Few questions/concerns before buying

I’m about ready to cut the cord with Verizon and cancel my service completely and then restart it my wife’s name since it will be cheaper. They are offering 50/50 internet and hbo to new subscribers for $60/month.

I do have a few questions even after all the research I’ve been doing on the tablo and channelmaster, I don’t think I have read any of the questions I have below that would satisfy the novices fears or doubts about cutting the cord.

If these questions have been answered before, sorry for repeating history.

I’d like to know if I have a Chromecast already on two TVs is that going to give me the best experience or is the Roku better to enjoy the tablo or should I go with an android box or some other small computer to receive the streaming signal and not use Chromecast or a Roku?

I know it’s usually a matter of personal preference on what set up to use, but for someone who’s been using the cable company DVR for so many years, I am looking for something that is going to be a smooth transition into a similar feeling experience so I don’t have the urge to go back to the cable system because it is too clunky or frustrating to use.

I already have two Chromecast and I was hoping that I didn’t have to go spend money on two or three new Roku’s or small computers. my friend has about 80 to 100 Intel NUC’s that he isn’t using anymore and is willing to sell them to me fully loaded with ram and Wi-Fi hook up and Windows 8.1 for $100 a piece and would get a couple if it is a good choice to use instead of the Roku or Chromecast.

if I get the four tuner version and one antenna is that going to be sufficient enough to supply the tablo and the other TVs I have in the house or should I get three antennas for all the TVs and 1 for the tablo? What would be the best set up for a four tuner tablo and three TVs ?

what is everyone’s set up like? Besides the tablo, are you using Chromecast or Roku or fire tv or the Intel nuc computers, htpc’s or Android boxes? What antenna and booster are you using?

if I hook up the Roku or Chromecast to a HDMI input on my sound bar or home theater receiver, will it decode 5.1 from the over the air broadcast that is recorded on the tablo and any of the 5.1 from the streaming services that are available?

Can two people on different TVs access what is recorded on the DVR At the same time ?

Thank you for your time and I look forward to your answers.

I can’t wait to finally cut the cord and start saving a boatload of money

1. One OTA antenna with a distribution amplifier before your 4-way splitter is all you need. You run each coax cable to your 3 HDTVs, and one to the Tablo. This allows you to watch live TV on your HDTVs without the Tablo and to record shows on the Tablo. Of course, get a 4-tuner Tablo if your household has people with diverse tastes in shows.

2. Chromecast experience has not been the best due to the high bitrate of Tablo recordings and the poor WiFi antenna in the Chromecast. You can give it a try though. My recommendation is the Roku 3. When the Fire TV app is released, I think my opinion will change. If you’re looking to save money, get the Amazon Fire TV Stick. Maybe @ShadowsPapa can give you some input on his Chromecast experience. Chromecast streaming is not ideal because there is not a native Chromecast app and the streaming goes Tablo to your router, router to Android device (say tablet), then Android device to router, and then router to Chromecast. This creates a lot of latency issues due to WiFi and buffering problems. Roku 3 has a native app so it streams directly from the Tablo, and the AFTV will soon have it’s own native app.
3. The 4-tuner Tablo can handle up to 6 people streaming a recording at once. 
4. My recommendation is you hard wire the Tablo to your router, do not connect it via WiFi. Then leave your clients (the Roku or AFTV devices) as wireless devices.

This link below will also answer many questions you have:
  1. The Roku at the moment gives the best experience for a TV, but a FireTV app that works on both the FireTV and the FireTV stick will be out in March/April, and it might be even better.  Chromecast will work, but it is limited to just Android and PC devices right now (no Apple).  

    2. If you aren’t using an outdoor antenna that is being distributed to every TV in your home, then I recommend having at least one extra antenna around if you want to channel surf a TV.  I have three TVs and a Tablo, and two of my TVs have an antenna hooked up to them as a backup.  I also watch NFL games live using my antenna (no delay and a little better quality), though I record my team using the Tablo to watch later.

