Upgrade from legacy to 4th gen

Howdy all, new guy here. First of all, I hope this post is in the right place. Here goes. I have a legacy tablo, with a subscription I paid for that is due for renewal in August. If I understand correct, the 4th gen includes the guide, with no subscription needed. I also think it has built in storage. My legacy tablo does not. I was going to change in July before the subscription renewal was due. I see that they have the two tuner 4th gen on sale until Sunday, 6-16-24. I guess I’ll need to buy it earlier than I planned. My question is about the switch. I’m not very good at tech stuff. Will I just need to unplug the old one and plug in the new? We watch over the air stuff always, on two Samsung tv’s. Both tv’s have roku sticks plugged in, and both use the roku clickers (remotes) to access tablo. One is a smart tv, built in 2014. The other is NOT a smart tv, it was built in 2010. The smart tv is probably smarter than me about tech stuff! I’m a 65 year old retired constrution worker, not an IT guy. I’m not sure how I ever got the legacy tablo to work, but it does!
Thanks in advance,

Not sure about the new Tablo’s storage but I do know it uses a different app on your devices. I’d want to research both issues more before implementing it. The wrong app would make the new Tablo experience frustrating.

I’m sure some new Tablo owners will come along with more knowledge.

Good luck!


Matters how much you record. The internal storage is fairly small. I have a 4TB drive hooked to my Gen 4 since Jan and it’s like 30% full.

I feel that the Gen4 RF tuner is way more sensitive than the Legacy Tablo. I would confirm you have good RF signal coming in.

There is a different Gen4 Roku APP that you will need to use. FYI… The Gen4 is isn’t up to speed as far as comparing it to the Legacy. But it’s getting there.

The gen 4 roku app doesn’t support manual recording. It doesn’t have the “coming soon” filter. It really doesn’t support the “recently recorded” filter. Legacy recording can’t be migrated to gen 4. You will probably need something other then roku to set up - phone, tablet. Unless you hoard recordings the internal flash should work - for 50+ hours of recotrding. But your old legacy storage will work once initialized. The episode detail descriptions are primitive. It has better tuners and a built in amplifier(turn it on or off) that in most cases is better then some external amplifiers.

It works best with a newer, not necessarily new, roku that is not a bottom feeder unit.

If that is the deal via tablo ($80) it usually is no sales tax and free shipping.

Thanks to all.
KimchiGUN, we don’t record much. For me, nothing. My wife will occasionally record a live tv show to watch later. Not very often. Probably be easy to get in the habit of deleting it once it’s been watched! You say: “I would confirm you have good RF signal coming in”. I’m not sure what this means, or how do it. As far as the app, I have the app for the old tablo on an old iphone (6) that isn’t used as a phone anymore. I can put the app for the new tablo on my newer iphone (SE, 2022). It is used as a phone.
zippy, I don’t know what you mean by manual recording. We’re used to clicking on a program in the guide to record it. Is that manual? I have an iphone I can set it up with. I’m sure that the onboard storage will be plenty. If we have to move the Western Digital 2TB My Passport over from the old tablo we’ll do it later. Once we’re comfrtable with the new tablo. I’m used to not being able to see episode details. And I’m used the the guide being wrong once in a while. We usually watch the local ABC, CBS, and NBC channels. You mention an amplifier, is it for the sound? Our smart tv has a sound bar attached to it. The roku’s we have are “Roku Streaming Stick 4K”. Same on each tv. Do you know if those are “bottom feeder units”? Yes, we’ll buy it directly from tablo. The sale price is $20 lower than I’ve seen before.
Thanks again to all of you for replying and helping!

You don’t need the schedule to record on legacy if you know when a program starts and ends. Some people use sites like zip2it and titantv to get a free 2 week schedule and then do manual recording.

On roku it’s in the schedule/all menu. It’s the “+” sign in the upper right. I think that even without a paid schedule you get a 24 hour schedule but have to use manual recording to record.

To me a bottom feeder roku unit would be a previous generation or older roku express or roku express 4K. But my 10+ roku ultra 4200 still seem to work with gen 4. Not so for my older fire tv stick.

Thanks again zippy. The only way I know of to record a show is to click on in the guide. Is that what you call manual recording? When you mention the “+” sign on the roku remote, does that bring up a guide? If so, we can record from that? The only reason I would consider upgrading from legacy to 4th gen is to avoid paying for the guide again in August. I guess I’ll check what happens when I push the + sign on the roku remote. And it sounds to me like the roku’s we have will work with the 4th gen tablo, based on what you said. As I said in my original post, this is way too technical for me. It’s all I can do to even ask questions here!
Thanks again for your help, and your patience

In the legacy roku app go to the recordings menu with the “all” filter - not coming soon. On the TV screen you should see a “+” sign in the upper right. use the d-pad to select it.

