g: 2 Posted By: wizwor
Views: 470 Replies: 3 Direct from Real Simple Software, these are $199.99. Amazon lists them for $118. WalMart lists them for$147.83.
Let's start by saying this is a Simple DVR not a Silicundust HD Homerun. Silicondust happens to manufacture the devices. This is the modified two tuner model of the Simple DVR. First generation was the single tuner STV-1000 which was a kickstarter campaign. They later released a two tuner STV2-2ATSC. This device had a fan, got really hot, consumed the lubricant in the fan, got noisey, and failed. They refitted these with ventilated covers and modified the software to make the device run cooler and the fan run less. There is no way to distinguish between these models except to look for the ventilated cover. The Newegg images indicate a ventilated cover, and there is no indication that these are refurbished, so I assume this is the modified STV2-2ATSC.
This is a standalone device -- no PC is required. There is no cable card version.
This DVR requires some kind of subscription service to function. The basic version is free but limited to interactive use (watch, pause, record, etc.). The premier service let's you schedule recordings without regard to time and channel. This costs $60 per year or $150 for lifetime.
Here's a tip: If you decide you like the premier service, you can buy an STV-1000 with lifetime for less than $100 on eBay -- save $50 on the subscription and get a free dvr!
So, what is a Simple DVR? The Simple.TV DVR is a whole house Tuner/DVR for broadcast television. According to the manufacturer, Simple.TV is the first personal DVR that streams live and recorded TV to your favorite devices, wherever you are. Get all your broadcast TV favorites on your iPad, PC, Mac or Roku box. It plugs in to your antenna, ethernet, and usb drive, but not your television. To watch the Simple DVR on your television, you need a Roku. Up to five devices can access live or recorded programming concurrently, but there are only two tuners, so all people watching live programming must watch the same channels.
What Does This Do? In the most common configuration, you attach the DVR to your antenna and LAN and use a Roku to access the DVR from your television. You can use the tuner to watch live television from your antenna or play files already stored on the DVR. You can pause, rewind, or fast forward the programming, delete files from the DVR, and schedule recordings (one episode or all episodes) with the Roku. If you have more than one DVR, you can switch from one DVR to another.
Remote access is excellent. Image quality and buffer management are good enough to enjoy live and recorded programming via public wireless networks. My mother can use my antenna to watch broadcast television via a Roku at her home which has poor reception. There are iOS, Android/Kindle Fire, Windows 8, and Plex apps for the Simple DVR. I cannot speak for the iOS app, but the Android app is amazing. The Plex app only supports playback (no live tv or file management), but you can use it to watch your recordings on many devices including the Amazon Fire TV.
What Doesnt This Do? With the current software, you cannot watch the video as you rewind and fast forward and there is no slow motion or frame by frame review. You cannot do time based recordings (record channel 38 from 3pm to 8pm weeknights). Id really like to see a Play All and/or Play List option for recordings and it would be great if the Premier software managed all DVRs as one choosing the next available tuner, showing all programs in a single browse window, etc. Finally, and this is a big deal for me, it doesnt work at all when you have no internet connection. It will record scheduled shows, but you cannot watch live tv or your recordings.
This is NOT for cable TV. While the STV-1000 officially supports Clear QAM, this model does not.
Support I have been very disappointed with Simple support. The documentation is sparse, the support site is inaccurate, and email support is sporadic. Worse, they dont seem to know any more about the product than I do. The best help has come from the user community. I hope this changes. Its easy to see how nontechnical users could become frustrated.
Installation The setup process is very straightforward. You have to use specific browsers to configure the device. I have used Chrome and Firefox. Internet Explorer does not work. It seems that security software can interfere with the process as well. Security settings and ad-blockers can cause problems with the discovery and configuration process.
- Plug DVR into your network, a usb disk, and your antenna
- Open your browser to [url]http://simple.tv[/url], sign into your account (or create an account)
- Activate your lifetime subscription
- Click Activate Your DVR
- Select the DVR to register
- Prepare your disk
- Scan for channels
Downloading Recordings This DVR allows you to download recordings as MP4 files. The recordings do not look as good as the files look played directly from the DVR.
You Will Love the Simple DVR If
- Your home is situated such that television signals come from multiple directions. Instead of using a rotor or combiner, you can install one or more DVRs for each market and access the antennas via a Roku.
- Your home is not pre-wired with coax. Run coax from the antenna to your router and install the Simple DVR(s) next to the router.
- You have to have a television where no one thought to install coax. A Roku brings live tv to your remote television.
- You want to watch tv by the pool or on the deck. Simple can stream to a laptop, a tablet, or a wireless Roku by the pool.
- Your remote vacation home does not have television but does have internet access.
- You travel a lot and hate infomercials.
- All your favorite shows air when you are at work.
- You want to share antennas with a friend in a different market
You May Not Love the Simple DVR If
- You have poor broadcast reception
- You need visual cues when fast forwarding or rewinding a program
- You have a poor network in your home
I love the Simple DVRs. After two months with the dual tuner Simple DVR, I give it two enthusiastic thumbs up.