Is Tablo right for you? You've heard the buzz and read the expert reviews, but sometimes it helps to hear the whole story from real Tablo customers to know if this is the right solution for you. Our latest blog series, "How I Cut the Cord with Tablo" features Q&A style interviews with our Tablo OTA DVR customers, focusing on how they've cut the cord on cable to save money while enjoying a whole-home DVR experience using Tablo. Whether you're still on the fence about cutting the cord or you're just looking for tips and tricks on how to improve your cord-cutting setup, we hope you'll find these cord-cutting success stories helpful.
Why did you cut the cord?
After having to haggle with the cable company month after month for a change in fees, watching them threaten to cut local channels due to contract issues, and paying way too much for what you get, I decided to tell them to take back their overpriced rental boxes and service.
What a great liberating feeling! I knew I could get free TV by using an antenna and picking up the broadcasts for local stations in my area, but I wasn’t sure how.
After Googling how to pick up local stations, I found out that I could get an antenna and plug it into my flat screen TV and pick up channels in my area that were broadcast for free.
How much money are you saving each month?
I am saving about $120 a month on service, $7 a month on each of the cable boxes, and a little over $1.6 million on headache relief from having to deal with the monopoly-driven cable company! Now, that is some kind of savings!
What do you get with an HDTV antenna that you couldn’t get another way?
I tried a few different store-bought antennas, and none seemed to work very well. Then I googled ’DIY digital antenna‘ and up popped detailed plans of how to take a coat hanger, a small piece of wood, some wire, and some screws, and assemble them into a vastly superior TV antenna. When I connected it to my flat screen TV I picked up 42 local channels! (I get 46 with my Tablo tuner, which is superior to the tuner in my TV.)
You would not believe the quality of the HDTV channels. Using the antenna, I noticed that newscasters have freckles I had never seen before when I was using the ’HD‘ cable box.
I learned about the stations in my area and the best direction to point my antenna by going to a website called tvfool.com. Please note that although their list of TV stations is not completely up to date, it will tell you good info about the stations and their directions. You simply put in your address, and it brings up the map of stations, direction (that’s where you point your antenna), and signal strength.
With my Tablo, I get the major stations such as NBC, ABC, CBS, local FOX, PBS, and many more. For example, I had no idea that the main broadcasters had additional digital subchannels like a comedy channel called LAFF, and the local University offers NPR radio with a live weather satellite loop on the screen. There are also movie channels that show old classics and sitcoms I grew up with like Gilligan’s Island, I Dream of Jeannie, Columbo, etc. What’s more, the Tablo guide shows you what is coming on, complete with the name, year released, complete description, actors, time and date, etc.
You may be able to pick up some channels like the home shopping network as well. Since I don’t watch those, Tablo lets you remove them from the Tablo Guide so that they don’t even show up.
Why did you choose the Tablo OTA DVR as part of your home entertainment arsenal?
I didn’t know about Tablo when I first cut the cord. Two long years later, after watching a death-of-me amount of commercials from network TV and building an antenna for every TV (4) in my house, I was looking for some way to record Over-the-Air TV shows. I came across several options. Most were limited to one TV and one connection, and otherwise very pricey to outfit my entire home.
Then, I found the Tablo. WOW! With one single Tablo, I can connect all of my TVs wirelessly (no individual antenna needed for each TV), watch local TV on my Android phone, my Apple iPad, and laptop and desktop computer from anywhere! That means I now have 10 TVs in my house!
Is that even legal? Yes it is, with the Tablo! (Insert angelic choir!)
In addition, I can record any of the shows on the 46 channels I receive, play them back when I want to, and fast forward through the commercials. It is a very beautiful thing.
I have gained control of my TV watching experience and ridded myself of the intellectually insulting advertisements that come with watching TV.
What’s been the best thing about using/having Tablo so far?
