Quick Look: What is it? Simple.TV is a DVR like TiVo, allowing you to record TV programs from over-the-air (OTA) stations and basic digital cable (clear QAM) channels. It captures live TV broadcasts from your antenna or cable, stores it on a hard drive that you provide, then streams the recorded shows to your Roku, PC, iPad, or other supported device. Here is how it works:
- Buy the Simple.TV DVR for $149. (Streaming to Roku requires a service subscription at additional cost.)
- Connect the DVR to an external USB hard drive, your OTA antenna or digital basic cable, and your wireless modem.
- Record your favorite shows and play them back on your TV through the Simple.TV Roku channel.
So why not just purchase a TiVo? I haven't personally tested the Simple.TV DVR - it won't ship until early November - but the primary advantage seems to be the ability to stream to multiple wireless devices. The DVR supports up to five devices streaming simultaneously on your home WiFi network, limited, of course, by the speed of your hard drive and capacity of your WiFi network.
But don't expect Simple.TV to replace your current full-featured DVR supplied by your cable or satellite provider. As the Simple.TV website makes clear, you won't be able to record encrypted cable or satellite. That includes premium channels like HBO and Showtime, and popular channels like HGTV and Food Network - basically, anything that requires a cable/satellite box. For more information, visit Simple.TV's overview at https://www.simple.tv/overview.
-- Information is current as of October 22, 2012
Developer's Channel Description: Simple.TV is a personal DVR that streams live and recorded TV programs to web-connected devices like the iPad, Roku, PCs and Mac.
CHANNEL STORE CATEGORY: Apps
$149 for DVR and limited functionality (does not allow Roku streaming)
$199 for DVR and 1 year of premier service
$299 for DVR and lifetime premier service