One of the unmet demands in the cord cutter home is a simple DVD for OTA content, preferably cheap or free. When Simple.TV launched its KickStarter campaign last May it seemed to be right on target. Simple.TV records OTA (or basic cable) shows on a hard drive that you provide, and plays them back on iPADS, PC’s or on your TV (via Roku).
Simple.TV’s competition consists mainly of TiVo which at $20/month seems pricey for most cord cutters, or of DIY systems using MS Media Center or Plex.
Unfortunately the first reviews are in, and looks like Simple.TV is not quite ready for “prime time” (pun intended).
First this video review from Janko Roettgers over at at GIGaom. One of Roettger’s biggest complaints was that the Roku interface was “lacking” and “painfully slow” when using the live interface, to the point of being unusable. He also said the quality was closer to SD than HD when using the Roku app.
Next this review from the editors at CNET. CNET called Simple.TV a “first-generation product riddled with limitations”. Some of the limitations listed:
- No built in wifi – needs a wired Ethernet connection
- Need to provide your own hard drive
- Single tuner – only one live show at a time