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I purchased a used 4 tuner Tablo DVR from Amazon for $115 plus $89 for a 4 TB USB drive, updated the firmware for 5.1 sound, paid about $50 for an annual subscription to the TV guide and it has worked perfectly. The picture quality is great for all of the Atlanta TV channels and subchannels. I generally use Roku to access it and display live TV or recorded TV and to set up recordings. Very satisfied with it!
 

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I recently heard about Tablo's new Quad OTA DVR coming out and that they now support Dolby 5.1 surround sound, and so I've been researching their product again. I came across this review from April 2018 that was discouraging:

As with Tablo's other networked tuners, the Dual Live can only play interlaced channels at 30 frames per second. If a station broadcasts at 480i or 1080i, playback won't look as smooth compared to direct antenna input. Tablo is capable of 60-frames-per-second video on 720p channels, though you'll need to visit the settings menu and select the highest playback quality setting to enable this.
Anyone know if this is (still) the case with all Tablo DVR units? I don't want to sacrifice picture quality if at all possible.
 

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I recently heard about Tablo's new Quad OTA DVR coming out and that they now support Dolby 5.1 surround sound, and so I've been researching their product again. I came across this review from April 2018 that was discouraging:



Anyone know if this is (still) the case with all Tablo DVR units? I don't want to sacrifice picture quality if at all possible.
I've been using my Tablo for about 18 months and yes you can lose a small amount of PQ but you really have to be looking for it and then it is only noticeable on sports like Hockey or Basketball. I never notice it for it in regular TV shows. That said the picture is better than the Locals that Dish would rebroadcast across the satellite.

There is even a client that works on my Sony 75X900e AndroidTV, no external streamer needed.

The 5.1 sound was a firmware upgrade for all existing units and works very well. This is one of the best thing about Tablo is they are continually releasing firmware upgrades for units in the field, Tablo has started talking about the next firmware upgrade enabling commercial skipping.

I previously had a Hopper3 DVR with my Dish sub that I cancelled and would definitely recommend the Tablo as an OTA DVR for cord cutters.
 

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I've been using my Tablo for about 18 months and yes you can lose a small amount of PQ but you really have to be looking for it and then it is only noticeable on sports like Hockey or Basketball. I never notice it for it in regular TV shows. That said the picture is better than the Locals that Dish would rebroadcast across the satellite.

There is even a client that works on my Sony 75X900e AndroidTV, no external streamer needed.

The 5.1 sound was a firmware upgrade for all existing units and works very well. This is one of the best thing about Tablo is they are continually releasing firmware upgrades for units in the field, Tablo has started talking about the next firmware upgrade enabling commercial skipping.

I previously had a Hopper3 DVR with my Dish sub that I cancelled and would definitely recommend the Tablo as an OTA DVR for cord cutters.
Thanks. I actually just did some research on the issue, and now I'm not sure why the reviewer in the article I quoted highlighted 1080i/30fps as an issue. The broadcasters that use 720p (ABC, ESPN, Fox, etc.) use 60fps while the broadcasters that use 1080i (NBC, CBS, etc.) use 30fps. So, as far as I can tell, the Tablo is playing the interlaced content at the same frame rate as the native broadcast.

The slight decrease in the picture quality you've noted would probably be an effect of the transcoding from the OTA broadcast to the compressed H.264 standard employed by Tablo (and a lot of other streaming technologies).

After a research overload, now my trepidation in going with Tablo is the new ATSC 3.0 standard that is currently being evaluated in limited markets. Wouldn't want my new 4-tuner (ATSC 1.0) DVR to be outdated shortly after purchase.
 

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Without a mandate, stations might not bother spending the money upgrading to 3.0. It's easy to see the end result of this being no stations, or not enough stations, agree to the costly upgrades in equipment that ATSC 3.0 entails. If that happens, ATSC 3.0 is dead before it starts, or at best, languishes for years until a less-regulation-averse FCC makes the transition mandatory. ATSC 3.0 is being tested in a few limited markets such as Phoenix, Dallas, Cleveland and Raleigh. It will be at least a couple of years before we see if the industry is going to make voluntary upgrades or not.
 

