The Best OTA DVRs for Cord Cutters in 2023

We've spent a lot of time setting up OTA antennas, installing DVRs, and generally tweaking these systems to get the most out of them. We believe the Tablo Dual Lite is the best OTA DVR for most people, but we do have some other suggestions in case it's not right for you. Each offers very specific strengths, and one just might be the perfect fit.

Tablo Dual Lite OTA DVR - The best overall OTA DVR

For starters, the Tablo Dual Lite is super easy to set up and use. Its app-based interface is clean and simple, and after a quick scan, it lets you pick which of your available channels you’d like to add to your guide instead of assuming you want them all. But the Tablo’s key advantage is its ability to be placed anywhere in your home, whether that’s near your TV or router. Unlike other OTA DVRs, which need to be connected to your antenna, hardwired to your router, and in some cases connected to your TV, the Tablo only needs an antenna connection and power. In fact, it has no TV output at all — for that you can look into one of Tablo's other products, the $150 Tablo Dual HDMI OTA DVR.

Instead, Tablo streams your OTA channels to your TV via a compatible media device, like an Apple TV, Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Chromecast, or Nvidia Shield. If you have the right smart TV, you may not need an external device at all. Here’s the full list of compatible devices, which is extensive and offers something for almost everyone, with the exception of PlayStation console owners.

With two OTA tuners, the Tablo Dual Lite can receive and record two different channels simultaneously, but you’re not limited to two devices. Depending on the speed of your home network, up to six devices can watch content simultaneously. Given how many of us watch content on our phones and tablets, that’s a lot of potential screens powered by a single receiver.

The Dual Lite doesn't come with any built-in storage (Tablo sells a 128GB version if that's what you want), but this adds to its flexibility: You can decide how much storage you want by simply adding your own USB hard drive. Some kind of storage is required, however, even if you decide not to record shows.

On its own, the Tablo will give you 30 days of guide info and the ability to record and livestream any OTA content you can receive. For a subscription fee of $5 per month (or $50 per year), you get 14 days of guide info, advanced recording features (like the ability to start a recording two minutes earlier or later), and a must-have feature for frequent travelers: Remote-view capability for access to the entire system from anywhere with a decent internet connection.


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