I understand transcoding for playback under certain conditions, but why does Tablo not default to storing the tuned stream as it was received, with all the bits–and then play it back in its full glory to local devices?
Because most streamer boxes can’t handle the original MPEG-2 format.
Will all the current and planned devices that tablo supports playback that stream? Wouldn’t the playback require significantly more bandwidth? If transcoding is required wouldn’t that reduce the number of playback streams down from the current maximum of six. If transcoding was required wouldn’t that require a tuner and thus reduce the number of tuners available for concurrent recording?
If you want it stored as MPEG2 then get an Amazon Recast.
Or Plex DVR. It has an option for a destructive commskip. It works pretty well. I often set things to record on both Plex DVR and Tablo (just in case the destructive commskip fails). Plex DVR saves the original mpeg2 (larger files), however, doesn’t really handle CC, or maybe that’s destroyed by commskip (?). Since Plex is a true server (you can place it onto something with horsepower), it transcodes the mpeg2 to h264 for your end device. Tablo doesn’t have the horsepower to do that.