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Nimble TV First Look

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I've written before about your digital video recorder moving to the cloud. For those who don't know, "the cloud" refers to storing data (any kind of data) on servers that you access via the internet as opposed to your local PC or device.

More and more services are moving to the cloud and the DVR is no exception. Boxee is now offering an ATSC DVR that will store your shows on a server for a monthly fee. Boxee has also promised to provide access to your shows via mobile apps sometime in the future. This would allow those who travel to access recorded, and even live, programming from anywhere that they have an internet connection.

Another company looking to make a mark in the online DVR space is NimbleTV. Announced some time ago and currently in private beta only, NimbleTV is a purely online DVR. There's no hardware to buy. NimbleTV works inside a browser on your PC to deliver live and recorded TV from a selected provider. According to the company's website, you'll be able to choose the provider you want from multiple countries. This would allow you to view content from the UK or US if you live somewhere else. Great for those who have to travel outside of their respective countries frequently.

Again, NimbleTV is currently in closed beta and that's a good thing. While I was able to get a beta invite, I was unable to choose my provider and had to pay for a one month subscription to Dish Network out of New York City. This provides me access to NYC's local affiliates as well as select premium programming, a total of 40 channels. Many of the channels I've been provided are provided in high definition and don't look bad on my laptop screen once buffered. Others are standard definition however and don't translate well even after a good amount of time to buffer. This is to be expected since standard definition content just isn't going to look good on an HD screen.

Worth It?

I hate giving reviews of beta products and I won't start here. Suffice to say that NimbleTV does have a long way to go if they want people to sign up and use the service. With no choice of provider or programming package, there's really no motivation to sign up even if you do travel regularly. You'll get access to the most common programming but if you want content from another country or if you want to access your local news while travelling, it simply isn't an option yet. Hopefully it will be soon.

As well, I have yet to get the service working on any of my mobile devices. I've tried to use a Samsung Galaxy SII, Amazon Kindle and Acer Iconia tablet. All Android devices, there is no app available and trying to get playback to work in the browser simply hasn't happened yet. Also, I'd like to be able to access this service on my two Roku devices but have yet to find a way to make this happen. One would hope that NimbleTV could quickly make the service easily available to all of these devices considering that being able to watch live and recorded TV while outside of the house is a main selling point.

Again, this shouldn't be counted as a review since NimbleTV is still adding features. You can expect a full review once the service goes public but until then, unless you travel quite a bit and want to be able to control the TV you watch while travelling by recording it to a could DVR service, you're better off waiting until the service can mature a bit.

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