Simple TV Dual Tuner First Impressions

Adam Miarka —  February 3, 2014 — 50 Comments

Bringing tech to the corn fields of the Midwest, gadgeteer and cat lover Adam Miarka contributes to Zatz Not Funny when the overlord allows. When not on ZNF, Adam posts pictures to http://www.adammiarka.com and harasses the public from @adammiarka on Twitter.

simpletv2-unboxing1

Background
Being a Kickstarter for the first generation Simple TV, I’ve always been interested in technologies that could disrupt traditional TV viewing. When the original Simple TV was announced back in 2012, it looked like something that could actually let me break from my current (TiVo) setup while lowering our monthly expenditures.The original Simple TV had one fatal flaw, a single tuner for recording.

Despite this limitation, I decided to back the project to get a feeling for how this new setup might work in our household. The idea of having a device that could basically capture any OTA or ClearQAM signals and then have it playback on a myriad of devices (web browser, iOS devices, Android devices, Roku) was very enticing. You only need to bring a hard drive to get the Simple TV party started!

As for content, Comcast has decided to encrypt local ClearQAM channels last year so all my content comes from over-the-air (OTA) signal here in Indianapolis. That’s not necessarily bad as the OTA signal is less prone to artifacts and compression than the Comcast feed and we are roughly 15 miles away from the broadcast towers. For my original Simple TV I have the Mohu Leaf, while the new dual tuner gets the upgraded “Ultimate” Mohu leaf that has the added amplifier for signal. Overall I’ve been extremely happy with both Mohus and would recommend them to anyone that wants to try out OTA signals. If you are averse to having a rectangle dangling from your wall, Mohu has recently launched the Curve series which offers a better looking antenna that can be place along side those family pictures. ;-)

curve-cradenza-angledweb

Enter the Dual Tuner Simple TV
When the dual tuner was announced back in September, I knew I would purchase it when it became available. At that time Simple TV also announced feature updates for the original device for both mobile software and web browser. The main update, to me, was the ability to add multiple devices to the same account essentially allowing you to combine multiple tuners for recordings. The catch with the single tuners was that you had to switch back and forth between devices depending upon where you scheduled the show. This was a nice update for existing users (and those buying additional ones from Woot), but the dual tuner would essentially solve the problem of having to switch.

When I saw that Newegg had the $250 dual tuner for sale for $200 (also on Amazon and BH Photo), I jumped on the purchase. My original order was in early January with a ship date of 1/17. That was eventually pushed back to 1/31. Lo and behold the dual tuner actually shipped on 1/30 and I had the device in hand on the 31st. I’ve had the weekend to put it thru it’s paces and here are my initial thoughts.

Unboxing and Hardware
The packaging for the dual tuner has been “upgraded” from the original card board box. We now get fancy new packaging outlining the features of the new device. My guess is that partnering with Silicondust allows Simple TV to expand their distribution presence and there was need to have a clearer marketing message of what the new device can do. In the new box is a very easy to read setup guide, the dual tuner, a power adapter, and a 6ft network cable.

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The device is itself is much more streamlined than the original. Whereas the original was “bubbly”, the new one has straighter lines and is more compact. These are welcome changes in my view.

Overall I was impressed with the build quality. That is, until I turned on that device. :-)

What is that sound?
Following the instructions for setup, I connected the device to my network, plugged in the external hard drive, and then plugged in the power. Upon first turning on the new dual tuner, I was actually shocked by the following sound:

My first reaction was, “There is a fan in this thing?!”. The original Simple TV barely made an audible sound. I was surprised that the new model had a fan, especially one that was so loud. Loud as in, I am in the other room and can STILL hear it running! I chalked it up to the device booting up and figured the fan would eventually slow down / stop once everything was set up. I continued to setup the device according to the instructions. It was like my own personal white noise machine during this process. :-)

The actual setup process is the same as the older single tuner, at least for now. There is talk about a new website rollout in the near future which might change how devices are added, but for now, it’s exactly the same as the original device.

