Potential New Tablo user: Tivo Bolt vs Tablo

Matt, Minis can be found at discount for $120. I think the Roku 4 is gonna weigh in at about $100. The only advantage I see to a Roku is the PLEX channel, which I can also get with Chromecast. I could get 1080p to the TV that was on the same switch as the Tablo, but through the router to the next Roku and it could only run without Loading at 720. And my last node goes through two more switches, and that’s where I’m putting the new TV. Haven’t tried the MoCA yet; might be an adventure.

1 Like

I think before you delve into a Tablo or a TiVo you should install a good OTA antenna and run it off your HDTV for a few days to make sure you get good signal on all the channels you want.


I’m getting fine playback on my Roku stick, which is running for $50 or free with 3 months of sling TV. I also find value in the Roku versatility of a good 4-5 apps I regularly watch. It’s subjective, but I prefer a Roku at each TV in my house for cost and programming reasons.

I agree, if you already have Rokus, Fire TVs, Nexus Players, etc. at your HDTVs then the Tablo is the way to go. If you have to invest in playback devices, then TiVo is appealing.


The only other caveat I would add to this is the idea of channel surfing, the live experience on a Tablo is fine if you find a show and stick with it. But if you want to surf around, its not a good fit. (I do all my surfing on regular old live TV instead)

Do you think an attic antennae is the way to go & if so which one would you recommend there are so many?

I installed this one in my attic along with an amplifier and it works fantastic (I’m 30 miles from our main transmitter cluster in Phoenix).


I do have a pretty clear line of sight with nothing in between but air, so there’s that to consider.

Thanks for the info dhanger

Update: Roku 4 is listed at $120. List for a Mini is $150; don’t know if Roku’s get discounted, but the Mini can be had for $125 a lot of places. As for utility, I keep finding new utilities. Today’s finds: 1) instead of subscribing to the NFL at large, I was able to subscribe to Cowboys and Forty Niners season passes individually, so no more looking for channels, looking to see if broadcast this week, etc. and 2) there is a Plex channel for Tivo, so back to an integrated single interface for OTA plus downloaded TV and movies. I had planned to keep the Rokus, on a different receiver input, to be able to watch Plex, now I can sell them too. Ripped all my Tablo shows over night, and shut down scheduled recordings, so quad Tablo now up for sale, along with a pair of Roku 3s and a Roku 2.

oldmike for the Tivo Bolt would you say its the closest thing that comes to cable? I’m trying to decide & we ideally want to get something that is similar as Att Uverse where you can record & watch on any TV. We are so sick of paying the high price for cable. We just got the fire stick & really like it but no DVR & no live TV. I def want to get live TV for free so I know I’ll need a good antennae & I know The Bolt will take that.

My son has Dishnetwork, which has a Tivo UI. Seems very similar, but much better. I will admit it takes a bit of learning a new navigation system, and Tivo does a terrible job of educating / documenting. When I thought I had a network problem and called their customer service I had some dead time so chatted up the tech. I mentioned that I wished it had a channel / schedule grid display because what came up was very hard to use. He said “Oh, just go to {something} > style, and select grid.” So all that come with it is the usual “Four steps to easy set up.” He said there is a 90 page manual on line, I just haven’t had time to go get it. I had Comcast for a while after SAGETV died, and I don’t see any advantages to cable except access to cable-only channels. But for broadcast, it is as good or better than Comcast for ease of use, features, etc. Oh; Comcast would have On Demand too. But for a $300 unit with a $180 savings in fees for the first year, pretty easy decision. And with cable, 1080p and 5.1 sound (I don’t have a 7.1 system anyway). Picture is as good as raw OTA on my plasma TV. There is supposed to be an Android app for remote viewing coming out, but nothing solid on capability, any cost, etc. But Tablo roaming was so poor performance for me that I just watched whatever I had on Plex.

Thanks for the insight.

No it’s not, the price for Roku 4 is $129.99.

I know from your previous posts you’ve had issues with Roku not working well with Tablo…but if your Mini is having problems as well, it sure sounds like you’re having issues with your LAN wiring in your setup.

1 Like

I posted this in another thread, more food for thought:

It is a SIGNIFICANT difference in price. Let’s compare, both options below will provide 1080p playback on 3 HDTVs. TiVo Stream must be included for a valid comparison as this device allows remote viewing via iOS and Android devices. TiVo is $530 more.

Tablo Quad tuner, 4 year ownership, 500 GB HDD, 3 Nexus Players:
$650 (300+150+50+50*3)

TiVo Bolt, 4 year ownership, 2 TiVo Minis, 1 TiVo Stream:
$1180 [300+150*(4-1)+150*2+130]

Plus with the new my.tablotv.com web app released today, the new HTML5 player is slick for playback on any computer. A feature not available on the TiVo.

The TiVo Bolt has streaming/transcoding built-in (out of house steaming coming in 2016)…no need for the external TiVo Stream with this box…

Thanks - I did not know that, but the feature is not included at the moment?

xxxx cccc xx cc

Yes for in-house (LAN)…coming soon to a TiVo near you for out-of-house (WAN). Given they already do this with the TiVo Stream and Roamio models that have built-in streaming, I have total confidence that they will deliver this feature to the Bolt. They definitely put the Bolt out to market before the software guys/gals had time to finish all their work!

Philsoft: rather funny to knock believing in “coming in the future” when Tablo has a very, very long list of capabilities and features that are “On the road map! Stand by!” After a year I gave up. The list of what has been promised for Tablo but not in evidence but is implemented today on Tivo is very long.

My LAN is just fine. After a few minutes the Mini settled down and is fine now. Third Mini going in today.

xxxx cccc xx cc