New Tablo Quad HDMI ATSC 3.0!

It looks like it was just announced today. A lot of information to take in.

When is ATSC 3.0 coming to Canada?

Yep, checked it out, disappointed…

If they only do the HDMI version and not one that runs across multiple streaming devices / tablets / etc. Unfortunately I won’t be interested…

I am just one customer though, I’m sure they weighed the options / pros / cons and looked at the consumer wants & needs.

No hard feelings, love all of my Tablos but an HDMI version only wont work for me.


Quick summary:
HDMI model, so it connects to just a single TV
No streaming to any other device internal or external to the network
4 hybrid tuners
No commercial skip
Recording are about 1/4 the size, so it saves hard drive space
Subscription can be transferred to this device

$299.99 in US (not available in Canada due to lack of ATSC 3.0). Very reasonable price.

I am tempted to get one just to see how it works.

I do not know much about ATSC 3.0, but I thought the native video stream is h264 video? If that is the case, then why no internal network streaming? Seems like a lost opportunity for many buyers.

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From the article:

Brand new decoding software has been added to the very heart of most Tablo processes to support ATSC 3.0’s bleeding-edge audio and video codecs.

This guarantees that all unencrypted video and audio content — including 4K High Dynamic Range (HDR) and Dolby AC-4 Surround Sound where available — will be passed through to the television connected to your Tablo ATSC 3.0 QUAD HDMI.

But this major change has some consequences.

First, due to technical limitations, including lack of Dolby AC-4 audio support on most streaming devices and Smart TVs, this is the first Tablo OTA DVR which can not stream content inside or outside the home. Viewing is limited to a single connected television.

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Doesn’t ATSC support legacy SD. Since I’m sure that some sub-channels will continue as ATSC 1.0 re-encoded as ATSC 3.0 and not upscaled.

Dolby ATMOS is not the same as AC-4. So is AC-4 passed throug to the TV? Which may require the TV to also support AC-4.

There are currently a few devices that support AC-4. Shouldn’t those support this device?

Since there will be same programing broadcasting in both ATSC 1.0 and 3.0 will the channel list support both and how will record new which tuner mode (1.0-3.0) is selected.

All very interesting except:

Only a small fraction of TV stations broadcast anything in 3.0. Those that do just rebroadcast their 1.0 signal. Will they give up their sub channels for this?

No networks are offering any 3.0 content yet.

No one yet understands what DRM will look like. It isn’t clear that the FCC will permit delivering encrypted content over the public airwaves, or even if the public believes they should.

It isn’t clear that DRM protections when enacted won’t eliminate the ability to record and playback streams in devices like Tablo.

Studios that deliver their 4K content won’t agree to do so over the air without digital copy protection.

And finally, has the ship already sailed on the delivery of 4K content? OTT services already fill this need using the Internet, and own the endpoint, which means they can control all aspects of delivery without local copies being necessary. If they also own the 3.0 endpoint, Tablo as we know it will exist only as a broadcast to internet gateway device.

Can OTA, with its reliance on airwaves owned and operated in the public interest, be relevant as the majority of Americans get their content from for profit ISPs and a wide variety of content creators versus networks?

How much better can reruns of Gilligan’s island look over 3.0?

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The channel scan will identify which channels are ATSC 1.0 vs. 3.0. If you’d prefer to have one over the other you can omit the unwanted station by deselecting it before hitting add to guide.

You can also use the Advanced Recording Option to only record from a specific channel if you want to keep both in the guide.

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I want a network version once network devices support ac-4 or tablo does runtime conversion to ac-3.

I didn’t say you couldn’t use advanced options.
So I want both channels and select record new what happens.

And does ATSC 3.0 really require internet - I think not. I never connect my smart tv to the internet.

From Dolby. there are a lot of devices that support Dolby Atmos but not ac-4.

Dolby AC-4 and Dolby Atmos are not the same as the two terms are describing different aspects of audio delivery. Dolby AC-4 describes the underlying audio technology including the audio compression technology, metadata support and system aspects. Dolby Atmos describes Dolby’s immersive audio experience that can be delivered by multiple Dolby audio technologies including Dolby AC-4 and Dolby Digital Plus. Dolby Atmos can be viewed as the next logical step beyond traditional surround sound. Dolby AC-4 is the natural successor to Dolby Digital Plus and Dolby Digital.

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More specifically, no CS on the ATSC 3.0 recordings…

Does the Tablo ATSC 3.0 QUAD HDMI support Automatic Commercial Skip?
The Tablo ATSC 3.0 QUAD HDMI currently only supports Automatic Commercial Skip for most programs broadcast in ATSC 1.0. We hope to be able to support this popular feature on ATSC 3.0 recordings in the future.

