Tablo has released an all-new 4th generation over-the-air networked DVR. The new Tablo 4th Gen, as it is simply being called, is a new direction for the company, which was acquired last year by broadcast company Scripps. The biggest difference found in this new Tablo, compared to previous models, is the complete lack of a paid subscription and the ability to both stream and record over 40 free ad-supported TV (FAST) channels.
The Tablo 4th Gen costs $99.95 from either Tablo or Best Buy and includes two ATSC 1.0 tuners which let you watch live or record two channels simultaneously. If you include watching recordings, the DVR can support up to six devices at once. Being a networked tuner, it can be placed anywhere that’s convenient for your OTA HD antenna connection as long as it has a network connection through either its built-in 10/100 Ethernet port or 802.11ac dual-band WiFi 5.
Built into the Tablo 4th Gen is 128GB of flash storage, which Tablo says is good for about 50 hours of recorded programming. While the device supports MPEG2 for live television, recordings are transcoded to MPEG4 to take up less space. If 50 hours of DVR storage isn’t enough, you can connect up to an 8TB external hard drive to the device’s USB 2.0 port for as much as 1,000 hours of recordings.
All of Tablo’s previous OTA DVRs required a paid subscription for guide data and other premium features. The new Tablo 4th Gen does away with that entirely and comes with 14 days of guide data, for both over-the-air and its free streaming channels at no additional charge. As for those FAST channels, there are currently just over 40 streaming channels available that blend together with the OTA channels and can all be recorded by the DVR. You read that right, even the free streaming channels can be recorded.
Along with this new generation of hardware, Tablo is launching an all-new Tablo app that has been developed from the ground up with a new interface and feature set. The new Tablo app is already available on Fire TV devices with support for Fire OS 6 and Fire OS 7 models. Notably, that means that all Fire TV models released before 2017, including the very popular 2nd-gen Fire TV Stick, are not supported by the new Tablo app. The new app is also available for Roku, Android TV and Google TV devices, as well as both iOS and Android phones and tablets. Support for Apple TV and smart TV platforms from Samsung, LG and Vizio “are expected to be added later this year.”
For those who own an existing Tablo device, a firmware update will arrive later this year for netwroked models and next year for HDMI-equiped models to add compatibility with the new Tablo app. However, not all features available to those currently paying for a Tablo subscription are available in the new app, so you may prefer to continue using the legacy app. Automatic commercial skipping and out-of-home streaming are the most significant features you won’t find available in the new Tablo app or with the Tablo 4th Gen hardware.
As previously mentioned the Tablo 4th Gen is available to buy right now for $99.95 from Tablo directly or for $99.99 from Best Buy. Tablo is also selling a bundle that includes the Tablo 4th gen and a 35-mile antenna for $129.95 that is currently on sale for $109.95.