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Full list of FAQs

Last Updated: Nov 26, 2013 07:59PM PST

What is Simple.TV?

Simple.TV is a personal DVR that streams live and recorded TV programs to web-connected devices like the iPad, Roku media streamer, and PCs and Macs. It includes a single HDTV tuner that records to an external hard drive. In a nutshell, you get free HDTV on your computer, tablet or connected TV without a cable subscription.

What's different about Simple.TV?

Simple.TV isn't your standard DVR. It doesn't plug into your TV set, it won't let you get encrypted cable channels or satellite TV, and you plug in your own hard drive (for as much storage as you need). What it will do is capture free-to-air broadcast TV or digital basic cable shows and make them available on all your favorite connected screens—inside your house, or on the road.

How much does Simple.TV cost?

Simple.TV DVR costs $149, excluding tax, shipping and handling.

A subscription service is available which gives you access to our rich electronic program guide, enables you to schedule series recordings, and allows worldwide streaming for up to 5 simultaneous users. You can buy a 1-year subscription or a lifetime subscription. Simple.TV will be available to order very soon.

When can I buy Simple.TV?

Simple.TV is now available for purchase on our website:

Is Simple.TV available in my country?

Simple.TV is only available to customers in the United States. We cannot sell Simple.TV units to customers outside the U.S. at this time, though we do plan to add support for customers in other countries soon.

What do I need to use Simple.TV?


  1. An ATSC digital antenna (or digital basic cable—also known as ClearQAM)
  2. A USB hard drive (2.0 or 3.0 will work fine)
  3. A home network with access to the internet
  4. A PC or Mac running Firefox, Chrome or Safari to setup your account online and to watch TV.

We also have apps for Roku (so you can watch Simple.TV in the living room) and iPad coming soon (so you can catch up on shows on-the-go).


Will Simple.TV work at my house?

Simple.TV is a DVR that works with antennas and digital basic cable. Using Simple.TV with digital basic cable is a slam-dunk—if you are curious about what channels you'll get, just connect the cable from the wall to your TV, perform a scan and note which channels come up. Simple.TV will generally be able to access the same channels as your TV's tuner. Note that Simple.TV does not support analog basic cable. The vast majority of cable operators in the USA broadcast in digital but check with your operator to see what you receive.

If you want to use Simple.TV with an over-the-air antenna, we recommend walking through the following steps to see what kind of signal you're likely to get at your home:

  1. Visit Antenna Web, enter the address where you plan to install your Simple.TV and you'll get a good idea of the number and strength of channels you can expect to receive.
  2. Once you have an antenna in your possession, hook it up directly to your TV and position it in various locations (scanning for channels each time) to determine where reception is best.
  3. Look around your neighborhood. If you see friends and neighbors with antennas, there's a good chance that antenna reception is good in your area.


What sort of channels can I get with Simple.TV?

In general, Simple.TV works with all unencrypted TV signals from antennas and digital basic cable, which includes all the major broadcast networks. Most customers will be able to receive FOX, NBC, CBS, ABC, PBS, CW and many customers will also be able to receive channels like Discovery and SyFy. Pay-TV channels and channels available only with premium cable subscriptions (like HBO, Showtime and ESPN) will not be viewable with Simple.TV.

Does Simple.TV get HDTV?

That depends on your TV service. Most over-the-air channels (the kind you receive with an antenna) are in HD and they look fantastic! Many cable operators include HD programming in their digital basic cable line-up, but you should check with them before purchasing to find out whether HD programming is part of their offering.

How many tuners does Simple.TV have?

Simple.TV has a single HDTV tuner, so you can record one program at a time. However, you can watch up to 5* different recordings at once, so the whole family can catch up on their favorite shows simultaneously.


*Simple.TV playback performance is limited by your network bandwidth and USB hard drive performance.

Does Simple.TV work with cable or satellite boxes?

Simple.TV is designed to work with digital basic cable subscriptions and over-the-air digital antennas (analog cable is not supported). If you are using cable TV, keep in mind that Simple.TV will only see unencrypted channels (not premium channels like HBO or Showtime). Unencrypted channels usually include the major TV networks, but will often vary by cable operator.

So Simple.TV works with digital basic cable. What's that?

Digital basic cable (also known as ClearQAM) is a package of unencrypted TV programming provided by most cable TV operators for a modest monthly subscription. Digital basic cable usually includes all the major broadcast TV networks like FOX, NBC, CBS, ABC, PBS and CW (and many operators offer these channels in HD too!)

Typically, many cable customers with digital basic cable service can access these unencrypted channels without a cable box, and in this case the cable coming into the house can generally be connected directly to a TV—or to a DVR like Simple.TV.

Check with your cable operator to see if you have access to digital basic cable. Note that analog basic cable is not supported.

What devices can I watch Simple.TV on?

There are three main ways to watch live and recorded programming with Simple.TV:

  1. A web browser on your PC or Mac (Firefox, Chrome and Safari are currently supported)
  2. A Roku streaming media box (running the Simple.TV "channel")
  3. An iPad (running the Simple.TV app, downloadable from the App Store*)

We are planning to add support for more devices later in the year and into 2013.

*Coming soon.

How many people can watch Simple.TV at once?

Up to 5* simultaneous connections are possible. Mom, dad and three kids can all watch different recorded shows on different devices. And if you have the Premier service, you can watch from anywhere in the world with an internet connection.


*Simple.TV playback performance is limited by your network bandwidth and USB hard drive performance.

What's the Free vs. Premier Service?

With our free service you'll get full HD video; the ability to record, watch and pause live TV; and in-home streaming. Scheduling of recordings is limited to scheduling a single episode at a time.

Simple.TV Premier adds unlimited global streaming for up to 5 users, the ability to schedule series recordings, and watching video from outside of your local network when you're on-the-go.

Premier is currently available either as a yearly subscription ($49 per year) or as a one-time lifetime subscription ($149 one-time fee). A monthly subscription option will be added soon.

Does Simple.TV connect to WiFi?

No. Simple.TV is designed to connect to your router over Ethernet (Cat-5 cable). Once connected to your home network, you can access Simple.TV from your wireless devices (connected over 3G, 4G or WiFi).

Are you offering a monthly subscription option?

We will be adding this to our web store soon. Sign up for Simple.TV updates, and we'll let you know when this purchase option is available.

Can I cancel my order?

Once you've ordered, you can cancel any time before the product ships from our warehouse. To cancel your order visit and select one of the contact options. We'll process your refund as soon as possible. Once your order has shipped, it is subject to our standard return policy.

What is your return policy?

We offer a 30-day money-back guarantee, with the following conditions:

  • Simple.TV must be returned in original packaging with all materials in the same saleable condition in which is was received
  • All shipping charges are the responsibility of the purchaser
  • Refunds may be subject to a 15% restocking fee

The restocking fee will be incurred if the returned product does not include all the original components in the same condition in which it was received. Goods received as damaged are subject to an excess restocking fee, which depends on the individual case. Visit our support page and select one of the contact options. We'll contact you with instructions on how to proceed.
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