SiliconDust Streaming Boxes

Ohh that’s funny… I purchased 3 silicon hd prime tuners for myself about a month ago. And they told me they had over sold and they weren’t available! I look at this woot plus site at the wee early hours and it looks like woot found the ones and sold them to other people. Hope that woot won’t cancel their orders too and make more disappointed wooters. In fact, I bought a total of 3 different items in that order, and I was told every item was oversold! If anyone can help turn my demeanor around, I would appreciate it, woot staff?

Does this come with the life-time free access to the program guide service?

The Amazon Mothership is selling the Simple.TV for $120.55 with free shipping:

Neither claims to include the program guide service, so I expect this is an apples-to-apples comparison?

Simple.TV is $100 at NewEgg. $90 if you use VisaCheckout (Code: VISACHECKOUT).

Just a warning, I have two HDhomeruns and one SimpleTV. After about a year all of the wall wart power supplies failed. They are cheap to replace from Amazon but they should not fail in the first place. I have never had any other wall warts fail. SiliconDust offered power supply replacements at ridiculous prices. I didn’t bother to ask SimpleTV about replacements, I am in the process of ordering that replacement now.

I don’t get these, they’re supposed to save you money somehow right?

Ok, ok, ok. We get it. And we’ve lowered the price on the Simple.TV by SiliconDust STV2-2ATSC to $89.99.

Y’all better go buy 3 now. I’m watching you!

Was trying to convince myself this might be the way to use my “we-miss-you Woot $10 coupon code” and that this Simple.TV box might be the solution to getting over the air TV at our remote up north woods property that happens to have 5-bar mobile data…

Love the claimed functionality.

But yikes those mother Amazon reviews - 18 out of 31 are 1-star. Not confidence-inspiring.

If you click on the “What are the differences” button on the following page it compares models:

SiliconDust What are the differences?

But no Simple.TV product listed - has it been dropped and what does that mean for future support?

Also, didn’t notice the Premier question being answered. The following hints it might be included. Is it? And is it lifetime? What does “lifetime” mean for a dropped product?

I ordered this on tried it for 3 months. Stupid this is not reliable, and the options are not very good. You still need to buy a digital antenna and on top of that if you want a lifetime account for watching on your phone its more money on top of that… I returned my item after three months. Do not buy this you have been warned. I should also note, I have a HDHomerun Prime, I run a HTPC running plex server etc and other multimedia things

I have used the single tuner for about a year and it works perfectly. I’m wondering if the double tuner has some glitch. I would love to get the double because when the single records, you can’t watch it or any other channel. The ‘record’ overrides everything. Any comments on the double tuner specifically.

Any answer to the first (well, second) poster’s question? I won’t even consider buying something I might never receive.

Do Silicon Dust boxes support QAM channels or just ATSC channels??
We are too far out to get over the air channels but I would love to throw out the cable company DVR and it’s cost.

Buyer beware on the Simple.TV unit. I bought one of these last time they were on Woot. To answer another question-- no they do not come with the Premiere Service, you can buy a subscription from them (monthly $59.99, lifetime $149.99) or buy a first-generation unit that comes with a lifetime subscription (the cost is less for the latter if you ebay it). The reason for warning is so far I’ve not been able to use my device. It requires an external hard drive to be present for setup, and of the three WD external drives I attempted to pair to this device (two different series brand new HDs and my dependable old standby) NONE could be recognized by the unit. There are multiple forums of users dealing with the same issue, and the solutions vary. I contacted Simple.TV (in September) directly to ask for assistance. I received a quick response asking for permission to unregister the device, said ok, and received no follow-up at all after that. Have emailed them 3 or 4 times since then with no reply at all. Not sure I want to subscribe to any service provided by a company that provides no customer service. I still have the box, it still doesn’t work. It’s a shame too because it’s such a good idea. Love that it supports Chromecast, just wish mine worked. Consider yourself warned.

Heck, I’m still holding my breath for a unit that works like a roku and will send out singles to little boxes you attach to your tv that will allow access to your media server, OTA digital signals, attached hard drives that records those OTA HD stations… Is that asking too much? I’m not in the mood to buy and setup much less tweek upteen devices just to watch big bang theory. I’m already installing a HDTV tuner card in my work in progress 2nd media server/DVR setup and it works but takes too long to record content and not sure how the tuner card is going to work out yet.

I have had the complete opposite experience with my 2 units.

I purchased the single tuner model about a year ago that included the lifetime subscription and a 1G externam HDD. Setup worked. Channels were set and recordings worked fine. I had to reboot it maybe 1x in the year I used it.

I ‘upgraded’ to the 2 tuner version about a month ago. Plugged it in and ran through the setup. Moved my HDD from the 1 tuner model to the 2 tuner and it found all the shows I had already recorded. The 2 tuner unit had 1 hiccup where I could not watch something while 2 shows were recording, but that was a one time occurrence and the 2 shows recorded with no issues. The fan is a little loud so put it somewhere out of site/mind/hearing and you won’t have a problem.

If you already have a lifetime subscription, this is a great deal.