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Thanks. I actually just did some research on the issue, and now I'm not sure why the reviewer in the article I quoted highlighted 1080i/30fps as an issue. The broadcasters that use 720p (ABC, ESPN, Fox, etc.) use 60fps while the broadcasters that use 1080i (NBC, CBS, etc.) use 30fps. So, as far as I can tell, the Tablo is playing the interlaced content at the same frame rate as the native broadcast.

The slight decrease in the picture quality you've noted would probably be an effect of the transcoding from the OTA broadcast to the compressed H.264 standard employed by Tablo (and a lot of other streaming technologies).

After a research overload, now my trepidation in going with Tablo is the new ATSC 3.0 standard that is currently being evaluated in limited markets. Wouldn't want my new 4-tuner (ATSC 1.0) DVR to be outdated shortly after purchase.
I have to agree with richart, ATSC 3.0 is not a government mandate like ATSC 1.0 was. It will be several years before any station converts to ATSC 3.0 as its only broadcast. At this point its not worth deferring any device with an OTA turner solely because of ATSC 3.0 but as always that is just IMO and YMMV
 

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Without a mandate, stations might not bother spending the money upgrading to 3.0. It's easy to see the end result of this being no stations, or not enough stations, agree to the costly upgrades in equipment that ATSC 3.0 entails. If that happens, ATSC 3.0 is dead before it starts, or at best, languishes for years until a less-regulation-averse FCC makes the transition mandatory. ATSC 3.0 is being tested in a few limited markets such as Phoenix, Dallas, Cleveland and Raleigh. It will be at least a couple of years before we see if the industry is going to make voluntary upgrades or not.
I have to agree with richart, ATSC 3.0 is not a government mandate like ATSC 1.0 was. It will be several years before any station converts to ATSC 3.0 as its only broadcast. At this point its not worth deferring any device with an OTA turner solely because of ATSC 3.0 but as always that is just IMO and YMMV
Thanks for the input, guys. I'm just on my annual-ish foray into cutting the cable for good. How these forays have worked in prior years is that I comparison shop all the different alternatives, test out some of the new technologies, figure out the issues that are dealbreakers for either me or my wife, and then shelf the idea going back to DirecTV for a while. It's getting to the point where there's not much reason to hold back anymore, assuming the new technologies work as well as they appear to.
 

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Thanks for the input, guys. I'm just on my annual-ish foray into cutting the cable for good. How these forays have worked in prior years is that I comparison shop all the different alternatives, test out some of the new technologies, figure out the issues that are dealbreakers for either me or my wife, and then shelf the idea going back to DirecTV for a while. It's getting to the point where there's not much reason to hold back anymore, assuming the new technologies work as well as they appear to.
I'm with you, right now I have Dish on pause, $5 per month, trying out the cord-cutters life. With the NHL.TV package the only thing I have been missing is NFL football that was on payTV only aka ESPN. Think I might actually cancel Dish for good this time around.
 

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I'm with you, right now I have Dish on pause, $5 per month, trying out the cord-cutters life. With the NHL.TV package the only thing I have been missing is NFL football that was on payTV only aka ESPN. Think I might actually cancel Dish for good this time around.
We dropped DirecTV a few years ago and went to OTA TV with a DVR, plus Hulu and Netflix, and we've never looked back. We love it and the initial investment for DVR and antenna has repaid itself many times over. I'm not a big TV sports fan so ESPN was not an issue, but at least ESPN is available via streaming for those that need it.
 

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We dropped DirecTV a few years ago and went to OTA TV with a DVR, plus Hulu and Netflix, and we've never looked back. We love it and the initial investment for DVR and antenna has repaid itself many times over. I'm not a big TV sports fan so ESPN was not an issue, but at least ESPN is available via streaming for those that need it.
ESPN is available but mostly in the more expensive packages and that kind of defeats the purpose of cord cutting. I've been getting by with Amazon prime, Netflix, NHL.TV, and MLB.TV. The last two I had before cutting the cord.
 

