Tablo Connect - Why Subscription?

Why is Tablo Connect subscription based? We’re cord cutters trying to get away from subscriptions. As I understand it, the Tablo data is streaming directly from the device, through my router using port forwarding, out the cable modem, through the Internet and then directly to my remote device. Why should this be a toll road?

I use other services at home using port forwarding without a fee and also know how to set up a VPN.

If you know how to set up a VPN from your mobile device into your home LAN, then you don’t need Tablo Connect.

Connect is tied to the subscription because it uses the Tablo servers as the connection point so you don’t need to set up a VPN.

Pay the one time lifetime fee and you won’t need to worry about it ever again.


Cord cutters are not getting away from subscriptions. I have subscriptions to Netflix, Amazon Prime, Crunchyroll, Funimation, Sling, and even AMC Theaters.

Having Tablo Connect tied to subscriptions makes perfect business sense as well. It’s an extra reason to subscribe, besides for the 2 week guide and easier DVR setup. The lifetime subscription fee is well worth it and has the best value.

And as others have stated, you can use a VPN to make your remote devices appear on the same network as your home network for Tablo.

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I think the simple answer is that it requires Tablo’s servers to locate your Tablo. The alternative, as was pointed out, is to set up a VPN through your router.

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Tablo is supplying you with a service that keeps track of your Dynamic IP address along with some other basic info used to access your Tablo from outside your network. It’s very similar to a DNS record and it’s updated as things like IP addresses change. The money they get helps them to fund future improvements to their devices and maintain those servers/sevices. That subscription also gives you additional guide data which I enjoy.

As others have mentioned you could set up a VPN. To do this you must either purchase a static IP from you internet provider (mine charges $6 per month) or you must set up Dynamic DNS. Dynamic DNS can be set up for free but you must also have a way to automatically update it. My router has a feature to update my Dynamic DNS but there are other ways to do it.

I think all but the most hardcore cord cutters pay some monthly fees. Some even pay as much or more then regular Cable TV customers. I chose the one time lifetime payment with no monthly fees to Tablo but if you are a hardcore penny pincher you have options.

Well we all pay monthly fees for our internet :wink:

“cord cutting” has various length of meanings it seems. Cutting cable TV while having internet wires, cutting cable TV and using OTA antenna only (maybe DVD, surprised how much they are in use) - a combinations of antenna and internet.

To me, it’s entirely different services I’m subscribing to. VOD, streaming type services, allow me to choose what and when I choose to watch programs (true, from vast limited choices)… While a dvr has changed things, with cable programing, you have to wait until “they” decide what and when a show is on and how long it take to get through a season.
We’re getting our own choices.

In addition to the other comments, it may have also have to do with data collection. It wasn’t until I subscribed was I presented with any terms of services to agree to. Still haven’t see a reference to software license agreement.

Even without agreeing to anything they do use seem to use amplitued to collect product analytics. I know virtually every service collect data… but I don’t pay out of pocket for that and they inform me.

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I couldn’t find that text in the page you referenced? Of course legal constraints are implied. Virtually any device with commercial software won’t allow your to use it until you accept some terms of use. Basically user has no right beyond fundamental use. You can’t figure out how it works. Even why it doesn’t if it involves anything manufacture wants you to pay for - well, that may not be the best interpretation.

Open Source licenses like the GPL, usually allow the originator to retain copyright, while allowing other the right (aka freedom) to use and modify as long as they continual under the original license and copyright, to simplify it, from my understanding.

I don’t see mentioned one of the other valuable cord cutting resources. The library which is good for both the low tech cord cutter and the high tech cord cutter. There is usually physical media you can borrow like DVDs and books for the low tech side. Most also have high tech options that even include steaming apps in some cases. Here are 2 of the big ones.

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