I can’t believe it, but I have seven Simple DVRs with a total of nine tuners and four lifetime subscriptions (if someone asks, I’ll explain why so many lifetime subscriptions).

Let’s start by saying this post applies to the Simple DVR not a Silicundust HD Homerun. Silicondust happens to manufacture the devices. This is the modified two tuner model of the Simple DVR. First generation was the single tuner STV-1000 which was a kickstarter campaign. They later released a two tuner STV2-2US. This device had a fan, got really hot, consumed the lubricant in the fan, got noisey, and failed. They refitted these with ventilated covers and modified the software to make the device run cooler and the fan run less. They call that third device a STV2-2ATSC and that is what we are wooting here.

This is a standalone device – no PC is required. There is no cable card version.

This DVR requires some kind of subscription service to function. The basic version is free but limited to interactive use (watch, pause, record, etc.). The premier service let’s you schedule recordings without regard to time and channel. This costs $60 per year or $150 for lifetime.

So, what is a Simple DVR? The Simple.TV DVR is a whole house Tuner/DVR for broadcast television. According to the manufacturer, “Simple.TV is the first personal DVR that streams live and recorded TV to your favorite devices, wherever you are. Get all your broadcast TV favorites on your iPad, PC, Mac or Roku box.” It plugs in to your antenna, ethernet, and usb drive, but not your television. To watch the Simple DVR on your television, you need a Roku. Up to five devices can access live or recorded programming concurrently, but there are only two tuners, so all people watching live programming must watch the same channels.

What Does This Do? In the most common configuration, you attach the DVR to your antenna and LAN and use a Roku to access the DVR from your television. You can use the tuner to watch live television from your antenna or play files already stored on the DVR. You can pause, rewind, or fast forward the programming, delete files from the DVR, and schedule recordings (one episode or all episodes) with the Roku. If you have more than one DVR, you can switch from one DVR to another.

Remote access is excellent. Image quality and buffer management are good enough to enjoy live and recorded programming via public wireless networks. My mother can use my antenna to watch broadcast television via a Roku at her home which has poor reception. There are iOS, Android/Kindle Fire, Windows 8, and Plex apps for the Simple DVR. I cannot speak for the iOS app, but the Android app is amazing. The Plex app only supports playback (no live tv or file management), but you can use it to watch your recordings on many devices including the Amazon Fire TV.

What Doesn’t This Do? With the current software, you cannot watch the video as you rewind and fast forward and there is no slow motion or frame by frame review. You cannot do time based recordings (record channel 38 from 3pm to 8pm weeknights). I’d really like to see a ‘Play All’ and/or Play List option for recordings and it would be great if the Premier software managed all DVRs as one — choosing the next available tuner, showing all programs in a single browse window, etc. Finally, and this is a big deal for me, it doesn’t work at all when you have no internet connection. It will record scheduled shows, but you cannot watch live tv or your recordings.

This is NOT for cable TV. While the STV-1000 officially supports Clear QAM, this model does not.

Support I have been very disappointed with Simple support. The documentation is sparse, the support site is inaccurate, and email support is sporadic. Worse, they don’t seem to know any more about the product than I do. The best help has come from the user community. I hope this changes. It’s easy to see how nontechnical users could become frustrated.

Installation The setup process is very straightforward. You have to use specific browsers to configure the device. I have used Chrome and Firefox. Internet Explorer does not work. It seems that security software can interfere with the process as well. Security settings and ad-blockers can cause problems with the discovery and configuration process.

  • Plug DVR into your network, a usb disk, and your antenna
  • Open your browser to, sign into your account (or create an account)
  • Activate your lifetime subscription
  • Click Activate Your DVR
  • Select the DVR to register
  • Prepare your disk
  • Scan for channels

Downloading Recordings This DVR allows you to download recordings as MP4 files. The recordings do not look as good as the files look played directly from the DVR.

You Will Love the Simple DVR If…

  • Your home is situated such that television signals come from multiple directions. Instead of using a rotor or combiner, you can install one or more DVRs for each market and access the antennas via a Roku.
  • Your home is not pre-wired with coax. Run coax from the antenna to your router and install the Simple DVR(s) next to the router.
  • You have to have a television where no one thought to install coax. A Roku brings live tv to your remote television.
  • You want to watch tv by the pool or on the deck. Simple can stream to a laptop, a tablet, or a wireless Roku by the pool.
  • Your remote vacation home does not have television but does have internet access.
  • You travel a lot and hate infomercials.
  • All your favorite shows air when you are at work.
  • You want to share antennas with a friend in a different market

You May Not Love the Simple DVR If…

  • You have poor broadcast reception
  • You need visual cues when fast forwarding or rewinding a program
  • You have a poor network in your home

I love the Simple DVRs. After two months with the dual tuner Simple DVR, I give it two enthusiastic thumbs up.

A word of caution, Simple has not posted to its twitter accounts, facebook, or forums since September. There may be a reason for this fire sale. Simple usually posts to these events, but not today.

Unencrypted QAM… Which means they’re virtually worthless since the FCC ruled that cable providers can now encrypt all channels.

Not true as to the antenna. Digital OTA TV signals work just fine with my 30 year old Wineguard roof antenna.