Tablo Quad ATSC 3.0

Does the Tablo Quad support ATSC 3.0?

I am asking because Sinclair is already planning on rolling out several stations with ATSC 3.0 (4k) . They are expecting 26 stations by the end of year broadcasting with ATSC 3.0 and all of them in 2020.

If Tablo Quad does not support it then what is Tablos plan for it?

No, it doesn’t support it. It you do a search in this forum, there are several threads about it with Tablo responses.

Here is their blog about it:

This is a very small market for now. Random Q, are there any ATSC 3.0 DVRs out there?

There aren’t even any ATSC 3.0 TVs in the wild, much less DVRs.

ATSC 3.0 is a question for the next generation of Tablo, in 4-5 years. Not this generation.

Yep, and LG has said they aren’t planning any for this year at all.

We’re overdue for an update on this, but here’s the latest & greatest we did post in our weekly newsletter.

NEWS: Sinclair Stations Full Steam Ahead on ATSC 3.0

Broadcast conglomerate Sinclair says they’re planning to launch ATSC 3.0 broadcasts in 26 markets before the end of the year.

(Not familiar with ATSC 3.0? Get caught up here.)

There’s no word on which markets have been selected. The company also says they’ll ‘seed the market with low-cost transition devices’ so that consumers can actually view the broadcasts since there aren’t any commercially available TVs, tuners, or DVRs that support the standard.

This seems to be a very aggressive timeline given the transition to ATSC 3.0 is not required by the FCC, but instead a voluntary rollout.

So why is Sinclair so hot-to-trot on ATSC 3.0?

Critics of the transition say it’s likely financially motivated since according to consumer advocacy site BroadbandNow, the company has cash and patents riding on its success.

Here’s the good news for those who already have cord cutting gear using current standards…

Even if by some miracle Sinclair manages to make the significant infrastructure upgrades required to get this off the ground before 2020, stations in those markets are required by law to continue current ATSC 1.0 broadcasts for an additional 5 years.

You can check out the version with links here:

Long story short: Don’t believe Sinclair’s hype.


Depending on where you live you might be encouraged to switched to ATSC 3.0 in 3 years. ATSC 1.0 channels will be lighthoused with other ATSC 1.0 channels. That means that there isn’t enough spectrum for sub-channels. They may immediately move to ATSC 3.0. Additionally, for light housed channels the FCC doesn’t require 100% of the original area coverage. Maybe 90%-95%.

And doesn’t KEYT in Santaa Barbara have an FCC 12 month renewable ATSC 3.0 pilot license. And they also light housed some of their ATSC 1.0 channels.

"So what’s behind my earlier “skepticism” tease? Quite a few things, actually; many of them are captured in a few-word summary, “the chicken-and-egg.” Particularly given that the FCC this time around isn’t going to make the to-ATSC 3.0 transition mandatory, a lot of things are going to need to happen for it to hit critical mass:

  • Content provider (i.e. network broadcaster) support with respect to creation and distribution of true UHD content, versus up-scaled HD live-capture and archive material
  • Local broadcaster support with respect to purchases of new equipment and licenses (assuming that available- and terrain-acceptable channel spectrum still exists in a given market), along with a willingness to redundantly (and expensively) retain ATSC 1.0 broadcasts for a long time to come (in case anyone hasn’t noticed, local broadcasters aren’t exactly making tons of profit nowadays, even as is)
  • TV manufacturers’ willingness to balloon their equipment’s bill-of-materials costs with even more receiver and decoder circuitry (and software licenses) than already exists
  • And consumers’ willingness to pull out their wallets and buy brand new, even more expensive ATSC 3.0-supportive televisions to replace the UHD displays they probably just bought recently … or to tether yet another set-top box to their existing TVs

If any one of these four lags, critical mass flat-out won’t happen. And focusing only on the consumer factor, I feel like I’m making the same argument I previously made against UHD-vs-HD Blu-ray, or even HD Blu-ray-vs-DVD (because I am). Unless your TV is really huge or you sit really close to it, you’re not going to be able to tell any difference between a “true” UHD presentation and a HD version up-scaled upon reception at the TV. The vast majority of folks now with “4K” TVs, I’d in fact wager, aren’t watching any native UHD material at all … only up-scaled HD Blu-rays, satellite, and cable TV broadcasts, and over-the-air ATSC 1.0 channels. So why would you drop a thousand dollars or more on a new ATSC 3.0 TV … or even clutter your entertainment center with yet another HDMI-tethered standalone receiver?"

Next-gen ATSC confronts market reality

The previous chairman of the FCC made it clear that there wasn’t going to be any additional frequencies assigned for the conversion. And in many major cities there isn’t any free channels. And thus light house. If users want OTA they need ATSC 3.0 to compete with OTT.

But you might soon find out during the upcoming NAB conference.

There have been several articles indicating that under ATSC 3.0 stations will not broadcast 4K but continue at the 2K level. ATSC 3.0 does not automatically mean 4K so stations may just broadcast more content at 2K and under since 4K streams don’t necessarily mean greater revenue.

Also since ATSC 3.0 is really targeting the mobile device arena 4K is overkill for smaller devices and screens.

That’s very likely.

Many stations just spent $$$$ upgrading some (not all) cameras to HD. There’s just no budget at the local level to shell out (again) for tons of new tech.

4K will likely be reserved for stuff like the Superbowl and the Olympics for the first few years post rollout.

Plus most people will tell you that the difference between 2K and 4K is minimal. It is not like the revolutionary jump from 480 to 720\1080. What most people don’t realize is that most theatrical releases are filmed, distributed and shown at 2K in theaters. Even many supposed 4K movies are really 2K…

ATSC 3.0 is cheaper then the original estimates. And that is based on the FCC changing their rules.

I thought the major costs for ATSC 3.0 under the original FCC rules was the new ATSC 3.0 video production/engineering equipment. Under the original rules this equipment was required at the channel location. I think the FCC changed the rules to allow the equipment to be anywhere and/or shared with other stations.

Any network produced shows are produced off local site and thus the networks can supply ATSC 3.0 as needed.

Since under ATSC 3.0 there can be up to 8 streams, it may be more profitable for a station to suballocate their streams to subchannels at lower resolution (1080 and less) than broadcast less subchannels due to 4K. More subchannels equals more revenue. There is no revenue from enhanced picture quality.