Dual Tuner “Simple.TV by SiliconDust” DVR Runs Linux on Zenverge ZN200 SoC

“Simple.TV by SiliconDust” is the full name of a digital video recorder (DVR) featuring two tuners, one input supporting antenna (ASTC) and over-the-air cable (ClearQAM) connections, one Ethernet, and one USB 2.0 host port for external mass storage devices. The device, called HD Homerun on SiliconDust website, is powered by Zenverge ZN200 STB SoC, and runs Linux. This is an upgrade of Simple.TV 1, and it allows you to watch a channel, while recording another, or record 2 programs thanks to the 2 tuners. An app will also be available to watch recorded TV program on Android tablets (coming soon) or iPads, and there’s also an HTML5 client to watch TV in any compatible browser. Recorded shows can be watch from any location with Internet access if you have a Premier subscription.

Simple.TV by SiliconDust (Source: CNet.com)
Simple.TV by SiliconDust (Source: C|Net)

Simple.TV 2 specifications:

  • SoC – Zenverge ZN200 STB SoC with a quad Stream HD Transcoder, audio processing engine, transcryption engine (CA/DRM), and a unnamed host processor
  • System Memory – 1GB RAM
  • Storage – NAND Flash (capacity unknown), Hard drive via USB 2.0 host port
  • Tuner – Dual TV Tuner (ATSC for now, but DBV-T2, DVB-C, DVB-S2, and ISDB-T should also be supported according to C|Net) with one coaxial port
  • Connectivity – Ethernet Port
  • USB – 1x USB 2.0 host port

The device is said to support DLNA for Xbox 360, and Roku Channels. You’ll notice there’s no video output, that’s because contrary to many other DVR, the new Simple.TV DVR does not connect to your TV, and you’d have to use a media player connected to your TV to watch recorded shows.

Simple.TV_by_SiliconDust_rearThe hardware will let up to 5 users watch recorded TV shows on their preferred device at home, but if you want remote access and extra features (See table below), you’ll need to pay a premier subscription that costs $60 for one year, or $150 for lifetime.

Basic Service Premier Subscription
Watch, Pause & Record Live TV Y Y
Record 2 Shows at the Same Time Y Y
Record TV Episodes Y Y
Get TV Show Details & Images Y Y
Whole-planet Remote Access Y
Automatic Series Recordings(get the whole season) Y
Pause & Resume on Select Devices Y
Offline Viewing for Mobile Devices(download-to-go) coming soon Y
Early Access Pass (see the new features before everyone else) Y

Simple.TV is currently available in the United States, and is coming to Canada and Europe early 2014. Simple.TV by SiliconDust costs $249.99 for basic service, $299.99 with a one year premier subscription, and $399.99 with a lifetime premier subscription. This may seem expensive, but for reasons I don’t fully understand, you can just dump paid cable in the US to get the same channel, and this device is supposed to save you money.

Further information is available on simple.TV and SiliconDust HD Home Run Simple.TV product brief.

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10 years ago

With luck the Chinese OEM companies will start integrating TV tuners/PVRs in their Android TV sticks soon. (Surprised it’s taking so long, given that they’re for use with TVs…)

10 years ago

Would be nice with a full (native) Simple.TV PVR backend addon for XBMC as a client, so you that way don’t have to use TVheadend or a other PVR backend to get full PVR & DVR / EPG access to it in XBMC

I believe that XBMC have some basic (SiliconDust) HDHomeRun client support, but not a proper HDHomeRun PVR backend addon so that you do not have to use a third-party PVR backend like TVheadend

10 years ago

cnxsoft :
I can see very few STB sold with tuner too, the problem is that you’ve got different standard around the world (ATSC, DVB-T2, ISB-T, etc…), and to test it, you either have to buy a signal generator, or have qualified people testing the products in countries with the relevant standard.
Chinese resellers may also have a problem with returns, as they’d need equipment to check if the tuner really works as expected, or if the customers did not use the product correctly.

100% agree

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