Two New Devices Join Antenna TV and OTT in Net-Tops

Two New Devices Join Antenna TV and OTT in Net-Tops

-Mohu Offers OTT/OTA Hybrid Box
-Nuvyyo’s OTA DVR Connects to Chromecast, Roku and Apple TV

In the US the net-top box market has become a crowded field with the likes of Apple TV, Roku, Google’s Chromecast and, most recently, Amazon’s Fire TV. However, none of them have the ability to receive the local TV stations’ content for free.

The perfect cord cutter or cord-never device should be a box that combines OTT apps with a digital antenna to give the viewer the widest possible range of non-pay TV entertainment. While YouView has become a popular device in the UK, no such box has found success in the US.

Two new devices have debuted in the US that address this gap: Mohu, a net-top box that has a digital antenna, and Nuvyyo, an over-the-air DVR that connects to a net-top.

Mohu Expected to Launch This Summer

TV antenna maker Mohu has raised $145,000 from Kickstarter, which it plans to use to launch its Channels TV net-top box this summer. What makes the Android-based box different is that in addition to the usual OTT apps such as Netflix, YouTube and Hulu, it is connected to an antenna that picks up for free all the local TV stations, and it integrates the OTT content with the OTA content in the same user interface. That typically includes the local stations that broadcast the big four national TV networks: ABC, Fox, NBC and CBS. Those networks also carry most major sporting events.

This Web page shows you the list of channels each zip code can receive for free:

Mohu has developed and is selling antennae that pick up local stations. There are indoor, outdoor and amplified antennae. They pick up the uncompressed HD broadcast of local stations and deliver them via coax to all the TVs in the home. The antennae’s range goes up to 60 miles. See:

Now, Mohu is developing a net-top box that, in addition to being connected to an antenna for local stations, can access OTT services and has a browser. Its secret sauce is that it’s developing a personalized channel guide that it calls “Personal TV.” Users can create their own channel guides with any combination of OTT services, Web sites and local TV stations.

Mohu Leaf 50 HDTV antenna

Mohu Leaf Antenna

In using Kickstarter to raise money, Mohu also learned about other features that its future customers want. Among them are the ability to record and playback local TV content although it’s not clear whether the recording would be done in the cloud (previously called network DVRs) or in the Mohu box (a pricey function because it requires a hard disk drive).

Mohu also added side-loading for playing videos that are on the user’s PCs and other devices, Dolby 5.1 audio and a remote control app for Android smartphones.

Channel TV will have a remote keyboard and tuner. Mohu will also develop an Android app that can be used as a remote on tablets and smartphones.

What Mohu users will be missing, unless they also have a pay TV subscription, which won’t be integrated into Mohu’s Channel Guide, is the pay TV channels such as ESPN, History, CNBC and AMC and many, many others. But they’ll get all the local TV stations for free — and many in uncompressed 1080p.

Nuvyyo’s Streaming DVR Puts Live TV on Roku

Nuvyyo’s Tablo DVR isn’t a full-fledged NTB but it can connect to one, as well as other viewing devices such as tablets and laptops. Its Tablo DVR can stream OTA content, both live and recorded, to connected devices and to the TV set.

Tablo from Nuvyyo diagram

Where Tablo product fits

Nuvyyo said the device is geared toward cord-cutters who want to combine OTT services with OTA content. “Many are looking for a simple, cost-effective solution to supplement their over-the top programming from Netflix and Hulu with live television,” said Grant Hall, CEO at Nuvyyo. The company said its Tablo DVRs “take the fear out of cord-cutting” by making it easy to browse, record and stream live, local TV broadcast programs in full HD.

Watch a demo of the Tablo here:

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