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IFA 2010: PCTV’s Broadway Seeks to Steal HDHomeRun’s Network Tuner Crown

Here at WGS we’ve talked a lot of about the convenience of network-based tuners, which allow you to pass a signal from your TV antenna around your home network and watch Live TV on any computer. To date, Silicon Dust’s HDHomeRun has been the product of choice, and has remained unchallenged for a number of years (check out our reviews of the UK and US versions of the product). That’s all set to change with Broadway by PCTV Systems which is a network TV receiver with twin DVB-T tuners.

broadway1Broadway2

Whilst at first glance, Broadway may seem very similar to HDHomeRun, it adds two big features – firstly, it offers both wired and wireless network connections, pushing out TV over 802.11n Wi-Fi or Ethernet connection in the home. Secondly, Broadway ships with PCTV’s DistanTV software, which will stream Live and recorded TV remotely over a Wi-Fi or 3G connection to an iPad, iPod Touch or iPhone. Indeed, as TV is viewed in the browser, you should be able to stream to a host of devices remotely as long as they can decode H.264.

broadwayiPad DistanTV-mobile-HomeEnglish-Settings

If you’re concerned about remote streaming speeds, then you’re not alone – it was the first question I asked Jörn Lembke, PCTV’s General Manager on Saturday. Jörn told me that the Broadway converts the DVB-T live signal to the more compact H.264 format before streaming it wirelessly, and checks the device it is streaming to as well as bandwidth available before adapting the streaming bitrate accordingly.

PCTV-Systems-Broadway-Live-TV-Broadcast

Check out this short demo video from iphonia.it of the Broadway in action.

PCTV Broadway

As an existing HDHomeRun user, I’ll be very interested in checking Broadway out when it’s released later in the year, and we’re hoping to get a review unit as soon as possible. PCTV told me to expect pricing to be under 200 € at launch.

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Terry Walsh is the founder of We Got Served. He started the community in February 2007 with a mission to help families, tech enthusiasts everywhere figure out the technology needed to run the modern home and small business. He's the author of a number of guides to Windows, Windows Server and OS X Server and runs his own successful publishing business. Born and raised in Liverpool, England, Terry has been awarded Microsoft's prestigious Most Valuable Professional Award each year since 2008 for his work on We Got Served.
  • phaze

    What I want to know is if it will have Windows media center support.

    Recently Avermedia presented a similar unit (no wirless though), network dual tuner, but I sent them an email asking if it had MC support, they said they are working on it…

  • boggy4062

    Competition is good… very good!

  • LeftSide

    Are those RCA analog out plugs or in plugs? It would be amazing if they were RCA in plugs. I could finally stream Satellite around the house.

    • pctv

      They are inputs.

  • MJ

    Looks interesting but can't see myself upgrading from the HDHR until there's a network tuner that supports DVB-T2 for Freeview HD. Surely only matter of time now…

  • Nathaneil

    What's with the USB ports? For IR blasters perhaps?

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