HDHomeRun Connect 4K goes on pre-sale
The new HDHomeRun TV tuner with ATSC 3.0 support is now available for pre-sale by SiliconDust.
It’s giving consumers their first glimpse of a new broadcast standard — also known as NextGen TV — that’s expected to bring better picture resolution and audio.
The HDHomeRun Connect Quatro 4K is one of the first ATSC 3.0 tuners available on the commercial market.
What is ATSC 3.0?
ATSC 3.0 is the new standard being adopted by broadcasters across the U.S. It promises to bring a range of improvements and features. But the most obvious ones are Dolby Atmos, 4K picture resolution and High Dynamic Range (HDR).
For the last decade, broadcasters such as NBC, CBS, ABC and FOX have been broadcasting digital signals (ATSC 1.0) that can be received over-the-air with a TV antenna. The picture resolution for ATSC 1.0 is in High Definition — up to 720p and 1080i picture resolution.
Unlike a decade ago, the Federal Communications Commission is not requiring broadcasters to upgrade to ATSC 3.0. Many are expected to eventually make the switch. Once a broadcaster adds ATSC 3.0, it is required to continue carrying a digital transmission for another five years.
So people using a TV antenna for local channels won’t need an ATSC 3.0 tuner or TV right away.
The HDHomeRun 4K isn’t just for the new broadcast standard. It also works with the current broadcast standard that transmits digital over-the-air channels.
The Connect Quatro model has a pair of ATSC 3.0 tuners and two more ATSC 1.0 tuners.
SiliconDust, which makes HDHomeRun products, is currently shipping out an early run of the HDHomeRun 4K units to supporters of its Kickstarter campaign.
Where is ATSC 3.0 available?
A total of 62 markets have committed to switching to ATSC 3.0, according to the ATSC site.
And so far, ATSC 3.0 is live in 14 markets across the United States.
- Austin, TX
- Boise, ID
- Dallas-Fort Worth, TX
- East Lansing, MI
- Las Vegas, NV
- Nashville, TN
- Oklahoma City, OK
- Orlando-Daytona Beach-Melbourne, FL
- Phoenix, AZ
- Pittsburgh, PA
- Portland, OR
- Salt Lake City, UT
- Santa Barbara-Santa Marie-San Luis Obispo, CA
Three more cities are preparing to launch.
- Denver, CO
- Los Angeles, CA
- Mobile, AL-Pensacola, FL
The new Connect Quatro 4K retails for $199.99 on the SiliconDust website.
For more news on streaming, how-to guides and reviews, head over to the main page of The Cord Cutting Report or follow the CCR on Google News.
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
Trevor O Bartram says
I’m on the fence regarding this change because although I have a 4K TV, I don’t have a 4K Blu-ray player or streamer. My eyesight varies enough from morning to night that I can’t justify 4K.
Can network TV afford to upgrade to 4K (cameras, consoles, distribution etc) or will it only be used for 4K movies? I don’t watch movies on network TV.
If it really happens I’ll need three dongles for my existing TVs (hopefully, they’ll be cheap enough) and my DVRs will be trash (luckily they were cheap enough and hopefully the replacements will be too).
Some of the signal quality claims for 3.0 (more sub-channels per channel at higher bit rate with better reception) are impossible from an electrical point of view unless transmitter power is drammatically increased, that is unlikely.