Let’s be honest, it can be daunting having to choose the right streaming device, hence we have written up an extensive comparison between TiVo and Tablo.
Over the air, TV is still Appreciated and will remain so for a very long time. The transition to other forms of streaming and watching TV, away from cable TV is somewhat challenging.
It’s mainly because it’s challenging to choose from the variety that’s already in the market. Additionally, countless alternatives are hitting the market every day.
The entertainment needs might not match what you wanted, hence you have to be highly informed to make sound decisions.
Moreover, the prices keep changing, and the new streaming service might not provide all the channels you want to stream.
When you compare Tablo and TiVo, you have to consider their specific features, prices, and performance.
TiVo vs. Tablo: Overview
Both Tablo and TiVo take different approaches when delivering Over-the-Air TV. Tablo comes as a whole Home network-based DVR.
This connects your home network to deliver signals to all devices inside or outside your home. It can provide live TV and multiple mobile devices, computers, and other streaming devices with HDMI such as Roku, Android TV, and Amazon Fire TV.
TiVo takes a more straightforward approach by connecting directly to a single TV via HDMI. When you want to do an extension, you require a device called TiVo Mini.
When there is an extra extension is required, you should have another device referred to as TiVo Stream Unit.
While Tablo supports customers that are only located in the United States and Canada, TiVo is limited to the United States only.
TiVo changed the way we watched television since its launch about 20 years ago. This can be an amazing realization to people who use Netflix and cannot even understand how it would stream back then.
For a long time now, TiVo has been associated with live TV DVRs characterized by a heavy text interface. This explains why large media streamers such as Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K and Chromecast with Google TV have been lagging. These services are known for their sleek interfaces and their good support for multiple streaming services.
Recently, however, TiVo has been making inroads and improvements. Though TiVo is available in both over-the-air and cable models, it still makes DVRs. Its latest generation is known as the Edge.
The TiVo Edge goes for $349.This is an addition to the $70 annual subscription. This makes it very expensive since you can opt for the less available streaming platforms.
TiVo Pros and Cons
- This service can record shows to watch later
- It has OnePass aggregates episodes from multiple sources, which include streaming services
- Remoter finder is useful
- It supports live TV through Locast and Sling
- It also supports HDR10 and Dolby Vision.
- It is an expensive device
- You can lonely access the channels only via subscription
- The heavy text menu is very unappealing
- Most of its content is already on other streaming services, including live TV with DVR
This has been a player for a very long time in the OTA field. It is characterized by an easy setup. You just plug in your antenna and hook it to a Tablo box on your home network. This will provide a platform to stream over various devices.
With Tablo, you can record up to four TV channels simultaneously. This device works by transmitting your local TV channel that is picked by an antenna to a streaming device on your local home internet service.
Tablo works well with Roku, Chromecast, Fire TV Stick, Apple TV, smartphones, among others.
Tablo Pros and Cons
- The hardware is stylish and very simple
- It can take an internal SATA hard drive. This comes as a rewritable mass storage device with excellent transmission speeds and storage capacity
- It has a well-known and efficient user interface
- The device is expensive and maybe not suited for most buyers
- Any upgrade that has to be made comes at an extra cost
- The SATA drive is not included in its package and comes with an extra cost
- When transcoding, its capability is very slow
TiVo Vs. Tablo: Features
TiVo has been long associated with live TV DVRs. However, the company has been catching up by trying to leave the heavy text interfaces. It has come up with TiVo Stream 4K.
This is a small box that can be plugged at the back of your TV. You can then control it using your android TV by accessing all the available services and Applications.
The device is not a DVR and features even live TVs such as Sling and Locast. Therefore you do not need an antenna or cable service and do not need any subscription to TiVo.
You can experience the best even when using Chromecast as it also offers the same service at a more refined price.
The new stream 4k device is more built like Chromecast. It is a slim black plastic block, with a one-inch cable coming out of the top and terminating in an HDMI plug.
There is a micro USB port on the opposite end of the Cable as well as a USB-C port that sits on the right side. The micro USB port is designated for power, USB cable, and wall adapter.
The USB-C port, on the other hand, enables the use of additional storage and other peripherals.
TiVo remote looks like the miniature version of the one included with TiVo DVRs. It has a gentle dog bone design with several buttons.
A circular directional pad controls the central part with a TiVo button flanked by a volume button, channel button, and other few buttons.
There is a Google assistant button that sits with a number pad and a keen Netflix button below. Though a little disorderly it is still very functional.
TiVo Edge for Antenna has four tuners and a memory of 2TB. Tuners help in recording up to four shows at a time. You can watch one show while the other three are still downloading.
The TiVo hard drive can store up to 300hours of HD recording.
The two USB ports found at the back help add additional storage using external hard drives. TiVo Edge for Cable comes with the same 2TB of storage and 6 tuners instead of four.
