NEW - Tablo 'Preview' App for Amazon Fire TV & Android TV (v 1.2.0)

What am I missing here? Regular app on Shield already has the improved and faster FF/preview. It also already doesn’t have to sync. The new Preview app seems like we just jumped back in time to when Tablo was first launched. I get it is a work in progress and the sub menus will be added - recent recordings, TV vs movie, etc. That said, the preview app is in no way useable to us at the moment. It has hardly any features, and each screen takes forever to load! We have a lot of recordings, and not being able to see recents renders it completely useless. We really love the existing app, and really dislike the new guide feature on Preview app as well. It is annoying when we just want to quickly scroll down the guide. The preview just results in taking up valuable guide space, limiting how many channels can be viewed at once. I am sorry if this sounds like I’m dumping on the new app, but we are pretty upset about this. The existing app is perfect on the Shield. We also use the genre section a lot, and are not happy that will go away. I just dont get how this is considered an improvement, so maybe I am missing something? Is the current app different on the Shield than other Android TV?

I’m with you - feels like change simply for the sake of change. Nothing truly improved just slightly different.

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There are any number of reasons that an app gets rewritten.

  1. it was poorly designed and/or written to begin with

  2. Over the years any number of fixes were hacked into the app making it difficult to fix/enhanced

  3. a new developer likes some new development style or SDK/API.

  4. Current or future OS/API changes.

  5. And as always this change will make future changes easy to make/maintain, the code more extendable, etc. At least for a year or two.

  6. And my favorite, the developer can’t figure out the current design or code flow so it gets redeveloped into something only they understand.


Are these in order of importance? Insert Number 0) Improved customer experience.

The current preview app has a long way to go still. Mine keeps crashing on Shield TV and I am being asked to restart the app. I would have much rather the focus be on new features to the existing app - like the popular ‘limit to # of episode’.

“I’m with you - feels like change simply for the sake of change. Nothing truly improved just slightly different.”

Since some have the above opinion, at times it’s hard to believe the initial release of a preview app “improves customer experience”. Of course if the underlying code base is improved that could be the longer term expectation.

But why would a new preview app be needed to improve customer experience?

This is all clearly laid out in the blog post, but the bullet points are:

  • Native app vs. HTML 5 app = faster, better experience
  • Supports newest API - faster, more streamlined communication, access to newest features, no syncing
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My post was for many of the reasons there could be a “pre-view” app. It seems that one of tablos answers is “better experience”. Of course those that used the original and then preview Roku app may not agree.

  1. a new developer likes some new development style or SDK/API.
  2. Current or future OS/API changes.

I don’t even understand what the difference is between Native app & HTML 5 app, but the faster better experience is not noticeable on my 2nd Gen Fire TV boxes. And the no syncing is also of no consequence for me. Syncing takes little to no time.

I’m really not trying to sound so negative. I appreciate my Tablo & all you guys do, & I understand that this change may be necessary for reasons I don’t understand &/or appreciate. At this point I simply don’t see any real performance improvement for my experience.

Is there someplace to download the preview APK directly? I have a android tv box and would like to test this out as the native tablo app doesn’t respond well using the remote for the box.

gplay says the box is not compatible. Be more than happy to be a beta tester for this!

Thanks… tim

Having problems like in the Beta where a program still will not delete properly until I back out and return to the Recordings screen. I narrowed it down that the application works as long as I haven’t viewed a recording when in the screen. Once a recording has been started or watched, it no longer will update the application automatically when deleting until completely closing the program and restarting.

I just wanted to say thank you for working on this. (I was one of those critical of your Android TV app, especially the long sync.) If the Android TV (and others) version can be anywhere near as stable and speedy as the Roku one, you will make many people happy.

I’ve run into a few issues such as the Recordings screen not being refreshed when I deleted all the episodes of a show (I had to go back, then return to the Recordings screen for it to refresh).

I love the way episodes are presented, but find it sluggish to go back and forth episodes (1-2 second delay).

Also, the spinning wheel appears after activating subtitles (it didn’t before). Speaking of subtitles, I find them a little too huge this time around, especially on live television. Is there somewhere we can configure their appearance a bit more?

All the above was written fully knowing this is only a preview. Thanks a lot and keep the good work!

I extracted the apk from my nexus player if you want to try it.

thanks - will give it a try this weekend!!!

While I am not a fan of Fire TV, I do keep one around as both backup and in the rare case I need manual recording or other settings not available on the Roku.

Is there a logical reason the disconnect selection moved from the main menu to the settings page - or at least I have not found it any where else.

It seems to have moved not only to the settings page but to the bottom of the settings page.

If you own multiple tablos it makes the fire tv app rather useless since it takes many clicks to switch devices. Or maybe the intent is to encourage ownership of only one tablo device.

That wasn’t the intent, just the reality of the user base. Most folks only own a single Tablo. The number who have multiple units is small.

Well what was the intent?

You can already back out of the tablo app(no disconnect), reenter the app, the app will auto connect to the same tablo unit, and end up in the main menu tab you were in when you left. And that was true for a user with single or multiple units.

Disconnect basically erases the tablo apps memory of non-sync data - thank god.

I have not heard the audio distortion since shortly after I reported it. Don’t know if a beta firmware update or preview beta resolved it since I have betas of both installed.

Is the fire TV app every going to honor the “Startup Section” selected in the settings.

I pick “Recodings”. Probably because tablo is a DVR product. Roku works but fire tv likes to start up in Live TV.

Mine works. I have one Fire TV set to start up in Recordings, the other three set as Live TV & all start up in the correct setting.

The only time it doesn’t is when Tablo is exited incorrectly. Are you exiting Tablo correctly?

I have multiple tablo units so I always use the disconnect option, followed by the back button, and the OK to exit.

But here is another insight.

In the setting menu the default setting for start up is Prime Time. Now both the Roku and Fire TV don’t have that menu item.

I used Prime Time as the default setting for years. My 2 Roku’s (4200 and 4210) would always started up in Recordings. I use to think how smart of tablo to start up in Recordings since it’s a DVR product. This has been going on for years. After the recent Roku app upgrade to 2.3.0, one Roku started in Live TV and one in Recordings - regardless of which tablo I connected to. The 4200 would start up in Live TV and the 4210 in Recordings.

Once I switched the settings to start up in Recordings both Roku’s start up in Recordings, but both the old and preview Fire TV start up in Live TV.

And since I don’t use tablo for Live TV and thus would never leave the app from that menu, even exiting the app incorrectly wouldn’t cause it to reenter at that menu.

Actually, I really don’t like Fire TV that much. But the recent $25 sale price caused me to toss the ancient Fire Stick and upgrade as a backup device.