New owner, I can't record without subscription

Hi, I’m a new Tablo owner and my free trial subscription to the guide just ended. I’m experimenting with my device to see how well it works without the guide and I thought I should still be able to schedule manual recordings. The live TV grid is populated, but pressing OK or the play button on the Roku remote just brings me to live TV with no options. Nor is there any option for me to create a manual recording in any of the menus.

What am I missing?

4 Tuner Tablo (Channel 2.0 Build 19)
Roku 4

The manual recording menu is not on the Roku. But all the other apps have it. Here are the official instructions:

1 Like

Thanks for the reply snowcat, but it’s not the answer I was hoping for.

@TabloTV & @TabloSupport The Tablo was marketed as a DVR that can be used with or without a subscription. There was no mention that in order to use your Tablo without a subscription you have to program manual recordings via an application running on a different device. I really want to love the Tablo, but it has disappointed me too many times and I’m seriously considering trying to get Amazon to take it back despite I’m a few days beyond the 30 day return policy.

FireFox will NOT allow me to access my Tablo via It says that it’s an untrusted connection and it’s not possible to add an exception for this certificate. Safari warns me before letting me access my Tablo. What’s up with this?

I’ve been reading this forum a lot and going as far back as 2014, there have been many many many promises for features that users have been requesting, which have still not yet come to fruition. It’s two years later and users are still developing their own work arounds. I’m sorry Tablo, but you haven’t demonstrated any real progress over the past few years and you don’t have my trust and confidence. Not being able to set a manual recording from the comfort of my couch might be the last straw for me.

Sorry it hasn’t worked out as you hoped. If it is that last straw and Amazon won’t take it back, I’m sure there will be plenty of offers from members here to take it off your hands. You won’t have any trouble selling it.

Well, IllBeDarned, thanks for the advice, but if I can’t get my full purchase price back from Amazon, I’d prefer to use it at my beach house rather than take a huge lose on it. I’m pretty sure anyone who’d buy it would expect a huge discount on the retail cost.

It’s designed to work with the Google Chrome Browser.
You can get it to work with other browsers, but it’s not worth the hassle.

1 Like

Agreed, you’d probably lose a little but if it’s ‘as new’ you could probably get near what you paid for it. Lot’s of folks are looking to upgrade their two tuner to the four tuner model. I will be when I can afford it. It just didn’t sound like you wanted to keep it after your troubles.

I can set a manual recording from the comfort of my couch using a smart phone, tablet, laptop, and FireTv. The Roku app is a terrific app for playing back recordings and watching live tv, but it is limited in setting up recordings. But I can’t think of any Roku user that doesn’t have one of these other devices around to help them.


I know several people that are Roku only…
But they don’t have Tablo, so…

You know people that have a home network with just a Roku and no smartphone or computer on it? That would really surprise me. Those people couldn’t get a Tablo anyway, since you have to have something other than a Roku to set it up.


didn’t say no computer, but no laptop…

Prime example is my mom, she loves her Roku (2x), has her desktop PC downstairs (no laptop, no smartphone). If she didn’t live in a place where OTA is not viable (too many big trees), I would have probably gotten her a Tablo. (of course I would have needed to get the lifetime to go with it)

That makes more sense.

I have used my iPad as an auxiliary device for controlling my Tablo, but that lends itself to question why the user experience is so different on different devices.

I understand what you’re saying snowcat, but having to use another device to control the Tablo is really just a work around for a poorly designed app.

  1. I don’t always have my iPad by my side.
  2. Not every member of the household has a tablet.
  3. This makes the Tablo just a tad bit more confusing for my wife. You know the saying “Happy wife, happy life” Well, let’s just say that my wife has been a lot less tolerant of the Tablo’s flaws than I. A successful product should be easy for everyone to use.
  4. Sometimes I have house guests who wold like to use my Tablo, but they don’t have full functionality unless they have access to my iPad too.
  5. Ok, yeah, a house guest can use their own tablet to control the Tablo, but I don’t really want them having access to my settings. And the million dollar question is…once a device has accessed my Tablo through my local network, how do I prevent that device from accessing my Tablo remotely? I realize that remote access is only available with a subscription and I’m talking about using the Tablo without a subscription, but the inability to EASILY remove a device from having remote access is a HUGE Tablo flaw.

Sorry for playing the devil’s advocate, but with the Tablo, that’s too easy a roll to play.

Concerning @PeterH’s comment about Firefox saying the Tablo site is untrusted- I don’t think he pasted the URL he’d actually used. is not a secure URL and wouldn’t give a security warning., though, is a secure site and Tablo has a certificate problem they should fix. The SSL certificate they’re serving up is a wildcard certificate for * It is a valid certificate according to, but it’s not valid for the domain ‘’. Some browsers are fiercer about ‘protecting you’ from certificate errors. Firefox makes you create an exception rule; Internet Explorer/Edge or Chrome let you click through a warning and proceed.
@TabloTV, you should speak to your web designer / IT group and have them get a certificate installed that is appropriate for the domain

1 Like

Amusingly, has a valid wildcard certificate for *, so all @TabloTV needs to do is get that certificate applied to the server hosting

1 Like

Actually it had originally worked flawlessly with FireFox. The untrusted connection issue just started last week.

Correct. That should read Actually I just type in and the browser automatically tries to make it an https connection.

@PeterH, what possible functionality would a guest need on the Roku app that isn’t present? A guest doesn’t need to be setting up recordings. Everything else is pretty much there.

My wife is great with the Tablo, though 90% of her use is on an iPad. We do watch shows on the Roku together, though I control the remote. :slightly_smiling:

I just see setting up recordings as a once a week event, if that much. I just go to my computer or phone and set it up.

As for remote access by a guest, there really isn’t a way to prevent that person from accessing your Tablo if they have paired it with your Tablo. Though it doesn’t seem to take a lot to lose that pairing based on comments here. :wink:

1 Like

I shouldn’t have to justify or explain how I choose to use and share my electronic devices. As I mentioned above, if I can’t get a full refund from Amazon, then my least favorite between the Tablo and DVR+ will probably be going to my summer home. I’ve got a six bedroom beach house in Brigantine NJ and friends and family are there throughout the summer. It’s a pretty cool device and people are going to want to play with the Tablo, particularly the kids. The Tablo app on the Roku is easy enough to figure out on your own, but I don’t want to have to explain how you need to use another device to set manual recordings, nor do I want to leave my iPad lying around for little monsters to play with. There’s nothing to dispute. The Tablo is supposed to be able to work without a subscription, but without another device to control the it, the Tablo does NOT provide all the functionality of a DVR. The bottom line is that it’s just another FAIL for the Tablo app developers.

1 Like

On another thread I read that I will lose my scheduled recordings when my subscription expires, so it was no surprise when I saw that window was empty. But then on the live TV grid, my favorite shows still have an orange triangle in the top right of the the time slot and the orange REC icon appears at the top portion of the screen. This all suggests that the Tablo will be recording those episodes, which I guess makes sense since those shows where scheduled to record before the subscription expired.


The limitation of not being able to create manual recordings is not by design, Tablo did not go out of their way to limit Roku clients. The limitation is in the legacy OS running on the Roku devices, the standard SDK for the Roku is not very forgiving which makes manual recording via a Roku quite difficult.

If you love every other aspect of the Tablo, why not show them your support and buy a lifetime subscription? If you think they’ll take your money and run, buy a one year subscription and re-assess in one year. That is what I did, paid for my initial year and then bought the lifetime sub - I’ve had my Tablo for 22 months with no problems.

1 Like