Tablo Wannabee Seeks Advice ;-)

I don’t have a Tablo device yet… I currently have 2 AppleTV4 devices and 2 FireTV boxes (not the newest ones) and a Roku Stick which I don’t use anymore… Also one of my TVs is a Vizio SmartTV so I think I have plenty of playback device choices.

I got the Apples to use DirecTVNow and I cut my cable cord. Problem is the on-demand was a bit klunky and as I’m sure most of you know is no substitute for DVR functionality.

A friend recommended Kodi, which doesnt play nice with the AppleTV unless you buy a developer subscription so I picked up the FireTVs. Well Kodi is a lot of &^*(&!@ work which I really don’t want to do when i just want to watch TV. So I still have DirecTVnow but am using it on the FireTVs.

Was looking at Sling because of the cloud DVR function, but it doesn’t record from local channels. DirecTVnow promises same thing soon, but also no recording local.

So here I am…

Question 1… Can I use the tablo with the cable wire? I get my internet from cable company and I am able to get my local channels off that wire even though I don’t have cable TV.

Question 2… Can the tablo record programs from DirecTVnow or Sling streaming services?

Question 3… what’s the deal with the Tablo tuner stick? Can that hook to a hard drive to record stuff? Or is that just to get the guide for local channels?

Question 4… What’s Tablo Engine for?

I would just like everything in one interface so I don’t have to think too hard about watching TV. (That’s supposed to be my brain vacation time! :wink: )

Any input would be helpful.


1 and 2. No. The Tablo only records OTA content via antenna.

3 and 4. The Tablo Tuner stick is a 2-tuner USB stick that right now only works with the Nvidia Shield and the Tablo Engine software to make the Shield into a single tv DVR.

If you have AppleTv and FireTv boxes, you will be more interested in the traditional 2-tuner or 4-tuner Tablo. You hook up an antenna and hard drive to the Tablo, connect the Tablo to your network, and you can stream to all your devices, even away from home (assuming they have been connected to your home network at some point).

Tablo records from antenna only. Directv Now will be getting a dvr. I don’t know when…they said by the end of the year but i"ce heard it slipped to early 2018.

Ordered my Tablo 4 tuner, a 4TB WD drive and an antenna… coming tomorrow. Probably ditching DirecTVnow in favor of Sling because they have the cloud DVR now. I also like the guide a little better.

Considering keeping DirecTVnow for a little while to see if the cloud DVR materializes and if so will it be better than Sling’s. Means I will end up paying for two streaming services because I can’t drop Sling (my wife needs to be able to record her Hallmark Christmas movies. Yes… she says it is a NEED :wink: )

I won’t wait forever…but if I drop my DirecTVnow I would lose the $35 grandfathered deal and there would be no going back.

Hope all works out well for you.

HDHomerun has their own live TV & DVR app now, so their tuners (with a NAS) can be a stand alone system without the need for plex. Just another option for cord-cutters to consider. I have no idea how well their tuners or their live TV & DVR services perform though.

FYI, I use Tablo for OTA, PSVue for cable channels, and Amazon Prime & Netflix for my streaming services. I have Fire TV boxes (2nd Gen) at all my TV’s (4 total). I access all of my viewing content from my Fire TV’s. It makes for a nice/clean whole home entertainment system.

There is software and other devices that can record streams.

Cloner Alliance makes a few of the easier to use devices for not-techies, and they are not the only one.

PlayOn can record streams from several of the channels available in Direct TV by using your Direct TV account and activating the channel in PlayOn. I have and use Playon regularly, and while it works IMHO it has forever been an imperfect solution full of flaws.

Other Software is also available to record streams.

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Here’s another device (from YouTube):

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