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The latest Tablo news along with tips to maximize your free TV experience. 

Three Reasons Why Cable Alternatives Are Going Mainstream in 2017


The trend is indisputable. Hard on the heels of a record-setting Q1, number of people looking for cable alternatives in the US were the highest ever in Q2 of 2017.

Reports in Fast Company, Fortune, Newsweek and the Hollywood Reporter estimate that more than 940,000 pay TV subscribers in the US switched over and cancelled cable in March, April, or May of this year. Meanwhile, the number of US Netflix subscribers has reached the 50 million mark, surpassing the number of cable TV subscribers.

The fall-out? Shares of publicly-traded cable and satellite providers including Comcast, AT&T/DirecTV and Dish all suffered setbacks in August. And Netflix? Well, after 20 years of organic growth, it’s making blockbuster deals. More on that later.

Just How Popular is this trend?

Recently, a US industry analyst estimated that upwards of 25% of viewers have either moved away from cable or have never signed up for cable TV (so-called ‘cord nevers’). In raw numbers, the same analyst says that, since 2013, more than 6.5 million Americans have found a cable alternative.

While all age groups are seeing growth, the largest group is still millennials (18 to 34 years) and baby boomers (aged 55 to 69 years) remain the smallest. But times may be changing as industry watchers have noticed that more and more boomers are ditching cable. Seniors who have already adopted tablets and Netflix are starting to embrace cord cutting too.

Now that this trend of finding cable alternatives seems to have reached a tipping point, why has this one-time fringe movement gone mainstream?

Reason #1: More Content, More Choice

With more streaming video as well as new OTA (Over-The-Air) channels and subchannels becoming available, US consumers have more options than ever. So why pay for cable?

Making matters even more enticing, all the key players including HBO GO, Netflix and now Apple are investing heavily in original content. Not to be outdone, Disney/ESPN are launching their own streaming services while Amazon and others are scooping up high-end production and creative talent.

Check out Exhibit A: Shonda Rhimes ditches ABC for Netflix.shonda netflix

Reason #2: Mainstreaming of Cable Alternatives Gear

Tech, for people looking to move way from cable, is now so accessible that it’s not just for geeks anymore. Example: take a look at the TV aisles at Best Buy or Walmart. The retail giants have grouped together smart TVs, set-top boxes, OTA DVRs like Tablo, hard drives, antennas, HDMI cables, routers, power bars and more.Best Buy cord cutting aisle

By dedicating in-store shelf space to the TV category, retailers are giving it greater visibility and promoting awareness with a wider variety of shoppers. Plus, grouping together all the related devices and peripherals makes it a whole lot easier to find everything needed for a great TV entertainment experience.

Reason #3: Ecosystem Simplification and Maturation

Until recently, the deck was stacked in favor of the cable companies. Building your own TV set up took specialized knowledge and frequent tweaking of systems. There were few (sometimes flaky) gear options to choose from and user interfaces were often poor.

Now the good news. Since 2014 (when we shipped our first Tablo OTA DVR), the TV tech world has matured greatly. Small start-ups and mega brands like Amazon, Apple and Roku have entered the market so consumers can enjoy user-friendly products with the features they want.

Now into second-, third- and even fourth-generation platforms, hardware reliability, user interface design and technical support services have improved dramatically across the entire ecosystem.

Thanks to simple to deploy app-based access to content, what used to require advanced geekery is now a manageable one-time set up process with a superior day-to-day user experience.

Ready for Prime Time:

With all the focus on original content, more consumer choice and easy-to-use gear, it seems like finding cable alternatives is finally having its own prime time moment.

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How to restart your phone/tablet

Sometimes, just restarting your smartphone or tablet can clear up issues with apps. The links below will provide detailed instructions on how to force close your Tablo app. 

Apple iPhone

Android smartphones 

Most Android smartphones and tablets can be restarted by holding the POWER button and then selecting RESTART or POWER OFF and RESTART from the POWER OPTIONS menu.

NOTE: Newer Samsung devices require you to hold the POWER/SIDE button and VOLUME DOWN to make the POWER OPTIONS menu appear. On the Google Pixel 6, hold the POWER and VOLUME UP buttons.

How to force close your Tablo app?

Sometimes, just restarting the app can fix things. The links below will provide detailed instructions on how to force close your Tablo app. 

Apple iPhone/iPad

Android smartphones/tablets 

Need help with the final steps?

Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.  Follow the steps in the video below for a full walkthrough of the remaining parts of the Tablo setup process.

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