FiveTV stick vs Roku

I thought I’d share my experiences between these two Tablo streaming platforms in case it helps anyone. We’ve been using our Tablo for . . . I think over 4 years now? It’s been very reliable with only the occasional glitch. When we got it, there was no app for FireTV, so we got a Roku 2. Maybe the newer Rokus are better, but I have to say that our Roku 2 has given us a lot of issues with our Tablo. The latest one is that the Roku has started crashing whenever it gets to the end of a Tablo recording stream. The biggest issue has been the “loading please wait” issue when streaming live tv. It got so bad that I decided to buy a FireTV stick and now rarely use the Roku for Tablo. The FireTV stick responds faster, streams live TV much better, and has a better fast-forward system for Tablo. BUT there is one area where the Roku is better, and this is why I keep it around! When our internet goes down (as it seems to do too frequently) the FireTV stick will not allow me to get to my homescreen to open my Tablo app. It just gives me a message that the homescreen is unavailable due to no internet connection. This annoys me, because my Tablo does not require an internet connection to work. But I can stream from my Tablo to Roku 2 when the internet is down–no problem! I’m glad I have both platforms.

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Which Roku 2 Model? Model 4210 or 2720?

The 4210 Model is essentially the Roku 3 Model 4200, which many people have working fine with the Tablo. However, the 2720 is older and slightly underpowered.

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Make sure your’re using the latest Tablo Channel on Roku which is 2.3.2. There is a workaround for this issue in that update.

My Roku 2 is, of course, the older model. Like I said, I got it when I got my Tablo which was over 4 years now if I recall correctly. I’m not going to purchase a new one when I already have a FireTV stick, but I will keep this older one as a backup for as long as it works.

The Roku generally updates my apps automatically. I just checked and I do indeed have 2.3.2. Was that released very recently? Because the last recording I watched on the Roku a couple days ago did NOT crash the Roku when it got to the end, so maybe that was because of the update. Our internet was out for over 24 hours recently because of an ice storm, so I was using the Roku exclusively (since FireTV would not work as previously mentioned) and every single time I got to the end of a recording it crashed. But perhaps this new build has indeed fixed that issue.

While I’m on here, there are a couple minor things with the FireTV Tablo app that could be improved. They aren’t big deals but just minor annoyances. 1) If I let a recording run ALL the way to the end (which I often have to do in order to see the preview for next week’s show), the recording does not automatically mark itself as “watched.” I have to manual mark it watched. However, if I exit the recording when there is still a few seconds left, it WILL mark itself as watched. Always thought that was weird. 2) If I pause in the middle of watching a recording and don’t get back to it in a timely manner, the recording will shut off without saving my progress. So, when I return and open the recording again, it starts at the beginning with no option to resume where I left off. So, I have to fast-forward to find where I was. Never had either of these issues with Roku, but they certainly don’t prevent me from using the FireTV.

It was released before the holidays.

Are you using the original Tablo app on your Fire TV or are you using Tablo Preview?

Thanks for the responses. I’ve definitely had my Roku crash at the end of watching a recording as recently as Saturday, so I’m not sure what to tell you about that. Maybe it didn’t update until Saturday night because that is when our internet came back on and I hadn’t used the Roku for awhile prior to that? It’s always plugged in and hooked up but often on the screensaver. I’ll have to use it some more and see what happens.

As for the FireTV app, I installed the only Tablo app that was available when I bought the FireTV stick. I didn’t know there was something called Tablo Preview, and if I had seen it I would have assumed it was some sort of commercial for the Tablo (based on the name). What is Tablo Preview?

Very likely.

All of the details are here:

So, I have spent some time exploring the Tablo preview app for FireTV and comparing it with the regular Tablo app for FireTV and wanted to offer some feedback. First of all, I perceive no difference in speed or responsivenesss between the two apps. I do like the improvements to the FF in the Preview App, and I appreciate that it saves my progress in the show (even when I leave it on pause for long periods) and automatically marks the show watched for me (two bugs in the original app that I guess will never be fixed now that the new app is out). My concern with Tablo Preview is that it is rather buggy. A few days ago I opened the recordings list in Preview and some of my recent unwatched recordings were not listed. These were recorded the previous day and yet still not showing up in Preview so I had to go into the old app to watch them. (I deleted them after watching, so I’m not sure if they ever would have appeared in Preview.) Tonight I opened Preview to find duplicate listings for two of my recordings (one watched, one unwatched). Also, one blank box in the middle of the recordings library and two recordings not listed at all (one watched, one unwatched). I went back into the old app and everything was listed correctly, so I tried the Preview app again hoping that closing and reopening it would fix the issue. It didn’t, but when I backed out of recordings and selected live tv THEN returned to recordings it finally displayed correctly. And of course, Preview also appears to still have the bug I have seen others in this forum mention where the library will still show that there is 1 unwatched recording even after you watched it–unless you back out of recordings as described above and then come back, Now, I understand that Preview is still something of a work in progress, so bugs are expected. BUT I find I am feeling a bit frustrated that instead of one reliable, non-buggy app to use I now have two apps with slightly different features and very different bugs in them, and I have to ask myself every time I sit down to watch tv which bugs I prefer to deal with today? Which app to choose? Scrambled library info (back out and reload) or having to remember to mark the show as watched and possibly having to relocate where I was at in the program? Eenie Meenie . . . Well, there are bigger problems in the world. It would have been nice though if you would have fixed all the bugs in the original app before starting this new one so I could have something reliable to fall back on when the new app’s bugs start getting to me. I put up with the bugs in the old one because I was sure you would fix them soon and it would be great! Disappointed that instead of my patience being rewarded with a great, fully-functioning app I now get to start the waiting all over again with Preview. Sigh!

Comparing a Fire Stick to Roku is not a fair comparison unless it is a really old Roku.

As of now the FireTV box 2nd Gen is the best FireTV unit. The new FireTV pendent is nothing more than an upgrade for the Fire Stick. Amazon is supposedly coming out with a FireTV cube which will be the upgrade for the box, but it is not available as of yet. It was rumored to be available late 2017 - early 2018, but I have not seen anything yet.