    3. For my setup, I have a Mohu Leaf antenna hooked up to my 2-tuner Tablo.  My Tablo is connected directly to my router, as is a Roku 3 for my main TV.  I have another Roku 3 for my bedroom, and a Chromecast for my downstairs TV.  I have 2 PCs, a laptop, iPad2, Android tablet, and several Android and Apple smartphones that all can use the Tablo.

    4. The Tablo does not support AC3 surround sound yet.

    5. If your Tablo is hooked directly to your router, you could have up to 6 people watching different recordings at the same time.  If the Tablo is just using wi-fi, it is limited to 3 people.  Watching recordings will not use a tuner, while recording a show or watching live tv will.

    I wish you luck!  I cut the cord last April, and I am very happy I did so.


*Mohu Leaf antenna

Thanks.  You knew what I meant.  :wink:

I have 1 antenna on the roof feeding 5 TVs, 1 DVD recorder, 1 Tablo quad.

I have Chromecast and although it works there is quite a bit of lag in the controls - for example FF30 takes a bit to respond and then come back to the show. I never thought much of it until I side-loaded the native Android app to AFTV stick. When I click FF30 now the response is INSTANT - and it jumps 30 and back to the show before you can see the time on the bar. It’s VERY fast. 
I find no buffering and no lag in control responses with the FireTV stick, there is some lag in control reaction using a browser with Chromecast either with PC or Android phone. 
This makes sense as although our Tablo is WIRED to the router, there’s still WiFi traffic from router to PC (or phone) and back again.
With the Amazon device, it’s FTV stick direct to router, router wired to Tablo. No go-between device. 
The FTV specs are also better as far as the WiFi itself, onboard memory and processor power. 
Chromecast with a phone or PC works and if you record at the 720p Roku/Chromecast setting it’s usually fine.

I also agree - use a direct Ethernet connection from Tablo to router. (or when I rearrange the room again it will be Tablo to switch, switch to router) 
WiFi is fine for convenience but when you have double-WiFi you have chances of troubles - meaning WiFi to/from control device and to/from Tablo. That’s the same traffic going over WiFi twice.
If I would connect my notebook into the network over an Ethernet cable I’m sure things would be better even with Chromecast. But then it’s tethered to the wall, not “cool”.

If the actual proper release app for the FireTV system is as good as I expect, it’s going to be a perfect mate for Tablo. Even the side-loaded Android app on FTV blows me away performance-wise, and reliability-wise. It’s super fast and simple to use already. 

I do not watch live TV via Tablo. i prefer using the TV to view actual live TV and use Tablo for recording TV, etc. I want to flip channels instantly with no other remotes or changing inputs, etc. Maybe I’m just too old, but I can’t yet see benefit to using a second device to watch TV that’s currently on the air vs. using the TV as a ---- uh, a TV. 
Maybe if you want to rewind or something, fine, but there’s nothing that beats watching live TV using a TV with the TV tuner.
For recording, especially recording a mix of shows and channels that overlap or are on at the same times, etc. - Tablo is good. I also love that for a while, at least until we outgrow the attached drive, it’s a library of our recorded shows and movies (although there’s few movies to choose from these days, network TV has gotten away from movies almost 100% - when was the last time one of the major networks played a - MOVIE? It’s too costly for them. But that’s another topic! 

Thank you all for the responses, it’s exactly what I was looking for information wise.

This is for those that are feeding multiple TVs off of one antenna: what antenna are you using and what booster are you using?

One concern is if you are feeding multiple TVs and the tablo split off from one antenna is there any picture quality or signal quality lost since the tablo has four receivers and say three TV are on, so that’s seven receivers how much of a loss is there and would it be beneficial to have one antenna strictly for the tablo and one for the TVs?

Snowcat: why do you think a fire stick or FireTV dedicated app will be better than what is being used on the Roku?

Is there an expected timeframe with AC3 becoming available? I keep reading that they’re working on it but I haven’t seen anything definitive

with my set up I plan on purchasing my own router from Verizon and hardwiring the tablo directly to the router and probably going to purchase Roku’s for all three TVs and probably two antennas but might start with one just to see how that works before the extra expense of another antenna

I just read that the Roku 4 may becoming out next month so I think I’m going to just use the Chromecast for now and then get the Roku 4

one other question: has anyone had any problems using the tablo while a using a VPN?

