Open Source / API

Why not open source tablotv or provide some API functionality? You have lots of developers out there like myself that would like to use the hardware and provide more functionality.

Potentially you could even have your Bug Tickets posted and let the community could work together to resolve those issues based on public priority.

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Currently Tablo doesn’t have an open source api. They have a closed source one (with the normal anti-open source strings attached) that you can get with a (sadly) typical NDA. There are lots of reasons for having “closed source” and “closed api”… things can get complicated. History, deals made, etc… things that complicate the process of opening things up. It’s possible that Tablo was sucked into several of these types of things making it almost impossible to be an open company.

If you don’t mind close source, you can get an NDA and access to the closed API, but I don’t think you’re allowed to reexpose the API (e.g. via open source)… at least not to my reading of the NDA.

While tablo may document some API’s they wish to open up to 3rd party developers, why would they provide the source. That’s an intellectual property. Since the hardware is basically composed of various non-tablo specific components sourced from various companies, the real product is the software.

If you want to use the tablo hardware (dvr+, simpletv, or tivo), you could always buy a tablo and write your own software.

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The NDA pretty much nukes the idea of a publishable API. Thus you can’t write an open source independent project that makes the “secret” API known. Also the NDA makes it clear that you cannot attempt to “figure things out” on your own about the Tablo. Just too many restrictions… but a fairly typical old school NDA.

While there a few things that now you an only do (apparently) though the secret API (didn’t used to be the case btw), there’s still some accessible things on the Tablo… but all of that… and I do mean all of that… could change at their discretion. Which hopefully isn’t a surprise, just don’t want you to get terribly depressed when your favorite open source third party Tablo products ceases to function. I’m not saying they are actively trying to kill off those products… just saying they can if they want to and there’s nothing we could do to stop it.

Writing your own open source software against a closed system can be difficult. I’m just thankful for the entry points that currently exist on the Tablo. It’s made it possible to write some nice open source software. Enjoy the day while you have it.

With the availability of the exporter and ripper software the tablo user base seems to have attracted users who want the feature. Since that increases the customer base I doubt that tablo would deprecate that functionality without an adequate replacement.

But I’m not a digital hoarder or desire to shared recordings or sit in a man cave with multiple NAS devices collecting recordings no one will ever watch. Once we watch a recording it’s deleted.

And once tablo no longer provides the basic functionality I’m looking for I’ll move on to another product.

I’m not sure you could have been any more passive aggressively judgmental.

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I remember when people would make and save a thousand VHS tapes that were stored in multiple bookcases. These obviously contained thousands of hours of recordings.

You could spend 20-30 years of free and never watch half of them.

If you wish to save thousands of hours of recorded episodes have at it. But since I was describing how I use tablo your statement seems rather self centered.

We sometimes record shows not with the intention of watching them completely but just to take a peek at a few minutes to see what something\someone is like. My wife and I had heard a lot about Adele but never heard her songs. So we recorded her show from Radio Music Hall just to see what she’s like (for a few moments). We do that with a lot of programming “overloading” our viewing schedule this way.

Talking about VHS tapes, I came across one from thirty years ago entitled “A Vermont Christmas.” It is a wonderfully enchanting snowy Christmas Eve in Vermont that I recorded from PBS and is impossible to get today. Transcribed it as an MP4 yesterday. Glad I saved some of my VHS tapes.

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Most people went through their VHS tape collection years ago and converted and digitized the important ones.

I converted the family movies years ago. I’m sure if I went into the garage and pulled out the old VCR it might catch on fire if I plugged it in.

And since VHS is basically tape in a plastic case, just how long will the tape last before it starts to decay?