Tablo ATSC 3.0 Quad

I bought my first Tablo in 2015. A dual tuner module that is still going strong. I use it every day. My family has 5 tvs that we all use to watch content on the Tablo using our in house wifi and streamed on Rokus. We live at the extreme range of some of our stations and at times lose signal. So I have been looking forward to the transition to 3.0 as I understand will have a stronger and longer ranged signal. Now, later this month one of my favorite stations is transitioning to 3.0 and I would like to be able to pick up the signal. Plus I would like to upgrade my Tablo to a 4 tuner module so the new Quad 4 sounds great. But without streaming capability I don’t know if it will be worth it.

Having said all that, I would like to ask if I bought one of the new 3.0 quads would it be upgradable in the future to streaming? And what is limiting it now?


Per the FAQ’s:

Can the Tablo ATSC 3.0 QUAD HDMI stream live or recorded TV to other devices on my local network?
No. At this time, the Tablo ATSC 3.0 QUAD HDMI cannot stream live or recorded TV as most commercially available streaming devices and Smart TVs are not compatible with the new video and audio formats of ATSC 3.0 broadcasts.

When I asked @TabloSupport directly whether or not it would be available in the future, they responded:

While we cannot say for certain that we will be able to support streaming in the future, this is a feature we would like to add if we find a way to do it through a firmware update in the future.

Hope this helps.

Thanks for the reply. Was just wondering if there was any new info or what others thought about it. So they are not sure if they can do it with an update. This may be a deal breaker for me.


If many OTA broadcaster go with DRM there are different requirements for HDMI connections then network devices. Local network devices probably need DTCP-IP. For remote connect who knows.

ATSC 1.0 was something that could be greatly improved.

Instead, we got ATSC 3.0.


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So what improvements could be made to the ATSC 1.0 standard that didn’t result in a completely new standard?

A OTA channel is only 6MHz wide and thus can only contain a certain(broadcast) amount of data.

ATSC 1.0 uses mpeg-2 compression which effectively limits it to 1080i. Many people are hoping for 4K or more. Many think 8VSB is inferior to COFDM.

Might point is you don’t have to upgrade the standard and insert a bunch of crapola to the point of “run away”.

I’m just trying to figure out what you would do in the current ATSC 1.0 standard that wouldn’t require a standard revision - which could take years before final approval.

Not sure, and definitely not my point.

Thanks for the replies. Not sure what all that techno-babble means. But I am guessing that the limiting factor is that the signal is in a different format that the current streaming devices are not compatible with. Am I correct? If so, then I would have to wait for a change say in my Roku’s software before it could work.

Jim .

I would only guess that the tablo apps would need a DRM certificate that only applies for local network apps. And that may also require internet access for the certificate to work. And since 3rd party apps don’t have a certificate they would probably be toast as well as remote connect since that could require a completely different certificate. Of course VPN might work for remote connect.

Your current network attached Tablo translates the broadcast signal to a format that most streaming devices can accept. The HDMI attached Tablo sends the broadcast signal as received to your TV through the HDMI cable and can also stream that signal to certain streaming devices that can handle that signal directly.

ATSC 3.0 is a completely new format which currently isn’t supported directly by most streaming devices. My guess would be that eventually device makers will support the new format, but you will probably have to buy a new streaming device rather than being able to upgrade your existing device.

The hesitation to commit to whether or not the new ATSC 3.0 Tablo will be able to stream will depend on whether streaming devices are capable of receiving and displaying the streamed data.

I have an ATSC 3.0 tuner, and while it does stream to most of my devices, there are issues with audio (specifically Roku and older Samsung TV sets) where the programs don’t have any audio output. FireTV, XBox One and Windows works most of the time (there are still glitches in the streaming of any ATSC 3.0 channel).

That is but one problem. The DRM encoding hasn’t been started by most of the TV broadcasters, so there is no way to really test it. Add to the problem that ATSC 3.0, while it does have standards, there have been several changes that have happened over the last year that creates problems.

The device I have has always released products first - and their followers deal with the issues, as they realize they have purchased a product that is going to have bugs in it.

The Tablo community is not as forgiving, and often demands “perfection” in the units (judging from many of the posts here), and for Tablo to release a DVR that has issues, would be a nightmare. Especially if it were in “mass production”. And that doesn’t include streaming.

My guess is that ATSC 3.0 won’t be “mainstream” (in more than 60% of the households and more than 75% of the current stations broadcast in ASTC 3.0) for at least 3-5 years. I live in the Austin TX market, and while they were one of the “first markets to go live”, it goes down often, the local FOX station broadcasts a signal, but is never mirroring the ATSC 1.0 signal, unless they are doing specific tests, then it goes back offline.

I get 51 channels reliably at my home. 43 are ATSC 1.0, and 8 are ATSC 3.0. Of the 8, only 5 of the 8 are broadcasting most of the time. All are in the same resolution (video) as the ATSC 1.0 signal. None of the subchannels are even being tested as of right now. I am assuming it is due to having to pay for the broadcasting rights of the channel, and operating another “channel” would result in increasing the costs.

Who knows. The broadcasters are mum about it, and rumors are floating around out there. I think Tablo is doing things right (I have always promoted their product as a “solid” device that works on all popular streaming devices) in going slow. Lord knows the broadcasters are going slow…

You would think that for ATSC 1.0 channels broadcast as 720p or 1080i the resolution would be better for ATSC 3.0 since they are usually broadcast as 1080p.

Such as those broadcast on RF 31 or RF 14.

They can be better - there is the possibility of 4K or 8K broadcast TV. However, just sending a signal encoded in 4K or 8K doesn’t improve anything if the original programming is in SD or HD. It could take quite a while for programming to update to the 4K or 8K formats.

At this point, I would settle for reliable broadcasts in HD…

Most U.S. made movies are shot on 35mm. For decades many TV shows were also shot on 35mm. Europe likes super 16 as do some U.S. directors. You probably have to effectively downscale to get 1080i.

Of course 35mm film is being replaced with digital.

However, as we have seen, just because “something” (and it’s probably not as much as you might think, especially in TV land) is shot in something that can be scaled, doesn’t mean someone will do the effort to make it available. But, I am old, so decades means “new” to me. So ancient near death folks (90’s TV or earlier), are probably out of luck. Edit: probably a good argument of old folks, not necessarily dying, that they might not get their 2000’s or 2010’s stuff either.

I’m pretty old - from the 40’s. But I do know that, with the exception of the first episode, the 1970 hogan’s heros was shot on 35mm and scaled down. As were most of the other TV shows of that era.

So 35mm is effectively beyond 1080p.

There is a cost for local stations to have 4k cameras and processing equipment used for such things as localnews.

But I really don’t think the major networks want to broadcast 4K until they get DRM under control. I don’t see them going 4K without DRM where anyone can scoop it up for whatever reason

I think it comes down to “show me the money”. Until a good portion of the population has a 4K (or better) TV, with an ATSC 3.0 tuner, I doubt any of the “production” companies are going to invest in broadcasting any programming in 4K. I am the “ultimate techie”, and currently only two of my 6 TV sets in the house are capable of 4K, and none of them have a 4K tuner (although I do have multiple ATSC 3.0 tuners that are capable of doing it - and streaming via streaming devices).

It is coming…but it is still “future tech”…

Of course, future tech that’s pretty old now. Failure to launch comes to mind.

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