(COMPLETED) 5.1 Surround Sound on Tablo [Offical Tablo Response/Position?]

@TabloSupport @TabloTV,

Ok, so I know there many discussions on this topic. I’ve spent a decent amount time over these and I am still unclear why Tablo does not or cannot support 5.1 surround sound.

So, can I please get a response from Tablo on:

  1. Is there a technical hardware limitation on the Tablo device? If yes, and this is not going to happen unless they redo the box, that’s fine, I get it.
  2. Is there a technical software limitation on the Tablo software? If yes, and if effort does not justify the benefit, I get it.
  3. Is it more of a priority/importance when compared to other feature request? This is important to me, may not be important to the overall Tablo user base, again, I get it.

All I am looking for is a simple non technical official response from Tablo.

Don’t get me wrong, switched to Tablo a couple of years ago, very happy with the device, service, community and best decision I’ve made when it comes to TV. Just want a straight answer on 5.1. :slight_smile:

My apologies for posting yet another thread on this topic.


I am relatively new to Tablo & can’t offer an answer. But I investigated this when I first got my Tablo back in August. From everything I saw that came officially from Tablo Support, it is simply a matter of priority. But given how many users have requested it over the years, I would guess it is not a simple fix.

But as time has passed, I find I am not concerned with it as much as I originally was. I have Tablo for the major networks, & what I record from the networks is sports & TV shows (sitcoms & dramas). Thus, the lack of 5.1 surround sound is inconsequential. Any movie I watch is via Netflix or Amazon Prime.

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I too am interested in their response. I have only had my Tablo for a couple months and trying to determine if I want to keep it before my Walmart return window closes. Along with some other limitations this is one of them that might cause me to go to Plex. Ironically, the setup guide that comes inside the box with the Tablo has a Dolby Digital Plus logo on it.

I’m just guessing, but Tablo probably delivers Dolby Digital 2.0.

$30 option=Mediasonic DVR. Also instant channel surfing, HDMI output and additional tuner for recording.

The Mediasonic DVR is a nice inexpensive option. My son bought his first home last summer. He is on a tight budget & thus does not subscribe to any cable channel subscription. I bought him an antenna, Mediasonic DVR & a Fire TV as a house warming gift. He is very happy with the setup, but he currently only has the one TV.

I have considered buying one for myself, but there is no way for me to integrate it into my current setup. I simply have a more sophisticated desire. I have a single UI integrated system. I access my OTA Tablo content, my PS Vue cable channels, Netflix & Amazon Prime all from my Fire TV devices. I can access all of this (including all recorded content) on 4 different TV’s throughout my home without ever changing inputs & all with my Fire TV remotes.

The integrated system is a very important feature to me for many reasons, not the least of which is that it makes it easy to use for both my wife & daughter.

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Good discussion… I am just a bit dissappointed that @TabloTV has not responded with their official position. I find this strange considering how responsive they are on all other issues/feedback.

I’m not sure anyone at Tablo would have read this thread yet. It looks like the thread started on Saturday. I don’t think they work on weekends and today (Jan 2) is a statutory holiday in Canada.

Wow, did you miss anything?:slight_smile: That’s quite an elaborate setup. Mine is more like your son’s. One TV plus Tablo, Mediasonic, and a Nexus player. I find the Mediasonic although very basic and clunky makes an ideal adjunct to Tablo as it fills in the missing links, 5:1 and direct OTA HDMI output.

Probably on the back burner. An issue for some and inconsequential for others. Not of significant value for my own personal viewing.

I’ve used/owned two Mediasonic’s (about 2 years ago) and while they’ve got a sensitive tuner in my experience the DVR function is/was totally unreliable. I tried several different HD’s but sooner or later the thing doesn’t record or only records partial programs. Not good…

One is currently sitting in a junk box and the other I gave to a neighbor for an HDMI monitor which doesn’t have a tuner. He’s never had much luck with reliable recordings on it either. It does tune channels fine so in that regard it’s worth something but as a DVR, no thanks.

I just purchased over the holidays and would like 5.1 as well. I am not technically savvy, so I don’t understand the limitations. I have invested significantly in my 5.1 system and would sure like to use it since I canned cable at the same time.

Not 100% perfect solution, but if you have an AV receiver, it very likely has a pseudo 5.1 function for stereo sources. On my Denon it’s called Dolby Surround. It isn’t 100% as good as true discrete 5.1…but it’s pretty darn close, and for me, more than good enough for anything I’ve recorded.
Just a suggestion that might help.

We were indeed taking a bit of a much needed breather.

Nothing has really changed on the 5.1 side that we haven’t already posted in other threads.

We can indeed do this with our current hardware. It’ll just take a significant amount of time, money and resources that we’ve devoted to other projects over the last few years.

Our engineering staff have investigated alternatives to deliver 5.1 sound that wouldn’t require such intensive resources but we haven’t hit on a silver bullet yet.

Thanks for the insight.

Come on Tablo, it’s 2017. Pretty much all other OTA DVRs and streaming services support surround sound, so it’s obviously not that difficult to implement.

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Pretty much all other OTA DVRs are single TV solutions that pass sound through directly via HDMI. As a streaming-based DVR, it’s unfortunately a LOT more complex than plugging a cord into the back.

Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, and many other streaming services serve up surround sound to many different devices without issue.

Unfortunately that’s another apples to oranges comparison. Sending multiple audio tracks from a live OTA stream is much more complex.

Agreed, both are slightly dissimilar comparisons. The Tablo is a combination of OTA Tuner and Streaming device, so the problem is a little more difficult than either a standalone OTA Tuning device or a streaming service. The solution would need to implement parts of both. However, Tablo already decodes surround sound audio from the local broadcast station to stereo audio, then sends the stereo audio (multiple channels by the way) to the streaming device. How hard is it to send 6 decoded channels instead of 2? Or, better yet, just pass through the surround sound stream to the streaming device and let the streaming device handle the decoding.

Regardless of how easy or hard it is for Tablo to implement surround sound, the bottom line is that lack of surround sound support will prevent me from purchasing a next generation Tablo unit. You guys have got to add surround sound support sooner or later. Might as well get it done sooner rather than later.

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