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Simple.tv, the maker of a DVR squarely aimed at cord cutters, has a proposition for former users of Boxee’s Cloud DVR: The hardware startup will give Boxee users a $100 discount on its products. Simple.tv CEO Mark Ely told me during an interview this week that he had tremendous respect for Boxee, and that he wants to take some of Boxee’s cloud DVR ideas to heart.
Boxee was offering owners of its Boxee TV set-top box unlimited storage for recordings of TV shows in the cloud, but shut down this cloud DVR offering at the beginning of July after it got acquired by Samsung.
Simple.tv doesn’t currently offer a cloud DVR, but instead sells consumers a simple box that can be hooked up to their home network to record over-the-air broadcast TV and then stream it to Roku boxes, computers or mobile devices. Simple.tv’s hardware currently sells for around $200 with a one-year-contract, which means that Boxee owners will be able to acquire the system for $100.
Simple.tv launched its product last spring with a Kickstarter campaign, and its first iteration left us a bit unimpressed. However, the company has since raised an additional $5.7 million and hired a bunch of additional developers, growing its headcount from 6 to 24, and recently revamped its Roku channel and iPad app.
Ely told me this week that he watched Boxee closely ever since the company introduced its cloud DVR product late last year. “I could kind of feel Boxee’s pain” when it wasn’t able to scale up its DVR product in time to win over a significant customer base early on, Ely said, adding: “The idea that they had is really good.”
Ely also revealed that Simple.tv has a working prototype of a cloud DVR solution, and that the company is thinking about adding cloud storage as a supplemental feature in the future. However, Simple.tv wouldn’t just rely on the cloud, but instead still offer its customers the ability to locally save recordings as well, wich would work better for in-house streaming. “It makes sense to do a hybrid solution,” said Ely.