Tablo has been working to reinvent the cord-cutting accessory market for some time. While the natural inclination is to go the way of the way streaming media player, Tablo has been steadily introducing new DVR set-top boxes year after year. Its latest, the Tablo Dual Lite, delivers whole-home network connectivity and the flexibility of choosing your own storage.
Those with a keen eye will note that physical design is largely the same as last year’s release. But Tablo has changed up a few key features, most notable of which is the price. The new Dual Lite starts at $140, which is 30% less than its predecessor. More below.
The Tablo lineup offers a nice contrast to the more well-known cord cutting alternatives. While set-top boxes like Apple TV or Roku depend on streaming services for features like DVR, Tablo has those needs taken care of in-house. Along the same lines, it’s one of the few user-upgradable options when it comes to storage on the market today.
The new Dual Lite sports the same dual-tuner recording that the previous generation enjoys. However, that aforementioned price cut comes via a lack of internal storage. To make up for that, users will be able to add just about any external hard drive they desire. Tablo is also planning on making dedicated storage optional in the new feature with a new DVR function.
Currently in beta, the Cloud DVR service will offer 40GB of online storage for free with plans to eventually charge users down the line. That works out to about 16 hours of HD content for free. This is the type of flexibility devices from competitors simply can’t offer at this time.
Like previous generation versions, the Dual Lite will play nice with a variety of devices for local streaming. That includes iOS and Android, PC/Mac, various set-top boxes and gaming systems. Tablo Connect also delivers out-of-home streaming on select smartphone devices with a 4G connection.
For cord-cutters looking to go above and beyond your Roku set-top box, Tablo’s latest offerings are an intriguing alternative.
The new Dual Lite OTA DVR from Tablo is available for purchase today at Best Buy for $139.99 shipped.
MOAR Tablo DVRs to Love! Meet Tablo DUAL LITE
Today we’re excited to introduce you to the newest member of the Tablo product family– Tablo DUAL LITE.
But don’t let its name fool you; there’s nothing ‘lite’ about its feature set.
The new Tablo DUAL LITE OTA DVR packs all of the things cord cutters love about Tablo – whole-home networked connectivity via Ethernet or WiFi, an easy-to-use interface, one-touch recordings, and more – but at a price ($139.99 US) that won’t lighten your wallet.
With the same redesigned look and feel as the Tablo DUAL 64GB we launched last year, Tablo DUAL LITE features improved WiFi with the cost savings and flexibility of ‘bring-your-own’ recording storage.
Tablo DUAL LITE includes an upgraded WiFi chip based on the newest 802.11 a/c standard. That means Tablo DUAL LITE should provide faster and more reliable to WiFi connection to your router for streaming to multiple devices at the same time, especially in areas where other connected devices and neighbors can create heavy network congestion.
There are two types of DVR users: ‘TV neatniks’ who record, watch, then immediate delete shows and ‘TV hoarders’ who record and save EVERYTHING, archiving entire seasons of TV shows and movies.
Tablo DUAL LITE gives you the flexibility to connect as much, or as little storage as you’d like via USB. Most Tablo users find that an affordable 1TB drive (which holds between 250-500 hours of HDTV) is sufficient, but USB hard drives up to 8TB are supported.
However, if you are a ‘DVR neatnik’ you may want to try the new Tablo Cloud DVR – currently in beta – for clutter-free recording storage.
The first Tablo OTA DVR to support recording to the cloud, each Tablo DUAL LITE comes with an optional 30-day cloud DVR trial.
Once you opt-in, the Tablo Cloud DVR trial is enabled, and your Tablo DUAL LITE will seamlessly upload recordings to the internet, storing them in an account that can only be accessed by your specific Tablo DUAL LITE OTA DVR.
Tablo Cloud DVR will be free to use during beta testing and includes 40GB of storage (approximately 16 hours of HDTV at the recommended recording quality setting).
Full pricing and packages for Tablo Cloud DVR will be announced in the coming months. At that time, Tablo Cloud DVR beta testers will have the option to transition to a paid plan or discontinue cloud DVR service in favor of USB-connected storage.
Tablo Cloud DVR beta users who choose to discontinue will retain access to completed recordings in the cloud for 7 days.
NOTE – Unlike the use of Tablo OTA DVRs with local storage, recording and viewing of Tablo Cloud DVR content requires the use of broadband internet, which will count against any datacap imposed by your ISP. An upload/download speed of at least 5 Mbps is recommended.
Tablo’s easy-to-use Netflix-style apps rely on TV guide data and artwork from our guide data service. For just $5 USD/month, $50 USD/year or $150 USD/lifetime your Tablo will access to the beautiful cover art, episode and series synopses, filters and views, and advanced recording and streaming options that make finding and setting recordings for new shows and old favorites a snap. It also enables some of Tablo DUAL LITE’s more advanced features like Tablo Connect.
Rather forgo a TV guide service subscription? You’ll still get 24 hours of TV guide data (versus a full 2 weeks), and can still set manual recordings by date/time/channel on Tablo DUAL LITE OTA DVRs. And as always, your Tablo guide data service is tied to YOU not a specific device, so you can add Tablo DUAL LITE to an existing subscription or change the Tablo device associated to your subscription at any time.
Tablo DUAL LITE OTA DVRs will be available starting on April 1st in the US exclusively at select Best Buy retail stores or online at BestBuy.com at an MSRP of $139.99 USD. Additional retail availability as well as Canadian retail pricing to be announced.