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Simple.TV: The unconventional over-the-air DVR

Simple.TV's DVR without a hard drive or video output may sound crazy, but it could end up being a killer product for cable-cutters. That's the impression I got after spending some hands-on time with the over-the-air-friendly DVR, which was already working on an iPad and a Roku 2 XS box in the booth.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Matthew Moskovciak/CNET
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iPad app

The iPad app is seriously slick. There's a nicely laid out interface for browsing what's currently on TV and you can set the DVR to record right in the app or watch live.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Matthew Moskovciak/CNET
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iPad app screenshot

During the demo, we were able to tune into live TV from an off-site Simple.TV.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Matthew Moskovciak/CNET
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iPad app: Featured content

The featured content section is particularly attractive, letting you browse large images of top shows.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Matthew Moskovciak/CNET
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Offload videos to your phone

You can import your recorded programs right into iTunes, allowing you to offload shows onto an iPhone or iPad. It's a great solution for when you're planning to take a long flight without Wi-Fi, but I can already foresee legal threats from TV networks.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Matthew Moskovciak/CNET
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Roku app

The Roku app was having some connectivity issues, but we got to see the design of the interface.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Matthew Moskovciak/CNET
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Roku app home screen

It's much more basic than what's on the iPad app, but you can still watch live TV and access recordings.

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Recorded content

Like on the iPad app, you can access recorded content by browsing cover art.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Matthew Moskovciak/CNET
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Live TV on Roku

Live TV wasn't quite working, but the overlay looked polished.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Matthew Moskovciak/CNET
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Roku EPG could use some work

The EPG interface could certainly use more screen real estate and we'd prefer network names like CBS vs. "KPIXDT", but the app isn't finished yet.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Matthew Moskovciak/CNET
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Supply your own hard drive

The Simple.TV doesn't have a built-in hard drive, so you'll have to supply your own. The USB port can power a standard portable-style external hard drive.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Matthew Moskovciak/CNET
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