Apple and Android device users looking to take advantage of new free NextGenTV (aka ATSC 3.0) over-the-air (OTA) broadcasts along with DVR recording capability now have access to Update IIe of SiliconDust’s HDHomeRun app for Apple TV 4K streamers.

The app update will allow owners of an HDHomeRun with ATSC 3.0 OTA tuner, like the $199.99 suggested retail HDHomeRun CONNECT 4K (model HDHR5-4K), to tune in free NextGenTV OTA broadcasts, via an Apple TV 4K media streamer connected to a television set, where signals are available.

This will enable receiving and recording broadcasts via connected Wi-Fi devices, like the Apple TV 4K media streamers, for playback on a connected TV set, using apps on iPhones, iPads and Android devices for scheduling recordings on recording devices like Mac computers, for example, with the HDHomeRun CONNECT 4K serving as the ATSC 3.0 OTA tuner.

The SiliconDust HDHomeRun CONNECT 4K enables sending the received signal over a Wi-Fi or ethernet connected DVR recording device. Saved recordings can then be accessed and played back wireless by the app on the Apple TV 4K device. Optional HDHomeRun DVR software requires a TV guide subscription of $35 per year.

The HDHomeRun CONNECT 4K supports 2 ATSC 3.0 tuners where signals are available, SiliconDust said on its web site. A list of markets where ATSC 3.0 broadcast signals are available or planned is available here.

The networked solution is an elegant (and potentially less expensive) way of receiving and viewing new ATSC 3.0 TV broadcasts in up to 4K resolution (if available) as new stations go live in local TV markets across the country. In addition, the HDHomeRun solution allows viewers to purchase a single box to serve multiple displays, without the need to buy a separate tuner box or dongle for ever display on the network.

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Furthermore, because of the advanced quality of the ATSC 3.0 broadcast signal, some viewers might be able to watch programs in markets where ATSC 1.0 digital TV reception has been difficult to pick up to date. Additionally, in some situations, mobile devices in motion will be able to lock in live broadcast signals.

The NextGenTV platform features a hybrid OTA/web-connected delivery platform carrying broadcasters’ new channels, which for now will supplement their existing ATSC 1.0 digital stations. These legacy channels will remain available for a number of years as all markets voluntarily transition to NextGen TV in months and years ahead.

Unlike the original digital TV transion, the implementation of NextGenTV carries no government mandates or timelines for broadcasters or TV manufacturers to follow, although it’s expected that as more and more viewers adopt supporting hardware those transitions will begin to organically appear and evolve.

Among the many features and capabilities available to broadcasters and consumers via the platform is more robust signal reception, high resolution video, advanced surround sound (like AC-4), support for high dynamic range (HDR) along with HD, Full HD or 4K resolution video broadcasts, interactive programming and advertising, conditional access premium television services, robust reception by mobile TV devices, advanced emergency broadcast platforms and many other benefits.

The platform was also designed to be updated such that new features and advancements can be adopted and implemented over time without the need to change out a whole new broadcast platform.

Key features of the HDHome Run CONNECT 4k include: the ability to watch live HDTV and 4K on up to 4 devices (2 4K and 2 HD) simultaneously on your WiFi or wired network; the ability to watch and record in Full HD 1080p and 4K HDR resolution where available; program streaming via DLNA compatible devices on a network; compatibility with Windows 10/UWP including PCs, surface, tablets and phones; Android including phones, tablets and smart media boxes; Apple including computers, iPhones, and iPads and Plex plugins using certain third-party applications.

The unit is equipped with 4 tuners (2 ATSC 3.0/1.0 and 2 ATSC 1.0); cable tuning for QAM64/256 (unencrypted digital cable signals where available); and 100BASE TX high-speed network support.

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By Greg Tarr

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