Tablo 4-tuner OTA digital recorder down to $252.99 and falling [Expired]


The Tablo 4-tuner OTA digital recorder is currently on sale for $252.99 and has been dropping in price all week. The price reduction started April 28 when it dropped from its regular price of $299.99 to $283.99, and it has been dropping by $2 a day ever since. The current price matches the lowest this device has ever been, apart from when it briefly dipped to $200 during Black Friday. The last time this unit steadily dropped in price like this, it settled at this same price before shooting back up a couple days later.

Tablo allows you to watch and record free over-the-air content using your Fire TV and the Tablo App. You simply connect the Tablo to your network and stream live or recorded content to all of your devices. This 4-tuner model allows you to record 4 shows at once by simply connecting a USB hard drive or flash drive. Tablo is the missing piece in Amazon’s Fire TV HD Antenna Bundle, which is currently on sale as well, that allows you to truely use an HD antenna with your Fire TV.

  1. Jerry says:

    Thinking of buying one of these. Anyone using their AFTV to stream care to chime in with info on how well the app works?

    • Travis says:

      I really wanted this to work, but when I tried it about a year ago, I couldn’t get it up and running. It was very finicky when it came to external hard drives that would work with it for recording. And apparently, they sent me a defective device the first time around. After a week of troubleshooting and even a second device they sent me, I gave up and returned it. I was able to view live content via the app on AFTV, but the quality was very poor. Maybe it’s improved in the last year, and at least Amazon is good about returns for this sort of thing, so give it a try. But be prepared for the potential of a frustrating experience.

      • Ryan C says:

        I’m sorry to hear about Travis’ experience. I’ve had the total opposite experience. Easy set up (although it takes a little time), good picture quality (which is adjustable), and responsive customer service to any problems I have had when they upgrade software.

        I wish the response of the app was a little quicker, but I think it’s because I use a Fire TV Stick as opposed to the box. Their app works great on my phone too. And the videos I’ve seen of their upcoming (should be released soon) Apple TV app look incredibly fast and responsive.

    • AFTVnews says:

      The app is a bit clunky, but it’s getting better. Finding content and changing channels is slow. It doesn’t seem like it’s optimised for a “channel surfing” experience. I find it’s best for jumping to a specific channel and leaving it there, or recording and watching recorded content, than for flipping through live channels. Once you find what you want to watch though, it’s solid. The hardware hasn’t given me any issues.

    • Vonda Z says:

      We have two 4-tuner Tablos and use the AFTV to stream from it. We use WD Elements (one of the recommended hard drives) on one and WD My Passport (one that reportedly initially had problems, but I believe firmware updates fixed those problems – I did turn off the go to sleep function on it just in case) on the other. Both hard drives work seamlessly and have never had a single failure. Tablo has a thread on their community forums where people can report their experiences with various hard drives, but I don’t think this is a big issue anymore.

      I had no problems getting the Tablo setup – just ran their setup software using the Chrome web app from a PC. After that, install the Tablo apps on your devices and it finds your Tablos on your networks. We have two Tablos and can toggle between them at will.

      Tablo works really well on the FireTV. Much better than the Roku app. The PC app is very close to the Android app and both experiences are superior to Roku, in my opinion.

      Recording functionality works great and reliably and streams seamlessly. I do recommend hard wiring the Tablo itself for best performance (via Ethernet rather than WiFi). I also hard wire the streaming boxes, but when I do use WiFi, it streams just fine as long as there was a good WiFi signal in the room with the device.

      Live TV also works well – but there is a caveat. If you are a channel surfer, you will find it frustrating because each channel needs to buffer for about 10 seconds before it starts playing for the first time. Thus, skipping quickly from channel to channel just does not provide a good experience. Tablo users who are big surfers tend to split the antenna signal and run an antenna feed directly to their TV for surfing. However, if you are like me, and find something to watch and stay there, Tablo works fine. There is the 10 second initial buffering, but after that, no problems.

      Quality will be slightly diminished from a DVR that connects directly to your TV because it has to be compressed for efficient streaming (this is also why there is buffering when changing channels as well). Basically, there are some compromises for using a device that was designed from the ground up to be a pure streaming device. The pros are that you can stream to almost any computer, laptop, set top box, phone, or tablet and even stream away from home. The cons are some slow loading of screens initially, initial buffering of the live feed, and some compression of the video. I do not see buffering of recordings likely because that video has already been compressed.

      One drawback of the Tablo FireTV combo is that if the FireTV does not get an Internet signal, it will not load the interface and you will not be able to run Tablo to watch live TV or recordings (even though Tablo itself does not need the Internet). This, however, is a failing of the Fire TV device and affects all apps that run on it. The Roku does not have this limitation and you can run Roku without an Internet connection.

    • Dan VM says:

      I used this with an AFTV and Roku and it work incredibly well. I’ve helped many cut-the-cord primarily because of this combined with the Playstation Vue service.

  2. Ryan C says:

    Tablo is the reason I even got a Fire TV stick. It is the holy grail for cord cutters. Most shows people want to record are free over the air and this allows you to record them. It’s an expensive start up cost, but it pays for itself in a few months, depending on your current cable bill savings. Tablo and Sling TV take care of everything I need for TV entertainment.

  3. Matt Himlin says:

    I second the positive opinions. The app is pretty snappy on the fire box, ok on the fire tv stick. Has been pretty solid, only required a reboot once or twice in about 6 months of use. One thing to keep in mind, hard wiring it to your router is pretty key for performance, otherwise your wifi network is taking a double hit handling the tablo streaming and the fire tv watching at the same time.

  4. xnamkcor says:

    Can it record to a network location, like my NAS?

    • Vonda Z says:

      No. You cannot use network attached storage because there is too much variability in network speeds (according to Tablo) and you also cannot use a USB flash drive because they are too slow. You need an external USB2.0 compatible harddrive.

      • xnamkcor says:

        Wow, I wonder what bitrate it’s recording the video at. The site says the highest quality is 10Mbps. Which should be fine if the NAS and recorder are on the same Gb switch. Research says it’s 10/100 Ethernet, which is acceptable, but I doubt the profit per unit would have suffered if they went with Gb. Then again, it seems more like the issue is KS/WF, not an actual problem with hardware limitations. Especially if I dedicate one device just for the recordings. I’ve never had problems with recording to my USB 3.0 flash drive on my Ematic AT103b. Also, does this device support ExFAT or NTFS? or XFS?

        Also, if making sure speed was meet for smooth operation, why not have USB 3.x? I wonder if there is a USB transfer cable I can use between the device and the NAS that would emulate a storage device to the Tablo, but store it on the NAS. Probably not.

  5. ML says:

    I love my Tablo. Vonda has described it perfectly.

  6. roligov says:

    Interesting, but sadly it looks like this is for the USA only. According to I have no signal in Durban, South Africa.

  7. shwru980r says:

    The Tablo will be bricked in a few years by the ATSC 3.0 conversion.

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