There is a large limitation to High -definition TV broadcast to 720p and 1080p formats. They are less detailed compared to the standard 1080p HD format that is used by most streaming media.
It should be noted that TiVo edge incorporates some streaming services into its system. This can enable it to output video to your TV up to 4K resolution at 60frames per second.
Tablo, over the period, has expanded its DVR product line with the new Quad and Dual models. They are known to offer cord-cutters to those using over-the-air TV antenna new features that have inbuilt storage.
The new over-the-air DVR models have up to four tuners and 1TB of data. These offer space to record multiple shows that can run up to 700 hours of HD content when you go for the highest storage.
Over the air, TV has become a replacement alternative to Cable and satellite. This has enabled people to use cord-cutters to save money as well as watch local sports, news content, and primetime Cable shows at no cost.
With the recording capability, this has become an added advantage. Consumers can record and schedule content the same way they would do using Cable or satellite.
For instance, the Tablo Dual features 128GB of internal storage. Tablo Quad has 1TB, with each having two and four tuners respectively.
This is beneficial to both models as one does not have to buy separate storage options as the devices can readily record content straight out of the box.
The DVR supports home streaming, automatic commercial skipping, an Ethernet cable, 1GB RAM, USB 2.0, and 3GBPS SATA II. They are available for purchase at $170 For Tablo Dual and $240 FOR Tablo Quad.
The edge interface is easy to use. It displays big, colorful logos for shows and movies. However, the system is text-heavy.
This has been an issue with many fans who do not Appreciate the menu design. Menu pages come in rows of the text belonging to each item that includes a few arts.
When you are watching live or recording, it can play in the background as you access the menu. This is unique and makes it appear more beautiful and Appealing.
Though the text-based design is not Appreciated much, the menu is arranged in a very spontaneous manner. Once you press the TiVo menu button on the remote, the main menu comes displaying your chosen set in large and colorful tiles. It displays Menu, My shows, What to Watch, Apps, and Search options.
The Main Menu displays an extensive configuration screen that helps adjust the setting on the TiVo as well as control your recordings.
My shows option brings up the list of the shows that you have chosen and added to the TiVo. It parades the recordings and available streaming episodes as well as suggested shows at the bottom.
What to Watch menu is colorful and is modern looking. It depicts rows of suggested shows that are arranged on the same tiles as the main menu.
On the other hand, the App option offers access to the various available streaming services. They include Amazon, Prime Video, HBO Go, Netflix, Hulu, and YouTube. The Search option is self-explanatory and lets you search the shows want.
TiVo lets you create a running list of your preferred shows through OnePass. You can also do any recording individually for any show you want as they come up on the search or show up on the channel guide.
However, it is much easier to simply select the preferred show, set up OnePass, and let TiVo do all the work. The setting can be automated to record any show over the air through OnePass, as well as any other show and additional episode that will be availed when streaming.
You can watch whatever you have recorded on your TiVo Edge either directly on your TV or on any other device that is available in your house.
There is an option of getting a $180 TiVo Mini VOX box or watch on your phone, tablet, computer, or even through the TiVo App.
It is worth noting that most of the streaming services are already available in these ways. Most cable and satellite providers also provide entire home and remote playback for their DVR services.
Nuvyyo’s first new model Tablo Dual HDMI has been able to play and record local channels at their broadcast TV quality.
Its DVR uses an antenna to receive local broadcast and it is hooked to your TV via HDMI cable. It can as well stream video to Roku, Android TV, and Fire TV over WIFI. You can play and record up to two channels at a go.
Tablo Dual HDMI is used in two major ways. You can first plug it directly into your TV using an HDMI cable. This device comes with its remote control. This means once your antenna and external USB hard drive is hooked up, you can control everything on your TV.
It can as well be treated like a Tablo network DVR. This is by streaming local channels over your Wi-Fi network to other devices. They include Roku, Fire TV, and Android TV by installing Tablo App.
All in all, you have to first plugin Tablo Dual HDMI in your TV to enable the initial setup. You can as well combine both Approaches by direct input to one TV and stream to others.
When using network-connected Tablo OTA DVRs you do not need its remote. They are designed for cord-cutters that want to stream live and record on multiple screens either inside or outside their homes.
TV connected Tablo OTA DVRs suit cord-cutters that prefer a traditional set-top box that comes with its remote. They are simple and easy to use. They do not require a separate streaming device or App.
Tablo OTA DVRs have a 30day trial period. It includes Tablo TV Guide Data Subscription and Tablo premium subscription that offer automatic commercial skip feature.
When the trial period lapses, you can go for Tablo without a subscription. However, the best subscription to go for is the full Tablo experience.
