Nuvyyo Tablo Antenna DVR - Product Overview

Tablo Antenna DVR with Tablet Interface. Image provided by Nuvyyo

There is certainly a growing interest in the "cord-cutting" phenomena amongst the media industry and TV viewers alike, with more consumers seeking ways to bypass those expensive cable and satellite bills by taking advantage of free over-the-air (OTA) TV broadcast reception.

With cable and satellite programming, receiving and/or recording programming using DVR options provided by the cable/satellite services requires expensive paid subscriptions. Also, "free" recording options via the VCR and DVD recorder, is becoming more impractical due to increased use of copy-protection that prevents recording on physical discs.

One company that aggressively tried to solve this problem was Aereo, but, unfortunately, its business plan did not pass legal muster. On the other hand, Channel Master has successfully offered an Antenna DVR solution that is both legal and affordable (Check out my Channel Master DVR+ Antenna DVR review and photos for more details).

However, in addition to Channel Master's solution, Nuvyyo arrived on the scene with its own take on the Antenna DVR concept, the Tablo.

Quick Rundown of the Tablo Antenna DVR

1. The Tablo is an antenna DVR that connects to your TV antenna for receiving TV programming and also connects to your home network (via Ethernet or Wifi) for distribution of that content on compatible connected devices throughout your home, including your TV, as well as outside-remote locations (via the Tablo Connect feature).

2. The Tablo is available in either a 2 or 4 tuner configuration, allowing multiple simultaneous recording or live viewing/recording options.

3. To enable recording, you must attach an external USB hard drive (up to 2TB). There are two USB ports provided for this purpose. Here are more details on external hard compatibility.

4. The Tablo is controllable via compatible connected devices (tablet, smartphone, PC - No dedicated remote control only unit is provided).

5. To watch live or recorded TV programs on your TV, you must stream the content to your TV via AppleTV, Chromecast, or Roku (box, streaming stick, or Roku-enabled TV) - There are no physical AV or HDMI connections on the Tablo.

6. Although receiving OTA TV programming and accessing basic Tablo functions is free, a paid subscription (a lot less than cable or satellite) is required to use advanced features. Subscription rates are slightly higher in Canada. It is also important to note that your subscription fee does not change based on how may Tablo units you have (although one should be enough in most cases).

Why Tablo is Legal and Aereo Isn't

For those that are former Aereo subscribers or are familiar with the Aereo system,  here is a short answer to your question about why the Aereo wasn't legal but the Tablo is.

Although both Aereo and Tablo enable the viewing of live and recorded TV programs at home or remotely, there are key differences that affect their legal status.

Aereo's service was deemed to be illegal as it is considered a "public performance" which requires payment to content providers. In other words, all over-the-air TV reception was done centrally (like a cable or satellite service) and then distributed to individual subscribers for viewing and recording (with recordings stored in the "Cloud"). Aereo, in turn, did not pay any re-transmission fees to either the TV broadcasters or content providers and cable/satellite providers are required to do.

Tablo's service, on the other hand, consists of a hardware product that consumers purchase to receive TV programs free via their own antenna, located in their own residence, and all recording is done and stored locally. Due to the complete local nature of the Tablo system, re-transmission fees are not an issue as Tablo does not actually receive or redistribute TV programming from a central location to the owners of its device - thus, they are not in violation of TV re-transmission fee rules.

Also, Tablo's subscription fees are not based on what programming you are able to receive and record, they just pay for the features of the Tablo system, such as Menu Interface capabilities, series recording capability, and the use of Tablo Connect.

Of course, TV broadcasters and content providers are always keeping a close watch on this new generation of content access and distribution products, so some type of legal challenges involving content distribution, especially from the home to a remote location, are not out-of-the-question in the future, but for now products such as the Tablo are in the clear.

If you are one of those that want to jump on the cable/satellite "cord-cutting" trend, Tablo may be just what you are looking for.

For more details on Tablo, check out the Official Website

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