HDHomeRun Scribe Quatro and Servio review: Great video quality, but clunky software

    For cord-cutters, organising an over-the-air DVR that delivers the very best image high quality on a number of televisions has by no means been simple or low-cost. That leaves a wide-open alternative for Silicon Dust’s HDHomeRun Scribe DVR and its sibling, the HDHomeRun Servio.

    TiVo’s Bolt OTA, as an example, requires expensive add-on bins to observe on a number of televisions, whereas such roll-your-own options as Plex DVR and Channels DVR require cobbling collectively TV tuners and server {hardware} from disparate distributors. Networked tuners such because the Tablo Quad, in the meantime, usually don’t play over-the-air channels of their native broadcast high quality, limiting their enchantment to videophiles.

    SiliconDust’s HDHomeRun Scribe and Servio DVRs lastly examine the precise price and high quality bins, recording over-the-air channels at full high quality and streaming the video to different units (together with Roku gamers, Fire TV Sticks, and extra) linked to TVs all through the house. The {hardware} can be fairly priced, beginning at $200 for all the things however the antenna, as is the DVR service at $35 per 12 months, with one 12 months of service included. Setup is easy as well.

    hdhomerunscribeserviohero Jared Newman / IDG

    SiliconDust’s HDHomeRun Scribe (left) has an antenna enter, whereas its Servio (proper) doesn’t.

    The downside, as at all times, is HDHomeRun’s software program, which has improved during the last 18 months, however continues to be tougher to work with and has fewer options than different over-the-air DVRs. Whether the Scribe and Servio are best for you depend upon how a lot of that clunkiness you’re keen to tolerate.

    HDHomeRun DVR: Scribe vs. Servio

    Unlike HDHomeRun’s Connect and Extend tuners, the HDHomeRun Scribe doesn’t require you to provide your personal storage or server {hardware}. Instead, the recording engine, TV tuner, and 1TB of storage are all constructed into one field. You want solely present an over-the-air antenna, which will be an indoor or out of doors mannequin.

    Setup is virtually plug-and-play as effectively. After screwing in an antenna, plugging within the energy adapter, and connecting the field to your router with an ethernet cable, you’ll be able to go to the my.hdhomerun website to complete the setup. SiliconDust sells two variations of the Scribe: The $200 Duo can play and/or document as much as two channels at a time, and the $250 Quatro can play and/or document as much as 4 channels simulltaneously.

    hdhomerunsetup Jared Newman / IDG

    Once all the things’s plugged in, you solely want to go to to run a channel scan.

    Compared to the Scribe, the $150 HDHomeRun Servio is extra of an improve for people who already personal a separate HDHomeRun Connect or Extend tuner. As such, it consists of the recording engine and 1TB of storage, however there’s no provision to plug in an antenna as a result of it doesn’t host a tuner.

    Unlike a TiVo or cable DVR, HDHomeRun doesn’t output video on to your tv. Once you’ve arrange the {hardware}, you have to stream dwell and recorded TV to the HDHomeRun app, which is offered for Amazon Fire TV units, Android TV, Roku gamers and lots of good TVs, Xbox One consoles, Windows, iOS, and Android cellular. The most notable omissions listed here are Apple TV, Chromecast, LG WebOS TVs, and Samsung good TVs.

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