If you follow startups or Kickstarter news, you’ve probably heard of SimpleTV. This streaming box converts television signals into video streams. Once converted, these streams can then be watched on any device from your computer to your iPhone. SimpleTV has been in the works for a while now, but the device is just starting to ship. If you are into cutting “cords” completely, SimpleTV appears to be a great device at a great price.
It’s also worth pointing out that the crew behind SimpleTV earned more than $226,000 via Kickstarter – one of the biggest crowdfunding winners out there. Needless to say, there is a market for this device. Here’s what you can expect from SimpleTV.
SimpleTV doesn’t have any cords. It does have a USB connection, though. The included USB connection makes it possible to connect the SimpleTV console with any outside storage device. This connection forms a sort of DVR. Essentially, you can store and record streaming content using SimpleTV and any kind of storage device that you currently have. If you’re thinking that this sounds like a simple and great way to avoid paying a high cable bill and paying for an absurdly priced DVR, you’re right.
SimpleTV is a great idea. That’s why the entrepreneurs behind this new console did so well on Kickstarter. The big drawback here is that SimpleTV doesn’t work with WiFi. You will have to set up that USB connection in order to start streaming – a bit of an oversight, but, presumably, something that the SimpleTV crew is working on. As mentioned, SimpleTV has just started shipping, though the console did attract Kickstater dollars quite a few months ago. How much will you have to fork over for cutting those cable cords and streaming directly to your own personal storage device?
Cost and Availability
The SimpleTV console will retail for $149 per month. But, wait, there’s more to that price. You will have to purchase a monthly membership plan at $4.99 per month or $49 per year. Add to this cost the price of purchasing a storage device (if you don’t already own one, that is). So, how does SimpleTV compare to, say, Apple TV?
You’d have to add up the price of your current cable or satellite bill, the price of the Apple TV console ($99), and figure out the difference. Seemingly, the two will be quite close price wise. The difference here is that you can store any program you stream onto your current storage drive. Also, SimpleTV makes it possible to view any TV show on any other device that you own.
Right now, SimpleTV has started shipping in North America (check the SimpleTV site for more specifics). There’s a good reason why SimpleTV gained a great amount of money on Kickstarter – this is one excellent startup idea. Now, let’s see if the SimpleTV crew can make that WiFi thing happen. If the console can stream via WiFi, the whole device will have a lot more appeal. Watch out, Apple, SimpleTV might just steal that Apple TV market.