5.1 / AC3 surround sound with Tablo

Me Too!!! “Its very simple, all you have to do is…”

Well, I got my Tablo set up last night, and I have to say, with the AVR for standard shows (sitcoms, crime drama) the fake surround sound seems pretty passable. Playoff football will be a good test to see if I miss the true surround sound, but I have an amplified cable splitter, so I could always bypass the tablo to watch live TV with true surround sound for events that warrant it.

Don’t get me wrong, I still want the feature to be on the roadmap, but after some brief use, it hasn’t been a deal breaker for me yet.

Thanks to Max and Getcashmoney for sharing their experience.


I’m preparing to cut the cord and I was all ready to get a Tablo… Until I found out about no AC3 5.1 :sob:

I have a few months until I need to pull the trigger on a DVR. Hopefully ac3 will be available before then.

It isn’t even on the roadmap at this point, and given that rate of development from Tablo, I’d be willing to bet you an awful lot that it won’t be available in a few months time. Few years time…maybe.

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Not to pour more gasoline on this fire but it is kind of amazing that such a fundamental feature isn’t there, but i’m glad that i realized it. I learned about it by chance. Someone happened to mention it in an amazon review.

In reading more and more about Tablo and other similar alternatives i’ve given up. I cut the cord back in 2003 but moved to Windows Media Center so i’m in a slightly different boat, as i was looking to replace a PC with a set top box. I was going to try to move away from an always on conventional PC for this purpose but, looks like the solution’s aren’t quite fully baked yet.

Anyway, i think that i’ll be switching to NextPVR. (An open source software PVR) and using SchedulesDirect.org for my guide data. Maybe someday someone will make a device like this that really works and i can switch to it but, for me, at this point i’ll just stick with software for a few more years. (NextPVR records the actual transport stream file and sends 5.1 audio as well as color hd video to my FireTV via Kodi and the NextPVR plugin)

I don’t really wants to have another computer to maintain so I guess it’ll have to be TiVo :frowning:

You also have the option of the Channel Master DVR+

I know someone who has one and is pleased with it. No whole home DVR, but for a basic receiver and DVR he is happy with it.

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If you are really interested in a TiVo for strictly OTA reception - the Roamio OTA with Lifetime is just back again at Amazon for $300…it is the very best deal in a TiVo you’re likely to get and the Roamio is a very good DVR. It’s not likely to be in stock or at this price for very long based on previous sales, so strike while the iron is hot.
I’d also add that I use my Denon AVR-X2200W’s “Dolby Surround” (next gen Pro Logic) for my Tablo and it is really pretty good.

Thank you!!!
I think you sold me on TiVo OTA + lifetime

Good luck. My experience with Tivo has not been positive. Hopefully you have better luck.


Thanks for posting that TiVo sale. I was considering TiVo but the prices infuriate me. The 299 price point is much better but for me personally I think that I’m still just going to stick with software until someone makes a network device that out performs the free software alternatives.

Most of us don’t have a free computer lying around to serve this DVR function. When you factor in the cost of a computer, and the tuner card for said computer it is generally more than the cost of a Tablo even with the software being free.

NextPVR does look cool though.

Plus it’s not as consumer friendly, you need technical knowledge to install and configure all that software.


What do we need to do to get in on the roadmap? This is my number 1 feature request.

Send a nice cash donation to Ottawa.

Theuser86, agreed on all points. If I didn’t already have the hardware for a PC based solution, or the appetite to take on a more technically challenging solution it would not be viable.

In reading this thread I’m really wondering if tablo’s primary objective isn’t what this group wants it to be. For me personally I wanted a simple box that I could plug into my network which would provide pvr functionality for my set top box (a firetv) which is connected to my home theater. For that functionality I wouldn’t want or expect any transcoding, just direct access to the data as it was broadcast. I think that the tablo concept is more broad so that you can use it from more device types that can’t necessarily handle the broadcast transport stream data. I don’t have a problem with that, and if I had a setup that provided that I might use it, but it’s secondary to having quality data in the home theater.

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Yes it is more broad, use on tablets and smartphones, etc.

Have you considered the new HDHomeRun DVR? It runs on a PC and does not transcode the video, saves MPEG-2 video.

Another link:


It’s my #2 request. #1 is native apple tv app. Like any device it has pros and cons which you have to weigh your priorities against.

This device is geared towards mobility and access across devices. It is not meant for home theater enthusiasts. Some us HT enthusiast have found ways to include the Tablo in our systems in a way that works for us. I use PLII for most live and recorded TV and bypass the Tablo for live sporting events.

People seem awful entitled that a given product should align perfectly with their unique circumstances.


I had an extend for about a month. It worked, had Android TV Live Channels integration and I did like the pure mpeg-2 feed. However, their customer service was awful (a few of my channels weren’t getting guide data and getting help was like pulling teeth). Their forum presence is terrible, they have been failing to meet deadlines with the kickstarter and have failed to communicate well with their early backers.

I hope they do well, because I would love to see more competition in this growing market, but right now they have a lot of work to do in order to be a viable OTA DVR solution.

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Channel master does support the 5.1 surround sound. Just saying.