Tablo Software OTA DVR Solution

Turn Your NVIDIA SHIELD Into An OTA DVR

The Tablo software OTA DVR solution is comprised of Tablo ENGINE, an android TV-based Over-The-Air DVR app, and Tablo TUNER, a dual-tuner USB adapter that connects your TV antenna to your NVIDIA SHIELD. This software-based DVR engine lets cord cutters enjoy live and recorded OTA TV content without the need for additional DVR hardware.

Keep reading for details on this new Tablo solution for watching and recording live, local TV from your antenna.

How Tablo Software OTA DVR Works

Tablo ENGINE is an OTA DVR app for Android TV streaming set-top-boxes like the NVIDIA SHIELD. Designed for use with the Tablo TUNER USB adapter, the Tablo ENGINE app transforms your NVIDIA SHIELD into an Over-the-Air DVR that lets you discover, watch, and record live HDTV.

Unlike Tablo's network-connected DVRs (Tablo 2-Tuner, Tablo 4-Tuner, and Tablo DUAL) which stream live and recorded HDTV content to multiple devices, the Tablo TUNER/Tablo ENGINE software OTA DVR solution is designed for cord cutters who want to watch content on a main television screen connected to an Android TV device via HDMI.

To watch and record Over-the-Air TV using the Tablo ENGINE app, you'll need a compatible Android TV device and a compatible USB tuner adapter. 

Tablo ENGINE currently supports the following Android TV devices:

  • Nvidia SHIELD streaming media devices (16 GB)
  • Nvidia SHIELD PRO home media server (500 GB)

And the following USB tuner adapters:

  • Tablo TUNER dual-tuner USB adapter

The Nvidia SHIELD streaming media device is Nvidia's base model device. 

Details
- Starts at $199 USD
- Includes 16 GB of onboard storage

Benefits
- Super-fast in-app navigation
- Controlled with a gamepad or optional remote control
- Access to a wide range of popular apps and games from the Google Play store
- Can become a mini HTPC with PLEX or KODI
- Expandable storage
- Available in the US and Canada

Drawbacks
- Requires a USB hard drive for recordings storage when used with Tablo ENGINE

The Nvidia SHIELD PRO home media server is Nvidia's high-end model. 

Details
- Starts at $299 USD
- Includes 500 GB of onboard storage

Benefits
- Super-fast in-app navigation
- Controlled with a gamepad or optional remote control
- Access to a wide range of popular apps and games from the Google Play store
- Can become a mini HTPC with PLEX or KODI
- Recordings can be stored to the internal hard drive when used with Tablo ENGINE
- Expandable storage
- Available in the US and Canada

Drawbacks
- None

The Tablo TUNER antenna adapter was designed to specifically to work with the Tablo ENGINE app.  

Details
- MSRP is $69.99 USD


Benefits
- Two ATSC tuners allow you to watch live TV and record up to two channels at once
- Compatible with all Nvidia SHIELD models
- Compatible with all commercial Over-the-Air TV antennas
- Available in the US and Canada 

At this time, Tablo TUNER and Tablo ENGINE are designed to work with the Nvidia SHIELD.

We are currently exploring how we might support other Android TV-based streaming set-top-boxes and other tuner options.

Stay tuned! 

Tablo ENGINE/Tablo TUNER Setup

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It's easy to start enjoying free Over-the-Air TV with the Tablo ENGINE/Tablo TUNER Software OTA DVR solution. Here's how:

  • Connect your HDTV Antenna to Tablo TUNER

  • Connect Tablo TUNER to your NVIDIA SHIELD via an available USB port

  • Connect a USB Hard Drive - required both for streaming live TV and recording on NVIDIA SHIELD 16GB models

  • Download the Tablo ENGINE app from the Google Play Store and follow the Tablo DVR Setup Wizard

Looking for more details? Get additional information on antenna selection and positioning, a list of recommended hard drives, set-up instructions and troubleshooting tips.

Adjusting Tablo ENGINE's Settings

tablo engine settings

Once Tablo ENGINE and Tablo TUNER are set up on your NVIDIA SHIELD, it's important to review and adjust Tablo ENGINE's settings in the settings screen.

You can do this on the main app via your NVIDIA SHIELD or via the Tablo ENGINE companion app at my.tablotv.com

  • Set as 'on' by default, auto-delete will remove your oldest, unprotected recordings so you always have space for new shows.

  • Remove unwatched foreign language or shopping channels by editing your channel lineup.

  • Choose to not record duplicate airings or add extended recording time to live events like sports and awards shows.

The most critical step in accessing free broadcast content is choosing the right Over-the-Air TV antenna. 

Today’s Over-the-Air (OTA) HDTV antennas are not like the rabbit ears of old, so save your tinfoil for wrapping last night’s leftovers.

Modern antennas deliver perfectly crisp picture quality in full HD and come in a variety of styles and prices.

We'll give you the information you need to make the right choice for your home.

Over-the-Air HDTV antennas cost between $20 to $200 and come in several different shapes and sizes:

  • Flat antennas – Are placed indoors, near or affixed to a window
  • Table-top antennas – Are placed indoors on a flat surface near a window
  • Outdoor antennas – Are mounted on the roof or another structure like a pole or tower, or even within your home's attic
  • DIY versions – Are of various styles and are often 'MacGyver'-ed from plans found on the internet  

 

Enter your zip code into our OTA Signal Locator Tool to find your local broadcast towers, then you can use distance to the towers as a general guideline for which antenna you'll need to receive OTA signals at your home. 

