Tablo Blog

How I Cut the Cord with Tablo – By Nick, the Cord Cutting Gadget Guru

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. 


How I Cut the Cord with Tablo - by Nick the Cord Cutting Gadget Guru

Why did you cut the cord? How much money are you saving each month?
The writing on the wall has been there for years: the cable and satellite companies run an inflexible, poorly reliable, and expensive service to provide what should be the opposite of what they provide. It should be of reasonable cost, flexible, and extraordinarily reliable!

Tablo gives me the ability to access the most critical programs (local news and a good percentage of sports) while leveraging the simplicity of devices like Chromecast, Roku, FireTV, AppleTV, browsers and more. As a technology junkie, I literally own all of these devices and love that the Tablo is flexible enough to work with all of them.

Prior to cutting the cord, I had a modest package at DirecTV for around $100/mo, plus I was paying for Hulu and Amazon Prime. Now that I have cut DirecTV, these dollars are back in my pocket. Now I only now pay for an internet connection plus my subscription services (Hulu, Amazon, and Tablo). I may add HBO, Showtime, and Netflix but would still be saving money!

What do you get with an HDTV antenna that you couldn’t get another way?
The Seattle area has lots of HDTV signals but ironically there are only two 1080i broadcasters; most are 720p. The cable company is up-converting a 720p signal and charging “full HD” which I feel is disingenuous I'm recording in 720p on my Tablo and getting as good a picture as I ever got with Comcast or DirecTV.

Why did you choose the Tablo OTA DVR as part of your home entertainment arsenal?
I chose Tablo because of its expandability and flexibility with other platforms. For example, I love the TiVo interface, but the cost to get similar features to Tablo is out of bounds. With TiVo, if I enabled 3 televisions and remote viewing, I would be paying just as much as before. With Tablo I can watch anywhere, I can put any sized hard drive on my system, and I can watch it on any device, anywhere in the world.


Tablo devices cordcutter                                                                                       

What’s been the best thing about using/having Tablo so far?
I've enjoyed finding shows that are not on regular cable and are only available on the local digital sub-channels. Most people don't realize that most metro areas have 20-30 channels in full HD available for free and believe it or not, there are tons of gems to see! We watched a documentary on the final days of the Vietnam War that was so compelling we've been sharing it with friends and family for weeks. Without Tablo, we never would have found it!

What other services and tools do you use to watch TV/Video content and why?
We have Amazon FireTV (box and stick), Roku, AppleTV, Chromecast and XBOX One. The ability to access broad services like Tablo, Hulu, Amazon and network apps (i.e. NBC, CBS, Comedy Central, etc.) cover 90% of what we want to watch. The real value of these services and platforms is the ability to easily add NEW services as they become available. This would NEVER happen with the cable company. My hope is that one day 100% of network content will be available by subscription or on-demand through these devices for all to enjoy.    

What advice do you have for others thinking of cutting the cord?
Be aware of what you have and what you want. Cable has a few channels that I can't get unless I am a cable subscriber so I have to live with not having them. Those two channels would cost me $100/mo and their value to me was much lower than that. 

People must also realize that there is an equipment purchase and adjustment period. Tablo is reasonably priced, but you need to add a hard drive, and install a high quality antenna and cabling. Your home network has to be strong (next-gen WiFi or hard wired) and these all come at a cost. If you want to calculate your ROI, take that into account. For me it's about 5 months of cost avoidance until that true monthly savings is realized.

Ultimately know that you will save money, you will have more flexibility, and there are no limits with Tablo. You can really improve your digital entertainment!


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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