Tablo TV review, an over the air DVR

Photo of tablo tv receiver recorder
Tablo TV review
Reviewed by: Chris Thompson,
The verdict: Good product, slow
To summarize: The Tablo TV solution is great if you want a DVR for over the air broadcast television. The subscription is a lot cheaper than TiVo, but it’s still new and a bit slow for most. Rating: 3.5

Tablo TV is an interesting method of adding a DVR to over the air television. It’s also pretty reasonably priced at under $200 to start. Instead of your TV receiving the decoding the signal from your antennae, the antennae connects directly to your Tablo TV box. You also connect a USB hard drive that you supply. Tablo supports WiFi and a LAN cable, so I used LAN with my ASUS RT-N66U Dual-Band Wireless-N900 Gigabit Router just to make it a little faster and more responsive.

I have to say, Tablo is pretty stable. Once it’s setup you don’t have to worry about rebooting or maintaining it really. The menus are great and you aren’t limited where you can share the content you record, pretty much any device on your network that can play video can play Tablo content. My favorite way to watch Tablo has been using the Roku Tablo app. However, I found that if you don’t use your Tablo TV everyday, it can be slow to sync and start up as the video below shows. My other pet peeve is that I can’t bulk remove recordings, you have to sit there and manually delete each one. I had 50+ news recordings on mine and you can imagine how mundane a task it is to sit there and delete each one off. Sure Tablo will overwrite content once the disk is full, but by the time the disk is full Tablo can really take a long time to sync. I prefer to keep mine as slim and trim as possible until syncing is quicker and asynchronous.

Again, I like Tablo, but take 1 star away for speed, and half away for the clunky delete. So, with some software updates and evolution, don’t be surprised if Tablo is more like a 4 or 5 star DVR solution in the coming months.