Tablo Beefs Up Performance & Recording Options

Dave Zatz —  January 26, 2018 — 12 Comments

Tablo, the headless OTA DVR pioneer, treats customers to a nice update this week in the form of performance enhancements and “advanced” recording features. Specifically, scheduled recordings now offer pre- and post-show padding — to add 10 minutes to that awards show or an hour to the Super Bowl to account for incessant instant replays or overtime. Further, subscribers can specify the number of season pass recordings to keep and which channel to record a given show from. Sure, these features aren’t exactly new to us TiVo owners… but it’s not like TiVo owners can watch television on our Rokus. And, with up to 8TB of storage, introducing recording count probably wasn’t such a high priority.

Beyond the DVR scheduling enhancements, the other headliner here is a new technical implementation that enables somewhat faster live television startup. Unlike a typical HDMI-connected device, Tablo ingests the live OTA signal, transcodes the video, and then streams it out on the fly (somewhat similar to Slingbox or the transcoding HDHomeRun hardware, minus the WiFi). So while it’s a more versatile solution, it’ll always be a step or two slower than channel surfing a traditional set-top or antenna-connected television. And anything they can do to speed it up is appreciated.

12 responses to Tablo Beefs Up Performance & Recording Options

  1. If I use a tablet at home over the air what do I do when I go to Florida on extended vacation we’re all they have is cable? In that case Pebble only does me any good 3 months out of the year.

  2. Once this gets into the wild I wonder if the pre-post padding will have an option to drop the padding on back to back shows on the same channel. i.e. drop the post padding on the 8-9pm show and the pre-padding on the 9-10pm show on say CBS. Makes for it needing less tuners since the overlap of per-post padding on the same channel would be gone. NOTE: it would still keep the pre-padding on the first show and post padding on the last show
    SageTV software does this and it works out well for those nights when you are recording the whole evening of shows on one network.

  3. 1 Tablo has replaced several TiVo units for me.
    I use Rokus as my TV viewing device, add in Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Tablo and its great

  4. Unfortunately, they also replace the multichannel audio with a downmixed stereo version. Despite customer requests to make this optional, Tablo doesn’t want to change that. That disqualifies Tablo from consideration, at least in this household.

  5. Small correction: “minus the WiFi” – Tablo has both ethernet and integrated wifi.

  6. Paul, Tablo now has a product that supports 5.1 audio, Tablo Engine.

  7. Any rumblings about Tablo supporting 5.1 audio? That’s the only thing I still miss from Tivo.

  8. owners can specify the number of season pass recordings to keep

    Season Pass ??? ;)

  9. Mike, Yep, my Tablo is wireless. I was referring the the HDHomeRun models that do not include WiFi – they require hardwiring. I quite like their solutions too (in conjunction with the Channels app on Apple TV), but WiFi would make them somewhat more useful. Although wireless would be a big risk, perhaps untenable, for the units that do not transcode – MPEG2 is BIG.

    Will inquire about 5.1. Wonder what percent would appreciate and what that might do to stream snappiness and such.

    Karl, I used lower case. ;) Although if I remember correctly, TiVo’s copyright has long since expired

  10. Good! When?

  11. My unit had already received the update prior to my posting.

  12. As Jason pointed out, to get 5.1 you need the Tablo Engine — which in turn requires an Nvidia Shield… still no 5.1 support on Tablo hardware, despite years of “looking into it.”

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