Once the updates were completed, I continued to searching for OTA signals. The new dual tuner was extremely fast for scanning channels. The single tuner would usually take about 20 mins to do a complete scan, the new dual tuner had completed in less than 2 mins. Excellent…except for the fact that the fan was still spinning at the same loudness. With setup complete and just generally using the website to tune channels and play recordings, the fan was really starting to bother me. Something needed to be done.

The Culprit
Unplugging the device, I needed to figure out why the fan was spinning so loud. I checked the sides (where there are holes for ventilation) and nothing was obstructing then. I then flipped over the device and saw that there were access screws so that I could take it apart. Seeing as there was no “Void if opened” on the box, I decided to open the thing. The new dual tuner has a very simple logic board, and a very BIG fan!

simpletv2-internal

After removing the top of the device, I then decided to plug it back in to see if any more ventilation would help. At first boot, the fan did spin loud, but then actually slowed and eventually stopped. It seemed that the having the device open allowed for enough cooling for the device to work properly without the fan going crazy.

Along with this temporary solution, I contacted Simple TV to inquire if the fan noise I had been hearing was normal. Support got back to me within an hour stating that it was not and that a firmware update in the near future would fix both power and fan management. This is great to hear! Looking forward to seeing if the new firmware will fix the issue. But for now, my device is going convertible style so that I can actually use it without the fan spinning like crazy.

Using the new dual tuner
Despite the fan noise, the new dual tuner is an upgrade in every area over the original single tuner.

It’s Faster. Switching between channels takes only a few seconds in both the web browser (Safari) or mobile apps (iOS in my case). To me, the website also seems to load faster in both tuning and data (guide/my shows/etc). Using the Roku to watch recorded shows, the stream starts almost instantaneously. My single and dual tuner Simple TVs are on a wired network along with my Roku. iOS devices are obviously on Wifi. Overall, there is definitely a speed increase in tuning and general reaction time for the software. With future updates, I’m sure it will get even better.

More powerful. Having the new Zenverge CPU, I wanted to test the dual tuners streaming capability. The following is a picture of 2 live streams, 2 recordings being streamed, and 1 recording that is being watched from the beginning. The dual tuner had no issue with 5 streams at once. This is an upgrade over the original single tuner that would choke when trying to stream more than one show, especially a mixture of live and recorded.

simpletv2-ui

Around the corner?
Suffice to say, the original Simple TV has served me well the past year, especially as the updates have made it faster and far more stable. With the new dual tuner, the ability to record two shows at once and having a beefier processor only helps the eventual transition to a headless DVR in our household. It’s still not a replacement for my TiVo, but an excellent backup for when I’m ready to finally make a switch. Of course that will have to go thru the proper channels for approval (aka The Wife).

So what would I like to see in the future in terms of software and hardware?

  • Ditch Silverlight – For whatever reason, Simple TV allows you to stream via HTML5 in Safari, but not Chrome. Chrome still requires Silverlight. This not necessarily a deal breaker for most who use simple TV to access via a laptop or desktop, but for those who use Chromebooks, it’s a non starter.
  • Embrace Chromecast – Chromecast has been slowly adding support for 3rd party apps. It seems that they are releasing these updates in batches of apps. My hope is that Google will soon announce the public API for Chromecast so that 3rd parties can start pushing out updates. The ability to quickly access a show on my phone (via Simple TV app), and then fling it to a TV is the holy grail I’ve been looking towards.
  • Better communication of software roadmap – There is a lot of confusion out there in regards to “Version 2” of Simple TV software. There needs to be a clear roadmap of both hardware features and software features.

So what’s next? Overall, I am happy with the new dual tuner and will wait for the future update (supposedly this week). Despite the fan sound, it’s definitely an upgrade from the original single tuner device and having only one device to record instead of switching between two is a great benefit.

This month will also see the release of the Tablo DVR with the same setup as Simple TV. Competition is good. I really want Simple TV to succeed in this market and having two companies with a similar strategy for acquiring content will drive them to make both solutions better.

