Found a way to copy recordings to Windows and play them

I found a way to copy recordings from a Tablo drive to a Windows PC and play them.  I apologize if something similar has already been posted – I couldn’t find anything.

I think I read somewhere that this is on Tablo’s roadmap also.  In the meantime, maybe this will be useful to someone.

Disclaimer: Do this at your own risk.  I will not be held responsible if your shows get deleted or other bad things happen.  Make sure you don’t have any recordings scheduled during the time the drive is removed from your Tablo, or you might regret it.

1) Download and install ExtFS for Windows from Paragon.  It’s free but requires registration.

2) Download and install TSSplitter 1.2 (use the link that says “direct link”).

3) Download and install VLC.

4) Disconnect the Tablo USB drive and connect it to your Windows machine.  Mount the drive with ExtFS.  Navigate to the drive in Windows Explorer.

5) The video files are under rec/nnnn/segs and have a .ts extension.  nnnn is the id for a particular recording.  Each .ts file is a small video segment (a few seconds long).  Play a few in VLC to figure out what show you’re looking at.

6) Copy whatever shows you want to another drive on the Windows machine.  Then, unmount the USB drive, disconnect safely, and reconnect it to the Tablo.  Check that you can still play recordings from the Tablo to make sure you didn’t trash the drive.  :slight_smile:

7) Use TSSplitter to combine all the .ts files in a segs folder to make one big file containing the whole show.  Do this for each individual recording (segs folder) you want to play.

8) You can now play the resulting files in VLC.

TIP: You can see a preview image of all the .ts files if you switch to an icon view in Explorer.  I used this to figure out what segments had commercials and deleted them before combining with TSSplitter.  If you use this method, leave one segment at the beginning and end of the commercial break to avoid cutting off part of your show.

This is a farily tedious.  I’m sure some of it could be automated with scripts, I just haven’t gotten around to it yet.

Excellent tutorial, very useful for whoever is running out of space and wishes to save some shows, thanks a lot for sharing.

Thanks for sharing. It works and is fairly quick. I just wanted to have a few episodes of a show to watch again. Not all TV programs need converting. This works better than the Linux solution offered by another user. Hopefully others will see your post.

Glad to hear it worked for you!  Yeah, for a few shows this is fine, but if you have a lot it’s probably worth waiting for Tablo’s official solution.

@AndyW - We’re working on something that will be user-friendly for everyone. Stay tuned!

VLC can directly play the playlist, so it may not be necessary to join the files together.  Here’s what I did.  Open VLC.   Click Media, then Open Network Stream.  Enter the URL of the show on your Tablo, like this:  Where, is the TCP/IP address of my Tablo.  29650 is the folder containing the show I want to watch.  

VLC will play the show.   I suspect if the \segs folder and the associated playlist.m3u8 file were copied to your PC it would work from there.  The playlist has to be one folder up from the \segs folder.  So you would have a folder for your show with the playlist in it, and a folder inside that called segs with all the .ts files.  I will test this next step in the next day or so.  If this works it simplifies things alot as there is no need to join the files.

@AndyW -  Thanks for working out this solution, even if it is temporary until Tablo releases theirs

@TabloTV -  Is there anyway to make the Tablo hard drive shared or visible to other computers/devices on the same network?

Darn, playing the playlist locally did not work.  So apparently the files do need to be joined.  The method I listed above does work for playing them from the Tablo on your PC without using the web app, though.

hi ve7bbd  dose  tablo  work  with  network  drives  thanks

hi ve7bbd  dose  tablo  work  with  network  drives  thanks

From the FAQ :

We do NOT currently support:
Networked (NAS) storage – There is too wide a variation in network speeds to support this

Easy way to download and play, use ffmpeg

ffmpeg -i "" -bsf:a aac_adtstoasc -vcodec copy -c copy test1.mp4

No need to download individual .ts files ;)

@Jestep, that works, but only at real time play speed.  So saving a 30 min. program takes 30 min.  Saving a 4 hour sports program, takes 4 hours, etc…

No @cjcox, I just downloaded an hour long show and it took about 5-10 min

@cjcox, take a look at the fps :wink:

Hmmm… maybe that got changed in a firmware release or something…

I think it depends on the parameters you send to ffmpeg @cjcox/ It might be quality wise this may not be HD quality for people. Looks ok to me though :wink:

@jestep, you’re not really dumbing anything down… so should be same quality.

I know when I experiemented with using the playlist in the past it was way to slow for me.

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If I make it higher quality with different command line switches the speed goes way down :wink:

@Jestep, looks like you’re just copying… so you can’t really make it any better.

@cjcox Well then it took 3 minutes for a half hour non HD show so I am pretty happy with that ;)