Current Tablo User wanting to use Plex Live TV/DVR

Hi, I am currently a 4 tuner Tablo user and have been for a few years now. I like my Tablo but I’ve not always been a big fan of the UI. IMO it’s always been somewhat awkward. I am also a Plex user with a Plexpass. I’d love to use by Tablo with Plex and once upon a time I tried the Tablo channel on Plex but it still didn’t fit the bill. I see that Plex Live TV/DVR works with the HD Home Run products and I’m considering going in that direction. Fellow Tablo users, and Tablo for that matter, why might I consider remaining a Tablo user instead of making the change? I use Plex often and frankly, I prefer the interface over Tablo anyway. Will Tablo every interface with Plex’s Live TV/DVR? Is that in the plans? One of the things I do like about Tablo is that there is no need for an HDMI cable direct to my TV. I like the network connectivity. Can I get that in a Home Run/Plex Live TV/DVR solution or not? Thanks for any assistance and if you feel I should stick with Tablo, please let me know why?

IMHO, if you primarily watch just from one TV, then having one of the many alternatives might make better sense.

Maybe all or most of these are true for you:

  1. You don’t watch from multiple TVs (especially where there is no antenna connection).
  2. You don’t watch Live TV from remote locations.
  3. You don’t ever stream across low-bandwidth lines.
  4. You don’t use a multitude of frontends to watch TV.
  5. You are very dissatisfied with Tablo as a DVR.

So if the majority of the above is true, you may be a better candidate for an alternative. With that said, as far as I can tell, Tivo, probably gives you the “best” experience with regards to features and ease (apart from the distributed streaming aspects of the Tablo).

For me, the Tablo DVR has been very stable. It allows me to watch TV even where there is no antenna connection, including Live TV from remove locations over bad “cell phone” data connections. As the author of SurLaTablo, I have a OS agnostic easy way of extracting and manipulating data from the Tablo (with the end target being a Plex server).

I’ve seen a lot worse UI’s out there. It’s functional, my family can understand it, etc.

If you want to go a different direction then who am I to argue you out of it.

a man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do

I can’t say most of those are true, I do many of them but I can also do that via Plex as well. I have been happy with my Tablo but I see even Tablo making changes that kind of cater to the single connected HDMI cable so it makes me a little uneasy about where they are going, meanwhile Plex seems to be vibrant and often adding features and updates, meanwhile it seems it’s months between Tablo updates and when they do come out, there are few updates and are generally geared toward one piece of hardware (which isn’t necessarily the one I may have). I dunno, I’m just looking at alternatives, maybe because I feel progress has been very slow with Tablo. I’d be curious to hear from someone at Tablo about your thoughts. I know I’m not the only one out there with questions and concerns. Thanks again for any input.

As a very long time Plex Pass member (back when it was cheap), I can say for certain that Plex is somewhat of a roller-coaster ride.

Yes. I personally prefer the guide interface on Tablo to the “not a grid guide” on Plex’s DVR. And Tablo is much more mature as a platform.

I personally use the HDHR product in conjunction with the Google Live Channels app for my live, and Tablo for my DVR as that combination gives me the best of both worlds. If I kept my DVR’d shows I would use one of the 3rd party rippers to move that content over to my Plex library, but I mostly DVR stuff that I want to make sure not to miss (watch & delete)

Interesting thought though for Tablo plex users. And possibilities of an integration?

Since you’re a Plex Pass holder, I would suggest you visit the Plex forums and take a look at their DVR/Live TV forum ( I stopped using the Plex DVR a few months ago because it was a hot mess back then and it looks like it’s only gotten worse.

I setup a tvheadend server a month ago and it’s been running well. My Tablo is taking a hiatus right now, but for the most part the Tablo has always been mostly stable (outside of some bizarre stuff like the excessive heat and the tendency for it to reboot randomly). The Tablo UI doesn’t much bother me. There are things I wish the Tablo could do like Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound; being able to access recordings without the need for polling via scripts; the ability to pool multiple Tablos together; the ability to get an “advanced” menu (to show things like channel frequency, data errors on recordings, watch the signal quality of a channel being recorded, etc).

Still though, if you’re not into tinkering and getting something like tvheadend working (which does the things that I listed above for what I want out of my Tablo), then the Tablo is a great mostly-stable device – way more stable than Plex DVR. When I was using my Tablo exclusively, I did not use the apps for watching recordings. I used cjcox’s script to pull the recordings from the Tablo and drop them into Plex for viewing.

I am using a Mac for my plex server and I have a pretty stable, except for my currently reported issue, 4 tuner Tablo.

Tablo is easy, it works for me and the wife acceptance factor is a positive one. Although she still does not understand how to exit the app properly. At least for me, I have my kids swiping up when they are done using Tablo on the atv4.