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50 responses to Simple TV Dual Tuner First Impressions

  1. Looks like Google just announced the opening of the ChromeCast SDK. Now Simple TV and others should be able to push out updates for their apps.

    http://chrome.blogspot.com/2014/02/chromecast-is-now-open-to-developers.html

  2. You didn’t mention the price. It’s $250 for the box, but it is largely useless without the subscription in that there’s no “season pass” functionality. The subscription is effectively mandatory and costs either $60/yr or $150 for lifetime. Plus $120 for an external 2-3TB USB drive, that’s a $520 total investment.

    Not too bad, if you really want an OTA DVR. I question whether such a device will be relevant for long, with everything moving to internet streaming, but it’s not completely unreasonable for what it does.

    On the bright side, it looks like lifetime is YOUR lifetime, not the device’s lifetime like TiVo. Even better, if you purchase a second device you don’t need to get a second subscription.

  3. Right now you can get the device for $199 on NewEgg, Amazon, or BH Phone. NewEgg is the only one shipping right now.

    You are correct with lifetime. It goes by account, and not device. I was able to pickup a first generation on Woot for $89 with lifetime service. Then sold the unit on amazon for $60. $29 for lifetime service is not bad. ;)

    And seeing that the first gen devices sell out on Woot fairly quickly, I believe there is a demand for this type of product.

  4. There’s certainly demand at $89 with lifetime service! I would buy that myself. $520 (or really $350) on the other hand is not an impulse purchase.

  5. I’d love to see some stopwatch timings that compare channel change and tune in times between the two models. The fans are not a big deal for me since all my Simple DVRs are in the basement, but I need more for a >$100 price increase than a ‘perception’ of improved performance.

    BTW, why did you obscure the tuner?

  6. Hi Lex,

    Let me see if I can get something on video for you in regards to changing channels.

    As for the obscuring the the tuner, it has serial number information on it. Just didn’t want to have that posted.

  7. Great writeup. I’m also experiencing the noise, and until the firmware is fixed would like to go convertible too.. ;)

    I only see one exposed phillips head screw exposed on the bottom close to the corner with the antenna. Where were the other screws on your device?

  8. @Andy

    There are four screws total on holding it together. 3 in the corners, and 1 off corner because of the tuner box.

  9. @Adam

    Were all of them exposed, or were some of them hidden under the soft pads that the devices rests on?

  10. They are under the rubber pads. You can peel these back and then see the screws.

  11. Ahh, ok.. thank you.

  12. For whatever reason, Simple TV allows you to stream via HTML5 in Safari, but not Chrome.

    That’s because Chrome doesn’t support HTTP Live Streaming (except on Android and iOS).

  13. Thanks @Rob

    Is there talk of Google adding it to Chrome for the desktop?

  14. Great review! I think you hit all of the salient points and I am encouraged by the performance boast. I particularly wanted to commend you on your comments regarding the software roadmap by the STV folks. This is a large source of confusion/misinformation on their chosen support process (Twitter). I have received conflicting information and it would be great if they would spell out their plans (even subject to change) on their forum site. I would also recommend that they change their support away from Twitter to some sort of work ticket program and/or engage in the forums. It would be more efficient as well as transparent.

  15. Can you extract video from this device like you can with a Tivo?

  16. @Bob this is supposedly coming with the new update from Simple TV. Someone on the message boards did write a Python script to pull recordings off the device http://community.simple.tv/index.php?/topic/605-api-transferring-recordings-to-local-computer/ but it only works on Windows and Ubuntu for now.

  17. A comment on the Simple TV forum indicates this is the same transcoding chip as seen in the TiVo Stream. However, I can assure you the TiVo Stream never sounded this bad (although TiVo did similarly have to tune the fan close to launch).

  18. I assume that OTA MPEG 2 files are being converted to H.264, is that correct? If so is there any loss in quality? Also are you saying that when you save files on your hard drive they are not accessible by any means other than streaming through your Simple TV unit? I would have thought you could just attached your drive to a computer and copied the files if you wanted to, locking down OTA content doesn’t make any sense to me.

