Gadget Show Live: Will Simple TV create Freeview for the app generation?

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Yesterday at Gadget Show Live in Birmingham, one of the most intriguing exhibitors was SimpleTV, who have built a clever Freeview streamer. Read on to find out more.

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In essence, it’s a box that sits next to your router, and into which you plug both your Freeview TV ariel and an ethernet cable to link to your router – and then using apps on different Smart TV platforms, it is possible to pipe the live and pre-recorded Freeview pictures around to whatever device you want to watch TV on.

At the moment, it works with both the Roku streaming box, and there’s an iPad app – though the company plan are currently working with TV and streaming device manufacturers to build this functionality into their boxes (Sky’s NowTV was one that was mentioned). Apparently up to five people can watch content from the SimpleTV simultaneously – this presumably doesn’t mean live TV due to a limitation on the number of tuners on the box, but five people should be able to watch pre-recorded content.

When watching live or pre-recorded there’s also built in DVR-style controls – including live rewind and pausing.

It’s a clever device and solves a problem that you didn’t know exists… but when you think about it, it could be rather useful. Perhaps the most exciting implication of this is that not only will it stream your TV signal around your home on your local network… but (if you pay a subscription fee), it will also work over the web – so wherever you are you’ll be able to tune into your own TV. Apparently it’ll even work when abroad with no need to worry about regional restrictions, because you’re technically rebroadcasting your own TV. Brilliant.

The device isn’t yet available but should be coming later this year – we’re hoping we’ll be able to give it a test for ourselves nearer the time.

James O’Malley

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