PHOENIX—The first standalone tuner compatible with ATSC 3.0 (aka NextGen TV) arrived on Amazon earlier this month. The HDHomeRun Flex 4K from SiliconDust—which got its start via a Kickstarter campaign last year—can now be had for $199 for Amazon customers.
The box is an upgrade of its HDHomeRun product line of OTA DVRs and includes four ATSC tuners, two of which support ATSC 3.0. The HDHomeRun Flex 4K was launched by SiliconDust a year ago via a very successful Kickstarter campaign that quadrupled its goal on the very first day.
SiliconDust CEO Nick Kelsey described the inner workings of the HDHomeRun 4K’s support for ATSC 3.0:
“The HDHomeRun FLEX 4K receives ATSC 3.0 channels and converts them into a stream format compatible with client devices that support HEVC video and AC4 audio. Rather than a set-top-box at every TV you have one HDHomeRun video hotspot that serves content to all your screens,” he said. “Pretty much everything made in the last 4 years supports HEVC video so compatibility revolves around AC4 audio.”
“Today the HDHomeRun FLEX 4K works with XBox One, Apple TV 4K, LG televisions 2019+, most Windows 10 devices, many Android/FireTV devices, select Mac/iPhone/iPad devices,” he continued. “We work hard to provide the best possible experience and understand customers want to use a wider range of devices. We are currently testing a cloud-assisted solution that enables ATSC 3.0 on all modern Windows 10, Mac, iOS, AppleTV, Android, and FireTV devices.”
Another consumer ATSC 3.0 standalone box, the Zapperbox is expected to begin shipping in September for a retail price of $329.
Tom Butts has been the editor in chief of TV Technology since 2001. He started out in this industry reporting for member communications for the National Association of Broadcasters in 1995. He is also former editor of DTV Business for Phillips Publishing (now Access Intelligence) and launched digitalbroadcasting.com for VerticalNet in 1999. He is a graduate of the University of Maine.
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