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Direct HDHomeRun support may be dropped from XBMC's core in the future in favor of PVR functionality, which can better handle talking to HDHomeRun devices. Because of this, expect support for this feature to be limited going forward. It should still work as of XBMC v12 Frodo.
Having an HDHomeRun box on your network allows you to watch Live TV directly from XBMC.
1 What is HDHomeRun?
HDHomeRun (by SiliconDust) is a stand-alone Networked Digital Cable TV/HDTV Tuner box available in two models, one ATSC (American market) model and one DVB-T/DVB-C model (Europe/Australia/New Zealand/Taiwan).
You connect the TV antenna cable to the HDHomeRun box and it will scan and tune all channels, and via its built-in network-port the HDHomeRun box willl share and stream the channels over local-network using to supported clients such as XBMC.
2 hdhomerun:// network protocol
The hdhomerun:// protocol was released as a supported source in XBMC Media Center 8.10 and later.
To communicate with a HDHomeRun, add a new Source from the videos section in XBMC, the source should have a URL that looks like:
<xml> <source> <name>HDHomeRun</name> <path>hdhomerun://</path> </source> </xml>
3 How to watch live TV from an HDHomeRun device in XBMC
- We assume that your HDHomeRun device is up and running in your network and is accessible from the XBMC computer. To test that add a new video source and in a Browse dialog select an HDHomeRun device: after clicking on it XBMC will perform a network search and show you the list of available HDHomeRun devices. Verify that your device is in the list. You don't have to complete adding a new source and may click cancel at this point.
- XBMC accesses a live TV network video stream from an HDHomeRun device via a URL using a built-in HDHomeRun driver. You can either configure a corresponding video source for each channel that you want to watch from the HDHomeRun or you can generate a list of text files with .strm extension each of them containing a single URL line that points to a certain channel.
- To generate .strm files on a Windows computer see Windows HDHomerun Stream Builder or this guide. For a Linux or Mac OS X machine see here.
- Note: these scripts generate different output. If one didn't work for you, try another. For combination Eden beta/Fedora 16/HDHR Prime/Comcast Bay Area, hdhomeruntoolbox worked, while hdhr-mkchan did not.
- When you have the .strm files copy them to some folder on your XBMC machine and then create a new video source and point it to that folder. When you select that video source you'll see a list of .strm files. By clicking on any of them XBMC will play back a corresponding live TV channel. Switching channels is done exactly like switching between movies: stop the currently viewed channel then select and click on another one in the list.
- For XBMC on Windows to play live TV from an HDHomeRun you need to manually configure a firewall if it's turned on. Add a new rule for an application, select XBMC executable and then select "private" network and you are done.
- If you have any problems with configuring XBMC for HDHomeRun use reach out for help here.