Manual Recordings Without Subscription

I am a new owner and about halfway through my 30 day trial of the subscription; I’m trying to decide if I’m going to renew it and have some questions about how manual recordings will work if I don’t. I’ve searched previous posts and have read the blog but things seem conflicting or outdated, so forgive me for asking a question that may have already been addressed.

If I don’t subscribe I’ll just set my recordings each morning or maybe the night before, and I need to know what that will look like, for me doing it but also for my wife trying to then watch the recordings. The blog post at Looking for a Subscription-Free OTA DVR? Try Tablo! | Over The Air (OTA) DVR | Tablo says that the device receives “24 hours of rich guide data.” I know elsewhere it says that only the subscription “includes beautiful cover art as well as series and episode synopses” but what does the free rich guide data provide? Will it tell me if it’s new or repeat, or at least indicate the original air date so I can deduce for myself and decide if I want to record it or not?

At it shows that the non-subscription service provides 24 hours of guide data and manual recording by “date/time/channel/show” as well as the Schedule view and Recordings view. My next question is about that “by show” statement, and how the Schedule and Recordings view will look without subscription. I know they won’t have the cover art and synopses as said above, but are they completely non-user-friendly? An example: tonight at 8pm on ABC there is a new episode of ‘The Rookie.’ Right now, and after my subscription ends, I could always go to the Schedule view, click + and say “record ABC Tuesday night starting at 8pm and going for 60 minutes.” If I do that then Scheduled and Recordings show a blue box with whatever name I gave it and describe it as ‘ABC, Tuesday 1/31, 8pm.’ Is that the full extent of it? Am I able to go into the 24 hour live guide, scroll over to 8pm, scroll down to ABC and then click on ‘The Rookie’ and set a 1-time recording? If I do, will it show up in the Schedule and Recordings views with the proper title and air date, etc., minus any cover art and synopses that are subscriber-only? Next week if I do it again, will the 2 recordings show up under 1 entry in the Recordings view for ‘The Rookie’ or will every individual recording be its own entry, such that my wife can’t locate anything and quickly screams for her cable tv back? :slight_smile:

The subscription provides meta data for artwork, program info…
You’ll be missing that.

Thanks Radojevic. Are you saying that’s all that’s missing, or just pointing out that it will be missing?

Just pointing out the artwork, and program info will definitely be missing.
I don’t know exactly what elsse you’ll see, cuz I do have a subscription.

As I’ve understood, manual recordings are comparable to the old days of the VCR, when it comes to scheduling. That is you schedule a time, not a specific show. It can repeat daily or weekly - it’s more sophisticated that VCR.

Just that you’re not really clicking to record a show. Setting a manual recording, as explained in your link, is scheduling a time to record.

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That’s why I say there’s conflicting/confusing information. This page says otherwise:

What is it you think that page says that contradicts the VCR analogy?

Maybe so, but that’s not in either of the links you previously posted, and haven’t provided one to get the full context. Kind of appears paragraph one says what yo can do with or with out subscription - see programing. Second paragraph says what can also be done - not specifying with or with out subscription, just possibility exists. Marketing ploy maybe. I’d suppose to take articles with greater explanation and expect without paying… the least common denominator.

I have see post and a blog from users not using a subscription. It’s not like it doesn’t work. Just takes a bit more intervention. Another consideration, you can go monthly and pay a little at a time, if you want to try the guide stuff a little longer.
There are several users who’ve jumped in too quickly… well never mind there is no lifetime subscription.

The part I highlighted that says “set recordings” and the big orange “REC” button on Season 3 Episode 18 of The Big Bang Theory. That’s a lot different than just setting it to record channel 13-1 at 7:30pm. Plus the orange flag which indicates episode recording vs a purple flag which indicates dat/time recording.

I’d suspect you’re right. I was hoping @TabloSupport or a user without a subscription could chime in and speak from experience.

I do appreciate everyone taking the time to offer suggestions though.

…and still no link to the full page you’re questioning with the graphic?

First time poster, long time lurker. :grinning:
I have i guess a first gen dual? and have never had a subscription. Im using Firefox browser. Guide only shows 24 hours. I just set my recordings everyday. You can set recurring recordings. In the guide you just click on the show you want to record and click the “Done” button. It will show up in scheduled. Which you can click on to edit or delete. I have no graphics, no orange tabs on the guide, no artwork of the show as in the picture above. Its barebones, but it works fine to me. Anything else anyone wants to know just ask and i will try to answer. Hope this helped.

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About 80% down the page is the Tablo Subscription Features section. Every selection button leads to a description along the lines of “A full guide data subscription provides…” or “available for subscribers only,” except for the Live TV Grid View button. It says “From here you can also play live TV and set recordings.” Not “Subscribers can also…” or “A subscription also allows you to…” but just that it is available on that screen.

I’m not claiming that makes me right and you wrong, I’m explaining why I am confused. The Manual Recording heading is clearer in it says " Manual Recordings, however this is the ONLY way for non-subscribers to set programs to record." And the linked page describes the same VCR analogy as given above, and says you can record by date/time/channel. Even though the support article What do I get with my TV Guide Data Service subscription? says “date/time/channel/show.”

Just confusing is all. I already agreed that your advice to assume the least common denominator for unpaid functionality was a good one.

Thank you @Ghost, that is extremely helpful! It sounds like that will work for my needs as well.

Follow-up question: do your recordings each get their own card in your Recordings view, or do they still get sorted into the right Series with all the episodes for that Series listed together under 1 card?

I have been using my Tablo thru NextPvr/Kodi lately but if i remember correctly, yes, shows of the same series are under one card. To confirm, I just popped in a flash drive, its formatting, and have scheduled two shows of the same series to record here in a bit.

Apparently i remembered wrong. Each recording is seperate from each other.

That is disappointing. :disappointed:
I couldn’t get the NPVR extra to work but I did get the Tablo working with Jellyfin. Maybe I’ll just go that route. I truly appreciate you taking the time to test it out.

I tried for months to get Tablo Extra to work in NPVR. Then seen i was installing it wrong. I eventually was on the right track and using the CMD prompt. Just was using the wrong syntax. Was also missing some .net thing that got rid of some errors.

There should be no .net issues with the TabloTV addon. Typically Windows user errors are because the user didn’t delete the two json files in the install and my instructions were bad for a while. I just wish I could provide guide data but my utility only works for a few users for some reason.

Just as a quick FYI for manual recordings, if you set a recurring schedule (eg Mondays and Tuesdays at 5pm on channel 6), they will all be grouped together. Only manual recordings scheduled as one-offs will be in their own individual entries.

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