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We dropped DirecTV a few years ago and went to OTA TV with a DVR, plus Hulu and Netflix, and we've never looked back. We love it and the initial investment for DVR and antenna has repaid itself many times over. I'm not a big TV sports fan so ESPN was not an issue, but at least ESPN is available via streaming for those that need it.
Cord cutting would be so much easier if not for my addiction to BYU football and basketball. Fortunately, the BYUtv channel - available for free on Roku, Apple TV, etc. - broadcasts, in high definition, most of the basketball games and some of the football games. Unfortunately, I'm still beholden to pay TV for the best games - ESPN, CBS Sports, Fox Sports, etc.
 

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Never really had cable, but I can see the allure of sports being one of the biggest reasons to have cable. Thankfully, I'm only an NFL fan and I can (still) record my preferred games OTA with the original Tablo 2 channel DVR.
 

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Anyone here tried both Tablo and Airtv? Trying to decide, they appear to do the same. From some posts I've read, Tablo buffers longer to tune a channel. Just wanting a better guide (guest friendly) for OTA channels. I don't have Sling, but it's not required for Airtv, just seems to make the guide more clunky. I may just but a second flat antenna for second tv, but like the idea of whole house DVR and remote watching.
 

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Anyone here tried both Tablo and Airtv? Trying to decide, they appear to do the same. From some posts I've read, Tablo buffers longer to tune a channel. Just wanting a better guide (guest friendly) for OTA channels. I don't have Sling, but it's not required for Airtv, just seems to make the guide more clunky. I may just but a second flat antenna for second tv, but like the idea of whole house DVR and remote watching.

I have neither, but I understand the AirTV with DVR has some issues with series recordings (Season Passes) working properly at the moment.
 

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The new Tablo Quad is now available.
 
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Tablo quad dvr

Looking to get the Tablo Quad. I've been using the DVR+ for 3+ years and the loss of SlingTV and EOL of the DVR+ will force me to move on again. Does the Tablo support SlingTV (even without recording)? Thanks
JSutton
 

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Received the Tablo Dual lite today (the $99 special). All set up without issue. Actually picked up a few more channels than the TV tuner. A couple problems, mainly buffering. Buffers for 2 or 3 seconds about every minute of two.

I have the Tablo hard wired to Linksys router (that's acting as an access point), that is hard wired to my main router. I get 200mbps on my phone near the main router, but only 15-20 near the access point. I use a Roku2 at the TV near the access point and Tablo.

Is the buffering from the older Roku, or the slower access point? Anyone know why the access point is so slow?

Edit: Decided to try wireless rather than wired to AP. Seems to have removed buffers issues. Weird. Roku2 is definitely slower than my Ultra in the main room. Moving around the guide is about 3x quicker with the ultra! Recorded a show to an old HD with no issues. Pretty nice!

If I don't subscribe in 30 days to the guide, is the guide the same, just 2 days rather than 14? Can still record to local HD, right? Since this is mainly for 2 guest TVs, not worth spending money on the guide.
 

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Received the Tablo Dual lite today (the $99 special). All set up without issue. Actually picked up a few more channels than the TV tuner. A couple problems, mainly buffering. Buffers for 2 or 3 seconds about every minute of two.

I have the Tablo hard wired to Linksys router (that's acting as an access point), that is hard wired to my main router. I get 200mbps on my phone near the main router, but only 15-20 near the access point. I use a Roku2 at the TV near the access point and Tablo.

Is the buffering from the older Roku, or the slower access point? Anyone know why the access point is so slow?

Edit: Decided to try wireless rather than wired to AP. Seems to have removed buffers issues. Weird. Roku2 is definitely slower than my Ultra in the main room. Moving around the guide is about 3x quicker with the ultra! Recorded a show to an old HD with no issues. Pretty nice!
I am impressed the Roku2 is still usable. Clearly the issue for you was the router acting as an access point. It seems odd that was all you could get through it, but I guess it depends on how old the router is.
 
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