Once upon a time, watching TV meant the entire family gathering around to see Ed Sullivan on a bulky black-and-white set. Today, the experience is markedly different: huge flat screens in the living room, teeny tiny screens in our hands, not to mention the remote control’s facelift. There’s a revolution under way, and it will indeed be televised in one form or another.
The phenomenon: cord cutting. The reason: Cable packages are expensive and cheaper Internet offerings, such as Netflix and Hulu, make for good substitutes. Roku helped lead the charge of cord cutters when it introduced its first Netflix-compatible set-top box in 2008. In the same vein, Simple.TV is being hailed as the next major device that could push people to say goodbye to pay TV. Its time-shifted controls can record over-the-air content and stream shows and movies to supported devices, such as the iPad, Boxee, Roku and Google TV. A premium subscription costs $5 a month, which includes automated recordings (like a season pass) and the ability to stream the device to five users on the home network. Simple.TV will be released in the spring and will retail for $150. Contine reading