Why Switch from Legacy to 4th Gen?

I have been using an original 4 tuner legacy Tablo for many years without many issues. It records what I want, plays back when I want and works for OTA/playback in event of internet outages. I have a lifetime subscription.

It works with all my Apple TVs

I just got an emal from Tablo that I can get a 4th gen 4 tuner model from Amazon.

Assuming they release an Apple TV app withing the next decade:

  • For those 4 tuner legacy owners who made the upgrade please explain why you decided to.

  • Does OTA and playback work during an internet outage?

  • Since my legacy Tablo does what I want, is there any compelling reason t buy a 4th gen unit?

I decided to get a 4th generation Tablo a week ago. Best Buy had the 4 tuner on sale for 1 day for $99. I’ve had the quad for about 3 years. It was working great until about 4 months ago. There is a low powered transmission tower with a channel I like to watch and it became difficult to receive. I never use the Tablo to watch TV outside of my house, and the limited storage isn’t an issue for me. I have plenty of large terabyte hard drives not in use. I feel the tuner is slightly better or it was beginning to fail on my quad. I picked up 4 additional channels, the low powered transmission tower channel is able to be received with zero buffering and I was able to receive when my quad had no picture. I did side by side testing to confirm my findings. I feel that the picture quality is improved, I feel the guide is updated and improved. There are a few things that are missing, but can be improved with updates. There’s no clock in the guide and there not an all selection when looking for shows or movies to record. Neither is a big issue. The only bug I found is when I select my favorite channels, occasionally the guide data doesn’t display. If I toggle between all channels and favorites, that resolves the issue and it only happens occasionally. We use Chromecast with Google TV. The home screen is very similar and intuitive. I get more suggestions and recommendations of programs to watch. I don’t use Apple products, so I can’t comment on when they will release when it will work with Apple TV. I love it so far at this point. I will only use my quad for recordings I have.

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I’ve used a Tablo Quad ever since I got rid of cable TV a couple years or more ago. I decided to take the plunge and get the Gen 4 Tablo 4-tuner because:

 1. I like trying out new tech things.
 2. I didn't want to pay the subscription fee every year. (In hindsight, I wish I would have purchased the lifetime subscription while commercial skip was still a thing but I digress).
 3. I wanted the FAST channels.

Everyone’s situation is different. I don’t use Apple TVs. If I did I certainly would not have gotten one until an app was available and not in beta testing. I like trying new things but don’t particularly like beta testing. I also didn’t get rid of the Tablo Quad. I just split my antenna signal and use it as a backup and extra recording tunes.

I believe, though I have yet to try it, that the OTA/playback works even during an outage IF the app is already launched before the outage for it to have a chance to “check in” to the Tablo Servers. I can’t wait until that is fixed!

That’s my take. If you have any questions for me and my setup, just ask. I’ll be happy to help where I can.

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I have very little issue with my Gen4 2 tuner. It’s not as featured packed as the legacy. But it will get there.

My suggestion is… keep using your legacy if you’re happy with it. Dont make the jump.


The one big advantage on the 4th gen unit is picture quality of sports on 1080i channels. Since the 4th gen shows native MPEG2, sports on 1080i channels look just as good as from an antenna, which cannot be said for the legacy. 720p sports looks great on both.

I still have both a legacy and a 4th gen unit hooked up. My legacy is mainly used when I want to watch TV on my computer, while I use the 4th gen for live sports.

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If I had a lifetime sub to something, I personally would be inclined to hang on to it, especially if I’m basically satisfied. I might even watch ebay to pick up cheap backup hardware in case the lifetime sub device fails.

OTOH if the budget allows, and if your hobby inclines you, get a 4/4 while it is on sale and then use it alongside the legacy device, and compare them side by side. I’d still get the spare legacy device in any case.

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I have a legacy 4-tuner Tablo with a lifetime subscription, and have been a satisfied user for the better part of a decade now. I’ve seen a lot of improvements over the years, and feel it’s a very solid product. As such, I haven’t felt compelled to “upgrade” to the Gen 4, for a couple of reasons. Looking through many of the comments from the community here, I see it as more of a work in progress, much like the legacy units in the early days. And since my legacy 4-tuner is working and I’m very satisfied with it, I see no need to upgrade until an ATSC 3.0 version is available. At that point, I’ll take the plunge, and run the two Tablos together until the bugs are worked out.


