Tablo Quad OTA DVR Now Shipping

After a several month gestation period, the Tablo Quad OTA DVR is now ready for its closeup.

While Tablo has previously offered a four-tuner, cord cutting DVR, the Quad features their latest hardware — both technologically, in terms of things like 802.11ac WiFi, and stylistically, carrying forward the Tablo Dual and Dual Lite visual cues. As with all Tablos, you place the network tuner wherever you receive the best antenna reception in your home to then stream live and recorded television programming to a number of clients, including Roku and iPhone. But, in a first for the company, the Tablo Quad is no longer limited to the clutter of an external USB hard drive, packing an internal 2.5″ SATA drive connection – and, unlike TiVo drive replacement gymnastics, installation is ridiculously simple.

Don’t take my word for it, watch me knock it out in seconds:

The first batch of $199 Tablo Quad DVRs has sold out from the manufacturer’s website, but additional availability is expected soon. If you absolutely cannot wait, Amazon has a few left… running about $250. And, don’t forget, Tablo commercial skip is just weeks away.

14 thoughts on “Tablo Quad OTA DVR Now Shipping”

  1. What is the internet connection needed for? Is it just for guide data so that you could give it a WiFi hotspot off my phone for a short period every few days, or does it need a constant connection?

    The reason I ask is that I’m considering it for my camp up in Maine so it would only be used for a few weeks at a time a few times a year and I have no internet connection at the camp other than a WiFi hotspot from my cell phone when I need it.

  2. The reason for the internet connection is for the guide and so the can track what you watch and sell that data.

    With ATSC 3 on the horizon, make your investment knowing this product will most likely be obsolete in about 5 years.

  3. Wayne, the Internet is used for guide data (as MJK said) and also to stream television beyond your home, if you so choose. A home network is required because Tablo doesn’t connect to a television directly – it sits on your net and then streams video to a Roku, iPad, etc in the house.

    MJK, do you know Tablo to be selling customer behavior? Or is that just an assumption on your part?

    Also ATSC 1.0 will be sunset 5 years after each broadcaster lights up ATSC 3.0. Considering where we are, I’d say we have AT LEAST a six year runway. Although things could get messy, as they did during the original digital transition with channels moving between VHF/UHF of differing powers, etc.

  4. The ATSC 3.0 fearmongering is just that. Stations aren’t only required to maintain 1.0 for at least 5 years after turning on 3.0, they also need permission from the FCC to shut down their 1.0 stream. They won’t get that permission until sufficient consumer adoption has occurred. I don’t think it will take as long as the analog to digital conversion, but with virtually no 3.0 hardware available right now, it’s hard to see 1.0 going away for the better part of a decade.

  5. I do have an internal network at camp using an old router, it is just getting outside to the net at large where I have to fire up the WiFi hotspot on my cellphone. So I should be able to get it to work with the equipment I have if I decide to go that route. I only need to show recordings on the TV at camp, I have no interest in streaming from a distance.

    I have the hardware necessary to set up a SageTV system and use an old HDHomeRun OTA box to get 2 channels/recordings. I tested this out last fall using my existing laptop, the router, and an old HD100 SageTV extender. I am basically all set to do this when I head up in a few weeks. I also need to do an antenna upgrade to get a more reliable signal on the few channels I can get.

    Good point on the ATSC 1.0 sunset possibility. I’ll have to keep my eye on that situation.

  6. Is there a fan on that internal hard drive? If not, it won’t last very long. My unit with the external drive gets pretty warm.

  7. from:

    11. Compiled Data. Nuvyyo compiles and analyzes usage and performance of the Services (“Compiled Data”) and uses Compiled Data to build features and improve the functionality and feature set of the Services. Nuvyyo shall have exclusive ownership of any Compiled Data and the exclusive right to use the same for any purpose, provided that Nuvyyo shall not distribute any Compiled Data in a manner which identifies users.

    Make of this what you will.

  8. Wow, very smart idea on Tablo’s part! Nice to be able to so easily customize your storage with either an internal SATA or external USB hard drive (or both?). I bet we see Tablo simplify and standardize their hardware production by using this same chassis with the SATA connection (and maybe gigabit ethernet) for the next iteration of their Tablo Dual Lite DVR. Only difference would be 2 instead of 4 tuners and 512 MB vs. 1 GB of RAM.

    P.S. Nice little video demo, Dave. I don’t know why, but your voice sounds nothing like I expected.

  9. Is there a limit on the size of the hard drive?

    I stuck 3TB drives in my Roamios since I wanted them to format automatically (no futzing around with software)

  10. Nash, internal or external, not both. Hopefully voice isn’t too grating ;) hoping to do more video. We’ll see.

    Bill, I’m not aware of a drive size limit but know you can safely exceed 3TB.

  11. Looks like the limit is an 8TB drive, whether internal or external, per the specs shown on Tablo’s own site. Mamma mia, that’s a lotta OTA TV!

    Not a grating voice at all, Dave. Maybe it’s your dark features that led me to expect a booming bass with an outer borough accent?

  12. I got mine yesterday and the limit is indeed 8TB per the box and quick setup guide. I’m very happy with mine and expect to send the Tivo Bolt OTA that arrived Thursday back at the end of the trial period, though I will give it the next couple of weeks to change my mind.

  13. Dave, I’ve read your coverage on TV/video entertainment tech for the last couple of years, and first I want to thank you: More than anyone else, you really hit all the points & provide all the info on the products that interest me most and what direction I (and everyone else) should be looking toward next.

    So we’ve used Tivo for a long time, since 2009, and even longer if you count our time with DirectTV a few years prior. I’m considering switching to Tablo, and deciding between the 4-tuner or waiting for the Quad to be back in stock.

    I know the differences in their Wi-Fi capability. But since we’d be connecting it to our network by ethernet cable, in that case will the performance of the Quad be any better than the previous 4-tuner? I see their processing stats show both as having 1GB processor, but the Quad says “8GB Flash” vs the 4-tuner’s “1GB Flash.” That’s the part that makes me take note, and I just wanted to know if you have any insight on what that means to me as the user.

    Fyi, we’d be viewing via Roku – Ultra on the main TV and streaming sticks elsewhere. Thanks again, Dave…

  14. PS – Sorry, I forgot to mention: the upgraded ethernet port on the Quad vs the 4-tuner, what real-world difference that would make to the user.

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