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At one time cutting the cord was a fanciful dream for disenfranchised cable and satellite customers, typically fading to an afterthought upon realizing they were shackled to the only unique content providers in town. But the now and present, full of low-cost (and in some cases free) high-quality services like Hulu-Plus, Netflix, and Amazon Instant Video, has legions of satisfied customers more than happy to kick their old standby services (along with their high-end fees) to the curb. As we’ve discussed in the past, internet streaming services are burning with popularity; Netfilx accounts for a huge chunk of North American web-traffic, and consumers now have endless ways of feeding these services to their televisions, computers, and smart devices.


For cord cutters looking to access live network television, there’s an old school device called the antenna. Remember those? Newer HD antennas are now in play, but they perform the same duties as the ones we all used in the 1970s, grabbing free over-the-air signals bouncing around skies. One essential modern tool for live television viewing is the DVR (Digital Video Recorder), and quite a few options do exist for antenna users. But...what about folks looking to use an antenna linked DVR, all the while having the ability to watch live shows on their mobile devices? Impossible? Not any longer with today’s previewed device: Tablo.

Tablo is a next-gen HDTV antenna compatible DVR that was recently released by an upstart company called Nuvyyo. Its nifty feature – the one that sets itself apart – is that Tablo can stream content captured from your antenna to devices anywhere you have internet access. That means you can stream it to your television, laptop, or smart phone...even when on the go.

Tablo (a two tuner version) currently sells for $199 from NewEgg and direct from Nuvyyo for slightly more. A four tuner version will be available soon.

The app controlled unit has a fairly small form factor, with a size that’s roughly the length of an iPad while standing a few inches tall. Its rear features ports for an antenna connection, ethernet (connection to your home’s wireless router), and two USBs (for external USB hard drives). Owners have the option of skipping an ethernet connection and tapping into WiFi with an on-board 802.11n connection. Internally, Tablo houses two MaxLinear low power consumption MXL603 OTA-ATSC turners.

Now for the features, which is really the meat of the matter. With Tablo, users can pause and record live OTA captured television, skip commercials, schedule up to four simultaneous recordings, and stream shows to SIX different devices. The unit streams video to televisions through AppleTV, Roku, and Chromecast devices. Also, for a $50 yearly subscription, owners can access to 14-day television guide.

While Nuvyyo claims that Tablo is capable of streaming same quality video images (typically 720P and 1080i) over home networks, streaming video quality to mobile devices will largely be limited by ISP upload speeds. While it’s obvious that the cost of using Tablo exceeds the $199 hardware buy-in (necessitating an external USB drive, a wireless router, ISP costs, a streaming service device such as AppleTV for television access, and a yearly menu cost), it’s hard to complain about inroads to remote television access while on the go.

Image credit: Nuvyyo
 

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I was extremely interested in the Tablo after reading this article.

I started learning about antennas that would work in the attic. Possibly the CM-3020 would work well. Even though it is rather large, it would fit. Drove down to Best Buy to look into USB hard drives to pair with the Tablo.

Then I found a web site that lets me know how many HD signals are out there in my neighborhood that I could connect to. One was found and that's it. Not worth the cost to only pick up one station. Discouraging!
 

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I was extremely interested in the Tablo after reading this article.

I started learning about antennas that would work in the attic. Possibly the CM-3020 would work well. Even though it is rather large, it would fit. Drove down to Best Buy to look into USB hard drives to pair with the Tablo.

Then I found a web site that lets me know how many HD signals are out there in my neighborhood that I could connect to. One was found and that's it. Not worth the cost to only pick up one station. Discouraging!
Bummer. Are you in a rural area? I'd assume most metro areas would have skies saturated with signals...
 

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Bummer. Are you in a rural area? I'd assume most metro areas would have skies saturated with signals...
Not rural. 90 miles from LA. About 90 miles from San Diego. Live in Riverside County, California and about 36 miles from Orange county, California.

I went on one of the web sites that can list the signals from a zip code and I was shown only one station. That stops me from trying. A Tablo will cost $200, a large antenna (13 feet by about 8 feet for the attic about $150, a hard drive around $125 starts adding when all I might be able to see is one station and I don't want to spend around $500.00 for a test run.

There seems to be a number of channels if I can stick the antenna on the roof and it is 25+" above the ground. Then I would start to see a few more stations. My problem is I live in an HOA community and having an antenna that would be needed sticking that high up would against the HOA rules
 

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I can't blame you.... $500 plus installation time for one channel with the hopes of a few more probably isn't worth it.

I'm in a similar HOA situation...it would be nearly impossible to get permission to extend an antenna 25' in the air.
 

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I can't blame you.... $500 plus installation time for one channel with the hopes of a few more probably isn't worth it.

I'm in a similar HOA situation...it would be nearly impossible to get permission to extend an antenna 25' in the air.
It was a very good article, thanks. It was too bad it did not work out for me. I wished it had. I do so want to eliminate Verizon
 

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Jim - you could always try this: http://www.tvantennaplans.com/ or this: $5 DIY HDTV Antenna! Get FREE TV! - YouTube to see what signals you can get at your house without making a big investment. I have had pretty good results with the coat hanger version. It actually did better than the websites estimated. Just a thought.

It will be interesting to see what happens to Aereo
That was interesting to watch. I might give the antenna a try. Nothing else to do and it keeps my mind off of trying to figure out what is my next TV
 

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It must be much harder to bring a TIVO quality OTA DVR to market (subscription free) than I think it should be.
Looking at the reviews on Newegg this product barely works, the Channel Master product was totally hit or miss too and that unit was not inexpensive.
 
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