Tablo - DUAL 64GB OTA DVR with WiFi - Black
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- Maximum Supported Resolution1080i
- Operating System CompatibilityAndroid, Apple iOS, Mac, Windows
- Product NameDUAL 64GB OTA DVR with WiFi
- Model NumberSPVR2-02-EN
- Color CategoryBlack
- Compatible Wireless Standard(s)MIMO, Wireless N Dual Band
- Interface(s)Ethernet, RF/antenna, USB 2.0
- Manufacturer's Warranty - Parts1 year
- Manufacturer's Warranty - Labor1 year
Rating 3.5 out of 5 stars with 68 reviews(68 Reviews)
Rating 4 out of 5 stars with 1 review
A Good Work in Progress (Recommended)Posted .I would recommend this to a friend
[Immediate Disclaimer: I work for NONE of the companies whose products are mentioned in this review, nor do I personally know anyone who does. My feedback reflects my own opinion as a consumer and mine alone.] I have recently stopped being a cable TV customer after four decades due to stratospheric monthly bills in the hundreds of dollars and degraded video quality following a certain major cable company's inexplicable 720p downgrade and severe overcompression for most cable channels. The main replacement for cable channel viewing has been Sony PS Vue, which offers most of the channels I want at a respectable looking 60fps smooth framerate, with DVR and On Demand, for a reasonable thirty bucks a month. I subscribe to HBO for fifteen dollars a month via Amazon because they seem to have the best picture quality of the various HBO streaming options. I'm also a long time Netflix subscriber at about twelve bucks a month for 4K service. Since none of the national streaming services have been able to offer full service for my local market, two weeks ago I bought the new Tablo Dual DVR at Best Buy to view and record local Over-The-Air (OTA) channels. The Tablo looks better than Sony Vue for the one local CBS channel they offer, and of course you can easily fast forward through commercials, which is not a given at all for On Demand on Vue. Pros: The company generally has the right idea with this Tablo Dual OTA DVR, but it is lacking in key areas that prevent it from being a fully viable cable box replacement for local channels. However, this device is useful enough to tide one over until some company releases a higher quality OTA DVR with at least basic features that this one is missing. There are competitor boxes that perhaps might offer better quality with an HDMI output and less compression, but they lack network device viewing apps. Indeed, the best thing I can say about the Tablo Dual is that you can stream your OTA antenna feed on any networked TV/phone/tablet/PC in the house, which is extremely convenient and at this point really a requisite product requirement. I have several Amazon Fire TV (not the stick) and Roku Ultra boxes on multiple TV's, and both wired and wireless work well for those two brands, although the Tablo app user interface for each has its strengths and weaknesses. The Amazon Fire TV has more access to the Tablo settings and better guide info, while the Roku Ultra has better picture quality due to a bit better resolution and something resembling 1080i interpolation support. I literally go back and forth between the two boxes depending on what I'm watching. For sports, especially, I think the Roku Ultra looks better and is a bit less choppy. Viewing on my Android phone is good over WiFi and is usable over cellular remotely if you have a strong signal. Note that since there is no HDMI output on the Tablo itself, you must have some other streaming device to view it on your TV. I had no need to test the Tablo’s WiFi, so I have no comment on that function. I have my Motorola Surfboard 6183 cable modem, Netgear Nighthawk X6 router, HP switch, Amazon Fire TV, and Roku Ultra all connected via Audioquest Cinnamon Ethernet to deliver better clarity of sound and picture, although the primary benefactor of the high quality Ethernet cabling is NAS music uncompressed FLAC playback to my HTPC and stereo system, which is unrelated to this discussion but does benefit the other nearby connected devices. In the primary viewing room where the Tablo is located, all A/V devices are connected to a Sony XBR-65X900A 4K 3D TV via a Yamaha RX-A3060 AVR using Audioquest Carbon HDMI cables, which make a wonderful difference in both sound and video. Cons: Even the highest quality streaming setting at "HD 1080 - 10 Mbps, 720p@60fps" is too low for viewing on a large screen. It desperately needs 1080i interpolation for a less choppy frame rate. I would never set it to anything less than the current highest available setting as at least it gives 720p 60fps, the bare minimum starting point to be considered. I'm viewing on a 65" screen, so better resolution retention during transcoding would be greatly appreciated. It is a pain constantly to have to change the Motionflow setting on my Sony 4K TV to somewhat combat the choppy 1080i frame rate, as the Tablo device itself needs to do a much better job of being able to replace a cable box in this regard. The transcoded audio is stereo only, so any 5.1 OTA support is lost. Recordings are overcompressed and sound even screechier with better quality audio equipment (sibilance is the worst with “sss” sounds). This quality degradation seems especially unnecessary for audio as it takes up a lot less storage/bandwidth/bitrate than video. The start and stop times of recordings set in the guide cannot be adjusted manually. I keep missing the beginning and end of shows that do not follow an exact to-the-minute schedule, usually done on purpose by the local network affiliate channel. The manual setting of every show is a very temporary workaround, is practically tedious, and requires bypassing the paid guide service. We need to be able to see Live guide listings a week or two in advance, not just 24 hours. Especially given that the guide is an extra paid service, this is woefully inadequate. Even my ancient cable box showed two weeks in advance. You can see about a week of listings in advance for some shows in the different category listings, but it's a long list of tiles to hunt through, and that’s with having selected only eight