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Tablo Dual HDMI Review: A great Over-the-Air DVR for Videophiles

At a Glance

The Tablo Dual HDMI creates some new trade-offs not found on other Tablo models. The HDMI version doesn’t work with as many streaming devices—most notably, you can’t watch on phones, tablets, or laptops—and it doesn’t support out-of-home streaming. You’ll also need a strong Wi-Fi network to stream those full-quality broadcasts.

Because of those limitations, the Tablo Dual HDMI is a great option for videophiles or cord-cutters who only plan to watch on a single television; it’s less ideal for everyone else.

Plug-and-play, or not

The first is to plug it straight into your TV with an HDMI cable. The device comes with its own remote control, and once you hook up an antenna and external USB hard drive—both sold separately—you can control everything through your TV.

The other way is to treat it like Tablo’s networked DVRs, streaming local channels over your Wi-Fi network to other devices. In this case, you would install the Tablo app on Roku, Fire TV, or Android TV. Those apps will automatically recognize the Tablo when it’s on the same network, letting you watch live TV and access the DVR.

Direct-to-TV downsides

Using the Tablo Dual HDMI as a networked tuner wipes away all those issues. With a Roku, Fire TV, or Android TV device, switching to Tablo is as simple as opening the Tablo app, and most of these devices have better remote controls than what the Tablo box offers. I also didn’t experience any guide-loading issues on streaming devices such as the Roku Streaming Stick+. The only catch is that you need a fast Wi-Fi connection—upwards of 18Mbps—to stream smoothly.

DVR upsides

All of this may seem like table stakes for anyone who’s used to cable or a TiVo DVR, but you’d be surprised how many fledgling over-the-air DVRs overlook these features. Replicating the creature comforts of a cable DVR is an area where Nuvyyo’s experience with Tablo really shows.

The price of pristine broadcast TV

Being able to enjoy Tablo’s DVR features without sacrificing video quality is refreshing, but there are still reasons to choose other Tablo DVRs instead.

 

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