Hands-on with Mohu Channels: Over-the-air TV, streaming apps meet in an Android-powered box

Mohu made its name selling flat antennas for receiving over-the-air TV, but it's now the latest company jockeying to provide the media box in your living room.

The Mohu Channels set-top box was announced yesterday via a Kickstarter campaign and it's already nearing its $35,000 goal. It's part over-the-air tuner, part streaming media box, part Web browser, and the idea is to bring all of these types of content into the traditional channel grid.

The box: Small and unobtrusive

The box itself looks more like a jumbo inline antenna amplifier than the traditional set-top box design … Read more

CES 2014's home theater gear is the same, but better, and that's a good thing (wrap-up)

Living room tech always has a big presence at CES, but progress can often seem frustratingly slow, especially while other product categories make big leaps forward year after year.

CES 2014 was a refreshing change of pace, as I was surprised to find quite a few interesting home audio and video products on the show floor. While nothing was truly groundbreaking, there's lots of solid, incremental progress that should be showing up in home theater gear in 2014. And that's a lot more exciting than "concept" products that never make it to store shelves.

Over-the-air DVRs … Read more

Nuvyyo's Tablo DVR streams free over-the-air TV to all your devices (hands-on)

LAS VEGAS -- When Nuvyyo launched the Indiegogo campaign for the Tablo, the company's new over-the-air DVR, the project sounded promising, but there was little to judge it on other than some impressive specs and a slick video.

Here at CES 2014, I finally got my first chance to spend some hands-on time with the Tablo, which is scheduled to start shipping in February. To recap, the Tablo works a lot like Simple.TV, recording free over-the-air TV to an external hard drive, then streaming those shows over your home network to other devices, like an iPad or a … Read more

Channel Master's DVR+ offers true subscription-free over-the-air TV recording

It's a familiar story. Cord-cutters give up their cable subscription to shed the ever-increasing monthly fee, only to find that the best alternatives to record free, over-the-air TV, such as the TiVo Roamio and Aereo, require -- you guessed it -- another monthly fee.

The new Channel Master DVR+ ($250) is looking to become the over-the-air recording solution for subscription-phobic cord-cutters. Most DVRs charge a monthly fee for electronic program guide (EPG) data, but the DVR+ provides that info, supplied by Rovi, for free.

The design is unlike any other DVR I've seen. It looks like a thicker, … Read more

Simple.TV partners with SiliconDust: New hardware, 2.0 software update on the way

It's been a while since we've heard anything from Simple.TV and its quirky over-the-air DVR, but today the company made two significant announcements at the IFA show in Berlin.

First, Simple.TV announced a partnership with SiliconDust -- maker of the HDHomeRun line of products -- to build and distribute a new Simple.TV box, set to ship in US before the end of the year.

The new box ditches the curvy, white look of the original Simple.TV, opting for a somewhat smaller footprint and more conventional, black set-top box design. The big hardware upgrade is … Read more

Boxee TV early adopters get 3 months of free service, reduced $10 monthly fee

Boxee TV is already beginning to show up at Wal-Mart, and now there's a good reason to head there sooner, rather than later.

Boxee has released some additional promotional details for early adopters of Boxee TV. If you purchase a Boxee TV during the holiday season, you'll get three months of free month of "No Limits DVR" service, plus you'll get a reduced $10 monthly fee for the lifetime of your subscription.

Early adopters will also get three months of free Netflix, for both new and current subscribers; if you're a current subscriber, three … Read more

Aereo unveils new pricing plans, offers free hour of streaming per day

Aereo survived its early legal battles and now it's taking on the arguably tougher challenge: building its subscriber base.

The company announced a new pricing structure for its streaming over-the-air TV service, adding more subscription options to the original $12/month plan. There's now an $8/month option, which offers all of the same Aereo functionality, except you only get 20 hours of DVR storage, rather than the standard 40 hours. Aereo is also offering a discounted annual option for $80/year, which works out to $6.67/month for full Aereo functionality.… Read more

Simple.TV launches Kickstarter project, offers $300 Roku/antenna bundle

Simple.TV's innovative take on the over-the-air DVR made a splash at CES 2012, winning CNET's Best of CES award in the home theater category. Now the company has turned to Kickstarter, looking to raise $125,000 before the product launches this summer.

While Simple.TV's concept of streaming and recording over-the-air TV hasn't changed (read my initial CES story for more information), Kickstarter is making some attractive bundles available to project backers. For $200, you'll get the Simple.TV box, a full year of advanced EPG data and remote streaming capabilities, a Mohu antenna and a Simple.TV T-shirt -- a pretty good deal, considering the Simple.TV box itself will sell for $150. For $300, Simple.TV will also throw in a Roku XD and a lifetime premium subscription.

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When cord-cutting is better than cable

When people ask me if they should "cut the cord" and cancel their cable subscription, I tend to focus on negatives. You're going to miss a lot of sports, reality TV, and live TV events -- even if you get free, over-the-air TV using an antenna.

That's all true, but it's easy to forget that sometimes the cord-cutting experience is just flat-out better than having cable. I was reminded of this after reading a quote by former NBC executive Jeff Gaspin at the end of Bill Carter's recent story about declining TV ratings in The New York Times:… Read more

TiVo lowers monthly fee, increases Premiere storage

Most agree that TiVo's DVRs are among the best available, but the main sticking point for most buyers is always the monthly fee.

TiVo's making it a little easier to get over that hurdle, announcing today that the monthly fee has dropped to $15 a month with a one-year commitment. On the other hand, TiVo has changed the cost of the DVRs themselves as follows: Premiere ($150), Premiere XL ($250), and Premiere Elite ($400). That's a $50 increase for the entry-level Premiere, while the Premiere XL's price has dropped $50 and the Premiere Elite has dropped $… Read more