I also rely on streaming services more than my Tablo. I wanted something simpler than having 3 PVRs all over the house to play OTA recordings. The only change I would make to my purchase(s) is that I would have started with the 4-tuner and not have spent the money on two 2-tuners.
I think the biggest thing to consider when making your decision, is if you are comfortable using other add-on devices than just the Roku. It’s true that I’m not a Roku fan in general, but having different sticks has saved me in more than ways than just the Tablo.
I suggest multiple options because there are issues with all apps right now, but they are being worked on. At one point the search function was broken on the Android/FireOS version, but worked on Roku. Then Roku started having the live TV issue, so people are having a hard time with that.
Shortly after my 4-tuner arrives, I will donate a 2-tuner to my Mom. She uses only Roku, but with her TV also having built-in Android or Google, she’ll have that backup if necessary.
Yes, there have been a few setbacks in the last few weeks between updates and the server outage (pretty sure it rolled back something that’s causing connectivity issues within all the Tablo apps). The Roku app is only 0.8.401, the Android/Fire is 1.1.3. Each have their benefits and downsides.
I enjoy the speed of the 2nd gen Amazon 4k Max, and even use my 1st gen as my second choice. I think the biggest reason I prefer the Android/FireOS version is because there are more features available during playback.
These include a popup that shows
- what’s on current channels
- saved recordings (more beneficial when you’re watching one and want to switch to the next easily, otherwise it tends to just be a random list)
- what’s coming up next on your currently viewed channel
- info into whatever show/movie you’re currently watching
As well as a video progress bar that shows you how far you are into a program as well as how much is left. In live TV play, this acts as a way to show how far back you can rewind.
All this can be achieved by the press of OK, Up, or Down (Left or Right is saved for rewind/forward). On the Roku version, this is sadly missing. You can bring up a similar progress bar by pressing play/pause, but other than rewind or fast forward, there is no other information available.
I would say use whichever STB or viewing device you prefer, but having an alternative is definitely an all-over requirement. Until the Roku version is more stable, it’s almost a necessity. A 4k device will always give you better results than an HD version, even though the Tablo will only transmit up to 1080i. There’s usually more memory and a better CPU in there, and an HD device sometimes has a blurry look on UHD televisions. If your only use for an add-on is because you want a 4th generation Tablo, nothing beats the $20 Walmart onn. 4k streaming stick. Total of 8G internal, left with about 3G after updates and a few apps. For its price, the onn. box looks great, has HDR, and if you’re a fan, comes preloaded with GoogleTV as its OS.
You’ll find that recommendations from users are based on the OS they prefer as well as how it fits into their lifestyle. Until the tvOS version is released though, it’s Android/FireOS or Roku.
I’ll end with this: If you think it will bring new life to your household viewing, buy it. If it doesn’t like your current Roku setup, pick up a cheap STB and see how that feels. And yes, I would by a Tablo 4th gen knowing everything I know now.