Here’s the list of available clients and apps:
Open your chrome web browser log in your Tablo account on top click on “WebbApp” and you can start using tablo on your PC, make sure you put in your favorite before closing the WebbApp so it will be easy the next time you need to use it.
Tablo’s response from above was:
“While full-time RVing sounds super fun and awesome, it’s really not an environment that Tablo was designed for.”
They didn’t say it wouldn’t work. It’s just not their target market. They don’t want to test all the combinations or guarantee future behavior. Many set top devices require a WAN connection.
But if you have a little knowledge - who knows.
That requires an internet connection.
I said you don’t need extra equipment but I don’t think the Tablo is the proper device for you.
That being said have a look at the third party apps and see if one of those would fit your needs. https://community.tablotv.com/c/tablo-apps/third-party-apps-plex
EDIT: If you want to try it I have confirmed that you can install Kodi on a PC and then install the official Tablo TV plug in. It works just fine without an internet connection. I was able to watch live TV and recordings. I was able to add new recording as well. It’s an excellent media player. I used it to play local files from my network attached storage before we bought our Roku. I still occasionally use it for file formats that the Roku can’t play.
The crux of the issue for a mobile crowd is the internet access requirement.
If I’m out boondocking somewhere and I can get an antenna signal, I should be able to record/watch it, play it back to any TV or device on my local network within my mobile space(LAN). The internet access requirement hinders this.
If the Tablo device gets it’s guide data and goes out 2 weeks, then why does it need to do nightly updates? Maybe an option to include in settings is to get updates only weekly or every 2 weeks…knowing full well that any intermediate guide updates will be queued to download at that point. The mobile person could have the option to manually get the guide updates/maintenance updates that Tablo currently does nightly, using their wifi hotspot and data.
While I haven’t tried in a while, I don’t think the tablo unit crashes and burns if the nightly guide update can’t be completed because the WAN is down.
And of course you can’t use all set top devices to access anything if the WAN is down. If you want the Fire Stick to work with the WAN down you better call Jeff Bezos to see if he can make that happen.
And a few years ago I use to haul my tablo to my vacation home, which has no WAN, and use it with Roku and a very old linksys router to watch already recorded programing.
Of course we could get into a whole discussion of how you record programs without a WAN if your devices lose power and thus the clock/date.
So to make it clear, DOES KODI need “internet connection” for KODI to work over my RV/HOME local area intranet (private Router) network (router is always powered for private intranet) to watch pre-recorded programs residing on the Router attached Tablo 4 tuner plus Tablo attached 4TB program storage hard drive? Does KODI supply a usable program guide that provides information on 4TB stored programs without internet?
The Home/Mobile router can typically be always powered (generator/solar/etc.) and provides backbone network when no internet is available. Although, when internet data source is present (i.e. From cell tether, MiFi or nearby McDonalds free WiFi the mobile router automatically seeks and provides internet of some strength unknown to the private network. That’s the beauty of a good Mobile Router. As mentioned above, If I can target an Over-The-Air TV signal, I should still be able to record programs without internet connection and play them back to all my Mobile Router WiFi attached devices. All Tablo Apps should work over router internal network, cloud data synching should only be taking place when there is an actual connection. Synching should only be done in the background or as requested. But if you can’t work the Tablo apps without internet your stuck with a problem. I am not sure that anyone is directly answering the question. I also still not clear why I need other devices to watch my pre-recorded programs, doesn’t Tablo play your content back?
You will need internet to install Kodi because you have to download Kodi and the plug in from the internet.
In my test with the internet completely unplugged from my intranet I was able to watch live TV and watch recordings.
Guide data for the shows already recorded reside on the Tablo and is accessible from the Kodi Tablo plug in. I would not refer to that as guide data. That’s usually referred to as meta data. Meta data is “a set of data that describes and gives information about other data.” In this case Thumbnail pictures, show description, dates, times, file playback length, ect…
Guide data for future events comes from the internet. The Tablo will download 24 hour of future guide data for free users or 2 weeks of future guide data for paid subscribers. That data is updated at night normally or in the background. You can also force an update. When you rescan your stations it also forces an update.
Problems I predict:
A rescan of TV stations will force the Tablo to update guide data and that requires internet. That would most likely cause you to lose future guide data if you did not have an internet connection during the rescan. All meta data about previously recorded programming will remain on the Tablo until that program is deleted rescans and updates don’t mess with meta data.
The Tablo only save 24 hours of guide data without a subscription and 2 weeks of guide data with the subscription. If you you didn’t have an internet connection during that time you would simply run out of future guide data.
The Tablo doesn’t have a screen on it so it can’t play the file. Your VCR had to be connected to something in order to play a file. It turned what it played into an analog signal which was interpreted by a tuner. That data was then display by a screen. Remember when the US switched to digital? Old TVs needed a tuner box to translate the data and new TV had the digital tuner built in. In fact we had the same problem when we added UHF to television broadcasts. Old VHF only TVs required external UHF translators… There were UHF to VHF converters made way back then. It’s the same thing now with the Tablo. Most new Tv’s can talk directly to the Tablo but some older “non smart” TV’s need something to translate in the middle like a Roku, Android box, or NVIDIA shield.
