Considering my options

I am new to ota tv. I’ve been a direct tv customer for 15 years and really got used to the program guide and DVR. I split between the tablo and TiVo roamio. It would be a lot easier decision if tablo had an option for multiple wireless tv’s that didn’t require other brands of hardware. the TiVo isn’t wireless but does have the minis. I’m guessing that I will be contemplating this decision for a while as I really don’t want to be buying hardware multiple times. Has anyone else had this dilemma.
I can’t stream tv like Roku or Apple TV due to living in a rural area where I have Hughes net for internet.

Honestly the Internet provider should have no baring on streaming TV within the house, it just limits your ability for remote access and using services like Hulu & Netflix.

So, with that said it will come down to how tech savy you are or want to become. In my opinion Tablo will have the higher learning curve cause you will have to get their box to record and view the OTA signals and then learn other devices to watch what the Tablo records and to view live TV if you so choose to. In contrast the Tivo will provide you with a seamless user interface across your devices and reduce your need to go outside your comfort zone.

As I was a DTV customer for 10 years and recently kicked them to the curb I went with the Tablo unit and integrated into my Plex Server using scripts and applications found here on these forums to extract the content to my Plex Server for viewing. To watch live TV I have all the TVs in my house connected to my antenna and watch it directly from the antenna and don’t use the Tablo.

With all this said you’ll most likely find that there are lots of opinions here on this forum about Tablo vs Tivo. In the end it will come down to your level of comfort and how much you want to end up tinkering and such.

Just my $.02

I will second this comment. The worst thing about Tablo is trying to use it to channel surf (with at least a multi-second delay on each channel change). So just don’t do it and you will be a lot happier. I use the Tablo guide constantly, then click the input button on my remote and switch to live TV. Problem solved.

I have been with Tablo for eighteen months and have never regretted going this route. We bought a lot of hardware (the 4 tuner Tablo, hard drive, antenna, pre-amp, post-amp, 4 Roku 3’s, 3 Nexus boxes, and a partridge in a pear tree . . .) and a lot of ethernet wire, but we couldn’t be happier. Our system is rock solid. Our cost savings by cord cutting is over a thousand dollars and rising monthly, even after buying all the hardware. We use the medium version of PS Vue so I can get my fix of sports coverage and my wife can see her cooking shows. We still save over $100 a month over the robber barons at Comcast.

I will give you one warning. If you buy a Tablo, don’t get in a hurry to install a firmware update. Each firmware release has been problematic for at least some users. I wait at least a month after the new firmware is released before doing the upgrade. I haven’t bothered to install the latest firmware because it will do nothing for my setup and has historically had the potential to cause me heartache. I may never install it . . .

One last thought, it seems to me that the happiest Tablo users are the ones who use the least wireless in their installation. If you can, use wired ethernet for as many connections as possible. Sure, wireless is cool technology, but wired ethernet is a lot less prone to interference.

Which TV’s (Brand/ Model)? You may have other options.

Note that running with Tivo instead does integrate things, but they will hit you in the pocketbook. ($150 per TV after the main unit, cannot watch on the road without another $129 device.

I have 2 Samsung, and 1 dynex, and 1 Emerson. The 2 Samsungs are smart tvs, the other 2 are not. Watching tv on other devices really isn’t something that I would utilize. I have downloaded a TV guide app on my phone but really kind of a pain looking for something to watch every half hour. Originally I was looking at the tablo for the wireless capabilities to connect all of my tvs to 1 dvr similiar to the genie and genie minis that I had through direct tv. Like I was saying before, I really would like to buy hardware once and replace it if it fails and not because it wasn’t what I was looking for to start out with.

You might be better off with TiVo.

Tablo tends to underperform when you use it with cheap streaming devices, (Roku sticks, chromecast, etc…) so unless you plan to invest in quality streaming boxes, you’ll probably have a better experience with TiVo.

You will probably have to upgrade your router too if you choose Tablo.

My Tablo is hard wired to a lousy ISP provided gateway/router/wifi. We use WiFi on our end devices (TVs). We haven’t had any problems. All our set top devices are now Roku 3 (mostly 1st gen, one is 2nd gen). I used to have an old old old Roku “2” XD and while slower, it worked as well (it can only do old Wifi).

I have been using Tablo with Chromecast Wi-Fi for a year and a half, and a month ago upgraded my Chromecasts to the Chromecast Ultra. With the current setup I get flawless streaming with the HD 1080 - 10 Mbps, 720@60fps setting.

I am careful with the layout. I use 6’ HDMI extensions to get the Chromecasts out front, use line of sight to routers, and avoid network extenders.

I also use antennas for watching live, so I get better quality, and channel selection can be done with a simple universal remote.

I chose Tablo because of Chromecast. I like controlling everything from phone or tablet. With my phone providing my world view, I have no need for a Roku or TiVo. I have never used or even seen a Roku or TiVo. All the homes I visit have Chromecast.

For those that choose Chromecast, I would strongly encourage using the faster Chromecast Ultra, not the older models. It is not just the Wi-Fi issues. The ultra has a faster video processor which can process 3x faster streams, supports 4k, and will do interlaced passthrough (although as I understand it not currently utilized by DVR’s).

Cc @theuser86

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I too was unwilling to give up the whole home DVR experience. Additionally, I am a sports fan & thus was unwilling to give up the sports cable channels as well. PS Vue finally made it possible for me to ditch the conventional methods of cable channel subscription.

In August I made the switch. I purchased a 4-tuner Tablo & two Fire TV devices (I already owned two). I choose Tablo because it allowed me to connect all 4 of my TV’s to one DVR thus giving me a whole home OTA DVR system. Couple this with PS Vue as a whole home DVR for cable channels & my system is complete. I access my OTA (Tablo) content & PS Vue through my Fire TV devices. I never have to change inputs on my TV’s & the only remote I need/use is my Fire TV remote. This has worked out well for my family.

I cannot give any insight into Tivo, but I also did consider the Tivo Roamio. I ultimately choose Tablo because Tivo does not have a PS Vue app. Thus, I would not be able to access my cable channels & my OTA channels without switching inputs.

Tablo works great as an OTA DVR, but is not ideal for live TV viewing. Nothing wrong with the picture quality, but channel surfing is a nightmare. You can’t even view the guide while watching the current channel.

I have pretty much the same setup, but use Shield TV’s and Mi boxes and I also have an HDHomerun tuner for live TV (Live Channels App). My OTA Roamio is on the shelf collecting dust. Really digging PS Vue!

The old Roku stick was rubbish, but the replacement stick that came out this year (2016) is a pretty good piece of kit for only $40. I purchased one a few weeks ago and I wager that it is faster than the Roku3 I got two years ago.