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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