Simple.TV & Silicon Dust Join Forces For OTA Goodness


Simple.TV and Silicon Dust are joining forces for the second iteration of Simple.TV, due later this year, by leveraging their respective software/services and hardware skills. In speaking with Simple CEO Mark Ely last week, the companies appear to be addressing most of my gen 1 concerns.

First, the updated hardware will feature a new Zenverge transcoder with ultimately twice the horsepower of the original model and jumps from a single ATSC tuner to way-more-practical dual tuning capabilities… all in a more compact package (with more accessible coax connector). Unfortunately, it’s still a bring-your-own-harddrive sort of DVR – for those that choose to leverage that feature. Perhaps it ultimately works out OK as customers can choose the appropriate amount of storage for their particular situation? But it does add a certain amount of complexity to the solution and my distaste of clutter is well known ’round these parts.

On the software front, v2 of Simple.TV looks to provide a tighter experience, with a cleaned up and more efficient UI. Along with v2, Simple intends to expand video playback this fall beyond the web browser, iOS, and Roku to Android and Chromecast, with DLNA, NAS, and cloud storage all possibilities on the the roadmap — their long term intent is to become something of a Swiss Army knife of HD OTA, streaming television content to and via the devices of your choosing, including gaming consoles. (I’m also told original Simple.TV owners will receive the new, improved software.)

We expect to learn more regarding hardware and service pricing in the next month or so ahead of launch and I’m looking forward to checking out Simple.TV v2. Cord cutting is a reality and I believe there’s a market for advanced over-the-air, antenna-based television solutions such as these with the pool of contenders expanding nicely – including the new 4-tuner TiVo Roamio and cloud-based OTA DVR Aereo, with Echostar/ChannelMaster in the pipeline.

8 thoughts on “Simple.TV & Silicon Dust Join Forces For OTA Goodness”

  1. You mean I’m supposed to read more than the headline and first sentence? I put a better link in. ;) I do believe it’s real although the larger concern is ‘cord nevers’ (ugh, what a name) and a solution like this would equally apply. I want OTA on Roku, that’s for sure – especially if I can get a small buffer for pausing and instant replay. (And it’d be a double bonus if local OTA was added to Roku’s universal search in conjunction with Simple.TV or Aereo DVR capabilities.)

  2. “the larger concern is ‘cord nevers”

    That’s just a by-product of all the youth living in dumpsters as a result of the Great Depression Part Deux. And MSO’s are generally unwilling to wire up dumpsters. But on the bright side, at current rates of ‘recovery’, we should be back to normal in another ten to fifteen years. John Maynard Keynes is resting in his grave thinking we’re all insane.

    (One of the reasons I don’t think cord-cutters are a ‘real’ phenomenon is that, given the drop in household formation and drop in median income since the Bank Run of ’08, relatively flat cable subs in the face of gently rising prices is proof positive that subs are seen as good value.)

  3. This device makes me wonder why TiVo doesn’t offer something similar. Considering that some people are trying to decide between a Roamio (maybe with upgraded hard drive, but no Stream built-in) and a Roamio Plus/Pro (with no OTA).

    I would LOVE the capability to put an antenna and TiVo “Air” in the attic, hooked to Ethernet, making 2 OTA tuners available throughout the house to both Roamio’s and Mini’s…

  4. For under $300 you can put a used Series 3 w/ lifetime in the attic and _copy_ shows from it to your other Tivos.

  5. I’m excited about this thing, between this, Aereo, and the new Tivos, it feels like the first time there has really been competition in this space in years.

  6. Look forward to seeing the details and price point on the device. I use the SiliconDust HDHR-3 US as our OTA tuner with Windows Media Center (running on a Mac mini) in combination with HP Media Center extenders. It works well but doesn’t offer any viewing outside of our home. If this device will not require me to run a computer 24/7 then I will strongly consider it.

  7. You gotta say the ChromeCast is going to be THE go-to playback to the TV expansion option for devices like this going forward. I know its been the Roku up to this point, but given the option not to even write an app at all, the cheap price, and the CEC support, I think ChromeCast is going to be the new default destination for playback.

Comments are closed.