4th Generation 4-Tuner Tablo Total System Now Available

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

How to Set Recordings on Your Tablo OTA DVR


We’re getting back to basics today to talk about how to set recordings on your Tablo OTA DVR. Even if you think you’re a Tablo expert, we guarantee this post will help you optimize your TV recording schedules.

How to Set Recordings on Your Tablo OTA DVR

Examples below show the interface from Tablo’s Roku Channel. The interface on other Tablo apps and on Tablo DUAL HDMI & Tablo QUAD HDMI may vary.

How Tablo Recording Scheduling Works:

How Tablo Recording Scheduling Works

Your Tablo DVR’s recording scheduling relies on the rich TV Guide Data it downloads during its nightly maintenance routine. Those with 30-day free trials or active Tablo TV Guide Subscriptions (optional) always have a 14-day moving window of guide data and those without will only have 24 hours.

The more TV Guide Data you have, the more work Tablo’s scheduling software can do, which means advanced settings like one-touch series recording are only available for subscribers.

Those who don’t choose to subscribe can still set manual recordings for any date and time and are not limited to recordings within that 24-hour window. More on that later…

Discovering TV Shows to Record on Your Tablo DVR:

Discovering TV Shows to Record on Your Tablo DVR

Tablo’s TV Guide Data is split between two types of screens in the Tablo app – the Live TV Grid and the filtered Guide screens (including TV Shows, Prime Time, Movies and Sports).

The Live TV Grid will show you what’s airing over the next 24 hours in a traditional grid guide format that will be familiar to anyone who’s had cable or satellite TV.

TIP – Roku, Fire TV, & Andoird TV and Tablo DUAL/QUAD HDMI users have the option to see a full 14 days in the grid guide.

The filtered Guide screens (for subscribers only) look a lot more like Netflix, letting you browse and set recordings for shows airing over the next two weeks. These screens also have secondary filters like Premiering and Channels that allow you to narrow your choices, as well as Search if you’re looking for a specific show.

TIP – Search is restricted to the guide screen you’re currently using so if you search for a daytime show like ‘The Price Is Right’ within the Prime Time guide screen, it will not appear. 

Setting One-Touch Series Recordings on Your Tablo DVR:

Setting One-Touch Series Recordings on Your Tablo DVR

Setting an entire series to record – which is sometimes called ‘season pass’ recording – is simple for Tablo DVR users with active TV Guide Data Subscriptions.

Find a show – either via the Live TV Grid guide or one of the filtered Guide screens – and you’ll be presented with an option to record ALL Episodes or just NEW Episodes. Want to avoid recording re-runs? Choose ‘Record New’. Trying to amass a back catalog of a whole show? Choose ‘Record ALL’.

The best thing about series recordings on your Tablo DVR is that you can just set it and forget it! As new TV guide data gets downloaded, your Tablo will automatically schedule upcoming episodes to record. It’ll even continue to schedule recordings across seasons and through hiatus periods.

If there’s an episode within the TV series that you don’t need, you can easily un-schedule it from the episode list without losing your overall series schedule.

Setting One-Touch Series Recordings on Your Tablo DVR - Unschedule Single Airing

TIP – TV Series without airings in the next 14 days, or that aren’t airing on one of your local channels, won’t show up in your Tablo app screens. If you know the date/time/channel of the show you want to record, you can still set a manual recording for it.

Advanced Recording Options on Your Tablo DVR:

Advanced Recording Options on Your Tablo DVR

Once you’ve set a TV series to record, you can personalize its schedule even more with Tablo Advanced Recording Options including:

  • Keep X – Keeps only a defined number of episodes to prevent TV series with frequent airings (like news and talk shows) from piling up on your hard drive.
  • Recording Channel Selector – Allows you to record from a preferred channel when the TV series airs on more than one local network.
  • Adjust Start/Stop Times – Allows you to start recording a bit early and/or end it a bit late.

Those who record TV shows that frequently air after sports programs can use Adjust Start/Stop to automatically add up to 3 hours of recording time to accommodate for potential programming delays.

TIP – Roku users have additional adjustable ‘start’ time options of 1 or 2 minutes late which can help mitigate recording conflicts.

Setting Single TV Episode Recordings on Your Tablo DVR:

Setting Single TV Episode Recordings on Your Tablo DVR

You can also set a single episode of a TV series to record, either from the Live TV Grid or via the episode lists in the Guide screens. If needed, you can also apply Advanced Recording Options to a single airing once it’s set to record.

Setting Manual Recordings on Your Tablo DVR:

Setting Manual Recordings on Your Tablo DVR

If you have ever owned a VCR, the method to set a manual recording should be familiar. From within the Scheduled screen, find the plus sign (+) and simply enter the date/time/channel you want to record.

Manual recordings with Tablo can be set for a single airing, or on a repeating schedule.

For those without active TV Guide Data Subscriptions, manual recordings are the only recording option available.

However, they’re also useful for active subscribers who want to set recordings with parameters outside of the norm – like an entire evening of programming in a single video file, or a one-time TV special you don’t want to forget to record that’s airing more than 2 weeks away.

Those with local TV channels re-airing newscasts multiple times a day under the same program name can also benefit from using a recurring manual program to only capture the newscast from a certain time frame each day.

Reviewing Recording Schedules on Your Tablo DVR:

Reviewing Recording Schedules on Your Tablo DVR

The TV programs you’ve chosen to record will be shown within your Tablo DVR’s Scheduled screen. From here you can edit, adjust, or remove scheduled recordings.

Many apps also have a filter called ‘Coming Soon’ which shows upcoming scheduled recordings by date.

Within the Live TV grid guide, you will see upcoming scheduled recordings highlighted with an orange flag. Red flags highlight recording conflicts, which happens when you attempt to set more recordings within a specific timeslot than the number of tuners you have available.

Tablo DVR Settings Affecting Recording Schedules:

Tablo DVR Settings Affecting Recording Schedules

There are also global Smart Scheduling settings and manage storage space on your Tablo DVR including:

  • Don’t Record Duplicates – Enabled by default, this setting won’t record the same TV episode twice even if you have the series set to ‘Record ALL’. It will also prefer HD over SD picture quality recordings and those airing on the channel with the strongest reception if there are multiple airings available.
  • Extend Live Recordings – Also enabled by default, this setting will automatically extend recordings by 50% of the total run time up to 2 hours for all TV programs marked ‘live’ like sports and awards shows. It’ll do the same for season premieres and finales.
  • Auto Delete – This setting helps manage your Tablo DVR’s recording storage by automatically deleting the oldest unprotected recordings from your drive to make room for new ones. This feature is only enabled by default on the Tablo DUAL 64, so if you own a different type of Tablo DVR, it’s recommended that you enable it.

As you can see, Tablo DVR recording options put you in the driver’s seat. Optimizing your recording schedules and your settings can ensure you spend more time enjoying your favorite TV shows and less time managing your DVR.

Liked this post? Check out other Tablo how-to posts including:

(Updated June 22, 2021)

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 .