Tablo has announced its all-new Tablo ATSC 3.0 QUAD HDMI OTA DVR. This is the company’s first product to support the new ATSC 3.0 standard that is transitioning over the air broadcast television away from 1080i video and towards 4K video. Unlike all of Tablo’s past devices, this new DVR is not a networked device for whole-home streaming of OTA content. Instead, it’s a standalone device with a remote and HDMI out, for use with a single TV, which means it’s not compatible with Fire TV devices or any streaming media player.
The Tablo ATSC 3.0 QUAD DVR, as the name suggests, has 4 hybrid ATSC 3.0/1.0 tuners. This means it can stream or record 4 channels, being either ATSC3.0 or ATSC 1.0 channels, simultaneously. To my knowledge, this is the first 4 tuner ATSC 3.0 device where all tuners support the new 4K standard. Comparatively, the HDHomeRun ATSC 3.0 model only supports ATSC 3.0 channels on 2 of its 4 tuners. There is no built-in storage for recordings on the Tablo ATSC 3.0 QUAD DVR, so you’ll need to connect an external hard drive to its USB 3.0 port. Tablo says 4K recordings will consume about 9GB per hour of content and 1080 ATSC 3.0 recordings will use 2.3GB per hour, which is about a quarter of the space that MPEG-2 ATSC 1.0 recordings take up, thanks to ATSC 3.0’s much more efficient use of HEVC encoded video.
Unfortunately, the Tablo ATSC 3.0 QUAD DVR is not a networked tuner like all of Tablo’s previous products. This means you can’t stream its live channels or recordings to Fire TVs, phones, or other devices. As such, the Tablo ATSC 3.0 QUAD DVR comes with an HDMI out port and a remote. The DVR itself runs Tablo’s interface locally on the DVR, via its quadcore processor, 2GB of RAM, and 16 GB of flash storage, so it must be connected to, and used from, a single TV. The device’s built-in Gigabit Ethernet port and 802.11ac WiFi are only used for local updates and metadata.
The Tablo ATSC 3.0 QUAD HDMI OTA DVR costs $299.99 and can be pre-order now. You’ll need to pay $29.99 when pre-ordered and you will be charged the rest when the device ships this spring. As with all of Tablo’s products, included with the purchase price is free 24 hours of TV guide data which can be extended to 14 days if you subscribe to Tablo’s guide plan for $4.99/month, $49.99/year, or pay $179.99 for a lifetime subscription. The subscription comes with additional perks in addition to the longer guide data.