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Summary:

Simple.tv will start selling its second-generation DVR for cord cutters in December – but it’s getting competition from a similar device called Tablo.

tablo tv featured

Simple.tv officially revealed more details on its new second-generation hardware on its new website Friday. The device, which is manufactured by SiliconDust and features two tuners, will go on sale for $250 in December – no surprises here for Gigaom readers, since we already reported most specs and pricing after a leak two weeks ago.

Perhaps more surprising is that Simple.tv will continue to sell its first-generation, single tuner hardware for $150. Service pricing also remains unchanged. A year of Simple.tv service costs $60, a lifetime subscription can be bought for $150. And there’s good news for new as well as existing Simple.tv users: The service’s iPad app will soon get an overhaul that will allow users to download show recordings for offline viewing — good for long plane rides and other situations without connectivity.

But Simple.tv isn’t the only one trying to reinvent the DVR for cord cutters. Canada-based Nuvyyo launched an Indiegogo campaign for a similar product dubbed Tablo Friday. Tablo is also a networked DVR that streams to mobile devices as well as Roku and Chromecast. Nuvyyo CEO Grant Hall told me during an interview this week that Tablo will be available with both a two-tuner and a four-tuner version, with the company shooting for pricing around $200 and $250 respectively.

Hall said that Tablo was built from the ground up with tablet apps in mind, and that the device will enable both in-home and out-of-home streaming. “We really started with the tablet app,” he said. Nuvyyo will also charge Tablo users a service fee that has yet to be determined, but Hall said that he is aiming for half the price of a Netflix subscription, which would put it at $4 a month.

Nuvyyo wants to use Indiegogo to get feedback on the product, explained Hall, adding that some features aren’t set in stone. Right now, Tablo’s box comes with Wifi but no internal hard drive, instead prompting users to connect their own drive via USB. But Hall said that he’d also consider building a version with hard drive if consumers demand it. Tablo wants to beta test its device through December and then start making it commercially available in January.

This post was updated at 9:30am with a clarification on the Tablo pricing.

  1. How do you explain paying over 200 dollars and not having even a Hard Drive to store local material ?

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  2. Have you had hands on time with Aereo yet? A much better designed service for OTA Signal manipulation than SimpleTV.

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    1. I briefly used it on a trip to New York, but sadly, it’s not available in the Bay Area…

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  3. birminghamforsale Monday, November 18, 2013

    I just don’t see much of a market for OTA DVRs for cord cutters. I’ve considered it, but the cost of these products are just too high. First, a lot of the OTA content is available for free by the network’s themselves shortly after airing. Even though we have ABC over the air, my daughter likes to watch Once Upon a Time on her iPad or the TV connected directly to a computer or on the living room TV via AirPlay and Apple TV the next day. Second, a lot of this content can be had via Hulu Plus for $8/ month. Third, for those living where Aereo is or will soon be, that is an easier and cheaper option. Fourth, you can use Windows Media Center and Plex or PlayOn or iTunes to stream to your Roku or Apple TV any recordings you’ve made.

    I might buy one of these despite all this if a subscription for the program guide wasn’t required and if the boxes were considerably cheaper or came with their own hard drive. The program guide is available online for free and can easily be updated for free, as is demonstrated with Windows Media Center. By the time you by the box, the hard drive and pay the month subscription, the cost of these, even though less then Tivo, is simply too much for the marginal value they add in light of all the other ways to watch shows soon after they aired.

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  4. Aereo is not necessarilly cheaper. It costs about 2x more for their subscription fee per month. Its $8 a month for 20 hours of DVR and $12 for 60 hours. Thats $144 a year for 60 hours of DVR. Simple TV is $59 a year, yet is not mandatory. Simple TV users enjoy up to 5x more local DVR content that they will soon be able to download. And it is not restricted to a limited number of cities.

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    1. birminghamforsale Friday, December 6, 2013

      Mike, before you pay that $60 a month subscription, you have to buy the hardware. Let’s say you go with the first generation, that’s $150, more than a full year’s subscription to Aereo even at the $12/month level. Second, you have to buy a hard drive. Let’s say you can get what you want for $100, that’s 8 more months of Aereo at the $12/month level. Then, to really take advantage of Simple.TV as a DVR, you do need the EPG. You’d have to use Simple TV for many years to break even compared to Aereo. And let’s face it, several folks are working on this problem so I would expect much better solutions to continue to come out. It seems pretty obvious that eventually the OTA networks will offer their own Aereo type services. CBS is an investor in Syncbak, which provides a competitive product for Aereo, which has local stations is quite a few markets with more on the way. See http://www.syncbak.com/mobile/

      And now we have Tablo and the Channel Master K77 in the wings. As well as Sling adding a Roku channel.

      Rather than invest several hundred dollars on a transitional product like Simple.TV, I think I’ll wait to see what develops over the next year. I expect much better options to be on the shelf by next holiday season.

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      1. Have you ever tried the Aereo service? Cheap May be ok if you like watching video quality that is worse than analog tv. I have tried their service and the picture quality is poor. Also 60 hours of recording can be limiting to many people that spend allot of time watching tv. Adding your own hard drive gives you the ability to have many more hours of recording.

        I’m hoping that simple.tv or tablo streaming quality produces a much better picture than Aereo. If anyone has any reviews on simple tv or tablo picture quality I’d love to hear about it.

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