  19. Is there a live tv buffer on this thing? I don’t watch a lot of live tv but I do use the buffer a lot when I’m just catching a random game I didn’t bother to record.

    Also, are there other ways to get this thing on your TV without a Roku? Could you go direct from the box to the TV via HDMI?

  20. @Daniel

    You can pause live TV on the iOS apps and Safari (Mac OS). There is no fast forward capability once you pause though. Not sure about using live TV with Silverlight.

    As for other ways to get content to a TV, you can use the iOS app to send the feed to your Apple TV via AirPlay. This works fairly well for the most parts, but the feed can drop as it’s going over wireless.

    Another way that should soon be coming is Chromecast. You will be able play a video via web browser, iOS apps, and Android apps and send then have the Chromecast directly pull from the Simple TV box. Your device basically becomes a remote control.

    Hope this helps.

  21. @Adam

    They’ve completely backtracked on Chromecast support. They’re now saying that “Chromecast support will be considered, but not at this time.” That’s a direct quote from their Twitter feed today. Of course Newegg still lists Chromecast support as a feature and they advertised it numerous times in the lead up to the launch of the dual tuner. I almost pre-ordered the dual tuner, but now I’m really glad I didn’t.

  22. @Jake I’ve been following their statements on Twitter compared to what was released to the press last September and towards the end of the year. Definitely confusing.

    My guess is that they are trying to reset expectations with the dual tuner and new software releases. What is hurting is the previous press releases stating the opposite. Simple TV is finding it hard to stuff the genie back into the bottle. Seems like now they are saying “we have nothing to share until we are ready to release”…which going forward might be a better strategy. :-)

  23. Another thing in regards to AirPlay streaming to an Apple TV. If you are using the Simple TV iOS app, the stream will cutoff if your iPad/iPhone goes to sleep or is locked. If you use Safari in iOS to access the Simple TV website, you can start streaming and lock your device without it cutting off. Thought that was kind of interesting.

  24. Ironically, while streaming requires Silverlight for Chrome, the My Simple.TV website is completely unusable in any version of Internet Explorer. This makes Simple.TV totally useless on Windows RT (for the few of us who use that) or if you prefer IE as your main browser (which a lot of people do).

  25. BTW, these are great observations, Adam! Glad to see the speed has picked up in the new dual tuner version. Sad to see the fans are so loud. V1 is essentially silent.

    I’ve been testing out a V1 Simple TV, and like you I use it as a secondary (or even tertiary) device for TV, behind our FiOS cable box and HDHomeRun DLNA streaming from within the house. It’s been useful for outside-of-the-house streaming of live or recorded shows and allowed me to keep up with Meet the Press on a weekly basis from wherever I am.

    I got my friend a V1 from Woot for Christmas–one of the ones with lifetime service. He’s a perfect candidate as he’s total OTA. I plan to summarize his observations for ZNF soon.

  26. @Adam

    The unfortunate thing is they generated sales by making those promises, and in the process they’ve angered a number of customers. If I had pre-ordered a dual tuner from Newegg, I would have shipped it back by now and requested a 100% refund because they’re advertising a key feature that doesn’t exist. Fortunately I only have $90 invested in a gen 1 unit (and I only bought it because of the promised Chromecast support) so I’ll let it continue to collect dust until they follow through. If Tablo is well reviewed when it launches and includes Chromecast, I’m inclined to sell the Simple.TV for a loss and move on. For now I continue to wait.

  27. It’ll be interesting to see how it plays out given NewEgg’s typical 15% restocking fee on returns in light of the advertised, yet missing, Chromecast support and assuming the company doesn’t resolve this fan/heat issue in a timely fashion – which they may not be able to do given the enclosure design (which also differs from the vented TiVo Stream).

  28. I was a kickstarter backer of the original device, and my biggest turnoffs were 1. the requirement of using a hard drive instead of allowing a nas storage possibility too. 2. As a gnu/linux user, the silverlight requirement prevented me from being able to use the web interface of the device.

    I see in your post that you say html5 streaming works in safari, but not chrome. Have you tested using firefox?

