HDHomeRun app update released for Amazon Fire TV
SiliconDust released an updated HDHomeRun app for Amazon Fire TV that will deliver OTA broadcasts through HDHomeRun tuners.
The new app doesn’t officially work with the Fire TV Stick, and it’s currently blacklisted by Amazon. Some customers have been able to sideload the app on Fire TV sticks, but sometimes run into AC3 audio issues. SiliconDust is working on making the HDHomeRun app fully functional with Fire TV sticks.
A number of companies made it known at CES 2017 that they would be releasing hardware related to over-the-air (OTA) broadcasts.
This is territory that SiliconDust has long inhabited. The HDHomeRun app had disappeared Amazon’s app store some months ago, but has returned with some bug fixes. The app shows what’s presently on TV and has a what’s-on-next guide.
The HDHomeRun Connect, and Extend models makes it possible to watch high definition OTA channels through your streaming box, tablet or computer. It captures OTA channels and broadcasts them over your home network.
Just connect your HDHomeRun tuner to your router, and you can start watching OTA channels on your devices connected to your home WiFi network.
You can also record OTA programs when you subscribe to SilconDust’s DVR service called HDHomeRun Record, or Plex’s new DVR service.
Amazon, Mohu and Dish to release new devices with OTA capabilities
The timing of new hardware that combines OTA channels and live streaming services like Sling TV and PlayStation Vue couldn’t be better.
Ajit Pai, the new federal communications chairman, just bounced a proposal to open up competition for set-top boxes. This will essentially allow cable companies to continue to charge some ridiculous fees for renting their boxes while giving consumers no other real choices other than to dump them entirely. (There’s one exception. HDHomeRun Prime allows people to use their box with a cable card.) But the landscape is otherwise bare.
New OTA antennas, streaming devices, 4K TVs coming in 2017
Here’s a recap of some other hardware that I will be watching for and hope to check out in the coming months.
Mohu AirWave is expected to be released this spring. The new wireless OTA antenna will allow users to channel surf local OTA broadcasts from a Roku or other streaming devices.
The AirWave looks like some futuristic sail, and will capture OTA channels while sitting inside your home. AirWave then transmits your high definition channels across your home network. You will be able to watch OTA channels on your streaming boxes via an AirWave app.
The app promises to deliver a grid-style menu of live TV. AirWave is expected to have app support for Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Roku, Chromecast, iOS, PC and Android devices.
For now, there does not seem to be any plans in the works for DVR functionality.
The AirTV Player promises to bring channels from a Sling TV subscription and OTA channels into a single menu. It hasn’t happened yet. The software that was shown at CES 2017 is apparently still being tweaked before it is officially released. The remote has dedicated buttons for Netflix and Sling TV. AirTV is also capable of streaming in 4K. AirTV Players can be bought on the AirTV web site.
On the less-talked-about front, Amazon announced plans to create a line of 4K Ultra HDs TVs with their Fire TV software baked into the hardware.
Seiki, Element Electronics and Westinghouse Electronics are expected to produce the television. While many will pay attention to the direct competition these sets will bring to Roku TVs, the potential OTA capabilities are not trivial.
When Amazon announced the new televisions, it noted the new sets would have easy access to OTA programming and component switching. Many months before that announcement, AFTVnews noted that a software update added Linux software libraries needed to support TV tuners.
Founder and Editor of The Cord Cutting Report. Before launching the site in 2016, he worked for more than two decades as a staff writer or correspondent for a number of daily newspapers, including The Boston Globe. His enthusiasm for tech began with the Atari 2600. Follow @james_kimble