Record Original Broadcast Quality

I see two quality options under settings, one for Recording and one for Streaming. I would like to record the original broadcast stream, leaving both the video and audio unchanged, directly to disk. That way I can use the Streaming Quality to determine how it should be transcoded on-demand at time of playback.

Is it possible to do this today?

I assume “Max Quality” means that if a broadcast is a lower quality, then it would be left untouched, and not bet up-sampled, right? So if I set it to “HD 1080 - 10 Mbps, 720@60fps” then broadcasts under 10Mbps would be unadulterated, but I’d like to keep the original even if the bitrate is higher.

Since the Tablo has to transcode the signals as soon as they are received, there is no way to keep the native broadcast stream. Here is a FAQ about recording quality:

The other setting is called Remote Streaming Quality, and that is set per device. It is used for devices outside of your home network, and it transcodes the shows a second time (unless you use “full quality”) at a lower bitrate than the original.

The main advantage of transcoding on the fly is that it allows all streaming devices to display shows almost immediately. The main weakness is that you lose surround sound audio as well as non-English audio tracks.


The Tablo takes all the native MPEG2 video and re-encodes it to h.264 video. This is to ensure playback on devices such as the Roku which do not support MPEG2 playback. This is the Recording Quality setting.

The “Streaming Quality” setting you refer to is for Remote Streaming Quality. The RSQ setting is only for when you are streaming remotely (aka using the Tablo Connect feature), that is streaming away from your home. All devices locally playback at Full Quality (that is the FQ h.264 video). See link below, might help explain things better.

1 Like

Thank you for the replies, although it wasn’t the answer I was hoping for :confused: As it turns out, the Plex DVR does record the native broadcast streams, and I can use that in the cases where I want the original bits. Still, it would be nice if this became a feature of the Tablo as well…