Tablo Blog

How I Cut the Cord With Tablo – By Charlie, the Cost Curtailing Cord Cutter

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 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.

Charlie Cost Curtailing Cord Cutter

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 We'd love to hear your story. 


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