Preferred / better performing playback devices?

Wondering as I get ready to buy something to replace my Chromecast device … Is the order of the list of devices in the Knowledgebase article significant in terms of better performing to lesser performing? I started with a Chromecast for low cost of entry to “play with” this whole idea of OTA TV, and while it served a purpose, it is not going to be an every-day device. I may try getting one of the wired ethernet plugs for it, but think the problem is the “cast” phase where the signal goes Tablo - Router - Phone or tablet - router - chromecast. Not sure what Google was smoking when they came up with this model, but it is NOT a Tablo shortcoming as I have the same stuttering with Netflix or other web based streaming, and not sure how much difference hardwiring the Chromecast will actually make.

Anyway, I have a Nexus Player that is rock-solid with Tablo (all wireless, Tablo and Nexus Player on 5Ghz network) so leaning towards getting another to minimize differences from one TV to the other, but can’t get past the limited talk about it in the forum, and the apparent fan-dom of the Roku. Is Roku so great that it would be worth the hassle of having two different players? Or am I misunderstanding the lack of chatter about Nexus Player meaning “it just works”? Or is the Nexus Player just one example of “Android TV”?

Televisions using enabling devices including:

Amazon Fire TV
Android TV
AppleTV (With iOS devices)
Google Chromecast (With Android devices)

My Roku 3 always out performs the rest other than Chrome Browser on my iMac.

Just my 2 cents…

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I use & test Tablo on Roku 3 (4200), Fire TV (box and stick), Android, and Chrome browser, and agree with @Jestep that the Roku 3 performs very well.
As of late, there has been a rebooting issue with Roku, usually triggered when Fast Forwarding, but that didn’t used to be the case, and I imagine it will be fixed sooner or later. Other than that, it performs extremely well.

Fire TV has disappointed me in terms of UI speed and overall UX, but the latest Tablo App has fixed the playback buffering that plagued the initial release. On the pro list for Fire TV however, is that it supports Tablo Connect, making the Fire TV Stick a great portable choice. Fire TV (and Android) also have a more fully developed UI than Roku (consistent with the web browser experience), but I usually still prefer the Roku experience overall.


A negative for the Roku (though I have two of them before the Tablo) is that they do NOT have Tablo Connect, which means you CAN watch AT HOME, but can NOT bring to a friends house or a motel and expect to be able to watch your Tablo. It just WON’t WORK.

I got a FireTV Stick when it was Deal of the Day at Best Buy for under $25 for what Amazon normally sells for $39. Fire TV (both regular and stick) are based on Android, and so they DO have Tablo Connect, so you CAN bring it to a friends house, hotel and watch your Tablo. The FireTV Stick ONLY does WiFi, but it DOES support BOTH 2.5 GHz and 5 GHz. I got it because I was going on vacation and wanted to watch my Tablo, plus it being on sale.

There are more additional channels for Roku than FireTV, but the FireTV does include Netflix, Hulu, CBSN, BYUTV, others. Just I didn’t see “The B W” channel from Roku and there are most likely others.

So it really comes down to WHAT do YOU want to do with the device. If you are mainly looking for the cheapest option to use for watching Tablo, and maybe a few other channels, play some games, then the FireTV Stick is your answer.

If you have Amazon Prime, there are plenty of FREE additional content that you can watch using FireTV that I don’t know if you can watch using a Roku. I don’t have Prime, so I haven’t looked.

EDIT: The Fire TV (NOT the Stick) has both wired and wireless.

I agree with @ChrisFix that I prefer the Roku when watching at home.


For viewing on a HDTV, Roku > Fire TV > Fire TV Stick.

Roku 3 Model 4200, Roku 3 Model 4230, Roku 2 Model 4210 all have the same internal hardware. Tablo channel works better on these Roku devices than the rest of the older Roku devices.

That’s a great way to summarize it.
If remote viewing on another TV is required, Fire TV stick is the go to if you want a remote, otherwise HDMI from laptop to TV.
For Tablo Connect on HDTV: Fire TV Stick > Chromecast


But if you’re willing to transport around a Fire TV box or Nexus Player they will work with Tablo Connect too.

I’ve had good luck with the FireTV box (not the stick) for my setup. I chose it because I was already deeply into the Amazon garden and could take advantage of what I already had (Prime Video, Prime Music, etc.). The FireTV Tablo app works well following the most recent software update, and the Plex App for FireTV works pretty well too.

I think that the Roku boxes have the most flexibility with them not being too deeply embedded into a company’s walled garden (Google, Apple, or Amazon). If I were starting from scratch that would probably be the way I would go.


Oh you’ve reminded me, if you use Plex for local playback on a Fire TV, then check out Kodi (formerly XBMC), it works great with your Plex Media Server on the Fire TV boxes. Better than native Plex app in my opinion.