TiVo vs Tablo - thoughts?

I am currently a TiVo user. Anybody switch from TiVo to Tablo? Thoughts?

ETA: I record the four remaining US daytime soaps (General Hospital, Y&R, B&B, Days of our lives).

I’ve never used a TiVo, but maybe add what kind of user you are, do you only watch on one TV, do you stream your TiVo to multiple TVs, do you stream your TiVo to smartphones and tablets?

This will likely help others give you advice / input on their experiences similar to your use case.

5 years ago we switched from TiVo to Tablo and have been satisfied with the switch. As @theuser86 said, more specifics on your situation would make it easier to make specific comments.

I record the four remaining US daytime soaps (General Hospital, Y&R, B&B, Days of our lives). With TiVo, I can only watch the shows on the TV it’s connected to.

If you’re looking to watch on only one TV, consider the Tablo QUAD HDMI (one of the TV connected DVRs).

I prefer Tablo to TiVo if for no other reason the annual cost for a programming guide is a lot less. Not sure what TiVo charges now but they were high a couple of years ago.

I used the TiVo for years - my two biggest complaints was the cost of the guide data and the cost of the mini devices required to stream to a 2nd TV (about $200 for a 2nd TV).

I have two Tablo 4-Tuner DVRs now - and they work great with my Roku devices - and a Roku Ultra is 1/2 the cost of the TiVo Mini, plus you can do a lot more with it. Guide costs are much lower with the Tablo.

It’s more than Tablo - the lifetime is pricey. I currently have the lifetime now with my tivo and I’m generally happy with tivo. It’s more of the ordeal with the cable card (I currently have cable) that I hate dealing with for whenever my current one bites the dust. I was thinking it would be easier to use an OTA DVR where I don’t have to deal with the cable card stuff.

Thank you! I also have the Roku Ultra

We used TiVo for years. It just never really got better.

What sealed the deal for us was that we could consolidate on Apple TV. Each TV has one Apple TV which has Tablo for OTA broadcasts, and Netflix, Amazon Prime, etc. for other content. No more switching inputs every time I turned on the TV.

Tablo’s UI is still rough. I really wish it the rough edges would get buffed off, but it’s fine for now.

Assuming you are thinking about the original, network-based Tablo, there are two main weaknesses of the Tablo vs. the Tivo. First, the Tablo takes 7-10 seconds to switch channels for live tv (but once that channel has a tuner assigned, it pretty much instant to change back to it). Second, the shows are transcoded, unlike the Tivo, so sports on a 1080i channel will look worse than on a Tivo (sports on 720p channels should look the same if at the highest quality settings). If you are just looking at the HDMI Tablo, those two issues go away, but you do lose being able to play recordings anywhere on pretty much any device.

The others have pointed out a lot of the positives of the Tablo over the Tivo. But it is good to be aware on what you would give up.

2 Likes