4th Generation 4-Tuner Tablo Total System Now Available

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

Tablo Success Story – By Charlie, the Cost Cutter


Is Tablo right for you? You’ve heard the buzz and read the expert reviews, but sometimes it helps to hear the Tablo Success Story from real Tablo customers to know if this is the right solution for you.

Our 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?

We cut the cord for several reasons, but the rising cost was the primary one.

We’ve had Dish Network, DirecTV and, most recently, cable TV. Each seems to find reasons to implement a price increase.

I retired 5 years ago and my wife retired last year. Our income has changed.

Cable didn’t offer whole home DVR service as the satellite providers did. So, we invested in the TiVo ’ecosystem to outfit our 4 TVs.

When our cable bill went over $200 a month (TV, internet and phone) and the annual subscription fees for TiVo’s guide service came due at $140 (for 2 TiVos) I knew we had to do… something.

How much money are you saving each month?

Dropping cable TV saved us about $110 a month and we didn’t even have premium channels.

Dropping TiVo saved us another $140 each year. So, by cutting the cord and switching to a Tablo OTA DVR we’re saving $1,460 a year or just a bit over $121 each month.

I bought a better antenna (we live in a rural area), a new Tablo QUAD with 1 TB hard drive and we opted for Tablo’s lifetime guide subscription.

The ROI for that investment is just a touch over 4 months.

What do you get with an HDTV antenna that you couldn’t get another way?

Well… we get freedom!

There are channels broadcast Over-the-Air that just are not available on cable or satellite. Some are interesting and some we probably won’t watch, but there are over 50 of them for us to evaluate.

The quality of the major stations is better than either cable or satellite was delivering. And no monthly bill!

Why did you choose the Tablo OTA DVR as part of your home entertainment arsenal?

We chose Tablo because it would work through our Roku (which we decided we liked a lot) because it had 4 tuners for our recording habit and if we wanted the optional guide service, we pay once and we’re done.

Yes, please!

Tablo Charlie Cord Cutting

What’s been the best thing about using/having Tablo so far?

Our Tablo OTA DVR has integrated well into the way we watch TV. And because it works through our Roku devices, it means one less remote to keep track of.

The Tablo DVR interface is logical and pleasing to use and look at. And… very high on the list of important considerations… it passes the wife test! It’s easy. It’s familiar. It makes sense and it WORKS.

My wife doesn’t want to figure out how to watch TV or record something. She just wants to do it!

Plus the recent firmware upgrade with Automatic Commercial Skip is very cool.

What other services and tools do you use to watch TV/video content and why?

One of the first things we did to ’test the waters‘ and see if we COULD cut the cord comfortably was to buy a Roku Streaming Stick+ for the living room TV.

At the time we still had the TiVos as a fallback and I reconfigured them for broadcast TV.

As with most people, there were a handful of channels we actually watched on cable TV and the rest were just ignored. For us, it was mostly HGTV, DIY, Food Channel, History, etc. I found the Philo TV streaming service and that gave us back the cable channels we were missing.

But we still wanted to get out from under the annual TiVo subscriptions. Then I discovered Tablo was a great and cheaper alternative.

We’re also Amazon Prime members so we have Prime. And we’ve had Netflix for years.

The Roku has been a pleasant surprise. So now we have a Roku Ultra in the living room and Streaming Stick+ devices on the other 3 TVs.

If we ever get to a situation where all 4 tuners of the Tablo are busy recording, each TV also has its own antenna connection for live local broadcasts.

What advice do you have for others thinking of cutting the cord?

The best advice I could give for potential cord cutters would be to think about how you watch TV.

There are lots of alternative means of receiving the programming you’re most interested in. Read about them. Make a plan.

There is a small investment of time and a relatively small cost to get yourself set up to cut the cord. The reward, however, is well worth the effort.

Broadcast TV is free. So why are we all paying for it on cable or satellite?! (Especially if you’re one of those who primarily watches the major networks.)

The ability to record what you’re interested in from FREE broadcast TV is where Tablo shines.

If you’re already enjoying your Tablo OTA DVR, remember to post a review of your DVR on the online store where you purchased your unit 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 info@tablotv.com. We’d love to hear your story. 

Related Blogs

Get the latest from Tablo.

Signup to get the latest product and over-the-air TV  news delivered right to your inbox. 

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.

Tablo Logo White

Please enter a valid address. 

We recommend entering your full address for the most accurate results. 

Sorry, no results. Please check your zip code.

Getting your channels...

You can get channels for free!
( over-the-air channels and streaming channels )

This is an estimate only. Actual broadcast TV channels received may vary based on TV antenna location, reception, topography, and other obstructions. Streaming channels require an internet connection. View the Channel Details Report for specifics of each channel and to help determine what antenna is needed. 

Reception alert:  Based upon the location you entered, you may not get many of the major networks.  As a result, Tablo may not be the best fit for you.  Please enter your full address above for best accuracy. 

Major Local Broadcast Channels

Major networks you know that have live sports, major events, local news and more. 

Entertainment and Lifestyle Channels

Sports Channels

News Channels

Movie Channels

Family and Kid Channels

En Español

Additional TV Broadcast Networks

Internet Streaming TV Channels

Internet-based free streaming channels .