Quad internal or external hard drive?

I got my quad ordered and bought a 5 tb Seagate slim backup plus external hard drive for it. Does the internal sata hard drive perform any better than the external hard drive? I thougt the tablo might run cooler with an external hard drive and the external 5 tb hard drive was far less cost than a 1 tb sata internal drive. I paid about $105.00 for my 5 tb hard drive on sale at cosco.

A good internal hard drive should be cheaper than an external hard drive. You don’t need an SSD or anything fancy.

I already bought a 5 tb external hard drive at a very low price in anticipation of buying a quad tablo. My question is, Is there any performance advantage of having the internal sata hard drive. instead of using an external hard drive. I needed 2 tablos because of the amount of channels I can receive.

You would think so, but not necessarily. I just got an 8TB external at Best Buy. $170. The bare drive was more. I shucked it as soon as I got home.

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There shouldn’t be any significant performance advantages given you just recording at max 10 Mbps, the USB 2.0 interface is 480 Mbps (theoretical speed). Point is even with USB 2.0 you can record 4 streams to your external HDD.

If you got a 2.5” external you could shuck it too.

I am happy to know That the 5TB Seagate external hard drive will give me the performance that the new quad will need. Originally I was going to get an internal hard drive but run across the 5 TB hard drive on sale for $99.99 and bought on impulse at that price. I know I posted that I paid a little more than this but was looking at the receipt this morning and 99.99 is the correct price. I already have the quad paid for and will receive with the next batch. I was a lucky tablo owner as I got my first tablo account on March 6 and should get a lifetime subscription on the second tablo.

I’m considering buying a Quad, and have a question about internal/external drives.

As background, I bought a Channel Master TV DVR in 2011, and have been very happy with it. I connected it to a 2TB My Book USB3 external HDD. Both have run flawlessly from the very beginning, and BTW, I was very happy with the My Book HDD. It was extremely quiet, and the only problem I had was that it filled up, and I had to constantly ravage (erase) saved files to make room for more. I got to the point where I bought another 2TB external, (2TB being Channel Master’s largest supported HDD), and hoped to recover the saved 2TB of files with my computer.

No luck with that. The Channel Master format was Linux (Ext format), and apparently, the file table was internal to the Channel Master DVR, not the hard drive. When I ‘installed’ the new external HDD, it needed to go through the Linux ‘ext’ formatting routine from the C-M DVR.

What I really wanted to do with the C-M old files was transcode them (to MP-4?) for Plex, but that didn’t work out.

Now, about to buy a new Tablo Quad, I’m wondering if I can have both an internal & external HDD supported without problems. 1 or 2TB internal, plus 8TB external.

I’m a 74-year-old “pensioner”, as the Brits would say, on a very limited income. The economics (fortunately, now single again, so no “wife constraints”), are still a major consideration with a tiny monthly income. If I buy a Tablo Quad and a 1TB internal HDD, can I add an 8TB external in a few months?

I think you can only use one internal or external drive at a time. But the Tablo transcodes the native MPEG2 video to h264 so you will get a lot more recording hours out of a 8TB drive than with the CM unit.

The short answer is no. The Tablo will only support one hard drive.

Tablo also uses the Linux ‘ext’ format, but there are several third party apps that will allow you to rip your recordings off of the Tablo and convert them to MP4 for use on Plex. I personally use Tablo Ripper and I am very happy with the results.

I have two Tablo 4-Tuner models (original, not quad) and I have a 5TB Seagate drive on each one. If you will be periodically ripping recordings off of the Tablo drive and saving them to Plex, then a 1 or 2TB internal drive might be acceptable, but if you want to just leave your recordings on the Tablo, then I would recommend going with the 8TB external drive.

I got the new quad and I use https://www.amazon.ca/Seagate-FireCuda-Hybrid-Performance-Accelerated/dp/B07H2F3741/ref=dp_ob_title_ce
to go along with it, for me 2TB is enough for my tablo
I use my 5TB external harddrive for my desktop/server computer that runs Plex with all my ripped content from my Tablo, for me this was the best setup I could find.
I think the quad with a 5TB will perform well, but internal drive and hybrid SSD seems more responsive imo

I can’t prove it, but there should be no reason a hybrid drive makes the Tablo more responsive than just a regular HDD.

The database is stored locally on a Tablo. Majority of your completed recordings won’t be on the small SSD portion. Channel tuning still requires a 10 second real time buffer to be created, an SSD can’t travel through time into the future.

Spend the extra money on a larger USB HDD rather than hybrid SSD+HDD.

Sure, but the tablo just uses it for storage. It will only steam as fast as it streams… video playback processing takes place on the device/app your watching on.

As for recording, not sure how you can tell. It can write and reading is limited to network bandwidth, which is likely below slower than R/W bus of the drive.

So even though a high performance SSD is awesome, it’s probably not going to benefit you much in a tablo… but won’t hurt - as recommended put the $$ in more TBs.

