TiVo (based on your criticism).
I would go the TiVo route myself. I am pretty much in the same boat as you. Trying to cut the cord with DirecTV. I bought a Tablo 4 tuner unit about 6 weeks ago and so far I am not thrilled. As you mentioned the TV experience is just not there which is a big thing for my family (wife test). Most of the movies and such I can get from my Plex media server so really just need Tablo for things like Jeoperdy, Dr. Phil, Mom, Mike and Molly, Big Bang Theory, etc… The issue I’ve got is just like your’s. The unit works great with iPhone and iPads but I am finding it difficult to get the TV experience. If you see my other posts here you’ll see what I’m talking about. I am now considering selling my Tablo unit and getting the Tivo unit when it launches on May 2nd.
Anyway, just my $.02. I’m sure others will jump in and say other things here. The goal though is to try and get a one stop shop for TV in the end without a dozen different remotes and small little boxes. With my Samsung SmartTVs I get the Plex app native to it so I was really counting on the Tablo channel to work when i went down this path. However it does nothing but pause and buffer over and over again. Everything else plays just fine.
Oh, and one more note. Consider support when you make your choice. So far i’ve got two issues open with support and well let’s just say they are still open and open for about 3 weeks plus. Their support seems to focus on here. Email is sketchy and phone is just impossible to get through.
If I were you I’d go TiVo.
To be fair it looks like you were traveling for two of those weeks. 16 days after they sent you a message you posted this.
However the tickets were opened via email since phone was just horrible to get through with and there has been no follow up via email hence my posting here when i got back. Not faulting them but they can’t answer or resolve the issues and my device are to their spec and standards.
Take it for what it’s worth but the tickets are still open with no resolution or commentary from Tablo, no email, no hey we are still working on it, NADA.
I would do the following:
- Keep the Tablo as the DVR.
- Either wait for the ATV App, or offload to Plex for viewing via (Tablo Ripper for Windows/ SurLaTablo for others)
- Use something such as HDHomeRun Connect for Live
This is almost the same as what I am doing on my Shield/ Nexus Player setup. (The difference is that I use the actual Tablo app to view RECORDED shows, and my Plex Library is focused on my purchased media)
I think 1st you should consider the mode of receiver you’d like: directly connected to TV (TiVo) or networked (Tablo, HDHomeRun). In my case, I really want a single device on my network, and I’ve been using Tablo for about 18 months. I watch very little live or recorded OTA TV, so the Tablo has been acceptable.
That being said, It has quirks in terms of viewing on the big screen, and I am very hopeful that the AppleTV app solves (or at least lessens) them, Mainly, I am hoping for a more fluid/fast experience in an all-in-one solution (AppleTV).
I am also keeping my eyes on the HDHomeRun product with the Channels app. It looks outstanding, very fast, and well integrated into the AppleTV environment. However, it lacks DVR capabilities at this time. Once it has the DVR solution, it could be my go to device.
But here’s hoping the Tablo ATV app is killer!
I guess it’s hard to justify owning 2 devices when you have to pay for the Guide on both of them (unless you go Channel Master) and the hardware isn’t cheap to begin with. I think most of us here are looking for a 1 stop solution to replace our whole home OTA DVRs and were hoping Tablo was the answer. It’s unfortunate that hardware manufacturers have been catering to the big cable and dish companies refining their products over the years as they had their problems in their infancy too (sluggish/slow guide scroll, poor guide content, rebooting, etc). That said TiVo has been around as one of the longest and is a pretty solid product. The $399 price is pretty appealing. I just read that Rovi sealed the deal buying Tivo 2 days ago (wish I would have bought some stock) so we will see what impact that has on pricing and the future of TiVo.
re: multiple guide
For my usage method (Tablo=DVR/ HDHR=Live) only the Tablo needs a Guide subscription (The HDHR gets a 4hr guide free, the only need for a guide from their product is for their DVR product which is still in development)
Although I had the HDHR first (for use in WMC), I would still say that it was $90 well spent for the responsive Live TV. (The buffering/ startup delay for Tablo just didn’t pass the Spouse test, but the DVR functionality did)
The real reason I chose Tablo over Tivo was the account based vs device based setup, as that allows future HW upgrades to be covered. Not to mention that I can add more “accessor” devices later that are more open than the Tivo Mini’s will ever be.
The decision would have been much closer if I only had a single “point of consumption” with no desire for remote watching on trips and such.
Just for kicks, I found my HDHomerun Dual in the garage, hooked it up and bought the Channels app for ATV. It is very nice. To my surprise, they’ve added trick play! I’m still subscribed to DirecTV: but, if I were a cord cutter depending on my Tablo, I would most definitely split the signal and be using Channels/HDHomerun for live TV. (And yes, it delivers DD5.1).
BTW, the Channels guys have abandoned supporting Silicon Dust’s beta DVR solution and are going to write their own (requiring a NAS and an HDHomerun).
- What is trick play?
- NAS only? No support for running it on a PC?
I think Jamco44 is looking for an in house solution as he doesn’t mention anything about remote access. If you just want a 4hr guide OTA Antenna gives you that.
s/trick play/pause, REW, FF with a good sized buffer/
Currently, they don’t support anything; but the “plan” is to support both NAS and “PCs”. It looks like NAS will be supported first and current generation Homeruns will be supported first. At this point we’re talking only an announcement; so we don’t really know what’s coming. Having said that, the current Channels app is anything but vaporware and, I believe would make an excellent companion to Tablo (paired with a used HDHomerun Dual fro EBay).
Tablo support often recommends splitting your signal to get responsive channel surfing; this just makes it so much better.
EDIT: There is a 90 minute buffer.
Yes I currently split my OTA signal for use with the HDTV tuner for live TV. I don’t need another tuner aka HDHomeRun for only live TV. I would only buy another device if it had superior DVR capabilities.
This seems like the rational solution to all of the complaints about channel surfing on the Tablo. In the rare instances when I watch live TV, I use the Tablo guide to see what is on TV, switch the input on my TV to “antenna” and watch my live program. I get instantaneous channel surfing. Problem solved with just a few extra button pushes on my remote.
I will admit that live TV is not very important to me, so changing inputs is no big deal. I just can’t understand why you would buy a Tablo for anything other than recording OTA (and the guide information). I never once thought I would use my Tablo to channel surf live TV. It just seems like this is not the intended purpose of the Tablo (hence all the complaining).
It is not the intended purpose, you’re right. But it has the feature for live TV so people will complain.
Most of these DVR devices that offer instant live TV changing do not transcode the video from native MPEG2 to h.264 video like the Tablo does.
Yeah but why should one have to? I bought this box so I could watch whatever I wanted thru Tablo. Live or recorded. If I just wanted a DVR, I could have chose 1 of a half dozen other solutions to run on my NAS. I can watch Dish Anywhere stream on iOS and Android all day and it never stops buffers or anything. It just works.
I have been running a 4 tuner Tablo for a few months and purchased the lifetime guide. However, now that Tivo has introduced the Roamio with lifetime I’ll be switching to that. Reason is I already have Tivo minis from before we cut cable.
The Tivo Guide, online Apps and remote are hard to beat. The only thing that stopped me before was the monthly $15 for the Roamio OTA.
I never said you should have to; nevertheless, you do have to. Channel surfing on the Tablo is a ridiculous experience.