The Tablo Guide is incredible. You can look up shows by genre, sports, etc. and see what they are, when they are playing, and choose to record them when they do play. Once recorded, it will show in Recordings and you can watch it whenever you want. It does not get deleted until you tell it to. Fast forward, rewind, and pause to your heart’s desire!
The setup was simple. The user interface is well thought out and very intuitive. The settings you can choose like ’record all episodes‘ and what resolution to use are just some of the outstanding features of the wonder called Tablo. All the apps to access Tablo worked flawlessly, and though the interface on the apps may vary a little in form, they are all easy to use and intuitive and awesome.
Tablo customer service: golden. They have good old-fashioned real people to talk to and correspond with that are very knowledgeable and helpful. You can call them and they answer! You can e-mail and they reply in a truly helpful way.
I only needed help with the settings on my modem to be able to access my home Tablo from afar. I had a weird setup at my house with 2 different modems handling internet traffic, and I could not figure out how to set up my modem’s port forwarding. Tablo Support got me up and running with Tablo Connect in no time! What a true breath of fresh air in the customer service world!
All that is fantastic, but my favorite thing about Tablo is how flawlessly it works. I cannot be happier with Tablo. There is nothing on the market that comes close to the quality of this product. Tablo is a dream come true and I LOVE it!
What other services and tools do you use to watch TV/Video content and why?
I have internet and some Amazon Fire TV sticks for my flat screen TVs to receive the Tablo signal – and they work flawlessly. I purchased the 4-tuner Tablo and a 2 TB Western Digital Elements portable hard drive to store my Tablo recordings. That hard drive will hold more content than I‘ll be able to watch in 5 years and it works like a champ. Plug and play with the Tablo.
I also chose to upgrade my 10 year old WiFi router to the Linksys AC model so that I could watch on many TVs and devices as football season approaches. Tablo is probably 90% of my TV viewing time.
I am currently trying the PlayStation Vue service to get ’cable‘ sports, as well as Netflix. There is a fee for these but the TED Talks app is free and they have some cool content. Crackle and YouTube also have free content, but I haven’t tried these yet, as the Over-the-Air TV content from Tablo has kept me busy.
What advice do you have for others thinking of cutting the cord?
I read all the reviews about Tablo before purchasing and found some negative ones, although the majority were positive. After considering the dates of the negative reviews and the issues mentioned, I came to this conclusion: either the customer didn’t have OTA broadcasts in their area and did not realize it (therefore there was nothing for the Tablo to pick up), or Tablo has debugged any issues it may have had years back as it was rolling out.
My Tablo tuner has worked flawlessly, and I should also note that the tuner built into the Tablo picked up more stations than the tuner in my TV when I had the antenna connected directly to my TV. The Tablo is a quality device and I will tell all who will listen.
My Advice: If you have broadcast stations in your area, CUT THE CORD. Get a Tablo, an external hard drive, some Amazon Fire TV sticks (one for each TV), make your own antenna and put it in the attic, connect it to your Tablo and never again pay outrageous cable fees for what is free. Get the Tablo guide as it is well worth it and truly maximizes the use of the Tablo.
With Tablo, you get the freedom of what to watch (skipping mind-numbing commercials) and when to watch it. Never watch the national news again and have to sit through 12 minutes of medication ads. The time saved alone will more than reimburse you for the cost of the Tablo.
For the cable-only channels, more and more internet-based providers are coming out for a fraction of the cost of the basic cable subscription.
I feel certain, that after you cut the cord and get a Tablo, you will say, “Thanks, Bryan.” If anything I had to say convinces you to do what I have done, I will simply say, “You are welcome.”
My hat is off to the folks at Tablo for providing me with access to such a quality product and company. Cheers!
If you're already enjoying your Tablo OTA DVR, remember to post a review of your DVR on Amazon and let your fellow cord-cutters know how Tablo works for you.
If you'd like to participate in the 'How I Cut the Cord with Tablo' blog series, drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. We'd love to hear your story.
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