  29. if those prices people mentioned are correct, then a better deal would be a Romaio Basic with lifetime service. That runs around $550 right now. $150 for the Roamio and $400 for lifetime service. Then you get four tuners which can be used for OTA and a 500GB drive. But you can also transfer any recordings to a PC for more storage. That seems like a much better deal than the prices mentioned for the Simple TV.

  30. jeremy, NAS and cloud storage support are in the works. Or so they told me. But we see how the Chromecast thing is playing out, so take it with a grain of salt.

    aaronwt, SimpleTV allows you to stream to browser or Roku. Roku is way cheaper and more versatile than a TiVo Mini. And Simple, Tablo, HDHomeRun are headless and can be placed anywhere (there’s good reception). So there’s more to the calculation than price alone.

  31. Does anyone know if the Lifetime Premier subscription is transferable, that is, can I sell it? I already have on V1 which I bought off Woot. I’m considering buying a second one, but wouldn’t need a second Lifetime Premier subscription. If I could sell the second subscription, that would lower the price of the second box.

    Thanks for the review. I’d probably buy one today were it not for the fan noise you mentioned. I have four kids, so I don’t see leaving it setting out with the top down. ;-)

  32. How is TV on the Big Screen? Impressions from the single-tuner unit was that it did a good job when streaming to a small-screen device – but there was a definite quality hit when watching TV on your Big Screen via the Roku.

  33. @Greg, Lifetime Premiere is by account. You should be able to purchase another V1 on Woot and then sell the activation code as long is it wasn’t used. The code came attached to the manual in the box when I received mine.

    @Evan Currently viewing shows on a 51inch TV. After testing more this past week, the quality of stream depends on delivery. Using Roku, the stream has the most artifacts and compression. If you use Apple TV and AirPlay, the quality is much better and, at least for me, I have a hard time distinguishing between my TiVo and the Simple TV stream via AirPlay. Looks like Simple TV needs to make some adjustments to their Roku Channel.

    Also, in regards to using AirPlay, it looks like the Apple TV is smart enough to stream directly from the Simple TV (like Chromecast would), at least when using Safari on iOS. This saves a lot of battery on your iOS device and that really just becomes a controller.

  34. Still think the basic Roamio @ $550 is the better value for those who want a DVR for the TV.

  35. I’m not sure where people are getting these prices, but the least expensive Roamio is $200 and lifetime service is $500. That puts the total at $700, not $550.

  36. Firmware has been updated for the dual tuner. Fan adjustments and power management changes.

    http://support.simple.tv/customer/portal/articles/1434957-cooling-fan-always-running-or-noisy

  37. Initial boot up (90 seconds) is loud, but then the fan steps down and eventually shuts off. Was able to get the fan to start by streaming two shows via browser and recording a live show. Definitely not as loud as before, which seemed like full blast. You can still hear that the fan is on, but less volume. For those that would have the dual tuner in the living room, I still think the audible sound would be too much, at least for me. If it’s stored out of site or in a closet, the sound would probably be muffled enough. Have a feeling that the fan is still going to be a problem.

  38. I am going to be a “cord cutter” officially in a few months but am looking to get everything set up in advance. I pre-ordered the ChannelMaster DVR+ but the Simple.TV is looking like a better option. I have a Roku on each of my TVs and an Apple TV on the main one.

    It seems like the Simple.TV will give me everything the CM DVR+ does plus the functionality of a Slingbox.

    I really like the idea of being able to watch anywhere on my iPad/iPhone but I’m concerned about the quality of live TV on the Roku. I might go with AirPlay on the AppleTV but does it send the video over the local network or does it use my internet data?

  39. Even after update, still loud for me. Should I return or try or should I take the top off? Would taking the top off silence this fan? Is that safe, will it hold up long-term? Or just return it, even if I had to eat a restocking fee?

  40. @heh
    If you are not comfortable with the fan noise after the update, I would recommend using the return policy. Taking the top off allows for sufficient cooling so that the fan does not spin. Saying that, it is not the appropriate solution and would not do this long term.

