Not a "feature request"....a requirement!

I’ve had this discussion with Tablo reps numerous times.
I’ve been told “we’re working on it” or “it’s being considered” numerous times.
It’s not so obscure to fill up a drive. Either for the purposes of saving shows, movies, etc. or due to being unable to have the time to view numerous shows, movies, etc.
I’ve had experience with other DVR’s (both SD (analog) and HD (digital) and there’s always been the option to uninstall a drive, replace it with a fresh one and eventually reconnect the previous drive, so that you could view your older recordings.
Insofar as I’m concerned (and there’s no denying it or truly appropriate defense here), this should be DVR 101!
Not with the Tablo! I suspect that many (if not all) users wouldn’t even be aware of this until they attempt to reconnect their previous drive and then, surprise!..not only has it become incompatible but if you leave it connected, all of the recordings on that drive will be wiped out!
The only solution is to (believe it or not) purchase a new Tablo and retain the original Tablo and the original drive…as a matched pair!
Insofar as I’m concerned, this is completely ridiculous!
Yet, they’ve done absolutely nothing to resolve this!..and it’s been a problem since the inception of Tablo DVR’s!
I realize that it’s not the end of the world (and the passive and/or defensive nature of many users will concur) but it’s completely unacceptable and completely wrong!
…and if they truly care about their customers and don’t have a hidden agenda, it’s long overdue for this issue to be finally taken into consideration and fixed!
There comes a time when the “lip service” has to end and the customer satisfaction needs to begin. I’m not saying that certain problems haven’t been resolved along the way…but why has this been completely ignored for years??
I’m sorry but no one should be forced to purchase another unit, simply because they can no longer view a previously saturated drive on their pre-existing Tablo!

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LOL… as though typical users have previous drives :rofl: tanks. As for how this is going to work-

Sometimes there are those who just need to vent and those who just insist they know more than everyone else troll posting.

I always thought it had to do with the architecture/firmware of the Tablo units themselves. I’ve provided feedback to Tablo in the past suggesting that both the recordings and the scheduling information be stored on the hard drive - but in thinking about that strategy that’s not right either.

If I was to switch to a new drive, I would lose all my scheduling. Maybe the answer lies in a hybrid approach where the recordings are on the hard drive, and the schedules are both on the hard drive and in the Tablo.

Of course, a third strategy might be to keep the schedules in the cloud with Tablo, but I don’t think many would be in favor of that option (no internet, no schedule?).

While I no longer have my BetaMax, I still have my last VCR and a few VHS tapes.

You could borrow it so that you can more easily record and remove and replace the media. It even has one button record if you get out of the chair and walk over to the unit and press the button.

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That hasn’t been my experience. Most consumer oriented DVRs come with an embedded drive which, if it fails or fills up, must be replaced, losing its contents. Devices like Dish’s Hopper allow you to archive recordings on an external drive, but they are keyed to a specific Dish subscriber, so if you drop the service, the recordings are no longer available, and they can only be played back on a Dish receiver that you own.

Tablo provides an interface to let free third party apps pull your recordings and store them in a manner that you can access them anytime from many other devices. These recordings are yours; no requirement to replay them only on the device they were recorded on. I use this feature a lot, and it is far superior to Dish’s ability to cache specific recordings on a specific device for a finite time. When I’m away from my TV, I just want to simply download content that I can play while disconnected. Tablo, with these apps, handles this easily.

There is a fairly complex method to move from a smaller disk to a larger disk that is described on this forum; I’ve never tried it. I’m happy that Tablo doesn’t try to prevent this; I suspect it would be nice to simplify this as a supported feature, but I don’t consider it a requirement at all.

While I’d be unhappy if my recordings were to disappear due to a disk failure, I’m too lazy to transfer all of them to the cloud. Perhaps offering a feature to do cloud recording offload would appeal to you.

Tablo is a DVR product not a media server with a library system. Most people have heard of Plex. A product that started as a media server which was extended to also have a basic DVR function.

Use the 3rd party apps to build your own solution. I’m sure tablo has lots of features to use their R&D money on. Maybe even some that I care about.