local channels in the initial box setup that I care about watching. Having to search manually in the search entry box is incredibly tedious and impractical to do daily, weekly, or otherwise, but it's there. The Tablo gets almost hot enough to cook an egg on. I suppose it might be due to having it set to the highest quality available, but it really needs both better A/V quality and better cooling. The tiny 64GB internal memory included on the device seems like mostly a marketing gimmick to let the customer preview the device before buying the obviously needed external hard drive. At full quality, the only setting worth doing, I got about 12 hours of two tennis programs recorded before the device was full and cut off the end of the second recording by about an hour. Then I bought one of the few Tablo approved external devices, a Western Digital 2TB Elements portable external hard drive, which connected and installed easily. How long this tiny little thing actually lasts with moderate use is yet to be seen. Other: I bought the new "Antennas Direct - ClearStream 2Max - Indoor / Outdoor HDTV Antenna" (Model C2MVJ-5) at the same time I bought the Tablo Dual DVR. Unlike those silly and somewhat useless rectangular paper/plastic antennas, this one actually works to pull in every local station in my area that I care about. I absolutely love it and highly recommend it to start with as if it works for you won't need anything better. I have it sitting in the corner of the room on the floor and didn't even have to mount it outside to get five green circles for dozens of local stations in the Tablo setup menu. The local transmission towers are about thirty miles away, so this works very well for my situation. I read on the Tablo customer support forum about the Channel Master 4G LTE Filter improving picture quality by eliminating cell phone interference. For the twenty bucks I figured I had nothing to lose and it only took a couple days to arrive. I placed it between the Tablo and the coax antenna cable. While not a dramatic difference in my particular circumstances, I think it probably reduced some of the pixelation I had been observing, so it was easily worth it. FWIW, I tried a TiVo OTA Roamio a few months ago and immediately returned it due to lesser tuner and picture quality. The Tablo Dual seems to me, at least, to be better in both those areas. The combination of the Tablo Dual DVR, the ClearStream 2Max antenna, and the WD 2TB Elements HDD sealed the deal. Overall impression: Going from even an old cable company DVR to the Tablo can be quite a shock, with many industry standard features still missing, but hopefully they will be added in the future. I would buy another Tablo DVR in a heartbeat, even to replace this new Dual one, if these issues are resolved, but looking at the Tablo customer forum discussions, I'm concerned the company is not interested in sufficiently improving on what minimalist foundation they've built so far, and that's a real shame because they're off to a good, if very slow, start, despite having been in the cord cutting market for a number of years now. I know that Tablo responds to their customers here, so I do sincerely hope that they take these recommendations to heart and improve on the product feature set soon. I applaud them for what they’ve accomplished to date and encourage them to finish what they started.
Rating 5 out of 5 stars with 1 review
Excellent Streaming DVRPosted .I would recommend this to a friend
This device is tiny, about 5 x 5 inches. About 1.5 inches tall. It runs a little warm. Tablo was easy to get up and running and has an excellent quick start guide. The first thing you need to know is this device does not connect to your tv. Tablo is a streaming device. Streaming is what you do when you watch video on Hulu and YouTube. So the first thing you do is connect the antenna, connect the ethernet cable to your router and connect the wall wart power supply. You can also use wifi in the set-up but ethernet is so much more reliable and simple! Now that Tablo is powered up you will see a blue light flashing. Now is the setup part. I used my Computer and used the Google Chrome browser. You type in; my.tablotv.com and in a minute or so you will get a setup screen. The quick set up guide will walk you thru. One important item. Only the Google Chrome browser will work. Firefox and Opera did not work. You don't need a computer to set this up. You can download an app to your phone or tablet computer. 3 of my tablet computers (2 Nook and 1 Toshiba) would not work with the app. But my Amazon Fire HD 6 works fine with the app. During setup it takes about 5 minutes to find all your channels. It takes about 15 minutes to download the first day of the guide. Then your ready to go. The guide is 14 days so the rest of the guide gets downloaded in the backround. I tried 2 recording qualities. 720 at 5mbps and 720 at 3mbps. If your just going to use this on your tablet or phone 720 at 3mbps is fine. If your going to use the tv (my tv is 48 inch LG) the 720 at 5mbps is fine. You can go to 10mbps but WiFi may have issues? Thats why I use ethernet. But you can try WiFi at the high 10mbps data rate. I have Windows 10 computers connected to my TV's so I used the Google Chrome Browser it works really good. You can skip forward 30 seconds, skip back 20 seconds. Video is smooth and good quality. I should mention my entire setup is using Ethernet. **You don't need to use a computer to watch tv with Tablo. Roku, AppleTV and Amazon Fire TV work. Also the Chrome Stick.** The video scales really good on Google Chrome. So I can open up a small window and watch tv while reading my email. One last thing. Since this is a streaming device everything takes time. If you are a channel surfer you are going to be totally disappointed because it takes 5-15 seconds to change the channel and watch something. I gave this a 5 rating because I will be using this to time-shift tv recordings and not watching live tv and channel surfing. If I am reading email and doing work on my computer I will probably watch the news and such in a small window viewing live tv. Sorry for such a disjointed review.
