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Tablo OTA DVR – Cord-Cutting Solution

As cord-cutting devices continues to grow in the marketplace, more people are looking for ways to record the free OTA TV signals that provides  sports, news and top shows that’s hard to get from Internet providers like Netflix and Amazon Video. Nuvyyo’s Tablo OTA DVR is a whole house dvr solution that can get you cable free.

Tablo is basically a dvr designed for cord-cutters who want a dvr subscription-less solution to stop paying monthly cable bills. It connects to your existing HD digital TV antenna and your wireless route via wi-fi or with a network cable. As it is connected to your network you can then view live OTA streaming hd channels through your digital antenna, view previously recorded shows or tap into watching shows from Netflix, Hulu, Apple TV internet streaming providers.

It is very similar to how Simple.TV works, but Tablo does it better. Most importantly, its image quality is excellent, better than other streaming solutions such as Aereo and Simple.TV.

Tablo OTA DVR Features

  • Each unit has a dual band Wi-Fi feature. You can connect to your wireless router this way.
  • Has the ability to hard wire your Tablo unit directly to your internet router.
  • Able to connect to a digital hd antenna to receive over-the-air hd channels
  • Not limited to connecting to 1 TV. It connects to your network acting as a whole house dvr solution.
  • You can connect to the Tablo device to watch live OTA channels, previously recorded shows.
  • You can connect to Tablo via Roku, Apple TV, Chromecast, Iphone or IPad devices.
  • There is an optional $5/mo program guide for Viewing what’s playing on the local channels.

The hardware Involved

The Tablo is a small hub for streaming terrestrial TV. The hardware may appear to be another box of electronics, but it has a good design and feel to it. It has glossy sides and a matt finished top. You’ll see a small blue LED on the front that can be turned off in the in the settings.

On the rear of the device you have port connections such as USB, Ethernet and antenna. There is also a built in Wi-Fi adapter. There’s no HDMI port, or a remote control, and this is by design. The Tablo doesn’t work like a standard cable-box-style DVR.  You will have to have an external usb hard-drive to record shows with this.

How Does The Tablo Work

how the tablo dvr worksInstead of connecting straight to your Television via HDMI, like a traditional DVR, you instead connect the coax cable from the hd digital antenna and connect an external hard drive to the Tablo to store records.  You then use the wi-fi option to connect to your internal network if you have the Tablo far away from your internet route.   If you can pull it off, connected the Tablo using a network cable directly to your lan port on your internet router would deliver the best quality of picture.

Once you do that you are not able to connect to the Tablo device using a device of your choice that connects on a wireless connection to the Tablo.   This is confusing so let me give you some real life examples.

Connecting Your Tablo Unit To Your Router

Scenario 1 – is that you have your internet router in your in the basement. Because you hook the HD antenna to the Tablo unit, you would not get great reception with the antenna in the basement. So, you would connect the Tablo unit to your internet router using your home wi-fi connection.

Scenario 2 – You have a place on the main level of your house where you have your internet modem next to a window or open area that you can hang your hd antenna for the best chance to receive reception. In this case you want to connect the unit directly to the router with a network cable so it’s fast to streaming the video to your home network that is then streamed to the device that is asking to watch the video.

Connecting to the Tablo to Watch Shows

There are a variety of devices supported to connect to the unit to watch your streaming media. You can use any Apple IOS 7+ device to connect and watch. So, an iPhone or Ipad would be great to use.  You can connect to it using your desktop or laptop computer. You also can connect to it with an Android 4.1 os device and great.

In order to connect to your HD TV you have a few options. If you have a smartTV that has builtin wireless capability you simply use your network settings on your smartTV to connect to the Tablo unit.

If your HD TV has the ability to connect to devices like Roku, AppleTV, Amazon Fire or Chromecast; you will be able to use those to connect to your until to stream the media to watch off the Tablo.

The iPad produces the best Tablo experience. This is mainly due to the channel grid for browsing live TV and programs, and the iPad’s screen real estate that can for some people make browsing easy.

The Tablo has dual-tuner function, which will allow you can watch live television while recording another show on another channel, or record two live shows while watching something else off the DVR and all from one antenna. Check out the video below to get a visual on how it works.

Should I get 2 or 4 Tuners?

So, let’s talk about what the tuners are used for first. Watching or recording a live streaming program will use a tuner.  Watching a record show outside of your home network remotely would require a tuner.   If you are just watching a record show within your house it would not require a tuner.

So, if you have a 2 tuner unit you could watch a live streaming show while you are recording another show. If you are sitting at the dentist office you could literally use the remote function to record your favorite show and then watch one of your other previously recorded shows.

Now, I will say I saw a lot of customer comments that wish they would have went with a 4 tuner because they would be able to record multiple shows at the same time and watch them as well. on the

On a four tuner unit, you could be watching your favorite college football game streaming to the big screen TV, while the kids watch their show on the ipad in their bedroom and you could be recording 2 live shows at the same time.  This is why everyone commented they wish they would have bought the 4 tuner version here.

Customer Reviews

The good points about the all new Nuvyyo Tablo OTA DVR is it streams recorded and live OTA television signals to most devices in the home. This includes Roku boxes, iOS, Apple television, android devices and Chromecast devices. The Tablo has very high quality image quality on its maximum settings.  The device has dual-tuner functionality and a built-in Wi-Fi adapter. It is not the cheapest, but affordable, even if you add the optional $5/mo program guide fee.

The biggest annoyance for some people on both native and Web apps is the frequent need to sync data with the Tablo box. This happens less if the Tablo is used regularly. If used infrequently you will often need to often boot up the app and wait a minute while it syncs new program guide updates and recording information.

The bad parts are it does not automatically allow extra time for recording sporting events, or remind you to record, which can mean you will miss the end of the game or match. The best way to watch TV is to use a Roku box, but there’s no 30-second skip on the Roku app. You may need extras, like a hard drive and an antenna, which are not included; this can push up the total cost of the device.

However, the Tablo OTA DVR is one of the best over-the-air TV recording devices in years.

Jack Thompson