2 issues - HDHR app without internet + static IP

Help and support for HDHomeRun DVR and HDHomeRun software for Windows 10, Mac, Android, XBox, etc.
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Hugh
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Joined: Fri Sep 03, 2021 3:22 pm

2 issues - HDHR app without internet + static IP

Post by Hugh »

Hello,
New to the HDHomerun system although an experienced broadcast engineer. We recently purchased an HDHomeRun Flex 4K as a test for OTA in our production environments and are having two issues -

1 - The HDHomeRun app from SiliconDust does not function without an active internet connection. I can see that it's needed for guide data and future program information, but it certainly should not be needed to simply tune OTA to a client. Is this for SiliconDust user data tracking purposes or some other reason? I can't think of a genuine necessity besides the obviously enhanced guide data.
Two reasons I care -
A - we use large class A networks in our broadcast environments and a significant number of those subnets are not allowed to connect to the internet for media data security purposes, and I can assure you the data police in LA production studios are strict. We need to be able to tune OTA on a network not connected to the internet.
B - If this test is successful I'd like to try one at home, but when the internet is out I can't tune OTA. That's not what I'm looking for because, by definition, OTA is OTA, and there's not a client-useful reason it should rely on internet for basic tuning features.

2 - I'm unable to assign a static IP to our Flex 4k. In some of our facilities everything on a given subnet must have a static IP, those are the rules. If the Flex 4k can't be assigned a static IP then it can't be used. A fixed lease is not an option, there's no DHCP server on these subnets to hand out to the Flex 4k.

Any suggestions on what to do here?
1 - I gave the Channels app a quick test and after setting up the Channels dvr on a public network I moved it to the private network and it appeared to tune the Flex 4k just fine. At this point I'm not able to determine if the Channels dvr can run with no internet - obviously no guide data but will it run as a basic Flex 4k tuning server after it's 2-week guide data is gone? Not indefinitely because it requires an online account authorization at some indeterminate interval. I may or may not be able to add a nic and set up some routing rules so the Channels dvr can see internet and still work on the private network, tbd, but obviously the HDHomeRun app, not needing authorization, running without internet is a better option. Especially since our editor's Macs can use the HDHomeRun app but there's no Channels app except via transcoded web streaming.

2 - Static IP - we need that or it can't be used in our environments.

Thank you for any assistance,
Hugh

signcarver
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Re: 2 issues - HDHR app without internet + static IP

Post by signcarver »

SD's app needs internet access to load the UI... and the device needs internet access if you plan on using SD's guide as every 8 hours it checks in to renew/update it's DeviceAuth which is used to retrieve the guide data and is access to your account if you have the DVR. Hopefully at some point they will have "native" UI but when they previously had that and pushed out a fix, people weren't getting the new UI so they made it so their app must have internet connection to load the UI prior to doing anything else. Most other applications would not need access to the internet at all.

Since there is no reset button, their consumer models only support DHCP and APIPA to get an IP (and they even keep the apipa address (ipv4 link local) in the similar to the way that ipv6 behaves though I can't think of anyone else that would do so with ipv4) as they feel it would be too hard for a consumer to recover (i.e. they change routers and they now have a new default subnet). One can generally set a reservation in their dhcp server so the device always gets the same ip. To have static ip, one would have to purchase one of their commercial TECH models (which last I checked didn't fully work with their apps). These models are typically used to setup multicast streams that anyone in the network (or certain tvs/displays) tune into the stream.

Hugh
Posts: 3
Joined: Fri Sep 03, 2021 3:22 pm

Re: 2 issues - HDHR app without internet + static IP

Post by Hugh »

Hello signcarver,

Thank you for the detailed response. The consistent gui is a reasonable explanation for the internet necessity but it is a liability in our case. As mentioned many of our subnets cannot reach the internet. The studio data police assume anything calling home is reporting user data and a potential network breach (every device has vulnerabilities somewhere), both common assumptions in media production. Also, because it's OTA, the application should simply be able to tune the tuners on the same network without things like guide data etc. Seems to be an oversight to me and some others in our facilities.

Also interesting about the static IP - that puts it off our list immediately unfortunately. Nearly every *nix device we use has a reset capability in some way, and the few that don't can be reached via broadcast so at least we can set our nics to match and reconfigure. Again, seems like an oversight but I suppose it cuts down on support emails as you noted.

Thanks for the recommendation of the TECH models. I went through the op manual for one of them and there's a reasonable cli to configure and tune the device. Unfortunately the configure gui is windows only, no mac version and our editors are mostly mac users. VLC is a possibility but we'll need to build some cli scripts to tune the device, and then we'll have to train mac users to enter addresses and port numbers in VLC. What could go wrong? Maybe use a NUC as an admin gui. We'll see if we want to go to the trouble.

We're disappointed because in research the consumer HDHR tuners seem to be highly regarded network tuners for not a lot of money. The Flex won't work for us and the TECH is not Mac friendly. Channels is an option if we can keep it off the internet except for recurring authorization. Again, may be too much trouble.

Thanks again,
Hugh

nickk
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Re: 2 issues - HDHR app without internet + static IP

Post by nickk »

Hugh wrote: Sat Sep 04, 2021 10:59 am Also, because it's OTA, the application should simply be able to tune the tuners on the same network without things like guide data etc. Seems to be an oversight to me and some others in our facilities.
The HDHomeRun hardware works fine without internet.
The HDHomeRun apps provide a rich guide driven experience that needs internet. If you only watch to watch TV without the UI experience then you can use any number of third party apps with the HDHomeRun hardware - anything with DLNA support including VLC.
Hugh wrote: Sat Sep 04, 2021 10:59 amAlso interesting about the static IP - that puts it off our list immediately unfortunately. Nearly every *nix device we use has a reset capability in some way, and the few that don't can be reached via broadcast so at least we can set our nics to match and reconfigure. Again, seems like an oversight but I suppose it cuts down on support emails as you noted.
It sounds like you are in an enterprise environment - static IP is supported on our TECH models for enterprise use. For home use the goal is for a "plug it in and it works" experience.
Hugh wrote: Sat Sep 04, 2021 10:59 am Thanks for the recommendation of the TECH models. I went through the op manual for one of them and there's a reasonable cli to configure and tune the device. Unfortunately the configure gui is windows only, no mac version and our editors are mostly mac users. VLC is a possibility but we'll need to build some cli scripts to tune the device, and then we'll have to train mac users to enter addresses and port numbers in VLC. What could go wrong? Maybe use a NUC as an admin gui. We'll see if we want to go to the trouble.
You may be overthinking things...
Launch VLC, select the HDHomeRun as a UPnP/DLNA device to see the list of channels, then select a channel to watch.
No configuration needed. Works fine on Mac.

Hugh
Posts: 3
Joined: Fri Sep 03, 2021 3:22 pm

Re: 2 issues - HDHR app without internet + static IP

Post by Hugh »

Hello nickk,

Sorry for the delay in responding, been very busy on a show this week.

You are correct about the overthinking, I did not know that VLC had DLNA functionality. I just tried it on the Flex and it works fine. No guide data but we don't care about that, we just need the occasional tuning capability. It appears the Flex does not multicast by default although I may be mistaken, how many clients can a Flex 4k stream to assuming a typical HD mpeg2 stream?

Now for static ip. We'll talk to the IT police and see what we can work out, either a small DHCP switch or something. It's possible for the multicast capability we may need the Tech model, we'll see how this goes and how many folks we need to service.

Thanks again for the assistance.
Tuning without internet with VLC - that will work fine.
No static IP - tbd.

Sincerely,
Hugh

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