Tablo review: A streaming DVR that finally liberates broadcast TV

Like millions of other homes, ours is one that hasn’t subscribed to cable television in a while. The last time we had traditional cable service was in 2014 when Comcast made us a great offer for their digital economy tier — along with a handful of cherry-picked stations (Comedy Central, CNN, Discovery Channel), we got all of our local broadcast stations, sparing the need to install antennas throughout the home.

That ended when Comcast decided it wanted to start charging more for local stations through a little-known “broadcast TV fee.” When we started our service, it was around $3, but by the time our contract ended, Comcast had doubled the fee (it’s now $15 a month — and there’s no way to avoid it).

Why pay for broadcast TV when I can get it for free? I thought. It turns out, I wasn’t alone: In 2018, with the average household paying $100 for cable or satellite service, nearly 8 million broadcast TV antennas were sold and installed, offering millions of Americans the option to receive national broadcast networks like ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox and PBS right out of thin air at the attractive price of free.

For an estimated 1 in 10 households who exclusively rely on broadcast TV, gone are the days of having to worry about service fee increases or carriage disputes resulting in the removal of their favorite stations. Just plug an antenna into the back of your TV set and — boom — free, digital TV that’s always available.

But broadcast TV has its limitations: You can only watch whatever a station is providing in real time, and each TV in a home must have its own antenna. With a conventional antenna-into-TV setup, there’s limited ways to record TV programs and no way to watch broadcast channels on devices that aren’t TV sets.

That’s a problem the engineers at Nuvyyo have given a lot of thought. Nuvyyo, based in Canada, has been called one of the top companies transforming the television industry. And once you get your hands on their flagship product, Tablo, it’s not hard to see why: Acting as an intermediary between an antenna and a TV set, it liberates the broadcast television viewing experience in more ways than one.

Around the time I dumped cable for good, I’d been considering buying a Tablo. Lucky for me, the folks at Nuvyyo — who are also readers of this blog! — were kind enough to lend me a review unit of their Dual Lite model. I enjoyed it so much that I wound up buying their upgraded Quad model because the Tablo solves a number of problems with broadcast TV... 

Read the full review on The Desk...