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Some constructive, potentially useful remarks/suggestions.
Others (as with this actual troll) just can’t resist using my concerns as an opportunity to lash out and unnecessarily defend the indefensible and/or who actually works for the company.
In reality, the ability to switch drives without sacrificing your previous recordings and/or finding some other convoluted method of preserving your original recordings has been part and parcel with other DVR’s.
For example, ReplayTV (analog/SD) and the Channel Master DVR+ (digital/HD).
No need to criticize these other products (as was done previously), as a means of diverting attention away from the fact that this is a built in fault with the Tablo DVR that should’ve been resolved even before it’s introduction years ago.
No need to cite my previous posts, also as a means of diverting attention away from this issue!
Let’s try being constructive instead of destructive, please!
Please explain the harm in having this capability?
Please explain the (rational, please) reason as to why this (not a “feature”, essential) option shouldn’t exist?
Please explain why it’s so outside the realm of reality that a user should have the ability to revert back to a previous drive and simply have the ability to play previous recordings (without the Tablo reformatting the drive, so as to destroy those recordings)?
Please explain the fact that, this has been intentionally ignored since the inception of this product and the fact that, when brought to their attention, I’ve been told that it’s something that they’re “considering” and “working on”? Really?..after how many years?
Please provide a (proper, not nonsensical) explanation as to why it’s perfectly fine for the average user (not computer geek) to need to literally purchase another Tablo unit, so that they can still preserve their previous recordings and actually watch them (what a wild concept!) and why it seems so ridiculous (to some defenders here) to not have such a simple, routine option?
Please try (if possible) to think like the average consumer (the person that these devices were originally designed for) and not a computer geek!
Not unnecessary! Not inconsequential!
I reiterate, it’s DVR 101 and it’s a perfectly legitimate request and should’ve been implemented right from the outset!

As referenced in the past, there is likely no explanation you’ll find acceptable or even conclude,
“Sure, that makes sense, I see your point. I don’t agree, but that’s a valid reason this doesn’t exist.”

Appears to be a form of entertainment.

DVR 101 seems to be your catchphrase, kinda annoying. Offloading/reloading a drive would be a very rare event for most and not worth Tablo placing much emphasis (if any) on creating this ability. It’s pretty kind of them to even consider it, imho.
Others have suggested using a computer program to download your programs for later viewing. I have used it and it works well. I would also recommend Emby over Plex as your media server as Plex seems to have become bloated (if all you want to do is watch your own media).
If none of these fit your style, maybe it’s time to look at another solution as I doubt you will see this ability any time soon.

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Firstly, the ability to switch drives (without losing all of your recordings…how ridiculous!!) HAS been a common option with previous designs (hence my appropriate “DVR 101” reference)!
Secondly, they obviously HAVEN’T considered it!
Which, in reality, isn’t very “kind” at all!
That’s just a method used to move on to the next caller (aka, “lip service”).
Thirdly, although it’s obviously difficult to do, try to be open-minded and think of this as a consumer oriented product (the intended purpose) and the fact that the average consumer isn’t in the least bit interested in a computer related solution.
Nor would they appreciate suddenly learning (the hard way) that the Tablo has rendered all of their previous recordings useless!
It’s a bad design that they’re unwilling to reconsider. Those are the facts.
Looking for a variety of “workarounds” shouldn’t even be neccessary.
Nor should trying to divert attention away from a real problem with dismissiveness and personal attacks!

I don’t think the average consumer is probably going to fill their drive either and want to switch between drives. Just like the average consumer may not be interested in a computer related solution, I think your scenario is a much smaller target audience than you would think. I’m not saying your request isn’t valid, just that when they are prioritizing things for their overall user base it may not be as high a priority as other functionality.


Let’s assume they considered it and put at the end of the list of not only features that are needed to support Tablo’s business model but also all the other feature requests that came before yours.

Now you can move on to all the other feature requests that you liked from dead DVR products like ReplayTV and DVR+.


