What you need to know
- HDHomeRun can now be used with Roku devices.
- The channel (app, really) has graduated from the beta track.
- It's still a little rough around the edges — it's just easier to download.
One of the easiest ways to watch free over-the-air television — as in with an antenna — is now officially available on the largest streaming hardware platform. HDHomeRun has graduated to the official Roku Channel Store.
There are caveats, though.
Most important is that HDHomeRun, in its tweet announcing the release, says that you still basically need to treat the channel like a beta product, because it is. It's just "much easier to install now," they wrote — and they're certainly correct about that. It's not going to blow up your Roku or anything, but it's also definitely not as nearly as polished a product as we'd like to see.
Another caveat is that the Roku channel still only handles live TV. So if you're using the new HDHomeRun Scribe or Servio, or recording on your own home server, you won't yet be able to play things back via Roku.
And, of course, you'll need to have one of the supported Roku devices. If you have something relatively new you should be OK. But just know that there are version requirements.
We've been using the HDHomeRun Roku app in its beta form for a few weeks now. It's not all that much in the looks department — there's certainly still some work to be done there. But it pretty much gets the job done, allowing you to watch your home antenna feed over your Roku devices. Why is that so important? It was a pretty big hole in the lineup of supported devices, and that was a big miss considering Roku has something like a 36-percentage point lead over the next biggest streaming hardware provider.
HDHomeRun also is available on Android TV, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Mac and Windows.
A quick and easy way to get your Roku on
Roku has a whole world of devices, but Roku Premiere is one of the easiest (and affordable ways) to get your Roku on. Plus it supports the new HDHomeRun channel.
HDHomeRun Quatro ($128 at Best Buy)
Free TV, everywhere
HDHomeRun Quatro lets you take a single antenna and share the feed over as many as 4 devices on your home network — and that now includes Roku.
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