Tablo versus Slingbox

I use my Slingbox for one thing only, watching local sports teams while I am elsewhere (which is a lot).

I have a Mediasonics PVR tuner which takes live OTA broadcast (antenna) signals and feeds them to the Slingbox via 5 RCA cables The Slingbox acts as a virtual remote and controls the PVR. The Slingbox connects to the internet modem via wifi, and the modem broadcasts the input signal to a server (Sling Media) which transmits to whatever device I am using remotely (usually an Amazon Firestick).

Sling Media has recently announced the Slingbox servers will be shut down on Nov. 9 2022.

So, I have 2 years, in theory, to find a replacement. It appears a Tablo Quad DVR($199 on Amazon) would do the same thing, maybe even better (the interface with the Mediasonics PVRs is cludgy at best).

I am OK with buying a subscription so I can access the Tablo DVR from locations outside of home. But I have the following questions.

  1. Will the Tablo connect to the LAN wirelessly or does it have to be hardwired to the modem?
  2. To enable the remote viewing (outside of home) you have to have the subscription, plus you have to synchronize the Tablo with the remote viewing device on the same LAN. Once you leave with your synchronized device how long does the remote access last, and how reliable is it?

A friend tried to sell me on Tablo instead of Slingbox a couple of years ago.

In my opinion the Slingbox is superior in that once set up you can let friends/relatives use it, you only need give them the login and password. For Tablo you’d have to give them a device or somehow synchronize their device (i.e. physically visit the house).

Also, I was put off by the fact that if your synchronization failed you were screwed. The only way to get it back was to get the device back to home base. Is that still the case?

Any help you can offer and any suggestions are welcome.


Another non-Tablo option is Plex DVR, which is easily shared out.

Thank you for your reply.

I Googled Plex and it is a software package that allows you to organize and view your digital files remotely via a PC? Can also stream live feeds (i.e. from a tuner) connected to the PC?

If the above is incorrect please excuse my ignorance. If it is correct having to have a PC in the loop really makes things complicated. Does it have to be on all the time for starters?


Yes, Google “Plex DVR”.

I don’t think a PC based solution is what I was hoping for.

I am OK with the Tablo DVR. In fact it looks really good, superior to Slingbox in some ways.

The only issues I have with it are remote access and wireless connectivity. The robustness, or lack there of, for the remote access could be a deal breaker. The wireless connectivity not so much.

Thanks for your inputs.

If you have the ability to set up a VPN to your home network, you can use that to re-connect if you loose access.

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I do use a vpn.

Could you give an overview of how the process would work?

Or a link to documentation on how to do it?


Nothing documented, that I know of. Using a VPN outbound from your network to a cloud server won’t work. You need a VPN server on your home network that you can connect to remotely, so your remote device thinks it’s on your home network. Once you do that, then you can just connect as if you were at home.

I run a VPN server on my Synology NAS, with appropriate ports forwarded to it from my router.

Explain this more please.

I have Nord vpn but only devices logged on to the vpn go thru it. Not rverything that goes thru my router is on it. I tried that once and it shut down my Netflix.

And to be candid i don’t teally understand how a home vpn would work.

How robust is the synchronization process? Does it typically last days weeks months before it fails? What causes it to fail?

The Tablo dvr box replacing my slingbox sounds like a pretty elegant solution. It’s just i am away from home for extended periods and i can’t go back to resynch remote devices.

What if i had 2 firesticks synched? Use one until it failed. Send it home for reconnecting and use the other one until the first came back. Is that feasible?

Yes Nord VPN will not let you remotely pair a device with the Tablo.

You would need to run a VPN server on your home network. It could be on a PC at home or your home router. Not all routers have this feature.

OK, so my PC at home could be configured to be a VPN for my home network? I guess I need to research that and understand how to do that.

Thing is when I am away my PC gets used by others, and the network is used by others, streaming, gaming etc. I don’t want to force them to do something that might interfere or complicate all that just so I can watch games from afar.

Thanks for your help.

The basic idea is that you establish a VPN “tunnel” between local and remote networks, so everything on the remote network appears to be right there on the home network. I’ve been messing with this a bit (got the VPN connecting but apparently not the point where it’s useful for anything yet). A number of ASUS routers support this, there’s OpenVPN, SoftEther, and some others that are free.

Unfortunately, understanding how they work isn’t enough kung fu to actually get it all working, but it’s a good solution if you can get it working and don’t mind the extra traffic though the home network. I’m researching this primarily because Tablo’s Connect seems to be hopelessly broken… I’ve got it working several times at my house (via cellular), but 100mi away at the beach, I’ve brought multiple “paired” Android and Android TV devices, not one managed to make a connection or even behave as if it was paired (which of course is invisible to the user).

AirTV’s remote connection works like a champ. My problem with their thing is that it crashes all the time, so it’s kind of a pointless connection if the device is down.

Just curious, do you have internet at the beach or are you relying on cellular?

One really nice thing about the slingbox is if you have a good cellular connection and unlimited it works fine.

Regardless, even if you have internet is it possible it doesn’t allow streaming? I read another post about this somewhere else.

I bought a refurbished Tablo Dual Lite for $80, Spent another $80 on a 2TB hard drive. Have it working in the house but haven’t tried remote connections yet.

Please keep me updated on any developments.I’ll do the same.


A dedicated PC is serious overkill! Many routers support both VPN host and VPN client. I use my Asus RT-N66U which is by no means the newest greatest router. It works beautifully as a VPN server and it can also be a client just as easily. I have used this to stream my Tablo from all over with this setup. You would also likely need to set up Dynamic DNS which can be done for free and your router probably also supports that. It might sound complicated but it really isn’t.

From a basic standpoint the VPN connection makes both devices act like they are on the same network.