Thanks again

The FireTV has a quad-core processor with 2 GB of ram vs. a dual-core processor with 512 MB of ram for the Roku 3.   Now the Roku 4 (which may come out in the next month or two) will probably be very similar to the FireTV, making both perform about the same.    

I am still quite happy with the performance of the Roku 3, but that is without the new, more graphical interface and thumbnails.  The FireTV should perform better than the Roku 3 because of the better hardware.

I have doubts AC3 will ever be implemented with the current hardware, but who knows.  

TheUser86 has been using VPN for a while now, and he seems satisfied with its performance.

That makes sense that the better the specs the better experience you would get

That’s a bummer that ac3 might not get implemented

I really hope that they don’t come out with a new box that supports it soon after I buy mine

It only really matters on one TV but it’s the main TV used

The other TV only has two speakers but I plan on putting my Yamaha ysp 3000 in that room one I get the Yamaha ysp 4100

Right now newegg is selling the 4 tuner box with a free 1.5 terabyte external drive for $299

I’m tempted to buy but I really want a 2 tb hard drive

Get the free drive, buy a 2tb off Amazon, and sell the free one on Amazon. I sell all my old electronics on Amazon. I save the box and paperwork and get pretty good $$$.

If it’s still available Friday I’ll get

Just got done paying bills so money got tight

I’m going to buy this today to do some testing and get things set up before I cancel eventing


That is the non-amplified version of the Flatwave. You really should get the amplified version, Home Depot has it too.

Is it best used in a bedroom or can I put it in an attic?

I’m thinking of putting the antenna in the attic and splitting it from there so I don’t have to run anymore cables

If you’re going to put an antenna in the attic, I’d say buy a bigger one that is not as pretty. You’ll def get stronger signal strength. This Flatwave is more meant for a wall or window in a visible area.

I was running 7 devices from my antenna with no amp but ended up pushing my luck, and the old cable (some of it was RG59 from 1982!!!) was just starting to cause issues on bad days. Prior to Tablo I was running 5 TVs and a DVD recorder from the antenna with a splitter in the ceiling of the finished basement. 

That was 6 devices - in effect, 6 tuners (the DVD recorder has a tuner, then the 5 TVs) from the same antenna and no amp and reception was literally flawless. 
Added the Tablo and things were on the edge, great most days, but not so great some days. So I replaced all cable with RG6, made sure things were grounded properly and will be adding a dist amp. 
I use an ordinary roof antenna although a good antenna in the attic would work well for us. 17 channels now - the 18th has simply disappeared - no biggy as it was never strong and never had any decent shows on it, it was a low budget channel hung onto the ABC station which is also very weak compared to all the others. 
The FireTV is lightening fast, response is fast, FF and RW are almost instant with FTV, Tablo access is fast and “sync” took only a minute or two compared to many minutes with anything else. It’s fast and convenient, simple to use.

With the recent passing of Leonard Nimoy I’ll be pushing Tablo to the max tonight - one station is doing a tribute showing shows that he starred in years ago, and there’s a lot of other stuff on too, so 3 of the tuners will be busy and some shows overlap a bit so I expect all 4 tuners to be used tonight.

Better antennas for an attic:

1. Winegard FlatWave Air

2. Mohu Sky 60 (tons of people love this HDTV antenna, I wish I had the space to put it up)

Most of my towers are 33/34 miles out so they’re right on the border of the max range for this antenna

Going to return 5000 and go with a powerful attic antenna

My Mohu 50 amplified indoor is great.  I’ve been thinking of trying another one to see if it will pull in San Antonio and Waco stations as well as Austin.

I’m about to place the order for the tablo and winegard fl6550a antenna and western digital hard drive and I was wondering what would be the best splitter/distribution block to use for my setup?

If you want to use a distribution amp, do not get the Winegard Flatwave becauss the coaxial cable is not detachable. The Mohu Leaf has a detachable cable so you can throw in a pre-amp or distribution amp if you’re looking at splitting the OTA signal.