Sorry Tablo - TiVo has beaten you to the punch

I missed the $300 deal. Not sure it’s worth $400 for the same with a larger drive as I would replace the drive with an even larger one anyway.

I still may get one to replace my current Roamio that has a guide fee and sell my (sitting unused) Tablo. We’ll see if the AppleTV app can make the cut.

Is it a “whole home” DVR?
Can you watch remotely?
What devices can it stream to?
Can you add additional hard drive to storage? If so, up to what size?

Most likely it has the wanted but missing from @TabloTV Dolby 5.1 and the add x minutes to recordings already in progress.

Starting with an even playing field would mean the initial cost of a Tablo 4 tuner plus 1TB hard drive with lifetime subscription vs Tivo Roamio at $400.

That’s a major “EXCEPT”. Would have made many potential cord cutters reconsider their options.

Do you guys honestly watch that much TV that you’re going to have 1TB of a recordings???


It just depends on how long you want to keep shows. I seem to record about 1 TB a year without deleting much except sporting events (my Titans games these past two years usually don’t even last a day. :dizzy_face:)

Some people here record a whole lot more. When the delete functionality improves (keep x shows, delete multiple episodes at once), Tablo users won’t have to use quite as much disk space as they do now.

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Do you buy seasons of TV shows on Blu-ray or DVD? They are expensive. However, you can capture seasons using Tablo, but only if you never pull the shows off or delete. Then once you have a whole season collected up, you can use something like SurLaTablo to pull the shows off, store on your media server… done! But it can take a while to collect, especially when you’re collecting multiple seasons, and obviously it takes a lot of disk space depending on how many shows and how man seasons you’re trying to collect.

Of course, you can always spend the bucks and buy seasons on Blu-ray or DVD.

Conversely, for the Tablo ($250 unit + $50 HD + $150 lifetime), you don’t get all the capabilities of the Tivo for that price either. But the Tablo is an interesting offer nonetheless. :wink:

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In case anyone is wondering what we think about this, check out our latest blog post:


That price difference (which does favor Tablo) is not that big of a difference. Looks like it’s a toss up between Tivo and Tablo now.

Dear Tablo,

Now is not good time for a nap.

Obviously Tivo has had to play catch up a bit, but now have offering with reasonable pricing. I think for <$60 (extra) a lot of Tablo (would be) users might opt for the Tivo solution just to get surround sound.


Why would anyone go with this when you need to buy Tivo Mini’s at $149.00 each… no thanks… I don’t need yet another box on each of five televisions in the house; AmazonFireTV with Tablo is MUCH cheaper and much more flexible…

But the problem is Tivo’s feature set is SO much more than just getting surround sound. It has all the features that everyone keeps clamoring for the Tablo to get (which hopefully they will eventually). That $60 is seeming quite worth it. And for those that have no need to stream or do multi-room (or already have 1 or both of those devices like I do), the upfront cost of the Tivo is even better.

But not everyone needs Mini’s or a Stream. Tablo will work for some people, Tivo will work for others.

Yep that difference grows the more TVs you add. Also the TiVo limit might be 4 (i think)

Agreed, Tablo has already faced ChannelMaster in that particular market. There doesn’t need to be one DVR to rule them all.

We agree.

People will buy Tablo, TiVo or Channel Master depending on their needs and wants. We just want to make sure people are making the right decision for them.

The things that sold me on Tablo were the ability to bring my own hard drive, watch from anywhere on any device (although I don’t use this feature as much as I anticipated) and easily schedule a recording from any device from anywhere.

I think it would be a big difference for me with 4 TVs and remote usage. Tablo is just what I have wanted for years - and finally it is up and working pretty well. :joy:

As someone who just migrated to Tablo from TiVo, I have a couple thoughts.

  1. The TiVo interface/environment is outstanding. It’s probably the most elegant out there – they’ve been doing it longer than anyone, and it shines. That said…

  2. The drive runs constantly, and is a failure point. It can also be slow as molasses when the drive is indexing. Replacing it isn’t hard, but it’s a pain in the rear… which is why there are companies that specialize in selling TiVo drives.

  3. Advertising. In recent years, TiVo splashes ads all over the place. On the ‘play’ indicator bar, in various sections.

  4. TiVo does one thing very well: It records and manages TV shows. It does a lot of things really badly – Netflix, Amazon, all the add-on apps? They run, but if you’re using a Roku, Apple TV, Android box? The Tivo is just sad next to a specialized streaming device.

I was loyal to TiVo for a long time. My first box was a Series 2. I have nothing bad to say about them, but Tablo (if not the device, the concept) is where I think the future is going to land, and it has become a better choice for me. The sheer flexibility of the device wins out.


Yes, and there is a real kicker. You lose a tuner for each Mini (this is bad, btw ;)).

How many Mini boxes can be supported on one TiVo recording device?

Up to ten TiVo Minis can be supported by one TiVo network containing TiVo BOLT, Roamio or Premiere DVRs. One tuner is used each time a TiVo Mini is being used on the network. Therefore, depending on the number of DVRs and tuners you have available, you may not be able to have all ten operating simultaneously.
TiVo BOLT and Roamio devices allow for dynamic tuner allocation, so the tuner is only used when the Mini needs it and is released back to the DVR for use when the TiVo Mini isn’t in use.

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Ooh - Good fine print tidbit. Will add that to the post!

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