External SSD or HDD

4th Gen 2 Tuner - Looking for suggestions/feedback.

Both about the same price (2TB SSD or 8TB HDD)? Looking at getting an external usb drive and I’m not sure which way to go so curious what others think.

  1. Anyone find issues with the lifespan of SSD’s being used as the DVR drive with the constant read/write and erasing of OTA and streaming movies?
  2. Performance issues when recording multiple events while viewing already recorded stuff from external HDD or SSD?
  3. Size differential is substantial. Even with the substantial space differential does the performance or drive capacity make you lean towards the SSD or HDD?
  4. Have people found issues with SSD drive failures or corruption of data over time?
  5. Performance issues with SSD as drive fills with recordings and letting Tablo do the cleanup of old stuff?
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I went with the SSD …it doesn’t need an aux power source.
You’re HDD will probably need one.

The HDD will be the one getting the workout, mechanical movement-wise, not the SSD.

Been using my SSD for a couple of years now on different devices with no problems.

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I am wary of SSD for this application, having had one (internal, in a Classic Tablo) die on me entirely too early, but boy the responsiveness was nice while it lasted.

However, my sample size of one is nothing to go on. Also, I suspect your better bet to improve responsiveness is to used wired Ethernet if you can.

Anyway, either 2 or 8TB is overkill, in my opinion, and I would encourage you to buy something smaller but with a better warranty for your money.

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I have had a 4TB external HDD drive for 5 years or more that has done the job well.



Thanks for your input and feedback about your use of an SSD for a couple of years without any problems. I like the idea of speed with the SSD and initially I thought that was the best option until I started to hear issues and limitations with the number of read/write when you constantly use it for writing and erasing over and over like using it for a dvr and how when they have issues they do it big with complete loss/failure but it sounds like you’ve had very good luck with it.

What brand SSD have you been using, if you don’t mind sharing?


I’ve used external hdd’s for everything and have never had one completely fail but the speed of the ssd is definitely worth considering. I found either one would be about $150. I know 8TB is overkill for the hdd. I’ve found 5TB’s for about $110 but I was just trying to compare ssd vs hdd that are in the same price range.

I’m still questioning myself on which way to go.


All my hdd’s have been 250-750GBs and never had one fail but the idea of 7-10x faster speed of the ssd for something like this might be worth trying, so long as the possibility of the ssd failing and losing everything is something I can live with.

I thought about getting 1TB ssd for dvr speed and 5TB hdd for backing it up but that just seems like too much. It would cost less than $200 to do this but it still seemed like too much.

WD My Passport SSD External 1TB

5TB …!?? What do you plan on recording? …LOL
Every old TV series on MeTv or something …???
Starting a torrent farm?

IMHO, you’d be recording HD stuff… my MeTV doesn’t fit that.

I get by on my OG Tablos, mind you, they transcode to efficient streaming formats, with just 1TB USB bus powered drives. 4th gen since is stores (when not archiving) in native MPEG2 AC-3… it’s a lot “weightier”.

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As for viewing, output is bottleneck to a USB 2.0 speeds. No performace can exceede one another like this.

Note, this “limation” has no impact on tablo’s overall performance including 4-tuner & Quad models.

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My OG 2 tuner is going to be 9 years old in a few months. The 1tb (spinning) hard drive it’s using was a few years old when I connected it to the Tablo. Showing no signs of quitting. Tablo still is using the original power supply as well.



That’s funny…lol. No plans to record all of meTV. I do record lots of sports and movies and sometimes a bit of a hoarder but based on everyone’s feedback and input it sounds like 1-2TB should be plenty.

Thanks for the reality check.

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Thanks. That makes perfect sense.

There is more to performance than transfer speed. That’s why I wrote the word “responsiveness”. Latency is way better with an SSD, so Tablo might react faster when you start playback, or skip forward or back.

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There’s some truth to this, but it’s funnels on funnels… so the if there’s a bigger bottleneck that isn’t solved by the use of an SSD, you may never really feel the latency improvement that much. As the world moves to “all SSD”, eventually, there will be no need of any discussion.

For now, it’s “either/or” (user’s choice). But with that said, without periodic trim, you might shorten the lifespan of the SSD. Have no idea if a periodic trim job exists on the Tablo though.

FYI - Tablo commented on TRIM in this post from 2019.

AFAIK, periodic trim is still “needed” to avoid starvation (in the case of deletes), since in depth knowledge of the filesystem isn’t known by the storage device independently of the OS. But, feel free to change my mind on that.

I am no expert on TRIM :slightly_smiling_face: but even without it SSDs still have garbage collection and leveling processes. So if TRIM is not available it’s not the end of the world.

Here’s an excerpt from Samsung’s FAQs:

TRIM is a facility by which the OS can notify the SSD when data is either marked for erase or no longer valid.

TRIM helps to make Garbage Collection more efficient by preparing invalid data for deletion. When the OS “deletes” data, the data does not actually go anywhere.

The space in which it resides is simply marked as “free space” that may be used later.

By default, the OS doesn’t let the SSD know which data is now free.

TRIM allows the OS to inform the SSD which data is no longer valid, allowing the SSD to skip over invalid data when performing Garbage Collection.

Correct, but in terms of performance over time and wear issues, trim is still recommended. (there was a discussion of “performance” with regards to SSD)