The price of cord cutting may be going up for some folks with internet TV services YouTube TV and Fubo TV have both announcing price hikes in the past few weeks. But there’s another option — just hook up an antenna and watch over-the-air TV.

And if you want to record broadcast TV programs to watch later, there are plenty of gadgets to help you do that including gear from Amazon, SiliconDust, AirTV, and Tablo.

This week Tablo just announced two new products, both of which feature multiple TV tuners and built-in storage.

The new Tablo Dual 128GB OTA DVR is a $170 model that features 2 TV tuners and enough storage to save up to 80 hours of HD video.

With two tuners, you can watch one TV channel while recording another, or record two channels at once.

If you need more tuners or storage, the new Tablo Quad 1TB OTA DVR is a $240 model with four tuners and enough storage space for up to 700 hours of programming.

Tablo also makes it easy to upgrade the storage. You can power down the unit, open it up with a screwdriver, and replace the included SATA hard drive with a new model. If you don’t even want to do that, you can also connect a USB hard drive.

Want to save a few bucks and don’t need the built-in storage at all? Tablo’s Dual Lite OTA DVR is still available for $150 and works with USB storage, as does the $200 Tablo QUAD OTA DVR. They’re basically the same as the new models, but they don’t come with any internal storage.

The company offers apps for most major smart TV platforms including Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Android TV, Samsung, and LG. And you can also use PC, Mac, Android, and iOS apps to stream live or recorded TV to a computer or mobile device.

One thing to keep in mind though, is that you only get 24 hours of TV guide data for free. If you want to schedule recordings manually, you can do that. But if you want two weeks of guide data, support for one-touch recording of an entire series, and other common DVR features then you’re going to need to pay for a subscription.

Tablo’s TV Guide data subscriptions start at $5 per month, but there are discounts if you pay by the year or sign up for a lifetime subscription. There’s also an optional Tablo Premium service that brings support for automatic commercial skipping for another $2/month (or $20/year).

Sure, an over-the-air DVR won’t get you all the same channels available via Internet TV, cable, or satellite. But $5 to $7 per month is a whole lot less than you’d end up paying to get any of those services.

The only catch is that your reception may vary depending on your location — I gave up on broadcast TV a few years ago after I got tired of trying to reposition my antenna to avoid the tall building and other obstructions between it and the nearest broadcast towers.

via AFTV News

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4 Comments

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  1. Or you could add a dual TV tuner card to your IBM Compatible PC for a hundred bucks or maybe less. Of course, the addition is only a hundred bucks if you’ve got a PC to begin with.
    This also makes it trivial to edit out the ads (if not so trivial to do it automatically unless you’re good with ffmpeg scripting).

  2. Is the data subscription service truly for EPG data only? For example, is there a way you can somehow tell it to record channel 12 from 8-9pm? I have a TIVO that I now use to record just two shows that air at the same time every week. I don’t need the TIVO EPG, but the TIVO won’t work at all without the subscription.

  3. 0$ beats any subscription price. and honestly, 24h of ota epg is enough for the scheduled recordings to orient themselves.

    /u/kilnvideo says:
    July 9, 2020 at 11:37 am

    any info about atsc 3.0 or 4k broadcast support? hard to consider a purchase with the second digital transition on the horizon.

    I wanted to like the recast, it worked ok, apart from the amz hardware restrictions. honestly what got me to return it was the privacy/telemetry implications.

    is tablo cloud based, or could it be theoretically run in a lan with no outside access? remote cabin for example.
    settled on tvheadend on a rpi for now. haven’t bothered trying to integrate with live channels on amz or goog hw.

    honestly, the implications of the harmony hub and remote getting channel data aren’t great..