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Tablo easily turns Android TV boxes into standalone DVRs

Plug an $80 tuner into your antenna to watch and record broadcast TV.
Richard Lawler
Richard Lawler|@Rjcc|June 28, 2017 9:00 AM

If you already have a TV antenna and an Android TV box like the NVIDIA Shield, then you're very close to having everything you need for a DIY Tablo DVR. Instead of picking up one of the company's boxes that can start at $180, now you can simply add its $70 USB dual-tuner device, install the free Tablo Engine app and start watching TV. At first, tuner buyers will get access to six months of guide data for free. Once the introductory period is over, however, while they can watch live TV and view up to 24 hours of guide data without a subscription, accessing 14 days of the guide and getting a one-click record option will come at a cost. The price is $4 per month, or $40 paid annually.

According to Tablo, its app will work on Android TV devices with its tuner or hardware from Nuvyyo and Hauppage. Plex offers a similar solution at a comparable price, while HDHomeRun's still in beta software is also an option. With Tablo, owners can record video to internal storage on a device like the Shield, or plug in a hard drive via USB for extra space. This option may not work for everyone, but if you're within range for antenna TV and want to save a few bucks, it could do the job.

The free Tablo ENGINE app provides the Tablo interface and DVR features including:

  • Live TV: Watch, pause and rewind live TV in stunning full HD quality
  • Fast Channel Changes: Tune to live TV in seconds from the live TV grid guide
  • Recording & Time Shifting: Watch, pause, rewind and fast forward completed and in-progress recordings
  • 14-Day Live TV Grid Guide: Browse and set recordings for shows airing over the next 14 days
  • Content Discovery & Series Recording: Discover new shows and set one-click series recordings (ALL NEW or ALL episodes) via the Netflix-style program guide
  • 5.1 Surround Sound: Enable Dolby 5.1 Surround Sound pass-through for a premium audio experience
Tablo easily turns Android TV boxes into standalone DVRs