Sorry for the contradiction but it’s NOT a “feature”! It’s a basic function!
The average consumer isn’t going to consider anything larger than a 1-2 TB drive.
It takes less time than most people realize to saturate these drives.
Now what? Should it be essential to delete recordings because Tablo either found it inconvenient to incorporate this neccesity or because their engineering people blew it?
Should they need to purchase a new Tablo, so as to maintain the usefulness of their previous drive (which is beyond ludicrous!)?
What?..according to the defenders of this “miraculous miracle of engineering”, they’re not entitled to preserve their recordings and play them back on the original device (vs. some other convoluted method)? Are you serious??
In reality, they can’t even get the implementation of the cover art resolved (and it’s been close to a year of failures in that respect).
Yeah, I know, it’s Gracenote’s problem…and everything will be just fine after a series of (failed) updates. Really, Tablo?
I’m sorry for the negativity. This product does have it’s strong points…but it’s somewhat half-baked and no, my (very credible) complaint isn’t a “feature request” that should be left for last!
It needed to be incorporated into the original design (just as it was with other products that preceded it) and the defenders shouldn’t feel as if they’re entitled to make unilateral decisions (especially when it comes to a basic, essential function as it pertains to any DVR)…and if other manufacturers didn’t incorporate it, they’re just as wrong.
I’m basing this upon products that I’ve had experience with and if it was such a pointless, useless option, why have other manufacturers incorporated it into their design plans?
It was poorly designed in this (and certain other) respects!
Accept that or just keep making excuses.
It doesn’t change the facts.

I’m not so sure you represent the average Tablo user. Based on your use case it seems like the Tablo just isn’t the right solution for your needs. The great thing is, there are other products you can move to.

You do have some valid points, unfortunately I think your passive aggressive approach and choice of username communicates a bit of fairly obvious bias.


Why consider upgrading/improving upon this product, when there are other products available?
That’s the only logical interpretation of what you’re suggesting!
I can’t be invested in this product and still want it to have certain (perfectly normal and appropriate) functionality?
You’re simply making assumptions based upon my username, the fact that I would like certain (legitimate and basic) operational functions (not neccesarily “features”) and basically disregarding most of what I’m suggesting, as a result?
…and I’m biased??

No, I’m saying if you are so “displeased” with the product, why not consider other options? I see validity to some of the feature requests you submit. It’s not the what, it’s the how. You choose to take an intentionally aggressive and accusatory approach.


Whenever my 2TB drive starts to get full, I use a technique I call “file management”.
I’ll go thru my drive and delete the 100+ episodes of programs that are in syndication and will be rerun again and again.
I’ll delete last year’s sports programs. I already know the outcome so I don’t need to watch those programs again.
News programs… I don’t care what the news was last week, so I only keep 3-5 days worth anyway.

Without knowing exactly what’s stored on the HD, swapping to an old drive may not be a simple as one would think.
What if the old recording schedule is stored on the old HD and you put it back into your Tablo, you may find that a bunch of programs now becoming scheduled to record to a HD that you don’t have room for in the first place. Now what do you do? Do you now want to go through and 'un-schedule" all those programs?

Now that said, if you could mark a HD as “read-only” or as an “archive” where nothing new would be recorded on it, maybe swapping to an old HD would be possible.

If there are programs that you want to keep forever, there are third-party apps that can achieve this. As you have already stated, you don’t want to have to fool around with third-party apps. Maybe Tablo could implement a download feature where you could download programs to your PC, a thumb drive, a tablet, etc.

As you can already tell, I’m one of those Tablo defenders. I bought this product to fill a niche and it does just that. I’m willing to deal with it’s few quirks to achieve my goal to record OTA programs.


I don’t think you are “biased” or a “troll”, just passionate, opinionated, and, to be frank, rude.

Suggesting that members of the community that don’t agree with you are fanboys or company shills without any evidence is in my opinion unjustified and inappropriate for this forum.

It seems unlikely that this approach will cause you to build support for your concerns. Many of the responses suggest that others don’t share your opinions and demands, and don’t appreciate your approach, not just towards the company and its products, but towards other members of this community, who generally wish to help new Tablo owners and discuss and respectfully debate how the product works and could be improved in a collaborative, friendly way with each other and occasionally the Tablo staff.


