Watching shows through the device is virtually problem-free, with the web browser and tablet-based options. While there aren't any significant drawbacks to watching on a tablet, the browser-based option was preferred. Watching videos on a 2011 MacBook Pro flew by without any significant issues; those that did occur were due to either signal issues with a recording or the ClickToFlash extension. Users are offered a slide-out menu on the left, listing options for live TV, recordings and specific types of broadcasts. Navigation is quick and smooth, with minimal delays or load times -- even when connecting to the device. The broadcast types are were the software shines, as it makes everything a little easier, including DVR recordings.
To watch a live show or a recording, users need only to go to the appropriate menu destination, and click on a show either in a grouping by title or from the schedule for live TV. With a Tablo Guide subscription, owners can look at the schedule up to 14 days in advance. DVR features become easier, as a show can be selected through one of the categories, rather than having to find it on a schedule. Following that, it is as easy as selecting a one-time or recurring recording schedule. Shows set to be recorded can be checked on -- including recordings missed -- through the scheduled option. Missed recordings are minimized, as the Tablo comes in two and four-tuner variants. The default recording size can be set as well, with standard definition, 720p and 1080p options.
To be able to use the Tablo, consumers will need to fork over $200 for the two-tuner version, or more if a USB drive and HDTV antenna aren't already owned. While the unit is priced fairly, having to pay an extra $5 a month, $50 a year or $150 for a lifetime subscription could be a factor. As over-the-top content grows, the Tablo DVR offers a solid option for users looking to completely cut from cable providers without losing what local programming offers.