Review: Tablo (4th Generation) Over-the-Air [OTA] DVR




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The 4th generation Tablo DVR has been out for a few weeks now, and we got our hands on this brand new DVR. This is a major departure from older Tablo DVRs, mainly by being free to use after you buy it, unlike the subscription that was needed in the past.

So, other than being subscription-free after you buy it, how does this compare to the older Tablo DVRs? Let us take a look.

Here is our full YouTube review of the new Tablo DVR:

This is a great two-tuner DVR that lets you record up to two programs at once. It comes as a stand alone model for $99.99 or for a little more with an antenna.

The big new feature here is that Tablo will also add live free streaming channels into its live TV guide. There is also a new app that is available on Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Android TV/Google TV, and iOS mobile platforms, as well as most smart TVs and mobile devices. Apple TV, Samsung, and Vizio are expected to be added later this year.

This new app mixes both your antenna and a collection of free streaming content into a single place. It also helps you quickly find what is on in a very similar style to YouTube TV with recommended content.

That new DVR comes with enough storage for 50+ hours of video. If you want more, you can add an external hard drive for extra storage.

The one downside is the fact that this Tablo DVR only works in your house. Unlike older models that let you stream it anywhere you are, this one is limited to your home. Tablo says this is because of the high image quality compared to older models, making it hard to stream online.

The Bottom Line:

If you have an old Tablo DVR with a lifetime subscription, there is no reason to upgrade to this model. If you are thinking about getting a DVR at an affordable price with no subscription fee, this may be the DVR for you.

Tablo’s new DVR is once again super easy to use. The setup was quick and easy. The guide is easy to use, and it works with most popular streaming players.

So if you want a new Tablo DVR, this is a great option. If you have an old one, I wouldn’t upgrade, especially if you have a lifetime pass as the older DVRs let you also stream outside of your house.

The new Tablo solution features:

  • Whole-home connectivity – One Tablo device delivers live and recorded TV wirelessly to any screen in your home, including smart TVs, streaming devices, smartphones and tablets, via Wi-Fi or Ethernet.
  • TV antenna placement optimization – The new Tablo mobile app helps consumers set up an antenna and Tablo device, so they get the best reception and most channels possible for their home’s location to broadcast towers.
  • Flexible recording storage options – The Tablo hardware features 128GB of onboard storage for over 50 hours of HD recording capacity right out of the box. Consumers can expand recording capacity by up to 1,000 HD hours thanks to support for USB hard drives up to 8TB.
  • Free robust guide data and content discovery – Along with episode and series synopses, cover art and metadata for programs airing over the next two weeks, Tablo’s rich guide data drives powerful yet easy-to-use advanced DVR features including:
    • One-touch series recording
    • Advanced recording options
    • Automatic extended recording time on sports and other live events
    • Automatic avoidance of duplicate recordings
    • And much more
  • Apps for every device – Tablo apps make it easy for TV lovers to watch, pause and record network broadcast TV and free live streaming channels on:
    • Streaming media devices from Roku, Amazon Fire TV and Android TV
    • Smart TVs running Roku, Amazon Fire TV and Android TV Operating Systems
    • iOS/Android smartphones and tablets

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