Confused about why the product pages for Tablo OTA DVRs don’t contain photos of a remote control?
That’s because as a network-based OTA DVR, Tablo doesn’t have its own remote!
Check out this post to learn about the differences between the remotes on Tablo-compatible streaming devices, as well as third-party remote control alternatives.
Choose Your TV Platform = Choose Your Remote
For those familiar with traditional cable or satellite DVRs that sit next to your TV and come with huge remotes covered in buttons, Tablo’s network-based OTA DVR approach can be puzzling at first.
Unlike a traditional set-top-box, Tablo connects to your home WiFi router and is then accessed via an app on your favorite internet-connected device.
Not only does this enable you to place your Tablo OTA DVR pretty much anywhere your TV antenna gets a good signal, but it means you’ll be able to watch your favorite live and recorded TV programs from networks like ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC, PBS and the CW via the remote control (or touch-based interface, or mouse) of your choice!
Most Popular Devices/Remotes for Use with Tablo
The most popular Tablo-compatible streaming TV devices all have simple, well-designed remotes, but each has its benefits and drawbacks.
Here’s a quick overview…
- Cord cutters love the raised tactile buttons on the simple, easy-to-hold remote
- Cord cutters hate that the ‘Quick Launch’ buttons at the bottom can’t be re-programmed
- Look for higher-end Roku models whose remotes offer TV power and volume buttons, as well as a headphone jack for private listening
Amazon Fire TV Remotes
- Cord cutters love the simple button layout and voice search capabilities of the remote
- Cord cutters hate that its small size makes it prone to getting lost in the couch cushions
- Look for newer Amazon Fire TV models whose remotes offer TV power and volume buttons
Apple TV Remotes
- Cord cutters love the speed and responsiveness of the remote’s input
- Cord cutters hate the sometimes finicky touchpad that replaces a more traditional directional pad for navigation
- Look for a silicone cover that can provide more grip to the Apple TV remote’s slick surface
NVIDIA SHIELD (Android TV) Remotes
- Cord cutters love the option to use a more traditional remote OR a gamepad
- Cord cutters hate the non-standard battery size and seemingly short battery life of the more traditional remote
- Look for an alternative 3rd party remote if you’re not comfortable using a gamepad (more on that below)
NOTE - If you’re fine with the original remote control your streaming device came with, but it’s broken or lost, you don’t have to buy a whole new device.
Most streaming device platforms have free downloadable apps that will turn your smartphone into a remote and offer low-cost replacement remotes online.
Alternative Remote-Control Options
If you love the hardware or interface of a streaming platform but don’t love the remote, there are alternatives.
Logitech Harmony — Gold Standard Universal Remote
With their massive list of compatible devices, Logitech Harmony remotes are at the heart of many high-end home theater setups. The 950 model has a nice touch screen interface and allows you to control and switch between up to 15 devices and set specialized ‘activity’ routines based on your viewing habits. It’s not cheap though at $174.99 (or more) US.
Caavo — HDMI Switcher & Universal Remote in One
Caavo lets you control and switch between up to four different streaming and game consoles using a single, simple remote. At $59.99 US (on sale) it’s a lot more affordable than other advanced universal remote options.
GE Universal Remote — Cheap & Cheerful Universal Remote
For just $9 US this GE-brand universal remote will control up to four different devices. It’s even pre-programmed for Roku!
WeChip G20 Remote — Affordable Option for Android TV Devices & HTPCs
Love your Nvidia SHIELD TV but not the remote? The WeChip G20 is just $17 US and works like a champ. The built-in accelerometer also provides ‘air mouse’ capabilities for those who have a PC connected to their big screen.
Long story short, cord cutting with a Tablo OTA DVR puts YOU in control of your TV viewing so there’s no need to be stuck with a remote you don’t love.
Have a different type of universal remote to recommend? Tell us on Facebook or Twitter.
Check out these posts on streaming set-top-boxes, streaming sticks, and Smart TVs next:
Sign up for Tablo's Cord Cutting This Week newsletter to get the latest cord cutting industry news including updates on Over-the-Air TV shows, streaming services, set-top-boxes, gadgets, and more delivered straight to your inbox!