Next Gen SimpleTV Now Shipping (Delayed)

Dave Zatz —  December 19, 2013 — 21 Comments

simpletv2

Right on schedule, second generation Simple.TV network tuner pre-orders have begun shipping.

To improve upon the first gen, Simple.TV partnered with Silicon Dust to produce a smaller, yet more more powerful dual tuning unit to better leverage those high definition over-the-air broadcasts. For maximum flexibity, but a possibly higher geek quotient, SimpleTV remains hard driveless and headless – bring your own external storage and display technology. And speaking of those endpoints, live or recorded content can be viewed via refreshed web, iOS, and Android experiences. Further, at CES next month, we expect to see SimpleTV’s incoming Roku channel updates and a new Ouya client. While you can run the new SimpleTV ($250) without “Premiere” service, we expect most would pull the trigger to enable its full capabilities, including season pass recording and remote access. And the plot thickens in 2014 as we anticipate a new tier of service to include cloud storage, à la Boxee.

We’ve been cranking away on a SimpleTV review the last couple months and expect to share our (positive) experiences soon, once we’ve had some quality time with the new Android app… as the software updates equally improve the first gen hardware experience. And if Aereo ever launches in DC, we’ll run a comparison.

Update: It appears there’s been some last minute delay. While the Simple.TV site began accepting orders December 26th, product won’t actually ship until January and NewEgg pre-orders have been pushed from December to January 17th (but units are $50 off). Simple TV’s PR firm hasn’t yet responded to our inquiry.

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21 responses to Next Gen SimpleTV Now Shipping (Delayed)

  1. Looks like it’s still “reserve” only on the website?

  2. Yeah, looks like it’s only for those who had pre-ordered – those units had started shipping yesterday. For what it’s worth, the ones on NewEgg say shipping 12/26 (and clock in at $40 off).

  3. why post a review of a product thats been out for what, 1 1/2 years? something like that. Review the new hardware that will be released soon and the new software to go with it.

    Kind of have my doubts that it has actually shipped to anyone yet. We’ll see…… I made a preorder at NewEgg – no notice of it shipping. NOW it says expected release date 12/26, but it had said 12/12 expected release date initially, and that’s the date Simple.TV folks were floating around too. (no hard release date was ever given, but “around 12/12″ kept on being mentioned)

    Aereo is ages ahead of Simple.TV in so so many ways. But Simple.TV does have the leg up in certain areas – being able to watch live TV or recordings anywhere in the world instead of just in your market area is a huge one. A future feature of being able to download shows for offline viewing will be a game changer. I think Simple.TV has more potential.

  4. In reading the press release for the first time, rather than going off my notes from a conversation with CEO Mark Ely, it states units pre-ordered units should arrive by 12/31… cutting it close!

    heh, the core software experience will largely be the same between units. In fact, we discussed collaborative tuning being on the roadmap – so one day (in 2014?) you may have multiple units of any generation sitting on the network intelligently parsing your season passes and such. We shall see. Also, we have the original hardware on hand whereas we’ll shortly be granted remote access to the new hardware – so it’s not quite as authentic a scenario. Still percolating on how or if we’ll merge elements to produce a meaningful review.

  5. Ugh… I was so excited about these things, but then the FCC started letting Comcast encrypt over the air channels (antennas just don’t work where I live), which seems largely like a con the cable companies ran to stop innovation from things like this. I’m kinda hoping they do a cable card version some time soon!

  6. @heh: I think Simple TV may have some potential as well. I’ve been testing out the gen 1 hardware for about a month now, and it keeps getting UI and firmware updates. In theory this will be the same experience as the gen 2 device, just with a different number of tuners. We are excited to test it out.

    They just added the Android app last week, in addition to the iOS app that’s been out for a while. Also web browser access–except in Internet Explorer which apparently isn’t supported at all at the moment. So Windows RT is out. But if you can run Chrome or Firefox you’re good.

    Anyway, it’s promising. More so than Boxee had attained before their demise. Though maybe Samsung will resurrect that idea at some point since they bought the Boxee team…

  7. No, “Boxee” is never coming back… those guys are working on a new, different project for Samsung.

  8. might want to update article/change headline. seeing no indications that this is now shipping to users. NewEgg now says “out of stock” — you can order direct from Simple.TV but who the heck knows when it will actually ship.

    SimpleTV just tweeted out that it will ship within FOUR count em, FOUR weeks
    “Buy directly from Simple.tv store as of 12/26, shipment w/i 4 wks”

    I’m sure that they had intended for this to already be shipping by now (original release date seemed to be 12/12) — but it sure doesn’t seem like it! At least kudos for getting an android app and updated iOS app out.

  9. right on schedule? more like never on schedule :P

  10. I reached out to their PR firm for clarification and/or comment. Will update as I learn more.

  11. I haven’t heard back from their PR guy (and he didn’t have an out-of-office response)… so I’ve updated the post based on what we know. And, yes, we’re a bit irked – it is never our intent to mislead. If they knew there was a delay, they should have notified folks they’d briefed before we published. Even after if that’s how it played out. We apologize for the bad intel. Hopefully the product and experience overcomes their flawed approach to marketing.

  12. That price seems a bit steep. Anyone else think they are pricing themselves out of the market?

  13. Looks like the release date has been pushed back to 1/31 now on NewEgg. Was really hoping that it would ship this Friday.

    Did Simple.tv ever state an exact shipping date? I can understand if no ship date was communicated and it’s really the retailers that keep our hopes up, but if Simple.tv actually said thing thing would ship by XYZ date, then that’s another kind of problem.

  14. Yes, the day this post went up is the day I was told on a con-call with the CEO and PR rep that pre-orders would begin shipping. Was never pinged with a correction or revision, and my email inquiry went unanswered. Now you see why we don’t like to engage with PR folks…

    I did bump into the Simple.TV folks at CES, but had other things on my mind (Tablo) and didn’t follow up – sorry.

  15. So the question really is…which dual tuner will ship first…Tablo or Simple.tv :-)

  16. Dave – here are two stories for you to consider:
    1) Simple.TV has FINALLY shipped but those few who have received them report ridiculously loud fan noise that never stops.
    2) On twitter and on forum Simple.TV claims there NEVER WAS any 2.0 software…… see the forum for outrage and a compilation of many of the times they’ve referred to 2.0 software, which they now claim never existed

  17. Yeah, Adam, a friend of the site pre-ordered a unit and will be writing up his first impressions. It is indeed quite loud and I did a bit of Twitter foreshadowing on Friday. Aside from that, I think he’s quite pleased and is optimistic they really will improve the fan noise situation with new firmware in a week. We shall see. As to the 2.0 software, yes I’ve seen those posts and just shake my head – they’ve definitely got a communication problem and I will no longer engage with company reps. Hopefully they tech exceeds their marketing failings. By the by, Tablo quite impressed me at CES and we hope to get a unit in here for a look close to launch.

  18. Interesting. The Gen 1 single tuner Simple TV is dead quiet. Wonder why gen 2 needed a fan?

  19. Guess that Zenverge transcoding chip is more powerful than they thought… Adam’s been running it without the enclosure, which seems to keep it cool enough that the fan rarely runs and is quieter/slower when it does. Of course, that’s not safe or sustainable and I assume he’s hoping that firmware update does the trick.

  20. I like to call it “convertible mode’. :-)

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