Now a week in and really like the Tablo. Pleasantly surprised with the picture quality and stability after using an HDHR which buffered and pixilated repeatedly. But as the subject says – one big disappointment. Everything I saw before buying said there was a 14 day program guide. It was only after getting it up and running and looking through the knowledgebase that I discovered that the grid is only 24 hours and that:
“Airdates and times for programs beyond the next 24 hours can be found within the program tabs in your Tablo app…. We realize this is a different paradigm than the ‘grid guide’ you’re used to, but we think it’s a better way to deliver the information.”
No, it is not.
In my mind this is not even a guide. Unless I am missing something, at least with the FTV, there is no way to see what is on by day or time more than 24 hours out. Basically you either have to already know that something is going to be on and search for it to find out when and to record it. Also, browsing through the list of every program that is going to be on from A – Z is basically unworkable. I understand there are some filters you can put on – but I can’t find a way to jump ahead alphabetically to get to the shows starting with “T” for example.
I guess it is on me for not reading very piece of information before buying, but you should really be more up front about this.
For me, the way Tablo presents its future shows is just like Netflix and Amazon Prime. You see a bunch of show icons, and then you select one. Prime Time, TV Shows, Movies, and Sports are great categories, and you can further filter by channel. All those icons represent shows that will be presented in the next two weeks.
The grid guide for me is only used to see what is on right now. I never scroll through it, with the exception of whether I want to double check a show is going to be recorded.
It is different than the way traditional DVRs present their shows, but I believe it is a much more modern way to do it.
I found it cumbersome at first too. But once you get used to it, I think it is is better. When you want to watch Live TV, you go to Live TV, so the most you need is a couple of hours. When you want to record you go look at 14 days worth of movies, TV shows, etc. On the Roku app, there is the alphabet on the far right, so you can toggle over to the alphabet and then pick the letter you want. The chrome app is especially nice because you sort by genre, channel, etc. I am pretty sure that once you use it for a while you will like it better. I used to hate scrolling to the right of a “conventional guide” to see a couple of weeks worth of shows, only have to do it again and again, for the other 15 channels, because you can only see 5 channels at a time.
It sure would be nice if the Roku TV Show guide was as robust as the Chrome’s.
I am in agreement with snowcat. I have no use for a grid. I could never find shows to record by scrolling through a cable grid across days and channels, with only a text title to identify shows. I have found so many good new shows by browsing through the thumbnails of upcoming series that I never would have looked twice at in a grid. When you add in all the filters available (genre, prime time, premieres, channel, sports, TV shows, movies), it is even better.
In fact, one of my desired features would be for Live TV to have the option of displaying the shows currently airing as thumbnails instead of the grid, as I would be much more likely to try something based on its thumbnail than based on text in a grid and it would be much easier to get to the show I want to watch than having to scroll down through the channels, which involves a lot of buffering if you have a lot of channels.
Additional tidbit- if you’re using Roku to view the guide, the fast forward key jumps to the first show starting with the next letter. Rewind goes back a letter. Getting to"T" is pretty quick with that.
Thanks for the comments. Hope it turns out to be true that I will come to like it as I have more experience with it. I’ll try the FF - RW tip to move more quickly through the thumbnails. Hope it works with FTV.
Playing around with it last night I had an idea for a feature enhancement for the current program listings. Sorry if this has already been suggested. Adding a sort feature that is independent of the filters. For example, you could filter to prime time shows, then sort in different views, e.g. Ascending, Descending, By Date, By Channel, etc. It would become a much more powerful tool.
I think it comes down to mindset. If you are of the mindset that scheduling recordings is best accomplished through a guide grid then this is definitely a problem.
But if you learn to schedule by searching through the genre’s by thumbnails, I think you will eventually realize that using a guide grid is prehistoric.
I’m not trying to make fun of anyone. I too was thrown off at first coming from a cable company DVR, but soon found that this method of finding & setting what I want to record is much easier & slicker. I now much prefer my Tablo to any previous cable DVR I had before.
I like to see what will be on the next day or two and the grid is perfect for that. The categories are only good if you know what your looking for. I watch mainly live tv and not just record things, maybe that is why you do not like the grid.
Um if you say so. I have been watching Live TV on it for about 8 months and love it. I watch on my phone, desktop, Chromebook and media player no problem. I only wish the grid went out more then 24hrs that’s all.
Well it sure would be nice being able to go out more then 24hrs. Even recording you have to know what you are looking for before hand instead of scrolling through the guide and seeing what is on each day which I find much easier. Not like it would be hard for them to extend the days that you can scroll through. I’m glad you guys like the categories but not everyone does. Oh well I made it this long with only 24hrs and there are other ways to check like @beastman showed.
Why? I actually think that discovery is where this interface excels and that the opposite is actually true.
I rarely know what I am looking for beforehand. I just click on things that look interesting and if the description grabs me I schedule a recording to try it out. I have discovered so many new shows that I wouldn’t have ever known existed just by occasionally browsing the thumbnails. Especially British stuff on the secondary PBS station. I would not have stopped twice at those shows just based on a title in a grid. I actually think that discovery of new shows is where the Tablo excels. A picture can communicate so much in just a few seconds - tone, subject matter, era, stars, production quality - that a word title couldn’t possibly convey. The filters are a bonus. And when you are recording, you don’t care what time it is on, what day, or what channel - that information that comes from the grid is not important any more. You just set it to record and it will arrive when it arrives.
And if you do know what you want, it is also easier to pick its picture out from a crowd than to find its title in a grid unless you happen to know when it is on and what channel.
Different individuals are going to prefer different methods/interfaces for varying reasons. When I first got my Tablo my preferred search method was the guide grid, but given the limitations of Tablo’s guide I learned to use other methods that were not available to me with my old cable company DVR. Once I learned to use these other features that Tablo offers, I quickly found them to be slicker & easier.
Yup I am a grid guy. I can find anything I want on the grid but hate those categories, I don’t need freaking pictures or descriptions just a schedule. I ended up not renewing the subscription since I seen no value in it since the grid is the same 24 hrs either way and just manually set the recorder to record the shows in case I miss it or there are more then 1 on at the time. Like you said different people like different things and categories was not for me.