External Hard Drive

I will be getting a 4 tuner Tablo. Should I get a 2TB external hard drive or just go ahead and get a 5TB external hard drive. It looks like about a $50.00 difference in cost for seagate. thanks for your info

I have a 1 TB Toshiba which works very well and have yet to surpass 25% usage. I can’t begin to imagine the need for a 5 TB unit. I say save your money.

@oropesa @JerryG

Jerry G is right, 2TB is a lot of space. I had room to spare with my former 1.4GB Drive.

I went with the Seagate 5TB drive because that is the drive Tablo did the testing with when testing for larger drives.

Was more concerned with it working properly, than the capacity.


@oropesa - It depends on what kind of DVR user you are.

If you like to hoard entire seasons of shows for viewing later, you might want to invest in a larger drive.

If you’re a ‘watch then immediately delete’ type of user, a smaller drive should do you just fine.

Thank you for the quick input.

Even if you are a record, watch, delete user, something could come up to stop you from watching, or you could lose power. I’d suggest getting the 5 TB drive. Tablo has problems (or used to anyway) if your disk is almost full.

Sometimes the unexpected happens… I’m a watch and delete user with the 2 TB drive, and I’m only using a fraction of its capacity. Back in January, we were away for over 2 weeks and that caused quite a backlog of unwatched shows on the hard drive, some of which I’ll probably not get a chance to watch until summer hiatus rolls around and we’re in to reruns. Yeah, I know… I watch way too much TV, recording about 10 hours of TV shows on average, Sunday through Friday on my 4 tuner Tablo.

Back to my point. Despite what I consider to be a hefty backlog of unwatched recordings on my Tablo, it’s showing 1.80 TB available out of 1.97 TB on my 2 TB WD Elements 10B8 1012 hard drive. So, I’m using less that 10% of my hard drive’s capacity… probably when I got home, it was a little more than that, but not significantly more. Anyway, because of the way I use Tablo, I’m very comfortable with the 2 TB hard drive. A 1 TB drive probably would have been more than adequate for my usage patterns, but at the time I bought my equipment, 2 TB was the maximum drive Tablo supported, and the 2 TB drive was a good value.

I believe each to his/her own way of thinking on this. When I bought my Tablo, I thought maybe a 2 tuner would be enough because it was double what I had from my cable company’s dvr. But I bought a 4 Tuner and I am glad I did for many reasons that I did not know then. I bought a 2TB hard drive because it was the biggest I could get at the time. I was always running out of space on the dvr from my old cable company. If 5TB would have been available I would have bought it. I find myself seeing older movies on THS and GritTV that I record to watch later (skip through the commercials and save at least a half hour watching them. I finding myself recording more than I can watch at this time. Buy the 5TB for the extra money and you won’t be sorry.

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I’m having the same experience with 1 TB drive. Never get past 25%. I can’t imagine pushing more than 2 TB.

Tablo’s file format is considerably smaller than MPEG2 (that your CableCo DVR probably used, or TiVo for that matter) so a smaller drive goes a lot further.
That being said, I’m a believer in you can’t have too many tuners or too much storage space - which is why I have a 4-tuner Tablo and a 5TB drive. I record at the highest 10Mbps rate. I have no regrets getting a 5TB drive!

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It also depends on what quality you are recording at. We record at the lower 1080p setting (1080 8 Mbps) and now wish I had went with at least a 4TB.

Our viewing habit is mixed, some shows we watch and delete within a week or two of airing, while others we will collect up the season and save it for summer.

Between that and the 1080p setting, our 2TB is sitting at about 60% full, but we still have a few weeks left in the season.

Honestly, if I had more space, I would probably save most of them for summer as Netflix has spoiled me, I really do like binge watching most shows, especially those that like to end every week with a cliffhanger!

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I think it depends on what you want to do too. One of the reasons I got the Tablo was to record all the Simpsons episodes off of syndication. I found I also started recording all Seinfeld, Community and keeping current Austin City Limits. Those start taking up a lot of space.

I know you can use the Tablo Ripper to back up and I have done that for some, but if you want to keep those all right there , a bigger drive makes it easier.

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