Rating 4 out of 5 stars with 1 review
Great Cord Cutting Device|Posted .I would recommend this to a friend
I bought the Tablo after I canceled my AT&T UVerse service. I set up my Tablo in about 30 minutes. It was easy to set up but getting the settings right to record took some trial and error. I missed recording some shows the first few days but once I fiddled around with it, i got it working just right. This is a great Over-The-Air (OTA) DVR for cord cutters. I use a streaming service that doesn't include my local networks. Now I can record all my favorite OTA shows for free!! I only need one antenna and all the TVs in my home have access. Great Product once you set it up!!
Rating 5 out of 5 stars with 1 review
Highly Recommended for Cord Cutters!|Posted .I would recommend this to a friend
I canceled cable TV some time ago, mainly because I hated the extra charges for HD, extra TVs, cable boxes, etc. I have tried Sling, Hulu, DirecTV Now, Prime, etc. They are good, but none offers a good option to watch local channels. I got an HD antenna with an amplifier and Tablo. It works great. Set up was really simple: plug the antena into Tablo and Tablo to your Internet router. A simple app scans channels and lets you select which ones you want. Then add the Tablo app to Roku and you are done. I have been watching the World Cup, local channels, and late night: Steven Colbert and Seth Meyers. The quality is as good or better than UVerse and any Internet-based TV service. the DVR works great. I have zero monthly fees. Nada. In fact, I save money because I can watch TV in full HD without using any of my Internet bandwidth, so you can go for a lower-cost package. I still have Sling TV and Netflix, but neither of those is to watch TV. Tablo is not perfect. This is what I did not like: - During one game I had a black screen for a second. Don't know why and has not happened again. - In the current software you cannot set a recording from Roku, I have to do it from my PC or a browser. - It takes about 10 seconds to start watching any channel. So it is not a good option for channel surfing. - HD antennas have a limited number of channels available. Search online for what is your coverage. I live close to the Mansfield dam, in a lower part of the city. We struggle with cell phone coverage. I have no problem with any of the HD aerial channels. I do recommend getting an antenna with an amplifier.
Rating 3 out of 5 stars with 1 review
Neat device for Cord Cutters|Posted .I would recommend this to a friend
Having read a review advocating for this device as easy to use for those seeking to use an HD antennae instead of paid cable/TV, it seemed like a no brainer. Price is not bad considering it was a one time investment and compared to what monthly prices are for Major Providers such as Slime Warner, or similar giants, it's understandable. Recommend that you understand what your personal needs are when it comes to cutting the cord before you purchase equipment as I was unaware that a Chromecast, which I currently utilize, is not 100% suitable for streaming the recorded content from the Tablo to my TV. Please review the content posted on Tablo's site to see what is recommended as a best case scenario for using this product in your home environment (Smart TV, Fire Stick, etc.) Pros: Geek factor Easy to set up Small Form Factor Cost Expandable Storage option Cons: No HDMI port for output directly to TV No remote
Rating 4 out of 5 stars with 1 review
Nice DVR system|Posted .I would recommend this to a friend
The great thing about this system is it only takes 1 antenna and not a ton of coax cable around the house. With this DVR you run your antenna to your Tablo system. Plug your Tablo system into your WiFi and you can watch your recorded shows from any tablet, smart phone, or smart tv in your home (or any streaming device like a Roku). It’s easy to install but to properly set it up can be difficult. It took awhile to get the settings right but once I got it right we have crystal clear recordings of our TV shows
Rating 1 out of 5 stars with 1 review
Too many issues|Posted .No, I would not recommend this to a friend
Not sure where to start but this needs quite some fixing! The unit frequently crashes. When you power it up and thand external USB is connected it is not properly detected. Must disconnect and reconnect first. When you add an external drive, all of the internal memory goes to waste - it's unused! Changing channels on ATV is a pain. It takes 5-10 seconds for the program to show! You can't switch to the guide while you still watch the channel. When you want to change, the love TV stops. No PIP despite dual tuner. Video quality is mediocre. Overall this has more issues than it solves.
Rating 4 out of 5 stars with 1 review
Great cord-cutter device!|Posted .I would recommend this to a friend
This has worked well for me. Easy to use, after a somewhat slow set-up process. The image quality during a live stream and off a recording are good, even at the medium settings. Nice to have the built in hard drive so I don't have to worry about extra components. Wish the app would update channels faster, and frustrating that you can't schedule recordings from your TV unless you buy the subscription. (You can schedule recordings from the app though, which is fine.)