SiliconDust was a cord-cutting pioneer before it was fashionable. And now the company is taking to Kickstarter with a software update that adds additional TV-recording features to its line of networked DVRs.
The company currently offers a trio of HD HomeRun video streamers, which make antenna- or CableCard-based TV programming available on PCs or mobile devices. But the new software update extends DVR recording from a PC to a standalone hard drive on a network attached storage (NAS) drive. The new software also introduces a completely redesigned interface. And SiliconDust is promising "practically zero configuration" will be needed for the end user.
While users can still install this software on a computer, if they choose to go the network option it can be used with either a Western Digital MyCloud or QNAP NAS. The company says it is looking to extend the software to other NAS brands in the future if it meets its Kickstarter stretch goals.
We're used to seeing existing companies throwing new hardware up on Kickstarter in a bid to generate some presales, but this is the first time we've seen software upgrades for existing devices being sold this way.
Users of the HDHomeRun service are subject to a$30-a-year subscription fee for guide data and associated software updates. Alternatively, according to the Kickstarter page, $30 pledge entitles you to the 12-month subscription and will enable you to get the new software a month before other existing users. When contacted by CNET, SiliconDust President Theodore Head said there was no formal delivery date for the update, but "we hope to have [it] before [the] holidays this year."
HDHomeRun DVR software supports the HD HomeRun Connect, Extend andwhich previously relied on software being installed on a PC or Mac. It will not support the previous version of the Connect, the , which we reviewed back in 2012.
Head also noted that the software remains for local playback on a home network -- no remote (out of home) viewing of recorded content will be supported.
The updated HD HomeRun products will be competing with the similarand products, which also allow antenna-based TV to be viewed on various devices, including PCs, tablets, smartphones and Roku boxes.