SimpleTV Converts - Experience/Opinions wanted!

Hello everyone.  I am a current Simple.TV user and have both the Gen 1 STV1 and Gen2 STV2 (silicondust hardware).  The STV2 has been flaky and unreliable for about 75% of my time with it (2 months).  When it works it works REALLY well, but missed recordings, constant reboots, offline messages, etc. have just gotten very frustrating.  

For those of you that have converted, I am wondering if you would please share your experience, pros/cons, and overall rating of the TAbloTV vs

I am a long time SageTV user and was using SageTV prior to for 6.5 years.  Once Google bought I found myself looking for a new, supported, updated platform.  And here I am :slight_smile:


Hey there!

I am myself a SimpleTV convert… here’s my story…

I like many people are trying to cut the cord as with internet, OTA channels and Hulu/Netflix and Amazon are cheaper than my 180 cable bill currently and I would get more content. The hold up and what I’m finding common are spouses, my wife watches Survivor, the Bachelor, etc and for her approval to cancel cable, I needed to come up with a away to record those shows in a easy way with the same quality as cable. When I found SimpleTV, Tablo hadn’t shipped yet so I ordered a SimpleTV and a antenna and waited for it to arrive.

As soon as I opened the box, it just felt cheap and not well made. I plugged it it and found it made a rather loud buzzing noise for such a small box. The set up was fairly simple with the only real annoying part was the lack of indicator of channel strength and no indicator on the amount of time it took to format the attached hard drive. 

I picked up the expected channels and as I only live 12 miles from a tower and had a rather nice Clearstream antenna I was pretty shocked to see the quality of some of the channels (watching on a WiFi connected Roku3) and the fact that every time i went to channel it was fuzzy for the first 15-20 seconds or so and then cleared up. I can deal with that as afterwards the major networks appeared very clear. The first test was a test recording which was Kitchen Nightmares. I tried watching it back the next day on a Roku3 connected via Wifi and nothing but freezing and buffering which made watching it un-watchable. The SimpleTV was hard wired into the router and if I watched TV or the recording on my PC which was wired in also, I had no issues in terms of playback (pic quality could of been better).

After some troubleshooting and no success, I found that Tablo was shipping so I RMA’d the SimpleTV and ordered the Tablo. For me its night and day, the set up was much quicker including formatting the drive and I loved loved loved the channel strength indicator. It feels like a legit piece of hardware and is silent. My only issues are with pixelation which is not a Tablo issue and that should be corrected when the antenna is installed on the roof early next week.

For me and my family I was looking for a plug and play way to record OTA programming and watch it  on WiFi connected devices without having to build machines and install software etc which is why I was looking for a Tablo type device and for me Tablo has delivered in a very impressive way for a 1st gen device and I look forward to updates.

SimpleTV1 & 2 owner here.

Packing up the SimpleTV2 into its box to make room for the TabloTV (in my garage) brought such relief. There were times when I could get the STV2 to work after a reset, but that gets old. I’m really happy now that it is packed in its box.

As for TabloTV, it works! It does what everY DVR has to get right. It reliably records scheduled programs. I’m also very impressed with how polished the V1 product is.

(BTW, my iPad posts on this forum end up with all spacing removed! I apologize for that.)

Thank you to you both! I ordered my tablo yesterday and itll be here today.  Woot!

same experience as the rest.  ST1 only owner, and it worked ok.  But quality was never there.  Always some kind of glitch going on.  slow, clunky…you know the drill.  Picked up tablo which arrived last night.  Plugged in, ran through the setup process with no issue.  The quality is great, running is much faster.  Great picture.  I would recommend this to all ST owners.

So glad to have you as a customer @tacopeland! Glad you’re loving Tablo :) 

Thanks all for the feedback. I made the switch and am only disappointed about the fact that I didn’t back tablotv and jump on board earlier. :slight_smile:

I still look at the SimpleTV forum now and then. It’s full of “unplug,” “reset”, “wipe the drive” advice. Currently there’s a delusional character who claims that SimpleTV and TabloTV are presently “on par”.

Yeah, right!

I plugged my TabloTV in weeks ago and have never missed a recording.

Tbe icing on the cake: Comcast Business introduced a duplicate route and I had no Internet access from 3PM Wednesday to 8:30 AM Thursday. The Tablo didn’t miss a beat. Everything recorded on schedule and viewing worked like a charm.

@jkline - Awesome! Glad to hear Tablo is humming along for you despite your internet outage :-bd

I got a (2) and hated. it.

Setup was fine, the app was slick, and it worked with Roku fine BUT… it would NOT allow me to tune to or record one channel in my area that it seemed to pickup from a channel scan just fine (but WOULD record it’s sub-channel), 

When I rescanned my stations in order to fix this, it deleted all the future recording setup, and i had to reset them all up. One suppport rep said “that’s not possible” and one said "that’s to be expected."

They ONLY answered requests via twitter, no phone number to call. They never fixed my problems, because by the time i got thier attention, i’d ordered Tablo and sent my back.

Tablo works. Support (tho not needed) has been excellent about fielding pre-sales questions.

They are a great company with a great product, my only concern is is getting all the press… like Replay and Tivo, or Beta and VHS all over again… 

First I had Aereo, now Simple TV (returning soon), and hopefully soon Tablo!

The quality of my Simple TV picture was less than perfect. On my 60 inch plasma,  shows with little movement were fine such as news or sitcoms. But if there was a lot of movement such as intros or sports…it was extremely pixelated.

This was over a wired connection, so WiFi is not the issue.

How is the quality of the picture on Tablo look on TVs as compared to SimpleTV?

Looks beautiful IMO. Sports too with a lot of action are top notch.

I have STV1, and i always thought the picture was soft.  Tablo a perfect picture, just as if you had the antenna hooked directly up to the TV.  I’m very happy that i switched.

@mattadata - on a wired connection to Roku, picture is better than Aereo or Simple.TV with no buffering on recorded TV and almost none on live.

Thanks @PiX64, @tacopeland, and @ccoveney. That is what I wanted to hear. 

My main TV will be with wired connection through Roku. The other two TVs will be the Plex app on Samsung TVs.

I have a lifetime sub with a Kickstarter STV.  It works okay (after being unusable in the beginning) but is very, very slow changing channels - I’m used to it but it is embarrassing when I have company.  The tuner signal is also weaker than the same antenna plugged straight into the tv. And even though they said you should be able to use it on your local network without contact with the Simple TV servers, that has not been my experience. So.  Here I am looking for alternatives.  :slight_smile:

I think my main concern is the signal/tuner quality as well as the guide source (the one used by STV fails to register one of my local sub-channels, which has a lot of classic movies, even though the tv gets it no problem.)

Has anyone used the Channel Master?  I’d really like to see a review comparing the 3 options. 

Terry, i’m a STV1 convert.  As a mentioned above, the signal/tuner quality is superior.  I’ve noticed the glaring guide data issues on STV, and i haven’t experienced any guide issues on tablo.  I highly recommend tablo as i have experienced absolutely zero reliability issues.


I am also a convert and started with dual tuner, moved to quad… love it. everything about tablo is far superior to anything STV related.

I get the feeling from browsing the forum that slow channel changing is true for Tablo too?  For STV, if I’m watching on the PC it isn’t as bad as the Roku but still very, very slow.  Hooking up the antenna directly to the television doesn’t seem slow, so is it the dvr tuner? 

Correct.  Because your TV doesn’t have the ability to FF or RW, it doesn’t need a buffer.  Thats the reason it can tune so quickly. Tablo does take about 7-10 seconds to tune because its building the buffer so you can FF/RW out of the gate.