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Summary:

Simple.tv wants to improve its service with new apps for Roku and iPad, and the company is also looking to add live TV to online video platforms powered by Rovi.

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Simple.tv, the DVR for cord cutters, is getting ready to release a new Roku app as well as an iPad app in the coming days, according to the company’s Mark Ely. Simple.TV is also announcing a partnership with Rovi at the Cable Show Tuesday, which foreshadows plans to turn Simple.tv into a full-blown cloud DVR player.

Simple.tv’s current offering is based on a single-tuner DVR that the company sells for $150 to $250, depending on service levels. The device promises to record over-the-air television on an external hard drive that users have to supply on their own, and then stream that programming as well as live TV to mobile devices, PCs and Roku streaming players. The service didn’t fare so well when we reviewed it back in October, but Ely told me Monday that especially playback on Roku has been greatly improved.

But Simple.tv doesn’t just want to get its apps to work better. The company also inked a partnership with Rovi to add Simple.tv to online video offerings powered by Rovi’s entertainment store, which is basically a white label provider powering things like Best Buy’s Cinemanow movie rental platform. This could theoretically be used by video download stores to build apps that offer movie rentals as well as access to live TV and DVR functionality.

For Simple.tv, that’s another step towards making its offering more widely available, and it could also foreshadow how the company could one day reach a wider customer base. Ely told me that Simple.tv wants to continue to market its device and service under its own brand, and have a full retail presence by the end of the year. But the company is also looking to partner with others and add DVR functionality to their devices and services, which could include putting more of Simple.tv’s functionality into the cloud. “Our trajectory is definitely towards a complete cloud DVR solution,” Ely said.

Check out a video of our Simple.tv review from October below:

  1. The simple.tv software has definitely improved over time, I use it all the time

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  2. birminghamforsale Friday, June 14, 2013

    I hope you will do another review of Simple.TV once the update is released. Who knew that recording OTA TV for replaying through a Roku was such a hard nut to crack? I’ve researched the out-of-the-box solutions (e.g., Channel Master and Magnavox) and found the reviews to be mixed at best, and even that is being generous. In any event, they don’t have a built in channel guide, at least not for free and without an ongoing subscription. Tivo is just too darn expensive. I’ve tried to set up a media server, but that hasn’t worked well either. Beyond TV worked easily, but Plex doesn’t recognize the file format and, thus, the recordings. I had a heck of a time getting Windows Media Player to download the channel guide, but once I did, I was able to schedule and record two weeks of programs. Then, the channel guide wouldn’t update and I was uninterested in going through the hassle of reconfiguring everything yet again, with the prospect that this would become an every other week event. In any event, while Plex recognized the files, unless I manually renamed them, I didn’t get the program art and episode details via Plex. The other PVR software solutions are written for geeks and too hard to install and get up and running.

    I’m past the age of wanting to have to spend hours playing around with Linux or geekware. I just want a simple solution to record and watch programs via my Roku. Is that too much to ask? Back in the day, my VCR worked great. I really want to hear that Simple.tv finally has its act together, but I’m not buying until I read a favorable review.

    Thanks and keep up the good work.

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  3. I wish this Simple TV was a sure thing. I just hooked up a Tivo to my Antenna and the tuner in the Tivo is terrible. My Samsung TV has a better tuner. I have a Channel Master Tuner in my home theater that is downstairs which is awesome. I worry not only about video quality on the Simple TV but how well the tuner works. Still debating on whether or not to take the plunge…

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