Coax or stream?

Hi all. First post. I’m moving into a new condo and have ordered the 2 antennas I plan on putting in the attic along with the needed combiner and powered 4 way splitter. I have not purchased the Tablo yet because I’m not sure ot what kind of reception I’m going to get. If it is good, I plan on buying the Tablo Quad. All that said, my question is should I send the powered splitter back and stream using the Quad, or, should I run coax to all the TVs in the condo and use the Tablo just for the DVR functionality?
Thank you for any help you could offer.

I have 2 antenna, each in the attic at the two ends of the house. Each one is spit to a Quad and TV. I live 9 miles from the broadcast farm and get 90 ota channels. I use about 32 on the Tablos. I have no amps and get a very good signal on all but 5 of the ota channels. I would avoid using an amp if you can, so it all depends on the signal you are getting from your antennas.

You can certainly use the Tablo as the tuner sources and use your "tv"s as dumb displays. But because channel changes are a bit slow (due to ATSC → xcode → stream), many prefer to channel surf using the tuners built into their TVs.

Channel changes are in the 10 second+ range. If the channel was previously tuned and still held by a tuner on the Tablo, the change is pretty fast. Also, number of tuners on the Tablo can matter. And tuners will get consumed by various things including, of course, recording (some recording formats requiring 2 tuners). So, tuner math comes into play.

Please understand that the Tablo streams (plays-back) over your network, not the same coax connected to your antenna. The coax connected to the Tablo is only for capturing the over-the-air broadcasts.

To watch recordings from the Tablo, you will need a streaming device (Roku, Firestick, RokuTV, Tablet, Smart phone, Web browser, etc)

Running your coax to all your TV’s will allow you to watch any over-the-air broadcasts, but not recordings from your Tablo.

Hope this helps.

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Thank you all. I appreciate your input.
I’m trying to “visualize” how I’m going to set this up. My plan is to run probably 3 TVs off of the antennas. I have a 4 way powered splitter for this. Now, could anyone “diagram” this for me once I insert the Tablo in there? I’m gonna have 2 antennas to a combiner, but once I put the Tablo in there I’m confused as to where to put in the mix.

I’m not sure if you plan to get a Network Connected or HDMI Tablo so I included both diagrams here. Either way, all your Coax cabling (combining, splitting, amplification, etc.) would happen before the HDTV Antenna input in both diagrams. If you do split your Coax prior to this point you can run the signal to the Antenna input of your TVs.
Network Connected:


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Thank you. I’m an idiot and just couldn’t visualize how this was done. I get it now, just took some pounding into my head!

Here’s a diagram of the setup I think you have described.
Between this one and the diagrams above, hopefully these will help you visualize your setup.
Note that my diagram is using Ethernet connections only (No wireless)


Looks much more professional than mine would have using just a Crayola!! haha
Thanks so much. This is how I just FINALLY realized it would be hooked up.

Presume the 1 to 4 Splitter is a [powered] amplified distribution splitter ?

Yes, wire every network device with a port! I believe ethernet spec allow for cable runs of ~ 300' more than enough for virtually any residential home. (of course network switches are practical depending upon your topography)