From the horse’s mouth
Most of the “broadcast-LAN” server devices which stream broadcast content, whether from a regular antenna (aerial), cable TV or a satellite dish, to a computer network typically require the use of manufacturer-supplied software or drivers on regular computers or mobile devices on that network to gain access to the broadcast content on those devices.
But Silicon Dust, makers of the HDHomeRun “broadcast-LAN” devices have updated their HDHomeRun Prime CableCard-capable cable-TV device to work as a DLNA-compliant device. This means that if you use a DLNA-compliant media client device or run DLNA-compliant media-client software on your computer or smartphone, you can have access to the TV channels through this device.
This function is provided through a software upgrade to the HDHomeRun Prime broadcast-LAN devices, both the new units that are being sold as well as the existing models that are in service. The device will present itself to the DLNA Home Media Network as a Media Server with Premium Video support courtesy of DTCP-IP content security.
I see this more as a valid example of using DLNA as part of a “broadcast-LAN” solution thus providing for software-independent setups for these applications. This would also further the FCC’s desire for customer-friendly cable TV which is independent of particular cable-company-controlled hardware.
What could be seen of this kind of setup being available for the home network? One application may be the use of DLNA-compliant media client software in regular and mobile computing devices to turn these devices in to secondary TVs. This could extend to devices like smart TVs and video peripherals using their network connection effectively as an aerial connection.
As well, home and business users could benefit from being able to push live broadcast content to DLNA-enabled displays using the control point software. Example applications could range from using a tablet or smartphone to push TV programs to a smart TV in the home to bars and cafes pushing out sportscasts or key news broadcasts to the big screens using a POS computer.
One point of evolution I would like to see for these devices is DLNA-driven PVR applications for recording the broadcasts. This may be facilitated with the recording functionality and the broadcast tuner in the same box such as a “TV content server” application. On the other hand, a computer, network-attached storage or similar device picking up content from a device like this HDHomeRun and recording it to its own storage. Then this same device could serve out the content that it records to the DLNA Home Media Network.
It also encompasses the concept of applying “trick-play” to live broadcasts, including the ability to start watching from the beginning of a show even as the show is being recording, like one can do with most PVR setups. As well, there would be the ability for multi-room features like “start on one TV, continue on the other” that can be part of the expected feature set.
At least this device with the new firmware has shown itself as an example of implementing DLNA to a broadcast-network (broadcast-LAN) application.