Network Requirements

I’m new here and have been researching Tablo and the Channel Master DVR+. I’ve been a longtime Tivo HD owner with lifetime service but since I just purchased a 2nd tv I need some type of DVR.

My need is simply to record OTA programming at it’s full/native broadcast format (1080, 720@60, etc.)

My question is around if my network will be able to stream wirelessly that full quality without buffering? I’m running a Cisco E4200 router running Tomato software, broadcasting at both the 2.4 and 5Ghz frequencies (I know the 2.4 won’t support it). My clients are a TCL Roku TV (roku built into the TV itself), and a Roku 2 XD (model 3050X).

The home is roughly 2000 sqft, with the router upstairs in a central room, the Roku TV is also upstairs, 2 bedrooms down the hall, the other client is downstairs essentially right below the upstairs Roku TV

I’d love to hear your thoughts and real world experiences with similar setups.


In general it should work but your router location is less than optimal for best performance. Think of the the radio output like an umbrella. Anything underneath it by design is going to to be receiving the weakest signal. You would be far better off with the router on the lower floor in a central location.

Well right now the TV downstairs still has the Tivo… I’m mostly interested in the one upstairs. Would it still work if say someone was watching Netflix downstairs with a different device and using the tablo for the TV upstairs at full 1080 10Mbps quality?

10Mbps might be a little difficult but all you can do is try. It really depends on how strong the signal is from the router to the Tablo and router to the Roku and if you have any interference in your house. There are a lot of variables to consider. In my house I can make the 8Mbps 1080i but not the 10Mbps wireless. The 720P 5Mbps stream is a pretty good picture and more than adequate unless you are on a 60 inch television or something like that.

Tablo doesn’t record the native ATSC format. It has a hardware encoder and stores the compressed data in a format that is better for streaming (native isn’t necessarily the best for streaming across a network). The quality of what Tablo uses is pretty good, but it’s not the native ATSC format. Just letting you know. Native capture uses a lot of harddrive space and isn’t well suited for network streaming.

I tend to record in the recommended 720p mode. Others on this forum use the 1080 mode. When it comes to TV, for me HD is HD… the largest TV I own is 46". Others will have more demanding requirements because of “taste” or because of the size of the TV they own (or other). Many stations broadcast in 720p for better action handling… to me, I can’t see too much difference between the 720p stations and the 1080i stations once they come through the Tablo. Since you “asked” about “full/native format”… I just didn’t want you to walk away deceived about what Tablo can do. At the same time, the quality is good… but obviously my demands aren’t as stringent as yours.

If you absolutely hate the quality of Netflix, all I can say is I think Tablo streaming quality is better, but Netflix and Amazon Prime use compression … Tablo is as good if not better.

So… to me, unless you are a Blu-ray only person (which I sort of doubt)… not sure you need “full/native”. YMMV

I don’t know about the Roku 2. If it doesn’t you could get a Nexus Player for $50. I have Tablo, Roku 3, Roku 4, NP all on WiFi AC.

Thanks for the feedback everyone. I think I’ll hold off on the tablo.