Default channel priority hasn’t changed from previous Tablo DVRs. It will still automatically default to the channel with the best reception at the last channel scan. That could be either a 1.0 or 3.0 station.

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I purchase two of the HDHomerun units (one of the new 4-tuner models and a Flex to record). The reliability of the ATSC 3.0 channels isn’t there yet - they are “beta testing”, and you may or may not get a reliable signal from the transmissions. Every city is different. There are issues with channels, issues with audio (Roku doesn’t support AC-4, FireTV sort of supports it, XBox usually supports it, Windows does most of the time - and there are continuous updates to “fix” the problems). It is a nice toy right now, but 100% of my recording for viewing is done on my Tablo DVRs - and all are ATSC 1.0 recordings.

ATSC 3.0 is the future. But it isn’t ready for prime-time. Adoption of AC-4 audio is a must on all streaming devices before it is viable to utilize streaming devices.

That being said, it is exciting to see Tablo get a device out there. One big round of applause for putting in 4 hybrid tuners (HDHomerun only has two hybrid tuners and two ATSC 1.0 tuners). Maybe my gadget budget will be saved up when Tablo releases the ATSC 3.0 DVRs. My shelf is getting a bit crowded with DVRs right now LOL.

Seems the closest to the HDHomeRun SCRIBE 4K as far as price. The SCRIBE 4K seems to imply network playback of ATSC 3.0 via at least some devices is available and includes 1TB for ~$279 but only 2 of the 4 tuners are ATSC 3.0 and the Tablo Quad HDMI ATSC 3.0 doesn’t include storage of course.


Other than the ability to play ATSC 3.0 content via network (which is a biggie for me) the Tablo Quad HDMI ATSC 3.0 seems like the better deal with all 4 tuners being ATSC 3.0 for $299.

I understand the context of Quad HDMI ATSC 3.0 is only in comparison to the existing HDMI units. Therefore the statement that HEVC takes less space than MPEG2 is very true (for that case).

But there are variables with regards to the older traditional units as they transcode to h264 when stored (the ones build for streaming locally and remote), and that at different variable quality levels you can set. And the math there isn’t true in many cases.

Anyway, I do understand the difficulties with this new technology. Sometimes newer isn’t necessarily better.


I kind’a think this is a large part of the reason giant corporations are saying this is good for consumers. So they can profit from OTA pay per view type of broadcasting.

FCC approval – corporations control the federal government. Nothing happens unless a minority profits enormously.

It’s hard to understand why broadcaster would voluntarily invest to upgrade if wouldn’t generate profit.

Prior to purchasing a Tablo, I was going to purchase a HDHomeRun for ATSC 3.0. As mentioned there are issues primarily with audio and the reliability is not there yet. I would prefer to see something along the lines or the regular non-HDMI Quad. I need multiple TV streams.
As far as AC-4, the new Tablo has it from my understanding. This is a post I copied from a Facebook chat where the question was asked about AC-4.

Question: does this new ATSC 3.0 Tablo decode Dolby AC-4 ON the Tablo itself? That’s serious omission on the HdHomerun ATSC 3.0 tuner, which is the only other competitor. I was considering that device, BUT, yours now seems a much better buy!

Hi Michael - It sure does! Sound is kind of important which is why we made sure we had the proper Dolby licensing and codecs for AC-4.

I think I understand the whys but I’m seriously bummed about the lack of streaming. :cry:

I hope to see a streaming version since I never “watch TV” on our TV anymore and I’m not going back! I probably wouldn’t even have one anymore except for my wife.


This is why I have a hard time getting behind the excuse for an HDMI version only… Many streaming boxes did not decode surround sound early on (some still don’t). The exciting part of the original Tablo for me was that it did a runtime conversion to a more universal format that worked across multiple devices.

I just don’t see this as any different unless the real time transcoding hardware for 3.0 isn’t there yet or is too expensive. I’ll try to hold out hope that is the case and they do plan to eventually offer a network version as well.

But if not, I have no doubt when I am ready for 3.0, I will find an alternative solution. I won’t be ready for 3.0 for a while still so not something I will lose sleep over right now.

I have a couple of very old OG units that seem to keep on going. So if one would die I would be interested a new hybrid unit if it was network connect. Even though the local ATSC 3.0 rollout has been delayed.

If for no other reason then the tuners would be newer and hopefully better. And I don’t really have a reception issue. I would think tablo could build a network device and disable ATSC 3.0 until they figure out how to get it functioning.

I have an original hdhomerun 4K and the tuners were better then the duo connect it replaced.