    After the update, I put the cover back on and at first the fan was fine, but immediately started once recording a show or trying to stream previous shows. The fan is too loud for me to have in my living room, and even tucked away in our loft area. Just waking up this morning and the fan was going non stop without any kind of streaming/use. The top of the device is VERY hot. Not warm, but hot. I ended up unplugging it this morning.

  41. Hi Adam,
    Great post. Even after 2/10 firmware update while fan is quieter, still runs 100% of time and is still too noisy even when TV is on. I also took the cover off and fan totally stopped after 30 seconds. Stayed off for 5 minutes but then came on and stayed on. Room is 70F. Chip obviously runs hot. Only real solution is to (1) change to top with many many little holes similar to Silicon Dust box, (2) larger heat sink, (3) quieter ball bearing vs sleeve bearing fan. (1) and (2) combined are likely cheapest solution and (1) is a must as fan is flush/nearly flush against top of box and holes only on left/right sides so fan is almost ineffective for cooling chip.
    The power light on top of my stv2 box turns off after about 10 seconds. Does yours? Is this a design feature/flaw or firmware bug?
    Apple Airplay of recorded shows to both iPad and Apple TV V3 works ok for me with no stuttering. FF/FR works ok. Resume is not working. Always restarts at beginning. Bug?
    Roku V3 similar to Apple TV. FF/FR works ok. Resume is not working. Always restarts at beginning. Bug?
    Shows do not always record. Not sure why. Is there an error log somewhere?
    Need a view screen in app where user can see just all recording setup sorted by day and time with conflicts (example: 3 shows set at same time). How does the software handle this now is not clear?
    Channel scan only picked up 39 channels even though my Samsung TV picks up 90+. Use same amplified antennae, no splitter. To test I unhooked TV and hooked up STV2. Simple.tv knows of issue. Suggested they allow users to manually added channels. Only helps though if a software scan sensitivity issue and not a analog front-end chip issue. Missing even strong local channels so hopeful a channel scan bug. Analog FE issue will be a product killer and I will return to Amazon.
    Will update as I experiment more. 25 days with no fixes and I will return to Amazon. Hope they move quickly!

  42. sending mine back. such a shame. it’s almost as if Simple.TV folks just don’t get it or care. They think they’ve fixed the issue. More updates “as time allows”

  43. @Kenneth Young

    The power light on top of my stv2 box turns off after about 10 seconds. Does yours?
    - Yes

    Is this a design feature/flaw or firmware bug?
    - Someone mentioned on the forums that the design of the light hadn’t been finalized, so I would expect additional updates to address this.

    Apple Airplay of recorded shows to both iPad and Apple TV V3 works ok for me with no stuttering. FF/FR works ok. Resume is not working. Always restarts at beginning. Bug?
    - Don’t really use resume, only FF scrubbing.

    Roku V3 similar to Apple TV. FF/FR works ok. Resume is not working. Always restarts at beginning. Bug?
    - I believe resume is on tap for the next Roku channel update.

    Shows do not always record. Not sure why. Is there an error log somewhere?
    - This seems to be an ongoing problem. I just had a show on Monday that did not record. There is no error log that I know of.

    Need a view screen in app where user can see just all recording setup sorted by day and time with conflicts (example: 3 shows set at same time). How does the software handle this now is not clear?
    - When you schedule recordings, if there is a conflict, there will be a dialog box that says what the conflict is and what you want to be priority.

  44. Hi Adam,
    Thanks for you reply. Twitter reply from simpletv said the light on box was ‘working as intended’ but a ‘future update’ would leave the light on all the time.
    Program time Conflict message I didn’t see when I created one, or thought I did, so I’ll have to go back and check this out again. Still would like to see the single screen scrollable view of all set programming sorted by date time like Cimcast crappy dvr gives. Easy to code.
    1/3 number of channels available being captured by auto-scan is still the ‘product/company killer’ problem. They should stop shipping and put 100% of inside people and hire outside resources to fix this above all else. The 1 star Amazon reviews and high return rate will otherwise sink the company. I don’t know if their management ‘gets this’ fact. They should have staff literally working 24×7 with outside experts to solve this. If a certain kickstarter company doesn’t have this channel scan issue and their software is 1/2 as good, simpletv is ‘dead’. Seen it hapoen before. I hope they read your blog and think hard on how they are handling this issue.

