HDHomeRun Premium TV Not Long For This World?

Silicon Dust’s groundbreaking cord cutter service that co-mingles pay television with over-the-air broadcasts, via HDHomeRun hardware, appears to be on the ropes given a lawsuit filed against Omnivese, their upstream content provider:

“Plaintiffs (Disney, Sony, Fox, etc) have not granted licenses that permit Defendant DeMeo or Omniverse to stream the Copyrighted Works or sublicense streams to whatever counterparty they wish,” the lawsuit states.

HDHomeRun Premium TV launched last summer for $35/month, streaming a number of “cable” channels — such as Disney, ESPN, and CNN. The content is accessed via native Silicon Dust apps as well as third party implementations like Plex and Channels… including DVR capabilities. Which, along with time zone considerations, was the first sign that this may not have been entirely kosher, as I’ve never seen a service that didn’t at least attempt some sort of encryption and content lockdown to appease the studios and license holders.

From my private Twitter conversation with a peer at launch, pondering the source the unprotected content:

The first signs of trouble arose back in December when several channels were removed from HDHomeRun Premium and, given this new period of uncertainty, I wouldn’t be surprised at all to see Silicon Dust to find some way to back out of their contract Omniverse to better legally indemnify themselves and protect their brand from what’s about to go down. Even if Omniverse is contractually in the clear, they’re likely entering a long and pricey period of litigation – that they may not be able to afford and would certainly deter future partners/customers (and associated revenue).

Update: Silicon Dust has reached out with the following statement.

Yes we are aware of the situation from last week. SiliconDust is not a party of the lawsuit, but we can be indirectly affected by Omniverse not able to continue their service and so we are in the process of finding out a way to best mitigate any potential interruptions to our service and will let our customers know as soon as we know if there will be any change to the current services

(Thanks for the tip, PV!)

8 thoughts on “HDHomeRun Premium TV Not Long For This World?”

  1. maybe they should have just focused on the prime 6 instead of this risky streaming deal in a market that is quickly getting very crowded.

  2. Thought it was too good to be true. Guess to,save money, I’ll have to rely on my antenna and maybe sign up for Philo

  3. The HDHR solution offers something unique – the ability to DVR OTA and Premium TV to your server that is under your control. I hope the SD team is able to work out a long-term solution.

  4. A problem I’ve always had, is SD relies on it’s Forum structure to “communicate” with its customers. There are no direct emails and in this day and age, I find this inexcusable. After trying to figure out what the heck has happened to my FireTV and Fire Tablet’s access to the Premium content, I logged into the forum to find a note indicating that on 3/6/19, Amazon has demanded SD remove live premium channel content from HDHR app running on all Fire devices. (Geez, thanks of the heads up.)

  5. Welp, Premium is no more. And it wasn’t just a forum message as customers were emailed. On to the next thing.

  6. Damn. This sucks. I loved the premium channels. Had them working well with NextPVR and Kodi/Emby clients on all my firetv sticks. I hope SD finds a way to bring this back.

  7. This is really too bad, because HDHomeRun had one huge advantage Youtube TV, Sling! and others NEVER had: Unfettered DVR capability. I could use Plex or Emby’s DVR functionality and keep my recordings on my terms, not those of upstream content providers who have no concept of Fair Use.

    Seriously, Youtube TV is not really an “alternative” because they still get to dictate my “recordings” including how long I keep them. I don’t want that. I may be better off getting a new HDHomeRun for cable, as there’s literally NO other service that offers what HDHR Premium did. It wasn’t perfect, but I felt that alone was worth more than Youtube TV.

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