2015 CES: Tablo Shows New Unit with Built-in TV Antenna

Tablo, an Ottawa-based developer of over the air DVR technology, had a booth in the Sands Expo center where they demonstrated their latest hardware and software. The Tablo device receives over-the-air TV and stores and streams content over Wi-Fi to devices around the home or over the Internet. In addition to streaming content to iOS or Android tablets and phones, Tablo supports streaming TV content to Roku's IPTV box as well as Apple TV, Google Chromecast, and Amazon's FireTV/FireStick. Tablo can use the remotes for these devices to navigate channels and programs.

Tablo was showing a new device with two built in antennas. The antennas are offset from each other and each feeds a MaxLinear tuner. The device can pick the antenna/tuner with the best signal for each channel, reducing the need to carefully position the box to get reception. Except for power, the new Tablo device does not require a wired connection to antenna, network or TV. This means it can be placed at a point in the house where it is able to get a good TV signal (window on an upper floor, for example) and stream that via the home's wireless router to IP connected devices anywhere in the house.

The Tablo rep said they are seeing a lot of interest in the product. That's good news for broadcasters, as I see a device such as the Tablo being essential to the transition from today's ATSC “1.0” to the next-generation ATSC 3.0 broadcast platform. It will provide a way for viewers to experience the enhanced features of ATSC 3.0 using IPTV user interfaces they are familiar with on existing displays.

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