I cited the Channel Master DVR+ previously.
A relatively inexpensive device costing similar to the Tablo Quad and with the exception of network connectivity, a better design all around!
Not neccesarily from it’s inception…but at least they really cared about improving the product’s overall functionality (based primarily upon feedback from their customers).
Agreed that the network option certainly has it’s benefits…but I’d still be happily using the DVR+, had they maintained the (robust) guide and not taken the low road in that respect!
They alienated thousands of users in the process and deserve nothing but criticism for doing this!
…so please don’t tell me to go back to using it (or a different product) instead of expressing the real need for real improvements with the Tablo!
Which, in reality, we all deserve the benefits from (vs. continuously making excuses and finding “workarounds” for their failures)!
Perhaps this group isn’t too familiar with the DVR+ but it provided the (simple, not sophisticated) ability to extend a recording that’s in progress and the ability to switch drives (which, dispute it if you’d like, should be mandatory), among other nice features, such as true one touch recording and editing a show’s title.
The even better news is that, they actually listened to suggestions and actually implemented them. What a concept!
Less “lip service” and more “Hmmm, perhaps that’s a good idea, let’s try to implement it!”
For example:
A) The ability to switch drives, which should be considered essential (vs. other convoluted methods)…or being forced to delete recordings.
B) A built in “sleep” function, that prevents these questionable portable drives from spinning endlessly for no good reason. Yeah, there may be “workarounds” for this but it was built right into the DVR+. This was implemented as a result of customer feedback.
C) A real “one touch” record function, vs. the current clunky, multiple button press method (that Tablo, in it’s infinite wisdom, didn’t even incorporate into their own proprietary remote on the HDMI models!..duh!).
D) The ability to edit the show title (not overly significant but a nice option that definitely comes in handy). Also born from customer feedback.
E) A 14 day guide that’s actually instantly accessible (end to end) vs. having to wait for it to take it’s sweet time populating (which is very annoying!)…and don’t get me started with the indefinitely missing cover art ridiculousness!
“It will be fixed in a month or so”.
I suppose “or so” means “whenever”!
F) The ability to watch your recordings even if your WiFi is down (which, in the real world, is a real possibility!). Never even a consideration for Tablo! (at least not with the networked models)!
There are more issues that exist insofar as this product being somewhat half-baked (for many years now), as compared to other products. These are just off the top of my head.
I don’t see any real evidence of this company actually listening, caring and implementing what should be considered basic functionality, not just “new features”! Not brain surgery either!
If they’re forced to remedy a serious problem, they’ll do so (eventually) but they’re not investing too much time, effort and expense to make this a better overall experience. Fixing problems (some of which they caused) is their primary focus. Fine…but don’t disregard the implementation of certain functionality that should’ve existed right from the outset. Is that so unreasonable?
Care a little more about satisfying your (long time) supporters vs. focusing on the bottom line. Focus more on improving the flagship products before losing that focus in lieu of adding new products (that are also somewhat half-baked).
For example, if they truly cared about their customers (aka, long time supporters), would they provide such (intentionally) limited phone support?
No weekends and only manning the phones (typically by only one rep) until 5:30 PM (EST) and then just leaving stranded whomever’s been sitting on hold…potentially for as long as 30-45 minutes, as has been my own (and many others) experience numerous times! Really, Tablo?
Who’s interests do you really have at heart??

Asking for new features without knowing about the tablo business plan(which no sane company would disclose) or the number of bugs(which no sane company would disclose) that need to be fixed is somewhat useless. It just generates posts in the forum.

I would prefer tablo fixes bugs.

And those original adopters of tablo would have compared it to the DVR+. I know I did. While DVR+ was a nice product it was DOA. Channel Master didn’t engineer it or manufacture it. And was thus dependent on 3rd party for it’s hardware and software evolution. That seemed like a product headed for the electronics scrap heap - where it now lives with SimpleTV.