Instantly tune to channel without buffering

Instantly tune to channel without buffering.

That isn’t going to happen with the Tablo. You have to buffer the first time a channel is tuned because it is transcoding the signal, and that takes a little bit of time. Without that buffer, you would have a very uneven viewing experience.

However, once a channel is tuned and you go to another channel, you can go back to the previous channel almost instantly. So with a 4 tuner Tablo, you can 4 channels going and quickly switch back and forth.

@snowcat My 2 Silicondust HDHomeRun Network Tuners (4 tuner total), using Windows Media Center (WMC) or Silicondust Quick TV, tune channels instantly with no buffering. The HDHomeRun tuners hook to my antenna and network the exact same way the Tablo does. I know that i’m not comparing apples to apples, but if they can do it I would assume Tablo could accomplish it as well.

Your SiliconDust tuners are recording the native MPEG2 stream (if I have read things right), while the Tablo takes the MPEG2 stream and transcodes it immediately into H.264 format.

The Tablo’s strength is that the files are smaller in size than native, and they can be played back on any device on your network (or remotely using Tablo Connect). The weakness is that live TV viewing and channel surfing can be clunky and time consuming.

If your SiliconDust tuners with WMC are transcoding on the fly to H.264 as well, please let me know.

@snowcat WMC encodes video using the MPEG-2 and MPEG-4 standard and audio using MPEG-1 Layer II or Dolby Digital AC3 (ATSC A/52). Recordings get stored in a .wtv (Windows Recorded TV) file which also has the ability to store metadata and Digital Rights Management (DRM). I can open the files in WMC, Windows Media Player, and Plex without the need to convert.

That’s kind of what I thought. Thanks for sharing.

The other weakness of the Tablo transcoding is that it won’t do AC3 surround sound (at least not yet). The Tablo folks do say they will be able to get it to work, but not anytime soon.