- Introduction: The Evolving Landscape of Over-the-Air DVR
- Deep Dive into Tablo’s Revamped Hardware
- A Closer Look at the All-New Tablo App with Free Streaming Channels
- A Special Note for Existing Tablo Customers
- What’s the Deal with ATSC 3.0 Support?
- Future Plans and Expectations
Introduction: The Evolving Landscape of Over-the-Air DVR
At a time when many companies are distancing themselves from the over-the-air DVR sector, Tablo is leaning in. The brand has launched its fourth-generation DVR, which is not only replete with a suite of new features but also comes at a competitive price of $100—free of any subscription fees. This development follows Nuvyyo’s acquisition by E.W. Scripps Company last year, and the aim is clearly to elevate over-the-air DVRs from a niche product to mainstream awareness.
Deep Dive into Tablo’s Revamped Hardware
The new Tablo DVR 4th Gen maintains the key functions that users have come to appreciate: plug an antenna into the device, position it in a location with good signal reception, and stream local channels directly to your smart TV or other streaming devices. It no longer comes with an HDMI output, relying entirely on external streaming devices for display.
This time around, Tablo has built-in 128GB of flash storage, along with dual ATSC 1.0 tuners. This enables it to simultaneously record and stream two channels. For those who need more storage, it still supports up to 8TB of additional space through an external USB hard drive.
The physical design has also seen an upgrade. Gone is the old boxy black exterior, replaced by a sleek, slim white puck. This new design even comes with optional wall mounts. The price point is also more accessible; at $100, it’s $70 cheaper than its older sibling, the Tablo Dual. For an extra $30, customers can also get a white coaxial cable and a flat-panel antenna with a range of 35 miles.
A Closer Look at the All-New Tablo App with Free Streaming Channels
To accompany the hardware, Tablo has launched a new, standalone app, featuring a slick, modern interface complete with recommendation tiles. It feels more in line with contemporary streaming services and offers 43 free streaming channels, including popular ones like ION Plus, Bloomberg Television, and Tastemade.
What sets it apart is the ability for users to record content and skip ads, not just on local channels but also on these free streaming channels. However, it should be noted that platform support is currently a bit limited, although there are plans to extend it to more platforms in the near future.
A Special Note for Existing Tablo Customers
For those who already own a Tablo DVR, the company is offering the new software as an optional upgrade. Switching to the new app will mean that users won’t have to worry about subscription fees anymore. But this comes at the cost of losing some features, such as remote viewing and automatic commercial skipping, which were available in the older app. The older app, it should be noted, won’t receive any further updates, so this is something to consider.
What’s the Deal with ATSC 3.0 Support?
One intriguing aspect of the new Tablo DVR is its support only for the older ATSC 1.0 standard, with no current plans for the newer ATSC 3.0. This decision has been attributed to both technical and financial constraints. The company has already begun issuing refunds to customers who had pre-ordered units expecting ATSC 3.0 support.
Future Plans and Expectations
Nuvyyo has grand plans for the fourth-gen Tablo, including a quad-tuner version and other new devices. The company aims to tap into the significant market potential, as highlighted by Scripps’ own data showing that 36 million U.S. households own an antenna.
The new Tablo DVR 4th Gen is already available through Tablo’s website and Best Buy, and will soon be on Amazon. With this ambitious roll-out, Scripps hopes to achieve sales numbers that are much higher than Tablo’s previous models.
In a landscape where big players like Amazon and TiVo have faced challenges, Tablo, with its new offerings, is positioned to redefine what over-the-air DVRs can be. With a blend of upgraded, affordable hardware and robust, user-friendly software, it appears poised to capture a larger share of a growing market.