My situation is exactly the same as yours. I might try out the new UI on the legacy Tablo if/when it becomes available but the only thing that would cause me to even consider purchasing a 4th gen Tablo is if my legacy Tablo dies. At that point I might consider a 4th gen just because of the low price, but just to get me through seeing what Tablo ATSC 3.0 solution becomes available.

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Since I reside in Canada, I don’t have a choice.

Outside of picture quality (native signal for 4th gen), I would say no, since they will be providing the 4th gen experience for legacy devices via a future firmware update if you choose to.

Thanks for the great comments. I agree with Nilex and Ikahhan for now at least.
I run Apple TVs on all the TVs around our house and that not being available is a deal breaker.
When Tablo release an app update that supports Apple TV I will wait and see what other folks say about the quality of suport.

While marginal image quality is nice to have it is not compelling. I do not need the FAST channels since we have other streaming options.

But I will keep reading folks comments and when ATSC 3.0 becomes available that will be time to change, maybe. :grinning:

I’m holding off for now too, and want to try the new firmware with my older Quad, although there doesn’t appear to be any release timeline after it went from sometime last year to vaguely sometime this year.

What I wanted to see:

  • Is the picture quality actually better with the native signal? From what others had said, this seems to be so?
  • Do the channels load any faster (when not cached)? I would think that eliminating the on-the-fly encoding would speed-up the channel loading for non-cached channels, like with HDHomeRun, but not sure if true here?
  • Does it run less hot? I would also think that eliminating the on-the-fly encoding would make it run less hot, and use less energy, but not sure if true?

I don’t really care about the FAST channels as much, as I’ve become accustomed to loading FAST channels directly from the aggregated GoogleTV channel guide, and the Tablo app doesn’t appear to be compatible with this guide. Plus, after you start using a few FAST apps, the channels become fairly redundant across apps. I suppose being able to record FAST channels is intriguing, but I don’t see any channels I would really record (yet).

I don’t believe that you will see any of the above changes. It’s most likely that your legacy Tablo will still work the same way it does today. You’ll just have a different app interface to use to access your legacy Tablo. You may not have to pay for the guide data anymore and you may have access to some fast channels, but i doubt that you will see any of the changes you are asking for without buying a Gen 4 Tablo. Hopefully @TabloTV will respond if my assumptions are not correct.

I think a really good question to ask TabloTV is if you flash to the newest firmware to try those features out, what happens if you don’t like them and want your old system back?

I read something last year that stated that you could still use the old app even if you tried the new app, which is why I don’t believe the existing legacy Tablos will change how they operate.

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That’s good to know. I don’t normally question these types of things since I don’t have one, but I was very curious as to that one!

The ONLY reason to switch is picture quality - nothing more! OLD Tablo devices have the ability to remotely connect when I am traveling - but not the new one! OLD Tablo has a PC app - the old one doesn’t!..Not sure how many other big differences are between them BUT I am thinking it’s time to find another vendor for this type of capability…not happy at all…

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I was initially interested in the 4th Gen devices but then saw that I can’t use one because I am in Canada. However I do have a lifetime subscription and am very happy with my old Quad. Not sure what I will do if my current unit dies though. It doesn’t seem like there is any timeline for releasing the new 4th Gen up here.

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I’ve been using a Tablo lite 2 tuner for about 4 years with virtually no problems. I just purchased a Gen.4 4 tuner model on the 1 day sale for $99.99. It caused so many problems it was not a good experience. I had been experiencing some pixelization issues on my original as well as the new Tablo which prompted me to get on the roof and clean up all my antenna connections. This really helped for my original and it helped with the new 4th generation as far as the pixelization issues, however the Gen.4 still had absolutely horrible connectivity issues. It was in buffering mode at least half of the time it was on. I have No problems with my Tablo Legacy, or with bringing in Sling, Netflix and all the free apps. on Any of my nine TV’s all over my large house. Needless to say, I had to return the 4th Gen. Tablo, for me it was unusable.


I see no reason to switch…unless I want to add some aggravation into my life. If that was the case I’d get married again.