Simple TV to Ship on Sept. 27, Offers DVR for Mobile Devices

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The long-awaited Simple TV will begin shipping on September 27, Really Simple Software announced today. That means the product that already made fans at CES and on Kickstarter is finally available to users.

Simple TV is a promising new product, a DVR for the mobile age. Not a set-top box, the Simple TV doesn't connect to a television. Instead, it includes a TV tuner that can record over-the-air HD signals and store programs on an external hard drive (which the owner provides). It includes full DVR controls and can stream shows to mobile devices in or outside the home.

Simple TV won CNET's Best of CES 2012 award for Home Theater. In June, it raised over $225,000 from over 1,000 backers on Kickstarter.

The Simple TV DVR lists for $149. Buyers will need to supply a hard drive and a digital TV antenna, as well as download the appropriate apps on their mobile devices. The box can connect to cable services, as well, although it can only record unencrypted cable programming.

Buyers will have the option of using Simple TV's free or paid services. The free service lets them watch and pause live TV, set manual recordings, and stream recorded shows within the home. Up to five people can view content at the same time. The $4.99 per month (or $49 per year or $149 lifetime) Premiere service adds the ability to automatically record all showings of a program, use an electronic program guide, view information about shows, and stream outside the home network.

The Simple TV is a novel device, and for many it will fit their decentralized mobile lifestyles. It's surprising to see this level of enthusiasm for a device that's tied to over-the-air broadcast television, so we'll be watching to see if it makes a splash in the market.

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