Simple.TV wants to help cord cutters record and have access to broadcast TV wherever they are, by connecting its device to an HD antenna and streaming those signals over the Internet. And it’s launching a Kickstarter campaign to help fund that vision, as it prepares to launch in mid-summer.
Simple.TV makes a combination DVR and streaming device — kind of like a TiVo meets Slingbox — that lets users record basic cable and HD over-the-air TV signals, then stream them over the Internet to apps the company has built for the iPad or the iPhone. The company has also just built an HTML5 web app that will let users connect on devices that it hasn’t yet built apps for — like Android tablets, for instance.
Simple.TV CEO Mark Ely says that the Kickstarter campaign will help fund the initial run of device sales. Rather than raising funding in exchange for equity, Kickstarter will provide some of the working capital required to start manufacturing the device.
There are some other advantages to launching on Kickstarter rather than opening with sales on the Simple.TV website and on Amazon.com. Ely says that the crowdsourcing service will help it with inventory management and gauging demand for the device before it starts selling direct to consumers. Kickstarter is also a great way to gain support through social networks and by word-of-mouth.
Simple.TV has multiple levels of support for the campaign, all of which will provide discounts for users who wish to sign up early and get one of the first devices to be shipped. With a goal of $125,000, the startup has a relatively low threshold of success — after all, it only takes about 1,000 unit sales for Simple.TV to hit its target.
- Pledge $25 or more – Stick it to the cable guy and get a “Cut the Cord” T-Shirt.
- Pledge $125 or more – Get the Simple.TV DVR at a $25 discount
- Pledge $149 or more – Get the Simple.TV box and a year of service
- Pledge $199 or more – Get a Simple.TV DVR with unlimited EPG service and a Mohu ATSC antenna
- Pledge $299 or more – Get everything you need to cut the cord: a Simple.TV DVR with unlimited subscription, Mohu ATSC antenna, and a Roku XS
- Pledge $349 or more – Get two Simple.TV DVRs with unlimited subscriptions, and two Mohu leaf antennas to allow you to send one to your family
- Pledge $399 or more – For the real big nerds out there. Get a Simple.TV DVR with unlimited subscription plus a Mohu antenna and a Roku XD, personally delivered and installed by Simple.TV CEO Mark Ely
- Pledge $499 or more – For developers, get three Simple.TV DVRs and API access to develop additional apps