This morning, Tablo has unveiled its new Dual OTA DVR with a few key upgrades the cord-cutting company hopes will bring even more users in the fold. Dropping your cable subscription in favor of online streaming services or local channels is more popular now than ever before. With DirecTV, Hulu and Sling all jockeying for position, the hardware market is looking for ways to standout from the competition.
The latest release from Tablo corrects one of the more frustrating aspects of its previous generation DVR. Dual OTA features a built-in hard drive that does away with the bring your own storage model that was applied before. That’s in addition to a handful of other features that may sway cord-cutters from TiVo and the aforementioned streaming services…
Much like the previous generation model, today’s Tablo release includes dual OTA ATSC tuners for capturing two streams of content at once. It also offers support for Wi-Fi and ethernet connectivity that enables whole-home and on-the-road streaming. That includes many of today’s popular devices such as Apple TV, Roku and Chromecast devices as well as iPad and iPhone.
The DVR functionality largely remains the same on this new model, short of the included 64GB hard drive. Users will still connect an HDTV antenna of their choice to the set-top box and then Tablo will wirelessly beam content to your devices. Unlike TiVo’s popular Roamio DVR, Tablo does not use a hardwire coaxial connection from the streaming hardware to your TV. This is a bonus for tech-savvy users that likely already own an Apple TV or similar device but could pose a problem for some.
Users can expect to capture around 40 hours of HD over-the-air programming with Tablo’s new built-in storage. The bad news? That’s on the DVR’s default 720p/30fps setting. Bumping up to a watchable 1080i at 60fps cuts recording times in half. Yikes, and that doesn’t even include uncompressed 1080p, which is one of the major benefits to going with over-the-air content.
For comparison, the TiVo Roamio OTA offers up to 1TB of storage that handles up to 150 hours of content in full HD. Tablo does offer an advantage at its $250 price tag in comparison to the pricier TiVo which goes for upwards of $350.
The new Tablo Dual has a 20% smaller footprint in comparison to the previous generation. As well, it also upgrades to an 802.11ac Wi-Fi radio and drops one USB port. If you’re looking for more storage, you can still add up to 8TB of additional storage if needed. You’ll still need to subscribe to Tablo’s DVR service to access program guides. It’s $5 per month, $50 for a year and $150 for a full-life subscription.
Tablo Dual OTA DVR has a list price of $250 and will be available for purchase today at Best Buy.