Tablo Blog

Back Away from that Flash Drive - USB Hard Drive Suggestions & Specs

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Tablo memeMany people have asked for suggestions on which external hard drives work best with Tablo.

As you might know, Tablo uses an external USB hard drive to save recorded Over-The-Air programs but also to enable the pause and rewind features for live TV.


So…. What works?

Tablo currently supports external hard drives with the following specifications:

  • USB2 compatible - This includes USB 3.0 drives that are backwards compatible to 2.0
  • Any size - Most users opt for 1-5 TB which will save between 250 and 2,500 hours of HD programming


Drives We Recomend
We’ve had excellent success with portable hard drives from Western Digital (Elements line only) as well as Seagate (Expansion line, especially the 5TB size).

That doesn’t mean that other brands or styles of USB hard drives won’t work, just that they may not have been tested. For a full list of user tested drives, check out this thread in our Tablo Community.  

Tablo Recommended Drives

What We Don't Recommend

We do NOT currently support:

  • USB Flash storage – Flash is simply not fast enough
  • Networked (NAS) storage – There is too wide a variation in network speeds to support this


WARNING - Some brands/styles of drives (like the Western Digital MyPassport line) can frequently disconnect from their hosts which can result in failed recordings. Before you buy, Google the name/model of the drive and the phrase, “frequent disconnects”. If there’s a wall of results, chose a different drive.

Tablo Non-Recommended Drives



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