Epict Kickstarts “Ultimate Cord Cutting” Tech

On Tuesday, Irvine, CA-based startup Epict launched its WatchAir Smart HDTV Antenna on Kickstarter. Less than four days later the company had already funded 97 percent of its $50,000 goal with 29 days to spare. Not too shabby.

The system is a portable TV antenna/tuner that live streams TV over Wi-Fi to app-enabled smartphones, tablets, major brand smart TVs, and a number of streaming sticks/boxes, including Roku and Chromecast.

Priced at $249, WatchAir is built around a compact amplified antenna said to receive high-band VHF, low-band VHF, and UHF signals up to 60 miles away. The system has a TV guide and supports recording with 7 GB of built-in storage—enough for a 5-hour HD program—which can be augmented with an additional 32 GB through a Micro SD or USB 2.0 slot, allowing up to 25 hours of recording.

The antenna has an integral bracket designed for quick, temporary mounting on walls and windows.

Pledge levels range from $149 to $349 and Epict is targeting October for delivery.

"We wanted to design a complete product that doesn't require additional, separately-sold devices like an ATSC TV tuner and a streaming and recording device," said Justin Park, Epict CEO. “With WatchAir, we hope to not only make our consumers' viewing experience more enjoyable and stress-free but also provide a more economical value in total price to own, functionality and quality, compared with any other HD antenna, DVR devices, ATSC tuners and app available in the market.”

For more information, visit kickstarter.com.

View the WatchAir video

Warrior24_7's picture

"We wanted to design a complete product that doesn't require additional, separately-sold devices like an ATSC TV tuner and a streaming and recording device,".

The question is can you duplicate this for less than $250? Yes, you can!

Media.WatchAir's picture

$249 is the total MSRP for WatchAir, as in our press release. The street price for WatchAir will be less than $200.

schneiderbecket's picture

649x360 2 channel video.... Is this what they aspire to provide customers? No Thank You!

schneiderbecket's picture

EDIT: 640x360

Media.WatchAir's picture

We really appreciate if you can check our specification. WatchAir wirelessly streams local live TV at "HD quality". No mention about any SD level or 640x350 streaming at all. Thank you.

schneiderbecket's picture


Complete name : C:\Users\jd\Downloads\video-692978-h264_high.mp4
Format : MPEG-4
Format profile : Base Media
Codec ID : isom (isom/avc1/mp42)
File size : 8.32 MiB
Duration : 1 min
Overall bit rate mode : Variable
Overall bit rate : 769 kb/s
Encoded date : UTC 2016-08-04 08:53:47
Tagged date : UTC 2016-08-04 08:53:47

ID : 1
Format : AVC
Format/Info : Advanced Video Codec
Format profile : High@L3
Format settings, CABAC : Yes
Format settings, ReFrames : 3 frames
Codec ID : avc1
Codec ID/Info : Advanced Video Coding
Duration : 1 min
Bit rate : 661 kb/s
Maximum bit rate : 1 536 kb/s
Width : 640 pixels
Height : 360 pixels
Display aspect ratio : 16:9
Frame rate mode : Constant
Frame rate : 23.976 (24000/1001) FPS
Color space : YUV
Chroma subsampling : 4:2:0
Bit depth : 8 bits
Scan type : Progressive
Bits/(Pixel*Frame) : 0.120
Stream size : 7.15 MiB (86%)
Writing library : Zencoder Video Encoding System
Encoded date : UTC 2016-08-04 08:53:23
Tagged date : UTC 2016-08-04 08:53:47
Color range : Limited
Color primaries : BT.709
Transfer characteristics : BT.709
Matrix coefficients : BT.709

ID : 2
Format : AAC
Format/Info : Advanced Audio Codec
Format profile : LC
Codec ID : 40
Duration : 1 min
Bit rate mode : Variable
Bit rate : 106 kb/s
Maximum bit rate : 117 kb/s
Channel(s) : 2 channels
Channel positions : Front: L R
Sampling rate : 48.0 kHz
Frame rate : 46.875 FPS (1024 spf)
Compression mode : Lossy
Stream size : 1.14 MiB (14%)
Encoded date : UTC 2016-08-04 08:53:23
Tagged date : UTC 2016-08-04 08:53:47

Sounds like it might not a accurate representation of the service but how am I supposed to know that, I don't want to see such low res garbage anyway....

Media.WatchAir's picture

We are so glad to see your clarification. This explains a lot. This description is not the specification of WatchAir, but the description of our promotional video file by itself. Seemingly, it was uploaded by the studio who made this video file. We'll ask them to delete the file and description. We really appreciate your reply. Thank you again.

schneiderbecket's picture

Is that really a RG-6 to a 1/8 TRS adapter? I.... it hurts....

Media.WatchAir's picture

Overall, WatchAir transforms over-the-air HDTV RF signal to digital streaming signal. To perform this, WatchAir has a quad-core CPU inside to execute multi-processing including real-time transcoding. Yes, WatchAir has an antenna connection adapter as an accessory to connect typical coax cable connectors (sometimes called as F-connector, or RF-6 connector) to micro MCX connector in WatchAir if any existing antenna is used. If our built-in antenna is used, this antenna connection adapter does not have to be used at all.

schneiderbecket's picture

I didn't know about MCX, I haven't come across it before.

Media.WatchAir's picture

MCX connector is usually used when small form-factor for any RF connection is required, just as in WatchAir case. Since MCX connector cannot take any conventional big coax cable connector (F-connector), we provide a gold-coated adapter as an accessory.

For more information about MCX connector, please visit at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MCX_connector. Thank you.

hk2000's picture

I submitted a comment mentioning Silicondust Connect as a MUCH MUCH cheaper option, S&V deleted it!!! Reader be ware this article is an advertisement.

Media.WatchAir's picture

EPICT Inc., the creator of WatchAir, can officially confirm that no financial fee, reward, or compensation has been paid or delivered to S&V directly or indirectly in any form.

Just FYI, according to the specification on the gift box of HDHomeRun Connect, the product wirelessly streams live TV at "SD" level, not "HD" level (as in the pictures at https://www.amazon.com/SiliconDust-HDHR4-2US-HDHomeRun-CONNECT-2-Tuner/d...). According to the comparison chart on the box, HDHomeRun Extend streams live TV at HD level as WatchAir does. For more details about HDHomeRun, please contact SiliconDust in case we misunderstood the comparison chart on the box.

For any further clarification about WatchAir, please feel free to contact WatchAir team at media@watchairtv.com. Thank you in advance.

hk2000's picture

HDHomeRun Dual and HDHomeRun Prime are what I use and I'm able to watch HD channels on all my wireless devices and computers on my home network. My bad, I assumed their new Connect has the same capability, but still, it's the price I'm quibbling with- both my Silicondust devices cost less than $80 each and are a 2- tuner and 3 tuner devices.

Media.WatchAir's picture

Thank you for your clarification about HDHomeRun products.