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Tablo Review: OTA DVR Streams to All Devices, but Can You Afford It?

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Many of us know the advantages of plugging antennas into our TVs, getting free over-the-air (OTA) TV with HD image quality being one of them. The only problem here is that we are stuck with live TV. We need the help of a DVR to start making our own programming schedules.

Nuvyyo is hoping to present a more affordable option with its new OTA DVR called Tablo . Here we have a product designed to blend the functionality of a DVR with the convenience of a tablet to browse, record, and stream broadcast TV content to any device, anytime, anywhere. Tablo is an ideal choice for cord-cutters because it can record free over-the-air HD content, which means you don’t have to pay the cable subscription bills to enjoy the benefits.

Tablo is a small black box that records over-the-air content and streams it to a wide array of connected devices. All you need is a USB hard drive, antenna and a secondary device to view the content. This set-top box streams both live and locally recorded over-the-air broadcasts to internet-capable platforms, such as Android, iOS, Roku players, and web browsers.

Tablo TV

Tablo App

Leaving behind the traditional DVR, Tablo takes free OTA HDTV to a whole new level with its rich, interactive tablet app. The Tablo app works on Android and iPad tablets, with playback and live TV available for Android and iPhone smartphones, PCs, and on TV screens via Roku, Apple TV, or Google Chromecast. TV viewers can have a fantastic home media experience with network and local programming in excellent HD, anywhere they happen to be.

What is Tablo

How Much Does Tablo Cost?

Tablo was released in 2015 and the device is available in two DVR models – dual-tuner for under $200 and quad-tuner for a little under $300. Both the models have Ethernet, dual-band WiFi, and two USB ports for external hard drives. The Tablo boxes also require a monthly subscription fee for guide data, which is around $5.

This $5 monthly fee is really the only downside of the Tablo. If you talk to any Cord Cutter, the last thing they want is another monthly subscription. So if Tablo can find a way to sell lifetime memberships, then I believe they really could take the market by storm.

Other OTA DVR’s on the market include Tivo Bolt and Channel Master DVR+

Am I crazy here or does this just sound Amazing? Do you already have a DVR recording OTA? If so, please share with us how you are currently accomplishing this.

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Frank Moraes
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3 replies on “Tablo Review: OTA DVR Streams to All Devices, but Can You Afford It?

I love my Tablo, now that I have it set up right. I have never tried having more than two people streaming shows at the same time, so I can’t comment on that. I do frequently watch one show while recording one or two others, but this requires a lot of bandwidth which my set up provides.

It works really well in my set up because I’ve used the house coaxial cable system to connect my routers (I have three from Verizon FIOS), and I connected the antenna and TabloTV directly to one of the routers. I essentially can watch anything live or recorded from any device (I have iPads and iPhones, AppleTV, and Roku devices), from anywhere. But I think this requires a lot of bandwidth, and before I set it up this way, (with wired connections between the router, Tablo, and antenna), it worked, but with less resolution and with frequent skips.
The company has performed well and I subscribe to the subscription to get all the listings in my area most seamlessly in the device to make it easiest to record things. The only complaint I have is that changing channels is slow on live TV, as you might expect when the device has to buffer up the content and then transmit it.

Great read Dave, any plans to write one on the ChannelMaster DVR+? Also how can a fan get in touch with you directly, didn't see a "Contact Us" form?

Great questions – lets get started:

Yes! Tablo enables you to watch live or recorded programming while recording another show. The DVR, just like Cable TV DVR's allows for multiple feeds simultaneously and enables you to record two to four programs simultaneously, depending on the edition.

No, Tablo can stream to up to six devices simultaneously. The only limiting factor is the speed of your home network.

Parent controls are not yet available, but this is being considered for a future release.

Tablo offers two USB 2.0 connectors for external storage that work with USB hard drives up to 2 terabytes.(and that is a lot of space btw)

When you buy Tablo we include the Tablo DVR, a power adapter, a small antenna and a 3 foot Ethernet cable. The interface app is available as a free download. Please note that the antenna is not optimized for use in all locations and you may need to purchase an additional antenna to capture signals from all channels available in your area.

For more info check out Tablo's FAQ page: https://www.tablotv.com/faq/

I get the general concept that is Tablo, but would appreciate clarification on the following:
a) How many show can I record at once, and can I watch a different show whilst recording?
b) I have a large TV viewing family; does this mean I would need more than one Tablo?
c) Does Tablo have parental controls?
d) How much space does the Tablo require to record a show?
e) What would my subsciption include?

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