1. Computing

Just a Few Steps to Premium Cable

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Although it functions like other tuners, the HD HomeRun Prime has some extra steps involved with setup. Because these are network tuners and not installed in any PCs in your home, getting your HTPC to discover and see the tuners is where these extra steps come in. Luckily, not only does SiliconDust provide full instructions on their website, but we've taken time to walk through these steps for you. There's nothing overly difficult or tricky here, just some steps that you may not have seen before.

Hardware Setup

Right out of the gate, we need to configure hardware first. This involves getting the Prime connected in several ways. You'll need to find a place for you tuner since this isn't a PC connected device. Personally, mine went in my office right next to the network switch that I was connecting it to. I'm lucky in that I have cable in the same room but you're going to want to ensure you have both cable and network access in the same place.

Insert the CableCARD into the provided slot. Connect power and Ethernet. As well, if you need one, connect your SDV adapter via USB and connect a live coax cable to each of these devices. You'll only need the SDV adapter if your cable provider uses switched digital video and if so, they should send you one along with your CableCARD.

Once you've connected everything you're ready to move on to the software portion of the installation.

Software Setup

Software setup for the HD HomeRun Prime isn't really that different from other CableCARD tuners. As an example, with an InfiniTV4, you would need to install the drivers in order for Media Center to properly recognize the device. The same holds true with the Prime as you'll need to install their software before starting Media Center Live TV setup.

There is a software disk included with the tuner. As an alternative, the software is also available on SiliconDust's website. After installing the software it should run automatically. For me, it updated the firmware and then proceeded to the setup GUI. The setup procedure is straight forward and you shouldn't have any problems in adjusting what's needed such as adding your zip code and other required information.

Next you'll need to move into Media Center to complete the setup. The absolute first step is to run the Digital Cable Advisor tool as until you do, the tuners won't show up as available and you'll be stopped cold if you try to setup live TV. If you've never run the Digital Cable Advisor tool it's a very straight forward process and each step is easy to understand.

Once the DCA has been completed you're ready to start with live TV setup on the TV menu in Media Center. If you've installed SiliconDust's software and run the DCA you shouldn't have any issue in getting your tuners up and running. One thing that happened for me was that Media Center only found one tuner automatically. I simply walked through the tuner process manually and was able to add all three. You may need to do the same to ensure you have use of all three tuners on that PC.

Don't forget that when you get to the CableCARD information screen, remain there until you've called your cable provider and paired your CableCARD. Until paired both the tuner and the card itself are really just glorified bricks. I've had decent luck with pairing but be prepared to call more than once should the first person you speak with be unable to properly pair your devices.

Finishing Up

Once your tuners are up and running you should be all set to head into your guide and test a few channels. Be sure and check premium channels such as HBO or Showtime if you subscribe to ensure that your CableCARD has been setup properly by your MSO.

After you know everything is working as it should, it's a good time to go in and edit your guide or perform any other last minute changes you might want to make to your viewing experience. Scheduling series recordings, etc. You're now ready to enjoy three tuners worth of premium cable!

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