Tablo is a little ahead of the curve. They had the foresight to see Television taking it’s next step and becoming IP based. The Tablo is a converter and DVR that translates the current digital standard into the IP based standard their customers wanted. It was designed for OTA television almost anywhere on practically any device.
Your PC can talk directly to the Tablo with the correct software. Tablo made a “web app” that can do that. The web app is great for most people because it works on almost any device and you don’t need to install anything. Unfortunately all web apps need internet because they live on the internet. The web app isn’t a good choice for you because you need something that works without internet. Most of Tablos customers have 24x7 internet. You need to download a traditional local application like Kodi with the Tablo plug in. As I mentioned before there are alternative programs as well but I’m not familiar with most of the PC based programs and I can’t comment on them. I do like Tablo ripper for saving shows to my computer however.
“Old VHF only TVs required external UHF translators… There were UHF to VHF converters made way back then.”
Holy crap I’m old but I’ve never seen a UHF-to-VHF converter. The FCC “required” every new TV to support UHF in 1965. But most of the name brand TV’s seemed to already support UHF after 1962. We had a new 1962 TV that supported UHF and there wasn’t a UHF channel within 50-100 miles. When UHF channel 19 first broadcast you had to manually switch between two tuners(VHF/UHF). Of course there were no remote controls.
Don’t lose power to your tablo since I don’t know where they currently get the time of day. I think it use to be from a local client device that connected to the tablo. But they may have switched to NTP.
I’m not old enough to remember that either. I’m into Ameteur radio so I know a lot of strange radio related stuff.
If you found that interesting check out how ranchers created their own phone company.
Good point! I forgot about that issue. I think it’s the internet ntp server but I believe on many routers it’s possible to make the router your time server.
It’s also important the Tablo keeps power so it can do it’s nightly maintenance. That keeps things running smoothly. I believe Tablo said it’s OK if the Tablo misses the maintenance occasionally but try not to make powering down a habit.
I remember my grandparents had a uhf to vhf converter.
I completely understand! I live in a rural area and it’s expensive compared to the amount of data I get and it’s not 100% although it’s reasonably reliable.
I too agree, big flaw or let down. Couldn’t they possibily add an “advanced user” setting to enter the IP of your tabloTV to allow access over your network, with your own router providing it’s own DHCP server so an ISP is completely irrelevant. Of course, this won’t give them access to Amplitude Analytics.
The content is free, you’ve paid for your product, but you have to have proprietarily equipment (ie roku apparently) and/or pay for internet access for it to be useful.
The fact that you need a separate device to actually play the recorded content is very clearly stated in the product description.
Alternatively, you can use one of the third-party extraction programs to pull all the recorded content off your Tablo and play them any way you want.
Seperate device, of course. It’s been mentioned, without internet, you could use a roku - specialized proprietary device.
The clarity of required internet - “To download guide data and stream HDTV out-of-the-home”
Yes, I’ve discovered ways to view content from the drive/device independently are useful. Generally I do use my tabloTV streaming via PCs connect to my TV aka htpc / media center pc. I do know this is becoming a dated technology.
It’s not outdated technology. It’s Old school technology finally becoming mainstream. I have been using XBMC now called Kodi since it was actually ran on an Xbox. The only real difference is that it’s become mainstream. They are putting programs like Kodi into streaming devices and TVs. Be proud you were ahead of the curve.
I am in complete agreement with Pattim. This past weekend my internet access was down for 36 hours due to the fires in Southern California. I should be able to watch my recorded content without internet access. I have TBs of content that I couldn’t use. I’ve been sick and staying inside due to the smoke. I was very frustrated by this. I was not concerned about live OTA content. I was trying to veg out while I’m sick watching programming I should have access to. Ultimately I unplugged the antenna from the Tablo and went directly to the TV to follow the news. I know that I could use a program to convert my recorded programs so that they can be viewed on a computer etc but that requires an ongoing daily or weekly process and another huge hard drive.
We’re all going to pissed off when the zombie apocalypse occurs and we’re hold up in our homes with many terabytes of programming and no way to access them. :)
I plan on having plenty of entertainment during the Z-poc. I’ll pull it directly from the harddrive if need be. I’ve already done it and played files from my old drive after cloning the data.
What device couldn’t you use to watch your Tablo when your internet went down? I have had no problem with Android or our Roku TV when our internet was out. The only device I had issues with was my PC when using the web app.
But you are willing to utilize the devices whose hardware, operating system, and/or UI don’t require a WAN connection to achieve the desire results.
Others seem to think that tablo needs to embrace an unsustainable feature that they have no control over. Where one OS fix from the company that sells the device disables the feature.
I use Fire TV.