  • Live less than 30 miles from local broadcast towers? Try an indoor antenna.
  • Live in the suburbs? You'll need at least a powerful amplified indoor antenna.  
  • Live in the country? An attic-mount or outdoor antenna will likely be required.

Many antenna manufacturers (like MohuWinegard, and AntennasDirect) also offer searchable databases and 1-800 help lines to help you choose which of their antenna products is best for you.

Signal amplifiers are either built in (many indoor antennas already include this) or can be separate devices installed between the antenna and your Tablo OTA DVR.

  • Live in an urban area? No amplifier is needed.
  • Live in the suburbs or beyond? Consider an amplified antenna.

NOTE - Over-amplifying your OTA signal, especially if you live close to local broadcast towers, can cause problems, so don't think that more power is always better when it comes to antennas! 

To get the most channels possible with your antenna, you need to know where your local broadcast towers are located. (Enter your ZIP Code into our channel locator tool to find towers near you.)

  • Towers clustered together?
    Point a uni-directional antenna directly at the broadcast tower source.
  • Towers in two (or more) different directions?
    Get an multi or omni-directional antenna OR use a combiner to send the signal from two uni-directional antennas to your Tablo OTA DVR.

NOTE - Tablo DVRs do not support the use of antenna rotors. 

Now that you know which style of digital TV antenna is right for you, we've got lots of great information on how to set it up! Check out our OTA Antenna Blog Series or keep reading this page for the Cliff Notes.

Tablo ENGINE App Tour

Tablo ENGINE is a beautiful, easy-to-use, and fully-featured interface for cord cutters who want to discover, watch, and record Over-the-Air TV on their Android TV device without additional DVR hardware

  • Watch, pause and rewind live TV in stunning full HD quality

  • Watch, pause, rewind and fast forward completed and in-progress recordings

  • Browse and set recordings from the live TV grid or the Netflix-style guide

  • Set single episode recordings, or full series recordings (either ALL Episodes or ALL NEW Episodes) with a single click

Tablo ENGINE Subscriptions

Tablo ENGINE includes a free, fully-featured 30-day trial of our Tablo ENGINE Guide Data Subscription. Once your trial is complete you can choose to use Tablo ENGINE without a subscription. However, to enjoy the full Tablo experience, a subscription to our optional guide data service is recommended.

For a small monthly fee, our guide data provides the beautiful cover art, episode and series synopses and metadata that make it easy for cord cutters like you to browse content and set recordings via the Tablo ENGINE app. Without a subscription, you will be limited to 24 hours of guide data and can continue to enjoy live TV. 

 

USA

CANADA

 

Monthly

$3.99 USD

$4.99 CAD

Yearly

$39.99 USD

$49.99 CAD

 
Your Tablo ENGINE subscription is tied to your ENGINE ID - an identifier unique to your Android TV device.
Existing Tablo OTA DVR subscriptions cannot be applied to Tablo ENGINE.

What's Included In My Tablo ENGINE Subscription?

The chart below shows exactly which basic features are included with the free Tablo ENGINE app as well as the more advanced features that you can get with an optional Tablo ENGINE Subscription. Some features are dependent on the guide data available, which we source from Gracenote. Full details and screen shots of the interface are below.

 

Feature

Basic

w/ Subscription

TV Guide Data

1 Day

14 Days

Manual Recording (date/time/channel/show)

 

 

Live TV Grid View

 

 

Guide View

 

 

Recordings View

 

 

Series Info (plot, first air date, etc.)

 

 

Cover Art

 

 

Record by Series

 

 

 

 
 
 
Tablo ENGINE's companion web app offers additional views and features that make it easy to set up and manage recordings, as well as your Tablo ENGINE DVR app's settings. Playback is not enabled on the Tablo ENGINE companion web app.

The Tablo ENGINE app is powered by TV guide data.

Users with subscriptions will be able to discover and easily set recordings for programs airing over the next 14 days. Users who choose to forgo a subscription will only have access to the next 24 hours of guide data within the live TV grid for browsing and watching live TV.

With a subscription, you’ll be able to see a full 14 days of programming within the Live TV grid view. From here you can also play live TV and set recordings.

Without a subscription you'll only see 24 hours of programming and only be able to launch playback of live TV.

Tablo ENGINE subscribers have access to the scheduled view which shows all of your scheduled recordings, whether or not there is an airing in the next 14 days. 

From here you can also unschedule specific airings and resolve scheduling conflicts.

Tablo ENGINE subscribers also have access to the recordings view which shows and allows you to start playback of all completed, and in-progress recordings. 

 

A Tablo ENGINE subscription provides episode and series synopses so you can learn what a show is about, or know whether or not you've already seen a particular episode. 

When browsing, cover art for programs creates the beautiful Netflix-style guide in the Tablo ENGINE app. Without a subscription, no Netflix-style guide screens are available.

Have a ‘can’t miss’ show or want to start an archive of Big Bang Theory reruns?

Record by series, available for subscribers only, makes this a snap.

You can choose to record ALL airings of that program or ALL NEW to just get episodes that have been previously unaired. 

Subscribers have the option to create Manual Recordings via Tablo ENGINE's companion web app. 

Manual recordings are set by date/time/channel on a one-time or repeating schedule.

 

Stay tuned to Tablo news and offers