HDHomeRun Adds Freecast to Its OTA ATSC 3.0 NextGen TV Box





Back in 2020, Silicondust released its first HDHomeRun NextGen TV FLEX 4K Tuner. Now these ATSC 3.0 NextGen Tuners will finally have support for the new OTA TV DRM. This means you will be able to watch all free OTA TV even if it is encrypted with DRM on the new ATSC 3.0 NextGen TV standard according to their announcement today.

Update: The makers of the HDHomeRun have denied that this update will support the new DRM standard. Freecast press release listed above still lists DRM support. We are reaching out for clarification from both companies.

2nd Update: The makers of Freecast have sent a new statement clarifying its initial mistake.

Correction: FreeCast currently supports DRM for all of the streaming content within our apps and those same apps are prepared for when HDHomeRun devices begin to support DRM Protection for OTA broadcasting channels as well others. Likewise this blended thought caused similar confusion for the copywriter, which is on us. We appreciate those that brought this to our attention and hope those same individuals continue to keep us on top of our game about what we are capable of doing. Our goal is always to be the best advocates for those wanting to bring all of their content into one place and to do our best to eliminate the frustrations consumers have around this OTA/OTT topic.

Here is the press release from Freecast that includes the part about DRM.

FreeCast integrates ATSC 3.0 broadcast channels into the same FreeCast guide that already features over 700 free streaming channels and more than 500,000 on-demand movies and TV episodes. With the FreeCast app installed on an HD HomeRun device attached to a wifi router, all of this content is made available on all devices on the network. FreeCast’s software supports all necessary digital rights management (DRM) for encrypted digital content and OTA broadcasts, allowing for a reliable, secure, and fully legal television experience that unites streaming and local over-the-air TV.

This comes as SinliconDust, the parent company of the HDHomeRun boxes, announced a partnership with FreeCast. Now all new HDHomeRun boxes will come loaded with the FreeCast app that has DRM support built in.

“What we’re doing is pairing the latest in TV software, our SmartGuide, with the latest in TV hardware, HD HomeRun boxes with next-gen ATSC 3.0 tuners and DVR functionality. These are great devices to power our FreeCast service, and we’re excited to be able to offer that to current device owners too.”‍ Said William Mobley, FreeCast’s CEO.

With ATSC 3.0 NextGen TV, you can get 4K TV, improved sound, better weather alerts, and a ton of other features are coming with the NextGen TV ATSC 3.0 free over-the-air TV. For some time now, the issue has been no good tuners to take advantage of everything it has to offer now though there is a growing number of tuners hitting the market.

Current owners of the HDHomeRun FLEX 4K can run an update to take advantage of all the fixes and improvements that have come with this testing process, according to FreeCast and Silicondust. You will just need to download a free update to add the FreeCast software to your box.

HD HomeRun models that support the new FreeCast apps include the Duo (gen 2 and up), Flex, Flex 4K, and Scribe 4K.

Here are the features of the HDHomeRun Flex 4K NextGen TV Tuner:

  • All the features of the HDHomeRun CONNECT QUATRO & 4K models plus optional DVR by connecting a USB hard drive (requires paid TV guide for DVR record)
  • 4 tuners (2 ATSC 3.0, all 4 ATSC 1.0)
  • Watch and record in full 1080p and 4K HDR resolution where available
  • View on many devices and platforms. Windows 10/UWP including PCs, surface, tablets and phones; Android including phones, tablets and smart media boxes; Apple including computers, iPhones, and iPads. Also, Plex plugins can be used for third party applications.

Here is how Silicondust describes this tuner:

  • FLEX – the next generation HDHomeRun CONNECT 4K
  • Watch live TV on multiple devices simultaneously throughout your home with our Multi room Multi user network tuner solution
  • All the features of the HDHomeRun CONNECT QUATRO & 4K models plus optional DVR by connecting a USB hard drive (requires paid TV guide for DVR record)
  • ATSC 1.0 content is compatible with XBoxOne AppleTV iPhone iPad Win10/11 Mac Android FireTV Sony and LG devices. ATSC 3.0 content is compatible with XBoxOne AppleTV iPhone iPad Win10/11 Mac Sony most-Android most-FireTV and 2019+LG devices. Live TV and playback support on some Roku models.
  • 4 tuners (2 ATSC 3.0, all 4 ATSC 1.0)

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