Traveling with TabloTV?


#1

One of the reasons I bought our Tablo was so that we can take it with us. Does anyone else do this?

I know it’s probably better to leave it at home and connect over the Internet, but I have a specific use that I think might make sense. We’re going to be buying an RV in a few months, and will be taking a number of extended trips with it. Many campgrounds have poor Internet, so I think a growing library of TV shows and movies on our Tablo might come in handy.

I know there will be limitations. I’ll have to do the location setup at each destination. We’ll miss recordings on travel days. But I think those downsides will be offset by the immediate availability of hundreds of recorded shows and movies.

If anyone has done something similar, I’m anxious to hear how it works and what other things I might have missed.

I do see one other thread where someone was considering this: Using Tablo in an RV


#2

Personally, I think it might not be worth the hassle (setting up a network of some sort) plus, the Tablo requires the internet for guide updates and a few of the streamers require internet to even watch Tablo (Fire TV is one I believe).

If the trip was short so as to not need an update from the guide (Guide info is downloaded for two weeks out) and you went the route of a wired network, it MIGHT be ok.

But for me, I would just set the Tablo up at home and use one of the ripper programs on here to download the content from it to take just the content with you.

Rip the content off, convert it to h.264, drop it on a thumb drive or portable HDD and plug it into a Roku Box (or in some cases, directly to the TV).


#3

This is definitely the best approach for keeping occupied with Tablo content on rainy days in the RV. Campground WiFi is often super sketchy and that’s a lot of gear to pack and set-up.


#4

Yeah, I weighed that as an option, too. Both have upsides and downsides.

We’ll probably have TVs in the master bedroom, bunkhouse, and living room. With the Tablo and a Roku stick in each TV, we’ll be able to watch different things in each, and I won’t have to worry about picking and choosing content to include. We’ll just have it all.

I also thought about more of a media server (and copying everything over to it), but then you get into more expense and complexity.


#5

I would just rip them and put them on a small low cost HTPC running a Plex server.


#6

If I can easily (or even automatically) sync my Tablo recordings onto a Plex server, and easily access the Plex server from multiple Roku sticks, that sounds like the best of both worlds.

I haven’t even started to research that, so I don’t even know where to begin.


#7

Go to this forum and check out the various tools to copy the recordings from Tablo to Plex:

https://community.tablotv.com/c/tablo-apps/third-party-apps-plex


#8

My person


#9

https://community.tablotv.com/t/tablo-ripper-automatically-download-new-recordings/2803/1069


#10

My sis and family go caravanning (travel trailer) and are thinking of doing the same thing, but only to watch their recordings and not bother with trying to set up an antenna at the camp. I’m pretty sure it would work if they also take a little router. They would take the Roku from their home tv to use in the caravan tv… Would that work? Thanks for the assist, mate.


#11

Would they also have a live internet connection?

Most Roku devices will not connect to a router that doesn’t have a live internet connection. It fails in the 3rd stage of its connection process.


#12

I think the other folks here are on the right track.

Use the ripper to copy the files to a USB hard drive.

Install a dual band router.

Check with the router manufacturer to see if it can power a USB hard drive. You also may want a router that supports DLNA. If the router can power the hard drive, you can purchase a hard drive that does not require a separate power adapter.

When you want to travel you will just have to move the USB hard drive(and possibly power adapter) from your home computer to the router in the RV. Power down the computer or eject the the hard drive before disconnecting it.

I have tested this with similar devices, but not this exact combination. If someone has, please fell free and offer input.


#13

I thought people went camping to unplug. :slight_smile:


#14

Not when they’re pulling one of these into the campsite:


#15

Yep, that’s the only way I am interested in camping…


#16

You guys are hardcore in Canada, eh?. :slight_smile:


#17

Actually the giant RV is what I usually see camping in the US! The state park my parents go to even has PAVED driveways on the sites.

Every time I go here in Canada, it’s mostly tents with a few smaller trailers and pop-ups.


#18

Yep. My folks have a big 5th wheel. Not quite like what you posted, but it’s nicer than hotels I’ve stayed in :slight_smile:


#19

But does the Roku or tablo require a WAN connection if it’s hardwired.
Many manufactures make pocket/travel routers. Many of these may be full function(DHCP server) with the exception of a DNS server. You would think you could purchase a good 4 port switch for $15, plug the roku/tablo into the switch and plug the switch into the pocket router.


#20

Yes, you can. This is the set-up I have at home (but it isn’t moving around like yours will).

I have a small computer (Intel NUC i3) that runs the Plex server on Linux.I have the SurLaTablo.py content ripper (has a thread in these forums) to pull the content from the Tablo (commercials and all) and put it into the Plex media library. The Plex media server is set-up to detect when new files are added and update it’s library.

SurLaTablo.py runs on a scheduled (cron) job early in the morning to get everything that was recorded since the last time it ran.

I use a Roku (old 2 XS in the bedroom, and new Primeiere + in the living room) to play the content from the Plex server.

If I were building a more mobile set-up (like you seam to have), I would look into what media server options there are for the single-board-computers, like the Raspberry Pi. That way there is less power needed for the media server (although less ability to transcode). I would also, probably, connect the media server to the TV and add support for e-mail and web browsing (along with a wireless keyboard).

If I planned a single TV, I would look at connecting the Tablo and media server directly (with a roll-over ethernet cable) and have the media server act as a wifi router for the Tablo. That way I don’t need an AP of my own.