First Purchase; OG 4-Tuner or wait for Quad?

I’m looking for a little input and advice from the user community here.

I had already pretty much made up my mind to buy a Tablo 4-Tuner when they went and announced the Quad. That wasn’t too tough of a choice since pricing was pretty comparable. Go with the newest, right? Internal SATA is a plus, although an external USB drive isn’t an issue with where I’m placing it.

So then they make it tougher by offering the free year of guide service with the purchase of a new 4-Tuner. Now I plan to buy the lifetime subscription regardless, but if I could delay that expenditure by another year I wouldn’t object. I only just cut the cord at the start of the year and have already spent several hundred dollars on Rokus for every TV in the house, a new HDCP2.2 compatible AVR to pass 4K in the living room, a new subwoofer (just because), etc so delaying another $150 outlay has its appeal. And after all, isn’t cord cutting all about fiscal sensibility?:thinking:

Then the largest internal SATA drive I coould find that will fit in the Quad is only 2TB. That could change as technology improves but today if I want more than 2TB i need an external drive for either model. But do I really need more than 2TB or am I being seduced by theoretical numbers that offer storage I don’t need. What kind of storage are you guys consuming?

So after doing my homework, and reading some threads here (specifically the one asking if 4-Tuner owners would upgrade to the Quad) it seems like the only technical advantage is a better tuner assembly. And I’m about midway between Tampa (35 mi) and Orlando (55 mi), about 160 degrees opposite. A deep fringe antenna 35’ up pointed at Orlando gets me about 60+ channels out of both markets but some of them are borderline signal strength that could benefit from a better tuner.

So after all that rambling what would you recommend? Wait for the Quad? is 2TB enough storage?

I appreciate any insight anyone can give me. Thanks.

Personally I would wait, if you are going lifetime anyway then other than putting off the cost, it’ll be the same. The new one does have a newer chipset as well and although the specs are very close to the old one, it is still a newer tech and likely will provide some benefit in the long run.

2TB is plenty for most, I have 3TB, record a LOT and never exceed 60%. It really just depends on how often you are going to watch the shows, are you going to save up a whole season or never be an episode or two behind. If its the latter, I don’t think you will need more than 2TB.

If its the former, you could start with the 2TB and if it fills too quickly you could use one of the ripper tools to download them to another HDD / PC. By the time you get to that point its likely a 3 or 4TB in the right size will be out and you could always use the ripper tool to clear off the old 2 and install a fresh 4.

Doesn’t Seagate have 2.5 inch up to 5 TB.? That doesn’t mean it’s cheaper or better then a USB drive.

New unit has 802.11ac with dual band MiMo if you plan on using WiFi.

It has a newer tuner and xcode CPU(?).

Unless you are a digital hoarder, 2TB might be enough. But recording at 1080i takes twice the space as 720p. And when you start recording it’s sometimes hard to keep up with all the junk you can actually record. You might have someone in your household who wants to save 1 years worth of “The View”.

Yep… if I were king, I would have beefed it up to handle a full sized drive and allow for those 10-12TB+ monsters… well ok… maybe there is such a thing as too much TV.

We’re relatively recent cord cutters too. And even more recent Roku owners/users. Keep in mind that with the Rokus it’s pretty much unnecessary to record and keep an entire season of anything. This is OTA we’re talking about so just about anything you can think of in terms of programming will be available on the network’s streaming service. Miss something on NBC? Fire up the NBC app and chances are all the previous episodes are there. Or find on NetFlix, Hulu, Prime or countless others.

We currently have TiVo throughout the house, but will be switching and I’m waiting for the Quad.

I have a pair of 500GB Bolts and neither has ever been more than 50% full. We record stuff simply to watch it at our convenience and delete it after watching. I don’t personally have a reason for accumulating massive amounts of stored programming. Streaming pretty much cancels out the need for me to have to store anything on site long term.

