It’s built for the future of free 4K HDR content.
The new Tablo ATSC 3.0 Quad HDMI is a DVR meant for the next generation of broadcast TV — which, if all goes according to plan, will involve 4K HDR content being sent out over the airwaves for free. It can record up to four channels at once onto an external hard drive, letting you watch programs back on your schedule, not broadcasters’.
In the age of internet streaming, cable, and satellite, it can be hard to remember that there are still local TV stations broadcasting their programs over the airwaves, which anyone can watch for free if they have an antenna and receiver. But for some enthusiasts, viewing broadcast television is the new cord-cutting — and it’s those signals Tablos are made to record and playback.
Cordcutter-friendly DVRs are a pretty mature concept at this point, with companies including Tablo and HDHomeRun producing them steadily for years. ATSC 3.0 changes things, though — it’s the follow-up to the digital standard that replaced US analog TV broadcasts in 2009, and it supports plenty of upgrades, including support for 4K HDR broadcasts, high frame rate content, and more. While it’s currently not set to completely replace ATSC 1.0 anytime soon, some stations have started broadcasting content using both standards.
Apart from the fact that it can record four ATSC 3.0 streams at once, the new Quad HDMI works a lot like Tablo’s other DVRs. It hooks up to an antenna, hard drive, and your TV, and you can use it to watch live TV, or programs that you’ve recorded. Tablo says the interface will tell you which channels are using ATSC 1.0 and which are using 3.0.