Multiple HDHomerun Prime Tuners with TVHeadend
I have 7 HDHomerun Prime network tuners (total of 21 tuners) and I use Tivimate to connect to them. Right now I use Channels DVR Server as a middle man because I can load all 7 tuners into it and it will pick from the available tuners across the 7 devices. Channels costs me about $6 a month so I'm looking for an alternative to be the broker for the connections. I am wondering if TVHeadend has an ability to have 7 devices with the same channel lineup and can pick from the available tuner pool.
I'm rarely here, but I saw your post and figured I'd offer my perspective. I used to use TVH with multiple Primes for several years, so you definitely can do what you want. However, it requires a bit of manual configuration on your part. (I actually switched from TVH to Channels, for two main reasons: the pain of not maintaining my configuration manually was worth the $55/yr cost increase, and the excellent remote streaming support. As an added bonus, their developers are far more responsive and features get added far more quickly. Just my opinion.)
If you are going to use the Prime with TVH, you need to be aware of the limitations. The Prime is very different from every other HDHR, because you can only use TVH's native driver that tunes by frequency and program ID for ClearQAM channels. If you're using the Prime, chances are you're using a CableCARD, which means the traditional manner won't work. With a CableCARD you must tune by virtual channel number, which is a bit of a pain with TVH. You basically have 2 options:
1. Create a separate M3U playlist for each of your physical tuners. Basically your files will look like:
#EXTM3U #EXTINF:-1,CALLSIGN1 http://188.8.131.52:5004/auto/v123 #EXTINF:-1,CALLSIGN2 http://184.108.40.206:5004/auto/v456
and so on. There are tags you can populate between the duration and title portions, but you can get the gist. You need a separate one of these for each tuner, replacing the IP addresses of your tuners each time. Then, when you add it as an IPTV source in TVH, you need to specify that each tuner has a max of 3 streams. In general, this works great, and is essentially how Channels handles things. The downside is that you need to generate your M3Us yourself.
2. Your second option is to use TVH's native HDHR driver. Several years ago I adapted the driver to allow it to be used with a Prime. When you create muxes on your devices, instead of specifying the frequency, instead you supply the cable channel number. In that case, TVH will talk to the Prime and request the decrypted channel for you. The advantage with this setup is that you also get the signal strength, SNR, error rate, and all of the other statistics that are supplied by the Prime. Using the playlist/IPTV method described above denies you of those niceties.
Which route you go is up to you. In either case, you're still going to be paying for guide data. With TVH, that means configuring a separate third-party program to feed it the data; generally that's a Schedules Direct subscription and tv_grab_zz_sdjson_sqlite. The guide data will cost you $25/yr, and the grabber needs to be separately configured. Then, after you configure the grabber, you need to configure the "services" within TVH (channels, as you know them) to use the proper guide data.
So, yes, you can definitely use multiple Primes with TVH. Whether that's worth $55/year instead of using Channels, is up to you.