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The Connected Home – Tablo OTA DVR Review

I’ve been using the Tablo OTA DVR from Nuvyyo for a little over a month now and have come to some conclusions about it. I cut the cable TV cord (see ya, Frontier!) about two months ago and immediately began looking for a DVR solution for over-the-air content. I considered some of the cheapo $50 Amazon offerings but none of them seemed like a good solution. Most used old school VCR type recording schedules – just set the channel and time and hope your show is one then – and/or had little app presence. I really wanted to be able to watch content anywhere – my phone, Fire TV, Android TV, tablets, etc. I settled on the Tablo OTA DVR because it ticks all of the boxes for a modern DVR system – with the noted exception of HDMI out. But does it live up to its spec sheet? Read on to find out.

DESIGN

The actual physical box is much smaller than I anticipated. I was pleased to find such a small footprint on the Tablo. Of course, there’s no internal hard drive so that helps keep the physical size low. The DVR is an unassuming black box with a silver logo on the front. There’s also an LED that can let you know when a program is being recorded. The sides are blank slates and the back has all of the connection ports you’ll need. There’s a coax input, network port, and two USB connections. There’s a quality feel to the materials but that’s not so important as this device typically just sits on a shelf somewhere. The unassuming Tablo fit right in on my TV cabinet. It doesn’t stand out which is good in this case.

SETUP

Setup is a breeze. First, connect a digital antenna (I used one like this from Amazon) and a USB drive. Then connect to your internet router and install the Tablo app from the Android or Apple app stores. The Tablo supports wired and wireless connections. Power on the box and the app will walk you through the setup process. You’ll create a Tablo account, identify your geographic area, choose your channels, and set some other initial options. As part of the setup process the Tablo will perform an update and download guide information for your area. I was able to be up and running in about 20 minutes, including the guide download and update. The process was smooth and very modern.

THE GUIDE

Nuvyyo includes a 30 day trial of their guide service with the purchase of the DVR. After the trial the guide data runs $5/month, $50/year, or $150/lifetime. Or, you can pay nothing and see one day’s worth of guide data at a time. In my experience thus far the guide data has been spot on. The Tablo keeps 14 days worth of guide data loaded at any one time. From the guide screen you can choose programs to record or watch live TV. The Tablo will record new shows only, one time, or all. The system is a simple grid but it works very well.

Program info is present for all of the shows I’ve checked. That includes program and series summary info and high quality graphics. The detail and care that’s gone into providing accurate and beautiful guide info is really appreciated. It’s obvious that Nuvyyo cares about providing a quality product.

 

Read the full review on Pocketables... 

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