I’ve looked at the Plex DVR and right now, as long as Tablo performs the way it has since I bought, I’m keeping it. I was just thinking, it would be nice if Tablo offered the integration into plex.

I know the channel that was developed was done by someone on their own. And it works decently most of the time. I thought their might be the ability to take it even further is all.

This made me sit up. Are there any OTA broadcasts that use this audio?

^^ This. I cannot stress the importance of this enough. :sunglasses:

Oh definitely, most all of primetime TV has it in the stream. It’s really nice.

So I picked up the new hd homerun Quattro on Friday. Setup plex, scanned and found 34 channels. No abc in the channel scan.

The plex setup was monkey simple, setting up recordings was a snap. I thought, this is too good to be true. The homerun picked up less channels on the scan, but the signals looked really good.

I thought the homerun picture was not as “bright” or punchy as the Tablo right off the bat. And then it happened, weak signal and pixelated channels.

This rarely if ever happened with the Tablo and I mean never really happened with Tablo. After this happening for about an hour, I hooked up the Tablo and the homerun went back Saturday first thing.

I love the concept and if it worked, I may have changed. Even the app was straightforward. But the pixelation and weak signal errors were not acceptable to the wife on a Friday evening.

This is close to what I myself would want, maybe the Tablo guys can partner with the plex guys and do an integration. That would be interesting to say the least. Hell maybe someone can write it, if I had any knowledge, I’d give it a go.

Sad to say, I’ll pass for now…but I’ll keep an eye on this for the future.

The Tablo picture was better imo and the pixelation and weak signals are not apparent when using my Tablo. Staying out for now.

I’m going to be giving the Plex DVR a shot in the next couple weeks and will report my results.

I’ll keep an eye on this as I am interested in this functionality.

I am curious to know what you think of the picture of the HDHomerun versus the Tablo and how well the HDHomerun works with your Plex setup.

I am running Plex on a 2011 Mac mini. Maybe it does not have enough horsepower to handle the stream of the Quattro… I mean if the Tablo performs well, I cannot understand how a Mac mini might not have enough horsepower to handle streams and DVR from the HDHomerun.

Maybe the 2 tuner would perform better. But in all honesty, the Plex DVR and live tv needs to be as good or better than my Tablo experience in order for me to switch. It wasn’t when I tried it out.

Really curious to hear what you have to say.

If you follow the Plex forums and r/Plex you’ll see that life isn’t totally rosy in the Plex DVR camp.

I follow the Plex Forums as much as I follow the Tablo forum. I agree with your statement. Works well for some, not for others. Some like it, some don’t.

Myself, it does not work for me.

Now, if Tablo were to integrate, it may offer a different experience as well. It may work well for some, and not work well for others.

Again, Plex added comskip to their DVR. And we are still waiting on some functionality from Tablo as well.

All companies develop at different rates and develop with different priorities.

I am not complaining about Tablo or Plex. TBH, I have found that they both fill niches that cable simply doesn’t. I am happy with the way I am using both and how they are performing for myself and my family. Others may have a different experience and a lot of us do have different experiences.

And I am not promoting one over the other. Two different beasts in my humble opinion.

Love the discussion though…

Most cord cutting is totally subjective. People have different likes and dislikes. It could be signal strength, antenna, media play, ethernet throughput, playback device (TV versus phone), UI, setting options, easy of use, etc. The user could have glasses as thick as coke bottles.

You only know that you like or dislike it if you try it yourself.

It is all subjective, for sure. If plex or Tablo could put a SageTV front end on their software and automatically run comskip, I would go for that.

I figured it was just time to try. Tablo has not been bad by any stretch, only the very occasional hiccup. But if Plex DVR works, well enough, then Tablo and the associated HDD become one less thing I need to manage, and part of cord cutting for me is simplifying my life.

ill chime in here to as a heavy plex user…

First off my understand is that the hardware that tablo uses is better than the hdhomerun tunners plus as a kicker it has hardware encoding.

Tablo has been around longer and i feel more focused on its core use OTA… plex is a swiss army knife … now i do believe it will get there and even the last couple releases seem to have made alot of peoples systems better…

Plex has promise …

  1. Easy remote viewing and can support multiple plex servers under 1 user all over the place
  2. can be shared among users
  3. it is working on adding/improving comerical removal
  4. they are working on a grid that is to be released shortly
  5. since it is part of plex you can sync for offline viewing

For me personally only reason i would/will keep an eye on it and possibly try it is because of the following

  1. Remote connections way easier!
  2. Share my plex with fellow plex users
  3. Comerial removal is intresting even though it is not important to me per say

For met it’s about a single interface. Even though my family is used to plex and the Tablo, having one interface would be great for all content.

No more hard drives to drive to manage, etc.