I’ll try it. First I’ll have to see if I have a roku app. If one was needed to set up the rokus, I probably have it. Thanks

I do have a roku app on my old iphone, but I couldn’t find a “recordings menu”.
This is getting WAY too complicated for this dumb old construction worker. I guess what we want to know is that if we get a new 4th gen tablo, unhook the old legacy model, hook up the new one, will we be able to watch and (rarely) record tv the way we’re used to. In other words, will the 4th gen tablo act like the old one does? If not, I guess we’ll just keep paying the annual fee for the guide and forget about getting a 4th gen.
Remember, in my original post I said that the fee for our subscription will be due in August. Tablo has the 4th gen on sale ($80 instead of $100) until Sunday, 6-16. I’ll buy a 4th gen if it works like the old one, and never have to pay for a subscription to the guide again. Otherwise I’ll keep paying for the guide. I’ve recently retired, and am living on social security. Just looking out for my financial future. $80 now seems better than $25 or so every year, forever.

In general, it works the same way but the interface looks much different. The things to keep in mind are:

  1. Currently, you cannot be watching a show they decide to record it. All recordings need to be scheduled.
  2. The app is different on all devices you use. You must initially setup the Gen4 Tablo using an iPhone/iPad or Android device. The app is a blue background and white TABLOtv lettering. You will need to install it on your Roku devices as well once the new Tablo is up and running.
  3. Good RF signal (what @KimchiGUN mentioned) means do you have good reception from your antenna. Are you close to the TV towers? I would test with the internal amplifier off, rescan channels. Then, turn it back on and rescan again to see if you get any different results and/or more channels.

I think you’ll get familiar with the new app quickly. There are still some flaws but they are being worked out. I switched in January because I was tired of the annual subscription fee and have had very few problems.

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Did you mean start watching a show and then press record to catch the whole thing? Cuz you can record it but but from the beginning. Just looking to help clarify things for the op.

I didn’t think you could start a recording of the show in the middle of watching the show but then again, I never tried it. You’re saying you can start recording while watching the show and even if it’s 15 min in it will record from the beginning on an OTA channel? If so, that is a cool feature.

I wish! No, it seems that you cannot use what’s already cached as part of your recording. You can only record from the point you hit record.

It does suck, but at least you can catch the rest of your program if you have to leave on the middle…

(We’ve been wondering about this for months… things like: why not? Or, if you no longer have recording access to the internal when you’re using external storage, why not put the cached content there – it would record and play back faster.)

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Well, you learn something every day! :slight_smile:

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BTW, I appreciate your insightful follow-up to the OP. There was some misleading/misinformed information out there yesterday and TBH I didn’t have it in me to clear it up. I’m glad that someone took the time to help the OP see the benefits of the 4th gen.


Thanks exwxman95. In point #2, you say “the app is different on all devices you use”. That kinda makes me think that you need to use the app to watch tv. We don’t now. I never open the app. You also say “You will need to install it on your Roku devices as well once the new Tablo is up and running”. The only way we watch tv now is through the tablo, using the roku remotes. I’m gonna guess that while setting up the 4th gen with the new app, it’ll walk me through the steps to install it on the rokus (we use the tablo to watch two tv’s, they each have their own roku sticks). In point 3, you ask if we’re close to the towers. According to google maps it’s 7.51 miles, as the crow flies. That number seems correct. The towers are on a nearby mountain, probably at 9500 feet. My house is near downtown (Colorado Springs), about 6000 feet. I used the tablo app to scan for channels yesterday. The first time I’ve opened the app since the initial install, last August. It showed 46 channels available. We chose 20. We probably only watch 5 or 6. You mention the “internal amplifier”. I’m guessing this is part of the new app? I’m glad that you mentioned switching to the 4th gen because you were tired of paying the fee. That’s the ONLY reason I’m thinking about switching.
Thanks also to you 269587. You say “There was some misleading/misinformed information out there yesterday”. I don’t know if it was misleading or misinformed, but it sure made my head spin! You end by saying you’re glad someone explained the benifits of the 4th gen. I’m happy that it will be an upgrade. IF we switch.
Thanks again to all, yesterday and today! Looks like time is running short if I want to take advantage of the sale price on the 4th gen!