No online requirement?

My internet went down for many hours on August 9th, and during that time I went on my phone and read through this page because I could not watch live TV.

You said you require internet, but you also say the device won’t run optimally without internet access, implying that it will run and have basic functionality.

You also mention that if finding a tablo " … fails because the external internet is down, the app will fall back to its last known location on your home network." So you have considered the possibility of losing internet.

The three things you say internet access is required for is , To set the time, Download the guide data, and to download firmware updates.

Now during my internet outage, I was able to connect to the tablo, --likely to the mentioned fallback-- But No channels would play – My internet went out as I was watching live TV. Also the moment I got internet access back I could watch shows again. My local network was working because I could stream TV shows and Movies through my plex server.

How come I could not watch Live TV? which shouldn’t require internet access?

Side question:
I saw that in another thread that the tablo does it’s maintenance every night around 3am. The problem is, that is the time I am most likely going to be watching television. All of my favourite programs are late night programs. It seems like if there is activity, the maintenance won’t start, but If the maintenance has started, it will not pause or stop.

Is there a way to change what time this maintenance occurs? A much better time for me would be from 11am-2pm, I will likely be at work or away from home. and if I am not at work there is nothing of interest for me to watch at the time.

If you just lose internet and not power, then the only clients that can’t use the Tablo are PC, Xbox, and SmartTv. All other streaming devices should work. What client were you using?

If you lose both internet and power, and then the power comes on before the internet, you likely can’t use any devices. So it is a good idea to have both your router and Tablo on UPS devices.

As for the maintenance time, the Tablo folks have looked into having two windows of time (user picks which one), but it hasn’t been implemented yet.

I was using a fire stick and Roku, They both saw the Tablo, but wouldn’t play live TV nor recordings properly until i got internet back! I did not lose power and I stated in the original post my home network was definitely up. I was streaming from my plex server fine. It was only the tablo that wasn’t working.

That’s not normal behavior. I have tested my Tablo many times by disconnecting the cable modem from my router, and I can use the Tablo on my Rokus with no issues at all. It is only when there is no power that I can’t use my Tablo.

You may want to submit a ticket to the Tablo folks to see if there is something unusual in your network setup to cause this issue.

Can you describe more accurately what “wouldn’t play” entails? I noticed with a broken DNS server that I couldn’t connect to the Tablo, but once that was fixed, I had no problems connecting and watching live and recorded programs from the device, even with a temporarily down Internet connection. Getting your router properly configured to do local DNS may help you too.

Long story short, your Tablo OTA DVR is designed for cord cutting homes with WiFi-enabled routers and a consistent, high speed connection to the internet. If you don’t have internet access, or use cellular data and mobile hotspots, Tablo is not recommended for you.**

The above is a copy and paste from TabloTV’s FAQ sheet. We lose, Tablo wins again!

True. But their marketing page ( What You Need to Use Tablo ) kind of confuses the issue or not fully disclose it:

It says to “set up your Table” you need an internet connection. OK, this is clear.
But the graphic above that shows that you need “High Speed Internet” to “download guide data and stream HDTV out-of-home.”

That last part confuses the truth, by adding the “out-of-home” qualifier it might lead buyers to understand you do not need internet while watching in-home.

Tablo should make this very clear up front, not just in an FAQ which some may not see.

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Well, even the “to download guide data” still leads a consumer, you need internet if you want the guide data, which is a paid add-on.

I completely agree, none of the packaging, or obvious marking information makes is clear - you internet service to basic function! (I was fortunate to thoroughly research this).

From another perspective, the emphasize getting free OTA programming… but fail to mention you have to pay for internet service if you want to watch it. So, with a tablo, is it still free? That’s some convoluted advertising.

Is there any DVR that provides truly free OTA?

You mean not including the hardware? Something like a Homeworx does, but it’s about old-style VCR in it’s recording sophistication. Uses the broadcast schedule data (24 hours), and time slot based recording. One tuner.

Excluding the obvious cost of equipment

RCA Digital TV Converter + Recorder

So basically, if you really want to go old school 1980’s VCR mode then that is the best one can get.
I think most people with Tablo have some kind of broadband internet so it really is not an issue.
The real question is for those times, hopefully rare, that you have a broadband outage and want to continue watching OTA TV.

Maybe not, but the issue here - it’s not made clear it is necessary for basic function.

“Some kind” is vague, considering corporate FCC wants to include mobile cellular in the category of everyone having access to broadband - because it’s not truly. While mobile hotspots aren’t support by tablo devices.

True, Tablo should address the internet requirement, fix their marketing material and actually make it work during an internet outage. But will they?

Stating you need the internet, well somehow people are already confused because they still ask if they can record some streaming service. Now… if I need the internet, OH, so I can record the OTT services. Recently, someone believed integration of an online service’s schedule with the guide should be possible - another OTA/online device does it.

Reprinting and distributing or disseminating marketing is an expense, unless there’s a value added reason.

But it’s just been announced there’s a possibility of a screensaver - in an upcoming update. Now there are post using coming soon or upcoming update and years later someone ask… any update. But, this user believes if they just wait and watch their dreams will come true.