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(Learn how and when to remove this template message) A wireless media extender from SMB/CIFS/SAMBA or NFS, or rely on some version of UPnP (Universal Plug and Play) and DLNA (Digital Living Network Alliance) standards. DLNA-compliant digital media players and Media Servers is meant to guarantee a minimum set of functionality and proper interoperability among digital media players and servers regardless of the manufacturer, but unfortunately not every manufacturer follows the standards perfectly which can lead to incompatibility.

Media server

Some digital media players will only connect to specific media server software installed on a PC to stream music, pictures and recorded or live TV originating from the computer. Apple iTunes can, for example, be used this way with the Apple TV hardware that connects to a TV. Apple has developed a tightly integrated device and content management ecosystem with their iTunes Store, personal computers, iOS devices, and the AppleTV digital media receiver.[25] The most recent version of the AppleTV has lost the hard-drive that was included in its predecessor and fully depends on either streaming internet content, or another computer on the home network for media.[26]

Co

Some digital media players will only connect to specific media server software installed on a PC to stream music, pictures and recorded or live TV originating from the computer. Apple iTunes can, for example, be used this way with the Apple TV hardware that connects to a TV. Apple has developed a tightly integrated device and content management ecosystem with their iTunes Store, personal computers, iOS devices, and the AppleTV digital media receiver.[25] The most recent version of the AppleTV has lost the hard-drive that was included in its predecessor and fully depends on either streaming internet content, or another computer on the home network for media.[26]

Connection ports<

Television connection is usually done via; composite, SCART, Component, HDMI video, with Optical Audio (TOSLINK/SPDIF), and connect to the local network and broadband internet using either a wired Ethernet or a wireless Wi-Fi connection, and some also have built-in Bluetooth support for remotes and game-pads or joysticks. Some players come with USB (USB 2.0 or USB 3.0) ports which allow local media content playback.

Use

Market impact on traditional television services

The convergence of content, technology, and broadband access allows consumers to stream television shows and movies to their high-definition television in competition with pay television providers. The research company SNL Kagan expects 12 million households, roughly 10%, to go without cable, satellite or telco video service by 2015 using Over The Top services.[27] This represents a new trend in the broadcast television industry, as the list of options for watching movies and TV over the Internet grows at a rapid pace. Research also shows that even as traditional television service providers are trimming their customer base, they are adding Broadband Internet customers. Nearly 76.6 million U.S. households get broadband from leading cable and telephone companies,[28] although only a portion have sufficient speeds to support quality video steaming.[29] Convergen

The convergence of content, technology, and broadband access allows consumers to stream television shows and movies to their high-definition television in competition with pay television providers. The research company SNL Kagan expects 12 million households, roughly 10%, to go without cable, satellite or telco video service by 2015 using Over The Top services.[27] This represents a new trend in the broadcast television industry, as the list of options for watching movies and TV over the Internet grows at a rapid pace. Research also shows that even as traditional television service providers are trimming their customer base, they are adding Broadband Internet customers. Nearly 76.6 million U.S. households get broadband from leading cable and telephone companies,[28] although only a portion have sufficient speeds to support quality video steaming.[29] Convergence devices for home entertainment will likely play a much larger role in the future of broadcast television, effectively shifting traditional revenue streams while providing consumers with more options.[29]

According to a report from the researcher NPD In-Stat, only about 12 million U.S. households have their either Web-capable TVs or digital media players connected to the Internet, although In-Stat estimates about 25 million U.S. TV households own a set with the built-in network capability. Also, In-Stat predicts that 100 million homes in North America and western Europe will own digital media players and television sets that blend traditional programs with Internet content by 2016.[30]

Use for illegal streaming[30]

Since at least 2015,[31][32][33][34] dealers have marketed digital media players, often running the Android operating system and branded as being "fully-loaded", that are promoted as offering free streaming access to copyrighted media content, including films and television programs, as well as live feeds of television channels. These players are commonly bundled with the open source media player software Kodi, which is in turn pre-loaded with plug-ins enabling access to services streaming this content without the permission of their respective copyright holders. These "fully-loaded" set-top boxes are often sold through online marketplaces such as Amazon.com and eBay, as well as local retailers.[35][36] The spread of these players has been attributed to their ease of use (with user experiences similar to legal subscription services such as Netflix) and low cost, as well as the content that is offered from the services pre-installed on the boxes.[36][37][35]

