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Old 2010-08-11, 02:55 PM   #1
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Question Stream ATSC OTA over LAN? (HD Homerun?)

I just got a silicone dust HD Homerun box and it gave me an idea. It converts the ATSC OTA signal to IP and lets you stream it over your home network to various devices in your house.

I think it would be cool if they weatherproofed the box so you could mount it outside on the mast of your antenna. I know the technology exists to send power over ethernet cable so they could power it that way. If they built a high quality amp into it you'd be set.

Think about it, if you ran some good RG-11 from the balun on your antenna just a couple of feet into this box on the mast of your antenna there would be practically no loss whatsoever. You could do all of your splitting with your network router, and you wouldn't need RF coming into your house at all. You'd just be routing IP traffic. And unlike splitting an RF signal, routing IP traffic is lossless. You can even do it wirelessly.

Another thing that would be cool would be if they built a GUI into the box so you could talk to it on your computer. If they made a rotor that connected to the box so you could control the rotor with your PC -- or better yet if the box was smart enough to peak the signal for you (if you asked it to) that would be awesome.

I know the technology exists to do all of this, somebody just has to put it together, and if they did I'd definitely set-up my system that way.
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Old 2010-08-11, 03:16 PM   #2
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Silicon Dust has a "tech" (i.e. a "high end") version of the HDHomeRun, and I thought it would've been great if they had a Power over Ethernet capability in that product. Then it might be worth the premium over the original dual-tuner HDHomeRun

Maybe Silicon Dust will do PoE in a future product. I think the limiting factor for PoE is that there aren't many PoE switches available to consumers. I think the cheapest gigabit PoE switch is the Netgear GS110TP (8 port "smart" switch /w PoE) @ ~$260USD.
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Old 2010-08-11, 05:44 PM   #3
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I've seen similar ideas posted here as well. And while I like the concept, I can't help but wonder how weather would impact the technology? Extreme cold and heat, lightning, etc.

The Ham V rotor I use does have RS232 data capabilities to the control box. It's quite easy to write software to manage the control aspect of the rotor.
DMX 68' tower, HyGain HAM 5 rotator, Antennas Direct 91-XG & C5, Channel Master 7777 preamp, Siemens surge protection
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Old 2010-08-11, 05:53 PM   #4
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I'm not familiar with this product, but if it's only a 100Mbps ethernet connection, then it requires only 4 of the 8 wires in CAT5 anyways. You could use the other 4 conductors and make your own power pigtail connection.

I know I've seen ethernet power inserters, and they could be used for this purpose. Or, you can buy a cat5 network jack and make your own.
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Old 2010-08-11, 08:09 PM   #5
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You can purchase a POE injector/adapter for as little as $20.
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Old 2011-02-11, 10:11 AM   #6
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So has anyone tried this?? I think I might give a go when the HDHR3 is available.

Even if you haven't does anyone have a suggestion for a weatherproof enclosure for this application -- mounted on tower?
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Old 2011-02-11, 11:13 AM   #7
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My concern about it is just like others have said - it is not a simple OTA component up there like a preamp, therefore it is not designed for years and years of continuous use during Canada's wildly changing weather conditions. Of course it also becomes a real hassle (maybe even hazard) to have climb up there to access it as needed! Remember also that only in deepest fringe areas are dBs of signal loss from coax cable so critical that a typical downlead would be too long.
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Old 2011-02-12, 09:59 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by DancesWithLysol View Post
Maybe Silicon Dust will do PoE in a future product. I think the limiting factor for PoE is that there aren't many PoE switches available to consumers. I think the cheapest gigabit PoE switch is the Netgear GS110TP (8 port "smart" switch /w PoE) @ ~$260USD.
I'd suggest getting a poe injector like

(note that I don't recommend that specific model). I haved used many of those injector professionnally and I don't expect that they cost much more than 15$ (ordered from China, of course). In any ways, it is much cheaper than a switch.

What you have to watch for however, is how the power is injected. The 802.3af allows 2 ways to inject power. One method is compatible with Gigabit ethernet, the other is not. So when bying a power injecter, make sure that it's written on the power supply that it is gigabit compatible (if you need gigabit, of course).

Another thing to consider is that POE (802.3af) only delivers 12.95W to the device, so if your device uses more than that, you don't have a solution. There is POE2 (802.3at), but I haven't used those device so I can't comment on availability.

A third thing to consider is the effect of the sun. When designing casing for product and figuring out what is the size required to dissipate the power generated by the electronic, we find it is VERY difficult to design for something exposed to the sun. It is increadible how much heat the sun generates on an enclosure. It would most probably required forced ventilation (a fan) which then will allow humidity to get in the enclosure, and require more power (I haven't seen a poe fan...)


ps: I also saw which looks fun. It injects power over the ethernet wire and then splits it on the other side to 5V, 7.5V, 9V or 12V. If you have a device that already uses a wall-wart at one of those voltage, then it may be a solution! And you can also find some fans running on DC.

Last edited by jflarin; 2011-02-12 at 10:10 AM. Reason: other solution
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Old 2011-02-12, 12:13 PM   #9
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Yeah, but using a PoE injector doesn't really give you an elegant solution when the HDHomeRun TECH itself doesn't support PoE to begin with. My main issue is that the HDHomeRun TECH product doesn't support it. Even if you did the injector thing, you'd still have a kludge at either end of the ethernet connection.

I'm just saying that for the premium price that the HDHomeRun TECH commands, adding PoE support would have been nice.

Either way, mounting a HDHR outside is a bad idea, even in an enclosure. I'd be surprised if it had a operating temperature range much below -15C. I can't seem to find that information on it's spec sheet though.

Of course, if you want every dB you can get, apparently the HDHR3 has two internals tuners in one RF connection, so you don't need to split and take signal loss before it gets to the pair of tuners.
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