Saturday, October 26, 2013

TVoIP - broadcast your cable TV in your network

One thing I've been searching for a long time now is watching television on a computer / tablet. Why? Because Netflix, Hulu and friends aren't available across 90% of Europe so far and TV on a computer is the best alternative to that in my opinion.

I found quite a few solutions for my "problem", but I had one special must-have feature: Linux support. Most of the devices providing TVoIP seem to be proprietary and completely locked down. However, HDHomeRun from Silicondust isn't. They even published a detailed explanation of how to control their device - including source code for Linux! The community seems active too - there's homebrew apps for Android, Java API wrappers and more. Integration into MythTV and XBMC seems possible too.

I wasn't sure if the HDHomeRun is actually a real device or scam, but I can happily verify that it is real and doing its duty! Shipping was fast too.

Setting everything up took me a few days though: I had to abort my first setup-attempt because I had to leave (the channel scan-process is awfully slow!) and I had to get the right equipment first: a cable splitter and some extra coaxial cables. Another thing that took me quite some time to figure out was: why the heck are there different kinds of coaxial cables? The HDHomeRun is shipping a cable with two male ends, but I needed one female - one male end obviously!? That drove me crazy!

Anyway, I'm now finishing my setup in this very moment. Here's what I'm using:
- for Linux: http://www.silicondust.com/forum2/viewtopic.php?t=1924
- on Android: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.zaren.HomeRunTV
- this one looks interesting too, but it's not actively worked on: https://github.com/pfn/hdhr