As far as waiting for better tuners in hopes of improving reception… better tuners won’t make bad or weak signals good. They’ll just be more likely to be able to lock onto the signals you feed them. I’m 42 miles from one tower farm and about 8 miles from another. And they’re about 95 degrees apart. With the separation you have, you may actually want 2 antennas and a combiner. Regardless, tuners just tune signal. You have to provide a signal they can use. Are some tuners better than others? Absolutely. So I’ll wait for the chance at slightly better tuners in order to give me the best shot at a good experience. But tuners aren’t magic for poor signal quality. :slight_smile:

Even though I record at 720P, which is 2GB an hour, recording only the Winter Olympic shows classified as new seemed to eat over 500GB.

Way to much.

Some cord cutters are actually cutting the cord. They aren’t interested in Netflix, Hulu, or Prime.

They just want to record all the episodes of their favorite TV show from the past - “Maude”.


Pretty sure you can fit all episodes of Maude on a floppy disk.

I have 5TB and don’t actively delete shows after watching. Sometimes I’ll watch a show again later. Sometimes I’ll go clean out a series. Some shows I want to keep for the life of the drive. With that lazy-fair :wink: approach, I usually have about 3TB on the drive. It doesn’t vary too much.

“Maude”. Six seasons and 141 episodes.

Ugh… I’d buy a smaller drive just so they don’t fit.

I agree with Daniel454 - wait for the new technology, it will be better longer. I have had a 2TB seagate passport on my Tablo for almost 5 yrs now and can’t seem to get it over 1.6TB of recordings. But 1.6TB of recordings is more than I could watch full time for a year. But we keep a lot of old shows (NYPD Blue, Rawhide, CSI, and a lot of old movies that we like to watch every 6-9 months. Can’t beat it, love Tablo.

Good points. In the end the cost is the same. All I do is put off spending $150 bucks.

I appreciate all the feedback. This is exactly what I was hoping for, some experience and some outside perspective. Thank you all.

I think probably waiting for the Quad is the smart play. There’s no urgency for me to have one immediately and no long term savings with the free guide year. And God forbid, the cost of a lifetime guide could even go up by next year.

So I wait a couple of months. I’ll have all the startup cord cutting gear paid off by then. And then get the Quad. That gives me time to decide on the drive too. I haven’t found anything internal bigger than 2TB. If I set it up with an external USB drive am I married to it? Or could I put in an internal drive later on if I wanted to?

And I’m not expecting a better tuner to amplify or work miracles with the signal. But I do have some on the cusp signal-wise that a good tuner locks onto and other tuners do not.

“This is OTA we’re talking about” seems a bit dismissive. There are different degrees of cord cutting… I’ve used OTA for 30+ years, with some 12-14 with DirecTV.
If I fire up a network app, generally I’m stuck with commercials, if I use NetFlix, Hulu or Prime I have superscription fees.

There are different perspectives. It’s more than just a novelty for many. Note, I do use subscriptions streaming services as well.

I was at first perplexed by his assertion of it limiting to 2TB as well but turns out the issue isn’t the 2.5" size, the Tablo Quad can handle up to 3.5", the issue is the depth, its limited to a 9.5mm thick drive so unless you go SSD, that limits you to 2TB right now…

Quad supports 2.5" hard drives only (internal)! This was posted by @TabloTV in another thread:

“And for those plotting purchases, we support both sizes of standard 2.5” SATA drives (7mm and 9.5mm)."

Another consideration might be ATSC 3. The transition won’t be as abrupt as it was when we switched from NTSC to ATSC, but eventually, we’ll all be forced to upgrade our Tablos anyway. The big advantage of Tablo over TiVo is our lifetime subscriptions are tied to us, not the device.

Well External USB Drives work Great. Particularly the old reliable worn-in drives. LOL! (see another thread if you must :slight_smile: ).

I bought the 4-Tuner Table a few weeks ago and couldn’t be happier (in comparison to my previous HDHomerun / Win7 Media Center setup).

Just upgraded my old, krappy, worn-in 360GB drive for a brand-spanking new 2TB WD Essentials. Love it!

  • Free One Year Guide Subscription! Bonus!!

Personally, I think ATSC 3 is far enough out as to not really factor into the decision with a great deal of weight. But you’re right about the lifetime subscription. However I’m not looking forward to having to change out 4 TVS :smiley: