date set for it. The Prime 3 are no longer being manufactured.

From Silicondust ...

To our customers and anxious fans of the HDHomeRun PRIME model and the upcoming 6 tuner version HDHomeRun PRIME6

When we launched the original PRIME 3-tuner model, there were years of development, testing, tweaking and certifications. No one knew of this because it was just released, and the units are still working today ("HDHomeRun devices just work").

We are still very excited as we plan and develop the updated generation, adding full CableCARD support of 6 simultaneous programs. We had been premature on a few occasions in announcing this product creating expectations from our fans (and the occasional dramatic naysayers).

There have been chipsets that were sold off and killed in the middle of our dev (twice). And delays due to normal development that many don't know nor deem relevant beyond "just give me my PRIME!" and we respect and love that passion.

I want to assure all of our customers and fans that we are still deep in development of the upcoming PRIME6 and we will announce only when the time is right and when we are in mass production. There will be no casual updates or dart board dates to appease the masses. A lot goes into developing new hardware, and as I have said before, "if this one was easy, everyone would have one on the market."

All of us at Silicondust want an HDHomeRun PRIME6 in our homes as much as our supporters. Keep watch and sign up for our mailing list, or follow us on social media so that you'll be the first to know when we are ready to release more information.

I was a Prime User years ago before dropping my Frontier FiOS TV Package. They tend to work well if you get them setup properly which you sometimes can not control. My daughter was using them (like me) until she moved and then got a new provided and the provided Cable Cards would not work and the provider could/would not help.

I would seriously give TVE a try first. Very easy to try to see if you like it. There is a whole section on it that you can review but free to try since you already have a TV Package that you can add to the Channels DVR.

Mike, thanks for the thoughtful response. Weird that a company would render a device EOL before coming out with a next generation device. What is TVE?

How much are you asking for your HDHR Primes? Thanks!

TVE may not be best option for you. HDHomeRun Prime will in general get more channels especially if you provider does not DRM most of your channels. But you will be stuck with using your providers TV Service and Cable Cards. Again, I used this for the first year or two when Channels first came out and was so much better then my FiOS TV Providers Hardware. I actually saved about $70 per month in hardware. But since then I dropped my FiOS TV Package and in the beginning when with Directv Now (which is now AT&T TV Now). And later went with a HDHomeRun Quattro with Antenna for OTA Channels and TVE for the rest of my Live TV Channels. And now I am use Locast (good in my LA area) and TVE for other channels. I also have Netflix and HBO and more as separate Apps.

But you can find out more about TVE here: