SiliconDust offers a $30 conversion to defunct Simple.TV boxes
Imagine spending $200 for a DVR that records over-the-air television only to find out months later that it will no longer work.
That’s what happened to customers who bought Simple TV DVR.
Really Simple Software, the creators of Simple TV, announced their devices would no longer be supported after Aug. 4.
So I thought it was pretty cool when its competitor SiliconDust announced that the company would help scores of customers who had bought the now-defunct Simple.TV. SiliconDust, the makers of HDHomeRun, will convert SimpleTV Gen2 devices into a HDHomeRun Extend tuner for $30.
Once the conversion is complete, SimpleTV owners will get to tap into most of the same features they had before.
Both SimpleTV and HDHomeRun gave users the ability to stream OTA televisions over WiFi.
HDHomeRun DVR is a subscription-based service, so offering the conversion definitely benefits SiliconDust, and it’s a wise move on their part. But the converted Extend tuners will also work with PLEX as an alternative.
If you’re a Simple.TV owner who is considering the conversion, read my review of the HDHomeRun Extend for more information about how it works.
SiliconDust also has a page on its site, detailing the changes that will be made during the conversion. Most notable, HDHomeRun tuners do not currently support Roku or Chromecast. It’s unclear how many second generation Simple.TV devices are on the market, but I will be interested to see what happens to them.
I’ve already spotted , trying to use the SiliconDust offer as a way to unload Simple.TV devices for $9.99. Assuming the device is legit, paying $40 for a HDHomeRun Extend would be a bargain compared to the full asking price.
What happened to Simple.TV?
Simple TV certainly tried to be a competitor and rival to the popular HDHomeRun lineup. SiliconDust had already been in the business of streaming OTA broadcasts a lot longer.
Where did Really Simple Software go wrong?
It’s unclear exactly what happened. Running a business of any kind is difficult at best. A story in Variety reporting on Simple TV’s demise noted hardware issues plagued the first and second generation devices.
Another misstep may have come when RSS decided to develop a Cloud DVR, while maintaining its original service, according to the story.
I’ve never used a Simple.TV. After reading about its performance in a couple of reviews, I couldn’t help but think that the company may have spread itself too thin. Having a product that does lots of things sort-of OK isn’t nearly as important as of doing one thing really well.
Of course, it’s easy for me to say that. Nobody is giving me a cool $10 million to launch some hardware. But it’s odd to see a company like RSS fail after just five years, especially when you take a look at the burgeoning cord cutting market.
New OTA products hitting the market in 2017
Hardware companies of all stripes are rushing to get new cord cutting products on the market this year. Nearly 1 million pay TV customers decided to cut the cord in this last quarter, and analysts expect that trend to only grow. Hardware and software companies are moving in to accommodate the changing landscape of TV viewing habits.
- Mohu have been pushing out new models of antennas like the Leaf Glide and soon-to-be-released Mohu Airwave. The former is designed to draw in hard-to-reach VHF signals. The latter is a wireless indoor antenna will be able to stream OTA channels to devices like Roku and Amazon Fire TV.
- Antennas Direct also just released ClearStream TV, an OTA tuner that streams to apps and allows users to pause and rewind live TV.
- NVIDIA also got into the OTA streaming game this year with their popular Shield TV devices.
- Tablo just released a new DVR that comes with an internal hard drive.
TV manufactures like TCL have continued to see explosive growth in the U.S. market with its line of popular Roku TVs, according to data from NPD Group.
NPD’s recent data shows that TCL is continuing to expand at a staggering rate, including 72 percent year-over-year growth, solidifying the company as the fourth largest brand of smart televisions in the United States.
Combining 4K HDR picture quality with Roku software and OTA capabilities is likely helping the company quite a bit. The company just released its new S-Series model. In fact, Amazon recently released a competing line of 4K HDR TVs with Fire TV software baked-in.
Where is all this going? It’s hard to say, but nobody should mistake the demise of Simple.TV with the viability of cord cutting.
Founder and Editor of The Cord Cutting Report. Before launching the site in 2016, he worked for more than two decades as a staff writer or correspondent for a number of daily newspapers, including The Boston Globe. His enthusiasm for tech began with the Atari 2600. Follow @james_kimble