Want to record live TV shows, store your recording in the cloud, and stream them to your TV, phone, tablet, PC, or other devices? Now that Aereo has been shut down, you might think that the dream of a cloud DVR is dead. But one company is hoping to revive the concept.

Simple.tv already has a set-top-box that lets you record live TV broadcasts and beam them to internet-connected devices from your home network.

Now Simple.tv is getting ready to launch ShowDrive, a new type of DVR that sits in your house and records videos… but saves them to the cloud instead of to local storage.

showdriveAccording to Variety, ShowDrive will launch a beta test in the UK soon and Simple.tv is hoping to launch its service in the US in 2016.

In the UK, British viewers will be able to purchase a ShowDrive box that lets them record Freeview TV broadcasts. There’s no hard drive in the box. Instead, recording are transcoded and uploaded to cloud storage on the fly.

Then you can watch your videos from nearly any internet-connected device.

Customers will be able to pay about $1.55 per month for 100 hours worth of cloud storage, and about $7.70 per month for 1000 hours.

So how is this different from Aereo, which was sued into oblivion? Aereo attempted to use a loophole in the law by assigning each customers a dedicated TV tuner so that the company was simply recording live broadcasts just the way you would at home. But Aereo’s TV tuners were all in a central farm, not in your house, and officials argued that effectively made the company a cable-like company which was rebroadcasting TV stations without the permission of the those station owners.

ShowDrive, on the other hand, sits in your house just like a Tivo or cable company DVR. The only difference is that your data is stored online instead of on a hard drive.

It’s an interesting idea… but unlike Aereo, it won’t provide access to channels that you have trouble picking up with a rooftop antenna. And that makes me wonder if it’s worth paying a monthly fee to store your recordings in the cloud.

On the other hand, the storage prices for the UK beta test are still cheaper than a monthly TiVo subscription.

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7 replies on “ShowDrive is a DVR that stores recording in the Cloud”

  1. I don’t even want a wi-fi connection between my tuners and my recording drive. Reliability is more important than cost.

    1. Agreed. Upload it to the cloud (if you must) after the recording has completed and you’ve cut out the commercials. (Optimize resolution/file size for your device as needed)

  2. I don’t see this picking up steam. Recordings can get quite large when recording 1080p. Plus I’ll be using a lot of internet bandwidth uploading video and then streaming.

    I’d rather have my Tablo with local storage. I save on internet bandwidth and if caps ever come my way, I’m covered since I can watch alot of TV locally. The only advantage I see of this is ease of use, somebody that doesn’t to deal with local storage and the setup (an example, my folks).

    1. I wonder if they use some sort of a system so that they only upload/store a program from a particular channel once, rather than individually for each customer. That would help with the upload side. But it might create its own legal issues.

      1. I agree that it may cause Legal issues depending on the country. From what I read, it would not do this, it would upload individually for each customer.

        I’m sure they will be compression & reducing the quality when uploading to the internet. I’d rather have my local storage. When the internet goes down, I still have access to LIve TV and recordings.

      2. Google Music does this for music – not sure how the legal issues work.

        1. Right–I think almost all the music services do that. But there’s fewer legal issue with that because it doesn’t involve time shifting.

          Clearly they couldn’t just record a show on their own and then share it with everyone–that wouldn’t be time shifting in any sense of the term. But is it still time shifting if several people uploaded the same program, but they only kept one copy? That’s probably more likely than it being time shifting if they only have one (or a handful for redundancy) of customers upload the program, but then make it available to anyone who had it scheduled to record prior to the airing.

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