Kickstarter success: Simple.TV ships this week

Simple TV

Definitely designed for Web-connected cord-cutters, the Simple.TV DVR rolls out to consumers on Thursday, September 27 after a successful Kickstarter project got production of the device off the ground. During the round of Kickstarter funding this year, the folks behind the Simple.TV project raised $100,000 more than the initial project goal. The Kickstarter project included a variety of packages that ranged from just the DVR hardware to a year-long subscription to the premium version of the service. Emphasizing cord-cutting in a few of the packages, some include a bundled Roku XD for streaming Web video or Mohu Leaf antenna to pick up over-the-air high definition channels. 

simple tv offers dvr convenience and hd network shows for those who go without cable gear patrolThe Simple.TV hardware definitely isn’t a set-top box as there are no digital video outputs like HDMI. Instead, the Simple.TV is designed to deliver free over-the-air channels to platforms outside the home theater. Combining elements of the SlingPlayer and TiVo hardware, the Simple.TV can feed over-the-air channels to devices like PC and Mac computers, the iPad, the iPhone and the Roku set-top box.

It also works on Android devices through a HTML5 web application according to the Kickstarter page, but a dedicated application could be developed at a later date. Since the Simple.TV is feeding significant amounts of data, it does require a wired connection to the router within a home instead of Wi-Fi. In addition, the Simple.TV includes two coaxial inputs for an antenna as well as basic cable.  

If a Simple.TV owner wants to access the DVR functions of the device, they only need to plug a portable hard drive into the Simple.TV via the 2.0 USB port on the back of the device. This gives the user the option of choosing the amount of hard drive space they will need for recording high definition television shows or movies. However, there’s only a single tuner in the device which means only one program can be recorded at a time. However, Simple.TV will eventually support multiple DVRs on a single account, so people can purchase additional hardware for more tuners. 

Simple-tv-ipad-interfaceBeyond the basics of streaming live television within a home and the ability to pause programming, the company behind Simple.TV will offer a premium plan for $4.99 a month that will allow the user to watch programming outside of the home over Wi-Fi, access an electronic program guide similar to a cable box and setup automatic series recording similar to a TiVo Season Pass. 

There will also be an option for a $49.99 yearly fee or a $199.99 lifetime fee for the Simple.TV premium service. Comparatively, TiVo charges $14.99 a month for service to the TiVo Premiere DVR hardware and requires the purchase of a $129.99 TiVo Stream to stream recorded shows to mobile devices.

As of right now, Simple.TV is only being released within the United States, but Canada is next on the release list. In addition, the company behind Simple.TV is also planning on releasing a version in Europe next year. On Thursday September 27, the Simple.TV hardware will be sold through the site for a retail price of $149.99. It’s unknown at this time if the company will attempt to bundle the device with other hardware similar to the Kickstarter project.

Emerging Tech

Japanese billionaire faces tricky task of choosing 8 artists for his moon trip

Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa has been named as SpaceX's first-ever paying passenger for a trip to the moon in 2023. He says he wants to take eight artists with him. But how will he choose them? And will they accept?
Home Theater

Google Chromecast and Chromecast Ultra: Everything you need to know

Google's Chromecast plugs into your TV's HDMI port, allowing you to stream content from your tablet, laptop, or smartphone directly to your TV. Here's what you need to know about all iterations, including the 4K-ready Chromecast Ultra.
Home Theater

DirecTV Now: Everything you need to know

If you’re looking to ditch your cable or satellite subscription, DirecTV Now could be the perfect service for you. Our comprehensive guide breaks the service down feature by feature so you can see if it's right for you.
Home Theater

Dish Network or DirecTV: Which is the better choice for you?

So, you’ve chosen to go with a satellite television provider. Check out our quick rundown of what both Dish Network and DirecTV offer in terms of content, hardware, and pricing, and why you might choose them over streaming services.
Home Theater

PlayStation Vue: The master guide to Sony’s internet TV service

PlayStation Vue is Sony's answer to live TV without the need for a cable or satellite TV subscription. To help you understand the service, its plans, and numerous features, we've created this handy guide.
Emerging Tech

No more scraping? Anti-frosting advance could mark end of frozen windshields

Hate frozen windshields in winter? Researchers at Virginia Tech may have found a way to banish them for good, thanks to the world’s first passive anti-frosting surface. Here's how it works.
Emerging Tech

The Flamethrower Diet is better than keto and I burned all this food to prove it

When I first caught word that Elon Musk's Boring Company was selling a fully-functional flamethrower, I knew right away that I wanted to use it as a replacement for all of my modern cooking appliances. Why use a microwave when you can use a…
Smart Home

Who needs Stitch Fix? Maison Me uses A.I. to custom design clothing just for you

With backing from Google, a new Silicon Valley-based startup called Maison Me is offering A.I.-assisted, designed-to-order clothing. It's like a personal styling service on steroids.
Emerging Tech

Swiss researcher offers blueprints for animal-friendly autonomous machines

A scientist worries that our high-tech future fails to consider the well-being of other creatures: "Machine ethics has so far concentrated almost exclusively on automatic actions that affect people."

Facebook appears set on crafting custom silicon for augmented reality devices

Facebook's latest job postings are seeking engineers and developers for custom augmented reality chipsets, and seem to support speculation that the company is looking to produce AR glasses.
Emerging Tech

Don’t be fooled — this automated system sneakily manipulates video content

In the vein of “deep fakes," Recycle-GAN, a new system from Carnegie Mellon University, presents another case for how difficult it will be to distinguish fiction from reality in the future.
Emerging Tech

Moxi the ‘friendly’ hospital robot wants to help nurses, not replace them

Moxi is a "friendly" hospital robot from Texas-based Diligent Robotics. The wheel-based bot, which begins trials this week, aims to free nurses from routine tasks so they can spend more time with patients.
Emerging Tech

How do 3D printers work? Here’s a super-simple breakdown

How do 3D printers work, exactly? If you ever wondered how these magical machines create 3D objects in a matter of hours, then look no further than this dead-simple breakdown of the four most common printing technologies.
Emerging Tech

Sick of walking everywhere? Here are the best electric skateboards you can buy

Thanks for Kickstarter and Indiegogo, electric skateboards are carving a bigger niche than you might think. Whether you're into speed, mileage, or something a bit more stylish, here are the best electric skateboards on the market.