Tablo 2-Tuner Over-the-Air DVR Review: Too Much Hassle

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JCSNH

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Dec 19, 2014
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I've replaced my Comcast Xfinity X1 whole house DVR (4 TVs) with a TabloTV 4 tuner($249 at Newegg), Mohu Leaf antenna($54, receiving 42 OTA stations), a 1TB drive ($64 at Newegg) and 4 Rokus(Roku 1, $39.50 ea, Roku 3 $79). The cost of the equipment you've shown is full price. Who doesn't look for a sale these days?

I put together a spreadsheet of my cost savings over Comcast. In the first year, amortizing the hardware, I will save about $1200. Subsequent years I will save about $1800, assuming Comcast doesn't raise prices.

The setup is not difficult at all and our Tablo connected first try, no hiccups.

My opinion is that your verdict is off base and that cord cutters should seriously consider the Tablo.
 

iamkinghenry

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Jan 27, 2015
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I've been using the TabloTV 4 tuner at my house and my parents have the 2 tuner. Both have been working without major issues with the Roku. Yes, it's expensive but is the ultimate setup for cord cutters.

I'm not sure why this is difficult, you connect it to your router and boom, all your Rokus have OTA with a DVR,
 

Papertrumpet

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Feb 28, 2015
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Haven't bought mine just yet, but I'm getting ready to. I've been researching this for almost 3 months. Tablo is very clear in all its website info that you WILL need extra stuff for its unit.
Typically, the first piece of hardware to fail in a DVR is the hard drive, so I'm not real concerned about needing an external HD for the unit. If the HD ever goes bad, it isn't a bank-breaker to get another.
Second, by using WiFi in my home, I don't have to split the antenna signal into multiple sites (I have 7 rooms in my home with TV access, but with digital cable have only opted to pay for 3 boxes since each box costs MORE than $5/month). Every split of the antenna's signal means signal loss, but with the Tablo I really only need one feed from the antenna. I already own two Apple TV units, and a Roku box isn't that big of a deal to me compared to the multiple HUNDRED $$$ of other household DVR systems.
Finally, while many will say that Amazon Prime, Netflix, and Hulu (whichever version of the day is now out there) should solve all your major network viewing needs, but they don't really carry local news, weather, and sports. Sure I can look at my iPad or SmartPhone for the info, but some old habits die pretty hard.
The $5 per month ($50 per year) software guide would simply replace one of my 3 current Cable boxes. So with an initial outlay of $300-$450, my payback period on my cable cutting is only 4 months. That's not a bad ROI!
 

ScoJo

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Mar 10, 2015
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This article says that besides sports and news, "most" other entertainment options are covered by Netflix and Hulu with less hassle. The problem is that Netflix carries exactly zero new or even next day episodes of broadcast shows. So Netflix is out. And Hulu only carries some shows, not nearly all. On the other hand, OTA signals carry EVERY single episode broadcast shows in real time. Subscrition streaming services cannot hope to compare.

It also says that the user MUST buy a $100 Roku or Apple TV box. But it fails to inform the reader that a $35 Chromecast or $50 Roku Stick could serve the same purpose for playback and a free browser accesses all features.

The product is an OTA DVR which inherently has features not available on any other product except cable. And comparing its efficacy to streaming service makes no sense as they have entirely different functionality.

I am just not grokking your POV in this review. Is the intent of this review to act as a hatchet job because as a product review it is invalid given the conclusion that it is not an elegant solution for cord cutters to watch TV when it ignores the key aspect of the product which is to RECORD and watch TV. No streaming service exists that does that.
 

RonCo1953

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Mar 14, 2015
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I have to say, it amazes me that someone with the wherewithall to maintain a website could consider setting up a Tablo too much hassle. If you're purchasing a Tablo, you must first have a television & some sort of antenna to capture OTA broadcast. Then, you're not going to consider a Tablo if you don't already have internet. Yes, you additionally need a Roku, Apple TV or Chromecast to access it, but they're up front about that. Beyond that, if you can connect your tablet or smartphone to your wifi, you have the skills necessary to install your Tablo. I have one, I installed it and I look forward to years of television without paying for cable tv or satellite. I say Get ONe! This is the way to go!
 

ding88

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Mar 17, 2015
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4,510
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I think your negative review is off base. I just bought the 2 tuner tablo and love it. Most people who are considering the tablo already have the OTA antenna installed. I already had the Roku3 and a spare unused hard drive so extra cost was not that bad. It was easy to set up and now I can even access my tablo when not at home. It's great. And your con is my plus. Yes there is no HDMI. But now I just need to buy another Roku or Chromecast and my other TVs in the house can get my OTA channels and recordings too. No need to attach those other TVs to the external antenna which would require drilling holes to access the antenna and losing reception due to splitting the signal. I did buy a splitter and split the antenna - one to my tv and one to the tablo. So I still have normal access to the antenna if I don't want to go through the tablo/roku. This also allows me to essentially have the 2 tuners on the tablo to record and I can still watch a 3rd show on the tv directly. Frankly, the tablo is my ideal solution. I couldn't have asked for better.
 

Elprez

Estimable
Apr 16, 2015
1
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4,510
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I just ordered the 4 tuner model from Amazon. I have 5 TV's and plan on placing Roku's at each TV. I have about 7 months left on my AT&T Uverse commitment and I hate them so bad I don't mind paying an early termination fee to avoid giving them money. Between the 3 cell phones and Uverse I give them about 300 a month. All is soon going away. :)
 
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