I’m waiting for the Quad as our first Tablo and will run it side by side with the TiVos for a few months before making the decision final, but… here goes…
Currently we have TiVo. 2 Bolt 500GB and 2 TiVo minis. Previously on cable they were not that great due to needing a “tuner adapter” for each Bolt to manage the switched digital cable. Tuner adapters and TiVo units frequently stopped talking to each other and required rebooting.
Dropped cable TV, switched the TiVos over to OTA and it’s been much better.
Before we dropped cable we picked up a Roku Streaming Stick+ to see if OTA plus Roku would be able to fill in the channels we actually WATCHED from cable but that weren’t available OTA. Philo TV to the rescue and we cut off cable TV.
Then the bill came in to renew TiVo service… and the search for something less expensive.
2 Tivo Bolts @ $173 each = $346
2 Tivo Minis @ $162 each = $324
Total equipment = $670
2 TiVo annual service @ $162 per year = $324 (Each Bolt requires service. The Minis do not since they run off the Bolts)
We’ve now paid for annual service for 3 years.
($162 each bolt service x 3 years) = $486 each bolt
($486 x 2 bolts) = $972
Equipment + Service after 3 years = $972 (service) + $670 (equipment) = $1642
And every year going forward will require: service renewal @ $324 per year
Projected Costs to switch to Tablo:
Equipment: $200 for the Quad + $75 for an internal hard drive (estimated for budget) + $149 lifetime (may as well just jump right into the pool at that price, right?) = $419
And every year going forward will require: $0
If we do not renew TiVo service and switch to Tablo:
The Tablo setup is paid for in not quite 16 months, offset by the funds that would have gone into the TiVo service renewals.
If switching from TiVo on cable to Tablo OTA, you may also need to buy an antenna if you don’t have one.
We already have Rokus on the living room TV (Roku Ultra, hard wired) and bedroom TV (Streaming Stick+ on 5GHz wireless)
Our TVs are all less than 3 years old and smart TVs.
If and when ATSC 3.0 comes around, we would only need to replace one Tablo instead of 2 Bolts ,which would then require service for each unit. The Tablo service would already be lifetime so no additional cost for service.
I have wired ethernet and antenna runs to all TVs and existing Bolts. If you don’t have this, your experience will almost surely be different from mine in actual use.
Concern over channel switching lag from Tablo if channel surfing live TV…
– If channel surfing live TV, we’ll switch to antenna if the lag bothers us. Streaming is streaming. Startup lag is not uncommon on any of the streaming services. Why stream live TV if surfing? Just watch it live. If we want pause and replay, then we stream live and live with startup lag. Again… streaming is streaming.
So that’s what I’ve come up with so far. Yeah, I probably have way too much time on my hands.