HDHomeRun and Linux

With a few guests coming over tomorrow afternoon for beers in the garage and the Hawks playing on the box, I thought we might need some TV where we are drinking.  I thought, no problems, I’ll get the Windows notebook out and set it up in the garage and stream TV from the HD Home Run unit in the lounge room.  But I didn’t really want to go and dismantle the notebook or have the good notebook subject to beer and chips so I wondered if I could get the unit streaming to my Linux laptop?

I’ve had a HD Home Run device for about a year now and have found it to work pretty well on my Windows 7 setup and really never thought about giving it a go or at least trying to get it working on Linux.

I have just recently been playing with various distributions, OpenSUSE 12.3 and now Linux Mint 14.  So first of all I thought I’d just have a check in the synaptic package manager to see if there was anything HD Home Run located within.  Low and behold, the HD Home Run (libhdhomerun1, hdhomerun-config, hdhomerun-config-gui) packages exist as standard.  I simply installed the packages, the HDHomeRun GUI item appeared in the Sounds & Video menu and I was good to go.  Note:  If you run Linux Mint Debian Edition (LMDE), then the hdhomerun-config-gui does not exist in the Debian repositories yet.  Unsupported, but still works, you can grab the applicable *-gui from the Ubuntu archive and then install it like:

dpkg -i hdhomerun-config-gui_20120128-0ubuntu2_amd64.deb

for example.  This will install it and it appears to work ok for me but YMMV.

Simply running the GUI config tool, I could see my tuner, select a channel and hit the view button and I was watching High-Definition TV straight on my Linux Mint notebook.

For bonus points, where I want to record TV, you can simply direct output streaming from the units tuner by the following command:

hdhomerun_config <unit ID> save /tuner# <recording name>


  • <unit ID> is the number shown in the hdhomerun config tool
  • /tuner# is the tuner ID.  So for example it would either be /tuner0 or /tuner1
  • <recording name> is the name of the file you will be outputting to.  As this is a .TS stream, use a .ts prefix for easy identification by your media player.

Simply opening up the the resulting file with VLC, you can watch the TV you have recorded, nativity – without conversion.