Tag: Silicon Dust

HDHomeRun DUAL broadcast-LAN box to be refreshed for DLNA

Article – From the horse’s mouth

SiliconDust (HDHomeRun)

HDHomeRun DUAL | Welcome to SiliconDust (Product Page)

My Comments

After SiliconDust have enabled the HDHomeRun Prime 3-tuner and 6-tuner cable-TV broadcast-LAN tuners with DLNA digital-media-server functionality for both standard and premium content, they have taken steps to bring this concept out to more of their range broadcast-LAN boxes.

Here, they are in the throes of issuing the HDHomeRun Dual broadcast-LAN box which has two tuners and is capable of picking over-the-air and unencrypted basic cable TV content and serving it over a home network. This is not just to their software or software that runs particular programming interfaces but to network video equipment that supports DLNA like the PS3 or an increasing number of Blu-Ray players and Smart TVs.

At the moment, as the retransmission fights take place between TV networks and cable companies about how much the cable operators pay the TV networks to package their content, we are starting to see the need for a regular TV antenna in most US homes to pick up the full complement of local TV content. This is even though it would have been available via the cable TV services. Similarly, the trend towards cord-cutting has brought American households back to traditional over-the-air TV alongside Netfilx and Hulu.

This device is intending to either complement the HDHomeRun Prime to bring in the over-the-air content  (including local channels lost to cable in-fighting) to the computers, smartphones, tablets and DLNA devices using the home network. Similarly, it would be an economy solution that could please the most persistent cord-cutter who occasionally dabbles in over-the-air for news and sport.

But what I see of this device is that it could be the start of action to port the DLNA capability to DVB-based HDHomeRun broadcast-LAN boxes that will end up in most of the rest of the world.

There will also have to be a time where SiliconDust and others who make DLNA-capable broadcast-LAN devices will need to factor in installations where multiple devices of this type are serving the same network at any time in the network’s life. This may be to increase concurrent viewing/recording capacity or to add coverage for particular broadcast bands and modes to an existing setup. Here, it may require the ability to have one logical tuner device representing multiple physical devices when it comes to broadcast-LAN content sources.

HDHomeRun Prime is the first CableCARD tuner to deliver live TV to DLNA Devices


HDHomeRun Prime is the first CableCARD tuner to deliver live TV to DLNA Devices

From the horse’s mouth

Silicon Dust

Press Release

Product Page

My Comments

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.