Is external drive required

I am not interested is recording an OTA tv program. I only want to wirelessly transmit OTA signal to my Rokus. Do I have to plug some kind of external drive into the Tablo Lite, or can I use the Tablo without it?

Maybe this thread will help.


To set up your Tablo OTA DVR you need:

  • An Over-the-Air HDTV antenna
  • An internet connection
  • A USB hard drive - this is required both for watching live TV and recording (unless your Tablo offers built-in storage)
  • A Roku OR Apple TV OR WiFi-enabled computer (Chrome/Safari browser) OR a mobile device (iPad/iPhone w/iOS12+ OR Android smartphone/tablet w/Android 4.4+)

You can plug in an inexpensive USB flash key to just get around any drive restrictions. Others have done it at this forum successfully. Would allow you to pause a program.

While it will likely work do so at your own peril. I have been using an internal WD 1 TB hard drive in an external closure for 5 years now (which is unsupported).

The following forms of storage are unsupported:

  • USB Flash storage – Flash is simply not fast enough
  • Networked (NAS) storage – There is too wide a variation in network speeds to support this
  • Internal hard drives placed in external enclosures as they can cause frequent USB disconnects and communication issues.”

Although the documentation says no, you can watch live TV w/o a hard drive attached (see quote from TabloSupport below). You probably won’t be able to pause/rewind, and may be limited to just one channel tuned at a time.

I’ve experimented with this when debugging a hard drive problem so I know it works, but I never left it running that way.

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TabloTv & TabloSupport have both made multiple comments it’s not absolutely necessary - depending on device.

Although it’s unlikely recommended not supported (if issues arise)