Today’s blog post is a bit more news-focused than our usual fare, but there are a few updates we wanted to share with you!
In preparation for our Cloud DVR service coming out of beta in a few months, we’re making a few changes to the structure of our TV Guide Data Subscriptions. We also want to give everyone an update on the progress of the Automatic Commercial Skip feature we announced at CES in January 2019.
Keep reading for details…
Changes to Tablo’s Subscription Account Structure
*** UPDATE - Our CEO has made the decision to honor the original promise we made to our customers with an active subscription created prior to March 7, 2019. Read his full note to Tablo customers here. ***
Tablo TV Guide Data Subscription fees not only help to defray the costs of quality TV guide data from our provider Gracenote but also fund research and development of new features.
Since we launched the original 2-Tuner Tablo DVR in 2014, we’ve been committed to keeping our TV Guide Data Subscription optional, affordable, and tied to YOU.
That will not change.
What is changing starting today is the account structure for brand new subscribers.
In order to facilitate the addition of optional secondary paid features – like the upcoming Cloud DVR service – each Tablo unit on a net-new account will now require its own TV Guide Data Subscription.
You’ll still be able to swap the Tablo DVR hardware to which your account is tied at any time – like if you upgrade from an original 2-Tuner to the new Tablo QUAD when it arrives.
Those who have an active Tablo account created prior to March 7, 2019 already have multiple Tablo OTA DVRs on their account will be grandfathered and will NOT have to start paying additional subscriptions for their EXISTING or REPLACEMENT units.
So if a grandfathered user has, for example, two Tablo DVRs and chooses to add a third DVR they can but must contact support directly with the serial number of the new Tablo to add it to their account. without removing one of the existing Tablo DVRs from their account, they will need to add and pay for a guide data subscription for that new, additional device.
Tablo Cloud DVR Update
(If you don't have a Tablo DUAL LITE, aren't using Cloud DVR currently, or plan to use it in the future, this does not apply to you.)
The Tablo Cloud DVR service has been in a free, open beta since it launched alongside Tablo DUAL LITE OTA DVR in late March of 2018.
During the beta, Tablo DUAL LITE owners have been able to store a limited amount of recordings in the cloud at no additional cost, providing a reliable option for those who prefer not to purchase a USB hard drive.
Starting June 1, the Tablo Cloud DVR service will transition to a paid feature at a cost of $4.99 USD or $5.99 CAD per month, per instance.
Cloud DVR service requires an active Tablo Guide Data Subscription and will offer 64 GB of recording space (approximately 40 hours of HDTV at the recommended recording quality setting).
Current users of the Tablo Cloud DVR service will have until June 1st to add the Cloud DVR service to their Tablo account. (Stay tuned for specific email updates regarding this.)
On that date, all unpaid Cloud DVR accounts will enter a 30-day grace period wherein customers can continue to watch existing recordings but will no longer be able to record new shows.
If a current customer chooses to add a hard drive instead of continuing with the Cloud DVR service, new recordings will be sent to the hard drive and playback of existing cloud-based recordings will be available until June 30th.
Tablo Automatic Commercial Skip Feature Update
In January 2019 at CES, we announced a new feature – automatic commercial skip – coming to ALL subscription-enabled Tablo OTA DVRs.
Don’t worry, we’re still committed to making that happen but there's some additional algorithm tweaking and beta testing to be done which will push full availability into late April.
Once your Tablo DVR receives the next round of firmware and app updates, Tablo apps on Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Android TV, and Apple TV will hop right past pesky commercials on completed recordings.
Here’s a quick video of the feature in action:
And PS - the new Tablo QUAD is still on schedule for an end-of-March sale date so keep your eyes peeled for that announcement!
FAQs Regarding Subscription Accounts, Cloud DVR, & Commercial Skip
I’ve been paying for my Tablo TV Guide Data subscription monthly but have been thinking of upgrading to an annual or lifetime plan. If I do this, will I lose my grandfathered status?
No. Tablo’s billing server will retain the original creation date of your Tablo account even if you change your subscription plan or the Tablo to which your account is connected.
Do I need to have a lifetime Tablo subscription to be able to add multiple DVRs, or can I also do this on grandfathered monthly or annual TV Guide subscription accounts?
Any type of grandfathered Tablo subscription account (created before March 7, 2019) is permitted to have multiple Tablo DVRs connected to it. Users wishing to add a net new Tablo DVR unit to their existing subscription must email support with the email address connected to your Tablo account, and the serial number of your new DVR.
I have an existing grandfathered subscription for my Tablo DVR but was planning to add a Tablo QUAD to my network when it comes out. How do I add the Tablo QUAD to my subscription when it arrives?
When your Tablo QUAD arrives just send an email to support with the email address connected to your grandfathered Tablo account, and the serial number of your new DVR. The support team will add it to your account for you.
I purchased a 4-Tuner Tablo recently and used the 4FREEYEAR coupon code to receive an annual subscription at no cost. Is my account still grandfathered even though I haven’t paid anything yet?
Yes. All users with an active Tablo subscription account created prior to March 7, 2019 will be grandfathered and be able to add additional Tablo DVRs to their account at no cost. Your account will not be excluded just because you took advantage of a promotion.
If I don’t have a Tablo DUAL LITE and am not currently using the Cloud DVR, does the upcoming monthly charge for the Cloud DVR service affect me?
No, it does not. Cloud DVR a storage option only on Tablo DUAL LITE DVRs. It is NOT REQUIRED for owners of Tablo DUAL LITE devices and will remain free to use until June 1, 2019. If you currently use Cloud DVR with your Tablo DUAL LITE, please stay tuned for emails from Tablo with additional instructions on how to add Cloud DVR to your subscription account, or to transition to offline storage if you choose to discontinue using Cloud DVR storage.
Do I need to add the Cloud DVR service in order to use the upcoming Automatic Commercial Skip feature?
No, the upcoming Automatic Commercial Skip feature will be coming to all subscription-enabled Tablo DVRs via firmware and app updates in late April. This feature is totally separate from the Cloud DVR which is an optional recording storage method for the Tablo DUAL LITE DVR only.
Questions? Concerns? Don't hesitate to drop us a line via email, Twitter, or Facebook.
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