"Fully-loaded" set-top boxes have been subject to legal controversies, especially noting that their user experiences made them accessible to end-users who may not always realize that they are actually streaming pirated content.[36]"Fully-loaded" set-top boxes have been subject to legal controversies, especially noting that their user experiences made them accessible to end-users who may not always realize that they are actually streaming pirated content.[36][37] In the United Kingdom, the Federation Against Copyright Theft (FACT) has taken court actions on behalf of rightsholders against those who market digital media players pre-loaded with access to copyrighted content. In January 2017, an individual seller plead not guilty to charges of marketing and distributing devices that circumvent technological protection measures.[38][39][40] In March 2017, the High Court of Justice ruled that BT Group, Sky plc, TalkTalk, and Virgin Media must block servers that had been used on such set-top boxes to illegally stream Premier League football games.[41] Later in the month, Amazon UK banned the sale of "certain media players" that had been pre-loaded with software to illegally stream copyrighted content.[42] On 26 April 2017, the European Court of Justice ruled that the distribution of set-top boxes with access to unauthorized streams of copyrighted works violated the exclusive rights to communicate them to the public.[36] In September 2017, a British seller of such boxes pled guilty to violations of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act for selling devices that can circumvent effective technical protection measures.[43]

In Canada, it was initially believed that these set-top boxes fell within a legal grey area, as the transient nature of streaming content did not necessarily mean that the content was being downloaded in violation of Canadian copyright law.[35] However, on 1 June 2016, a consortium of Canadian media companies (BCE Inc., Rogers Communications, and Videotron) obtained a temporary federal injunction against five retailers of Android-based set-top boxes, alleging that their continued sale were causing "irreparable harm" to their television businesses, and that the devices' primary purpose were to facilitate copyright infringement. The court rejected an argument by one of the defendants, who stated that they were only marketing a hardware device with publicly available software, ruling that the defendants were "deliberately encourag[ing] consumers and potential clients to circumvent authorized ways of accessing content."[44][44] 11 additional defendants were subsequently added to the suit. The lawyer of one of the defendants argued that retailers should not be responsible for the actions of their users, as any type of computing device could theoretically be used for legal or illegal purposes.[45] In April 2017, the Federal Court of Appeal blocked an appeal requesting that the injunction be lifted pending the outcome of the case.[46]

Although the software is free to use, the developers of Kodi have not endorsed any add-on or Kodi-powered device intended for facilitating copyright infringement. Nathan Betzen, president of the XBMC Foundation (the non-profit organization which oversees the development of the Kodi software), argued that the reputation of Kodi had been harmed by third-party retailers who "make a quick buck modifying Kodi, installing broken piracy add-ons, advertising that Kodi lets you watch free movies and TV, and then vanishing when the user buys the box and finds out that the add-on they were sold on was a crummy, constantly breaking mess." Betzen stated that the XBMC Foundation was willing to enforce its trademarks against those who use them to promote Kodi-based products which facilitate copyright infringement.[47][31]

Following a lawsuit by Dish Network against TVAddons, a website that offered streaming add-ons that were often used with Kodi and on such devices, in June 2017, the group shut down its add-ons and website. A technology analyst speculated that the service could eventually re-appear under a different name in the future, as have torrent trackers.[48] In June, the service's operator was also sued by the Bell/Rogers/Videotron consortium for inducing copyright infringement.[49]

In June 2017, Televisa was granted a court order banning the sale of all Roku products in Mexico, as it was alleged that third-parties had been operating subscription television services for the devices that contain unlicensed content. The content is streamed through unofficial apps that are added to the devices through hacking. Roku objected to the allegations, stating that these services were not certified by the company or part of its official Channels platform, whose terms of service require that they have rights to stream the content that they offer. Roku also stated that it actively cooperates with reports of channels that infringe copyrights.[50] The ruling was overturned in October 2018 after Roku took additional steps to remove channels with unauthorized content from the platform.[51]

In May 2018, the Federal Communications Commission sent letters to the CEOs of Amazon.com and eBay, asking for their help in removing such devices from their marketplaces. The letter cited malware risks, fraudulent use of FCC certification marks, and how their distribution through major online marketplaces may incorrectly suggest that they are legal and legitimate products.[52]