  45. The reviews coming in aren’t pretty at all.

    In regards to the other Kickstarter company, you mean Tablo? They originally used Indiegogo for funding. It did not get enough backing, but my understanding is that Tablo was going to be released independent of getting fully funded. They wanted to gauge the interest.

  46. Yes Tablo. My bad on Kickstarter vs Indiegogo. I think they just started shipping. I’m ordering one to try out and will report.

    I did semiconductor chip design for 25+ years and multiple startups, my last one I led raised 75M+ from VC’s, so I know a bit about both the tech and the challenges SimpleTV are facing and the inclination to ‘go all quiet’ when big problems arise, when you should be doing exactly the opposite. SimpleTV had to know of the channel scan issue and should never have shipped with that issue or the fan noise/heat issue. The latter is a <$1 mfg fix – literally – I am experimenting with just such a fix right now on my box and will gladly share with them my results.

    The channel scan 'company killer' issue could be hardware or software and without their firmware and debugger setup I can't analyze to see if firmware alone could fix or not – but I hope they have hired an expert outside of Silicon Dust to analyze the issue for them. If SimpleTV is waiting on Silicon Dust to come up with a fix, they are making a huge mistake IMO. Silicon Dust reportedly designed/mfg the STV2 box and they have their own issues with their version of the same basic hardware and their box fixes will come first.

    Again, if I were running SimpleTV I'd stop all shipments until the channel scan and fan noise/heat issue is fixed.

    If Simple TV management already knows or strongly suspects that firmware alone will not 100% get the channel scan reception to match channels picked up by $100, 32" flat screen TV's from Walmart, they should tell us early adopters to return STV2's now for full refunds (including to/from shipping costs). Customers will respect their integrity and be willing to give them another chance when they resolve these issues and state they are ready to ship a fully working STV2 product again. If they try to lead us on for weeks, that is a piss-poor, inexperienced management decision. I don't know if they have a board or directors or if any VC's are on it, but they need to step up and rethink their current strategy.

  47. I had to throw in the towel today. I returned my #SimpleTV STV2 to Amazon and cancelled my $150 lifetime list service.

    The responses I was getting from #simpletv, while timely, just didn’t instill in me any confidence in their management teams ability to deliver a timely solution or to openly and honestly tell us customers whether they understood all the issues and had identified timely fixes, that wouldn’t require a hardware replacement. Lack of this type of open and detailed communication, not a box with some bugs, caused me to give up on SimpleTV.

    Sad.

    Placing an order for a Tablo now. Will soon see if their boxes and management are any better.

  48. When you say this isn’t a TiVo replacement … why? Is it close? What features would Wife miss the most?

  49. @Barry From my experience, the software is still just not there in terms of reliability, especially for the dual tuner version. Simple.TV has updated the firmware twice now for the dual tuner, but the device still has random reboots and buffering issues when trying to play via Roku or AirPlay to an AppleTV. The second update did help the fan noise somewhat, but I would still not have this thing in my living room.

    As for actually scheduling recordings, there are a few ways and depending on which way you choose, it is a different experience:

    - Roku allows you to search for shows, but there is no guide data to sift through, only a “browse upcoming shows”. You can schedule recordings from the Roku and they are synced back to the Simple.TV website.
    - The website itself provides the classic view of guide data where you can browse shows and then schedule series recordings. Please note though, the website will eventually be updated to follow the Android/iOS view below.
    - The Android and iOS app allows you to view the shows like pictures, but again, there is no guide view.

    Simple.TV is generally going towards the “picture view” of shows. Where you just see a grid of shows and you select what you want to record. TabloTV is offering a very similar UI, but also allows for guide view.

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