Thanks to all of you for the very informative, and helpful replies.

Here we are in September, and here’s my situation now. After a lot of researching, hemming and hawing, and with very limited discretionary monthly dollars from my SSI, I decided to first get a Dual Lite to jump into this pool at the shallow end first. I first decided that when the Dual Lite was selling for $99, but didn’t pull the trigger until last week. The price for the Dual Lite had gone up to $139. Bummer!

I still had the original 8-year-old WD MyBook USB 3.0 2TB that had been attached to my C-M, but was now just laying fallow. First jump into the shallow end, I attached the old MyBook 2TB to my Dual Lite. It still work great!..and still very silent.

With the great Tablo database management, I decided that would also be a great help with my ancient Channel Master, which only has the primitive 2-week TV schedule to manage recording. Last night, I looked in on the Channel for the first time in a few months. I wanted organize my tuners better. Use the Channel Master for the more of the SD stuff, which would clear up some of the annoying schedule conflicts on the Dual Lite.


At some time over the last few months, the cheapo “No-Name” USB 3.0 2TB I bought to replace the ancient MyBook has died. It’s still making “I’m working; shakin’ it here, boss” noises, and the indicator LED has been flashing, but it is ‘dead to’ the Channel Master. It appears that for now, the ancient MyBook will return to the Channel Master again. No more “No-Name” drives for my DVRs.

Next SSI ‘check’, I’ll be looking for a bargain “brand name” external 8TB for the Dual Lite. The Channel Master will have to soldier on with the bulletproof MyBook for a while longer.

I do love the Tablo, and no doubt, there will be at least one more in the future, and I hope it will be a Quad with an 8TB buddy.

If you are looking for an affordable 8tb drive, I would recommend this:


It’s currently on sale at Best Buy for $139.99. I have purchased several of these and the last one I purchased, I got on sale for $129.99. They have the equivalent of a WD Red drive in the enclosure. I have used 4 of these in my NAS Server by removing the drives from the enclosure and installing them in the NAS. So far they have worked nonstop for over a year without any problems.

I’ve not used Red, but I have several WD drives running non-stop. I have Green, supposedly low power - inteli-speed what-have-you in my DVR/Storage and for my tablo. Also use WD 2.5" Blue, got these used off ebay. Can’t say how old they are, but they’re still running virtually non-stop for several years I’ve had them.

I’d recommend WD, which ever color fits your needs.

Channel Master TV DVR in 2011…and hoped to recover the saved 2TB of files with my computer…No luck with that.

If this is the CM-7500, you can do what you are wishing to do. I have a DVR+ and have extracted many recordings off of it. There is a file named ‘record_event_index’ that contains all of the information about the recordings, including all of the information from the guide. It has a strange format to it. A few guys in a forum on AVSForum figured out the format. One guy with the handle of pachinko wrote a program called DVR+ Lister to decode it. He shared his findings with me and I created my own PowerShell to decode it to a CSV and open it in Excel. I am happy to share it with you, if you like.
You will need to install the Linux file system drivers on your computer. I originally used the free Ext2Fsd program, but found it to be a little too buggy for my tastes. I purchased a license for Linux File Systems for Windows by Paragon Software.

Thanks for the info, OKC. Friday night I ordered the WD Elements 8TB drive for the same price. As I’ve seen discussed here, it is probably the same thing as the Best Buy version. It just arrived. Now, I’m concerned about moving it to the Tablo, without messing up file table. I haven’t seen how to do that anywhere on this site.

I have been saving my files to my computer using Tablo Ripper, so they won’t be lost. I have an hour free from scheduled recordings between 4 & 5 PM today, so I’m just going to do it. I’ll likely lose the 100 or so recordings I already have, as far as Tablo is concerned, but the sooner I do that the better.

My ancient 2TB MyBook, now on the Tablo, will get moved over to my Channel Master, where the new “no-name” HDD has died after less than 6 months.

Once again, thanks for the kindly tip. I hope the Elements drive is as silent, and long lasting as the 8-year-old MyBook.

Thankyou, Jwhitlow. There’s a lot of detailed info in your post. I will get back to that, perhaps in the next few days, after I get more comfortable with what I’m doing with the Tablo & Tablo Ripper.

I vaguely remember trying to read that drive from my PC with some Linux ext “reader”, but it didn’t do anything for me.

I will come back to your post, and see if I can fumble through it - but right now, the Channel Master is telling me there’s a hard drive problem, and it can’t read it. Maybe your tips can recover the files. That would also be great the next time the 2TB HDD is filling up.

I just tried the Paragon program (10-day-trial) and reformatted the drive to ext4 from my PC. Still no change.

I have yet to come across an opportunity withing Tablo to “FORMAT” the new drive.

Even if you format with ext4 - until tablo sees it as “authorised” manually formating a drive is nearly pointless.

It’s been a long time… I think it has to do with a .dot file containing a cute phrase, and maybe the file structure.