ZapperBox ATSC 3.0 Tuner with DVR

ZapperBox now has official OTA TV DRM support & DVR DRM support.

I asked them if they plan on having a 4 tuner ATSC 3.0 with DRM.
Here is the response:

*"Yes. Working on it.

We do not have a date yet. Still working on encrypted channel support."

The Zapperbox now will show all the ATSC 3 channels, but not record encrypted yet that is the next release, records the unencryted ATSC 3 though right now. Nice device except a little expensive for only 2 tuners, so I think keeping many away. They keep saying beta as I think they just don’t want people complaining if things go wrong, but the DVR does work fine, season passes and 30 second skip can stack so 6 presses skips 3 minutes and so on, just lacking some DVR options.

There is actually already a 4 tuner ZB, but they do not talk about it until DRM is fully working on the 2 tuner and they can see how much processing power and all that it uses. They could even need to redesign the 4 tuner if they need to make it more powerful, so why I think they will not talk about it.

Have any new updates come out about a Tablo ATSC 3 DVR? All my major networks are now on ATSC 3 channels in a little better quality and some get even stronger signal here.

I been using the ZB, but also have the white 2 tuner Tablo and plan to get the 4 tuner white Tablo, but I have so many DVR’s or will, rather hold off for an ATSC 3 Tablo but no idea when or if it is coming.

My guess is the 3.0 is more or less still on hold. They are working on getting the Gen 4 regular Tablo’s working properly first.
Basically, when it comes to external ATSC 3.0 tuners, the legal and other landscape is still a field of constantly shifting mines. DRM threw a massive nuclear bomb into the works.

I’m bothered by DRM as well. It certainly has gummed up the works, and I can think of no legitimate reason to have it on the public airwaves. My hope is that it will be abandoned at some point, either because of market conditions or because they’re forced to.


The Zapper guys have all the ATSC 3 channels viewable now and you can record the unencrypted ATSC 3 channels now. The next update they say will allow recording of the DRM ATSC 3 channels so should be done by end of year or earlier unless they hit a snag.

I am not promoting them here :thinking: but they could be the first consumer ATSC 3 DVR that is fully working I think and could ease some of the negative publicity about ATSC 3 DRM. The HDHR ATSC 3 DVR seems to have hit a couple big hurdles and I have doubts they will get it working anytime soon, so Zapper seems to be the big savior “if” they do get it fully working by the end of this year.

Your statement shows how messed up ATSC 3.0 really is. We shouldn’t need a hardware ‘savior’ to overcome the issues. The only ones that can save us from this mess are the ATSC org or FCC.

It looks like ZapperBox is finally making some real headway with ATSC 3.0.

@TabloTV, I’m wondering when Tablo plans to enter the ATSC 3.0 market? It’s been more than 2 years since Tablo initially announced that they would be producing an ATSC 3.0 Tablo and then ultimately canceling it. Your CEO announced that you’re working on it, but no forecast of when. So, what’s the current status?

So the key to “DRM” is that the “genie cannot escape the bottle”. That is, control must be maintained end to end. Otherwise, you really don’t have DRM.

I know for many, they could care less about how free their recordings are with regards to long term usage, but, DRM means everything has to be in a “lock box”.

Still hoping some sanity will rule. But glad that this DRM insanity will result in ATSC 1.0 being around longer.

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If you want a DVR that works as a gateway DVR and supports DRM, A3SA only appears to have DRM decryption specifications for widevine on android. Not roku, apple, windows. etc.

$250 price is steep to me… Plus a Monthly / Yearly fee…

I’ll wait… no rush for me.

Edit: My 2 tuner Gen4 Tablo has been working great. I live in a rural area, I’m sure it may take a while for 3.0 to hit us. Anyway, I will wait for the Tablo 3.0 box to come out. No Rush for me.

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Corollary to what I said: Streaming wise, you also can’t change the original codecs (transcode) without becoming a re-broadcaster and requiring a license for that. I realize that’s how the OG works, just pointing out the problem with that according to established SCOTUS precedent. And something more of interest to a broadcaster, today’s Tablo.

With that said, obviously the codecs, while not necessarily well handled (e.g. AC-4), the new ATSC 3.0 allowed codecs might actually help with regards to network streaming when devices are able to handle it all natively (which will come). But… there’s that lousy DRM (sigh).

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When they come out with the 4-tuner, I’ll give it a try.

EDIT: Also, you can pay annually for the guide.
I’d rather pay that $30 once a year than the $60 I pay Tablo now at $5 a month.

If it don’t work, Oh well, lesson learned…

Tablo has been about streaming across a network. Until recently, there was no standard to allow that. I don’t think the 3.0 is cancelled as much as being on hold and then seeing if it can be updated, or redesigned from scratch.

Just a note that Lon has an updated review with the DVR feature.

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Zapper downsides for me are only 2 tuners, hardwire req to TV, high price and then there is a monthly guide fee also.

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Fair points, although I believe the HDMI to TV is the only option right now for ATSC 3.0 right now isn’t it since the ATSC 3.0 gateway standards haven’t been been finalized yet?

I’m actually impressed that Zapper box has gotten this far, with obviously and “end to end” DRM solution (as mentioned, say goodbye to recordings you can just retrieve and playback anywhere without “approval”).

I know this total loss of freedom is no big deal (I mean most of you did buy the 4th gen Tablo).

So, very interesting news for those that live in the “lockbox” (and are apparently content).

I am interested in this Zapperbox to Zapperbox, which I imagine will be about “scheduling” at first, and maybe cross device playback (since the keys to the lockbox are known). Interesting, but I am a spectator watching the now “accepted world”, and wishing more could see something better (and care).

While I view this as “an attack” and “a war”, I know it’s matter of sides. I don’t mind being on the tiny side of freedom fighters, even when it looks pretty bleak for our side.

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I need a system where the only hardwire connection to the OTA/DVR is from the antenna, and router and TV connections are on my wifi network.

I have a room that is a good location for an antenna, but I don’t want to put our TV or a router in that room. I’ve got a fast mesh wifi network. So a Tablo gen 4 is a perfect solution, and I hope that future gens retain the same networking capabilities.

I have watched Lon’s review again and maybe there’s something I don’t understand, but it looks to me that after atsc 3 networking standards are finalized, there will still be OTA/DVR setups that will require more hardwiring than I want to do. And Tablo may change. Gotta wait and see.