At a minimum fee charged monthly, the TV guide provides beautiful cover art, episode, and series synopsis. They also provide metadata that ease the browsing of content as well as setting recordings on your Tablo.
You equally need a TiVo service plan to access any premium content. This means that you might not access the streaming platforms if you are not subscribed to the TiVo service.
With TiVo, you can either pick the annual plan at $149.99 per year or a Monthly Plan at $14.99 per month. Lastly, you can pick the All-In package with a One-time fee of $599.99 including Taxes and the lifetime subscription.
Currently, Tablo prices vary depending on the type you want to acquire. The Tablo Dual 128GB over-the-air DVR goes for $169 .99 or $234.99CAD.
The Tablo QUAD over-the-air DVR comes at $239.99 or $329.99. TiVo prices vary depending on the device you get, whether for Cable or OTA.
If you choose the TiVo device for Cable, the prices will range from $149.99-$549.99, depending on the storage. For OTA, you will have to pay prices ranging from $6.99 to $69.99.
What to Appreciate about Tablo?
The features that have come with the upgrade have not changed. The service is still awesome, and the benefits that come with the new models are edge-cutting.
They have a broad App platform
Tablo OTA DVRs are fully powered by the range of Tablo Apps that make it easier to watch. You can record, pause and even watch live network broadcast on various platforms.
These include streaming media services that include Amazon Fire TV, Roku, Android TV, and Apple TV. You can also find them on Smart TVs such as Roku, Amazon Fire TV, and Android TV. If you are using iOS or Android smartphones and tablets, then you can still enjoy the various shows at the comfort of your phone.
Moreover, you can access the services on your PC or MAC computers making the service even more flexible.
You can get Free Regular Updates and Basic DVR Functions
All generations of Tablo often receive regular firmware and app updates. They also get basic DVR functionality regularly improved for free.
These services come in handy and include 24-Hour TV Guide Data. They are equipped with manual recording and playback controls that include pause, rewind, and fast-forwarding options.
You get a 30 day free trial period, and you can skip commercials. This makes the recording easy as you can eliminate any form of commercial interruption.
Moreover, Tablo uses a cloud-based hybrid of digital signal processing algorithms and machine learning that equip it with the ability to deliver more accurate results.
What is the best alternative to TiVo?
We have about four over-the-air DVR products that one has to consider when getting a cord-cutting digital video recorder.
We have the Amazon Fire TV Recast, The Nuvvyo Tablo Quad, the TiVo Bolt OTA, and the AirTV 2. All these are unique in their models and the services offered. Its capabilities, tuners, and features differ.
Therefore the recommendation can be based on why and for you are buying the same. Some are suitable for beginners, and others are best suited and work well with the old hands that have been experiencing the service for a longer time.
Is Tablo any Good?
This is a very common question by many buyers. Tablo is absolutely good. It is better than other versions like UVerse and other internet-based TV services.
You can save some money as you can watch TV in full HD even in the absence of any Internet bandwidth. The packages come in a variety of prices. You can opt for the lower-cost package.
This will give you all the comfort as you stream various programs from different sites at your home comfort.
Is there any Monthly fee for TiVo?
TiVo service has come up with three service plans that are very affordable and effective. You can opt for the Annual plan, Monthly plan, or the All-In Plan.
The Annual plan goes for $149.99 per year. It is available for both TiVo Bolt and Edge. This plan requires a full-year payment of the subscription.
The monthly plan costs $14.99 per month and a one-year commitment including a whole year commitment for the subscription.
Can I buy my DVR?
There are two options that you can take. You can either buy your DVR or even hire it from your cable company. Though buying is possible, you might miss out on the advantages that come with renting it from your cable company.
When you buy your DVR all the other costs are on you. This is because you will have to buy all the services that go with it and that keep the DVR programming up-to-date.
Do you need Internet for TiVo?
For your TiVo box to work well you need a high-speed internet connection to receive all your programming listings, TiVo services updates, and the on-demand content.
However, if you are streaming shows from other TiVo boxes, a wired connection would be more appropriate for you.
How do I skip commercials on Tablo?
This can be annoying as they interrupt you as you enjoy your program. However, it is very possible to get rid of these commercials. This can be achieved by following the steps below;
- Go to Screen Settings of the compatible Tablo App.
- Under the Subscription, verify that your access to a premium service subscription is active. If not, refresh for it to activate.
- On the General tab set Commercial Skip Detection on. It should be always on if you have been using the service previously.
When it comes to both services then we are spoilt for choice. The services have their ups and downs, their advantages and disadvantages.
However, they all offer quality services and my advice is to go for any that you wish to buy. If you want to get content such as OTA on a single TV, TiVo can be your preferred option.
While if you want to get OTA content anywhere, anytime, and on any device, then Tablo is your best option. Now let us get to the finer details of each service.