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Tablo app brings over-the-air DVR to Xbox One

Xbox One owners can finally get a bit of DVR action on their console, all thanks to a new app from Tablo. With the new Tablo app for Xbox One, anyone who uses the company's network-connected set-top box can now watch and record their favorite over-the-air TV shows right on their console.

With the Tablo app, you'll get access to a live guide for your OTA TV that should look familiar to anyone who has used a traditional cable set-top box. Further, you can pause and rewind live TV in the app, and set up recordings either on the fly or on a schedule. Here's a look at all of the features that Tablo offers:

  • Playback of Live TV with pause and rewind capabilities
  • Playback of recordings with pause, rewind and preview-enabled fast forward commercial skipping
  • One-click scheduling for recordings including all NEW episodes or ALL episodes in a series or just a single show
  • Grid-style Live TV guide to see programs airing right now, or later today
  • Netflix-style TV guides so you can browse TV shows, Movies and Sports airing over the next two weeks

If you're a cord cutter, the Tablo app might look quite enticing. Just be aware that in order for the app to work, you must already have a Tablo OTA DVR — which starts at $220 for the entry-level model. On top of that, unlocking all of the app's guide features requires a subscription.

In any case, if you're interested in Tablo's Xbox One app, it's available for download now. The app is also available for Windows 10 PCs at the Windows Store.

Download Tablo from the Windows Store (opens in new tab)

Thanks for the tips, mrpuny and buzzard75!

Dan Thorp-Lancaster is the Editor in Chief for Windows Central. He began working with Windows Central as a news writer in 2014 and is obsessed with tech of all sorts. You can follow Dan on Twitter @DthorpL and Instagram @heyitsdtl. Got a hot tip? Send it to daniel.thorp-lancaster@futurenet.com.

12 Comments
  • Thanks for the credit! I'd be curious to know what other people think of Tablo, if others have used it. I've been wanting to ditch TiVo for a while now. Wondering how it compares to something like Silicon Dust's HDHomerun lineup. Edit: Just a few things to point out in my own research. Tablo offers a lifetime subscription plan, HDHomerun does not appear to. Tablo OTA boxes can have 2 or 4 tuners, HDHomerun OTA boxes are limited to 2. Tablo connects wirelessly to your router and requires a connected USB HDD, HDHomerun requires a wired ethernet connection in addition to a ethernet connected NAS. Tablo can be used by six devices simultaneously, HDHomerun appears to be limited to three. HDHomerun boxes are less expensive. Tablo gives you the ability to stream live and recorded TV from anywhere to a recognized device even when you're not on your own network.
  • Thanks for that info! I don't have cable tv but this stuff makes my head hurt. Nice comparison for us who don't know much about these products :).
  • I believe you can get a lifetime subscription with an HDHomerun by using it through plex.  Buy the plext lifetime and then tie a HDHomerun into the plex machine.
  • The app also works for PC!!!
  • Looks like Tablo units are on sale right now as well... 180.99 Amazon Prime, 189 Best Buy... Since Microsoft has pretty much said Xbox DVR is dead, might have to look into this... on the bright side I could stick this up stairs to get the best signal while still having the Xbox and TV down stairs where it's usable... and would be able to watch in my office or on my phone as well, just by connecting to the network. They supposedly have a Windows 10 app as well.
  • Yes, thanks for the credit also. I've been running a Tablo for quite a while now as I'm moving away from WMC and Xbox 360 extenders. The Tablo is working well for me, and it's great to be able to view it on the XB1. I got to beta test the app, and it was in good shape from the start. The only issue I have with the XB1 app right now is that it doesn't support being snapped. Hopefully that'll be coming soon. Coming from Media Center, I was never that thrilled with the original concept of using the Xbox One as a single tuner DVR. I prefer having a centralized multituner whole home DVR setup. I've been happy with the Tablo experience. However, if you're considering one, there are some things to be aware of though some of which may be deal breakers depending on your wants/needs. You need an external USB HD for recordings. The Tablo has been reported to be somewhat picky about drives, and there's some info on their site and community forums about this. I use a basic 2TB WD MyPassport drive and haven't had any issues. The Tablo transcodes the OTA channel from native MPEG-2 to h.264 on the fly. This has the benefit of converting to a format more compatible with mobile devices as well as reducing network bandwidth and storage requirements. The downside is that the picture quality may be degraded somewhat. There are different transcode options available, and I've been happy with even the more midrange transcode settings, but if you want pristine broadcast quality on a monster screen, this might not be for you. Also, the Tablo doesn't send out Dolby Digital audio. It only sends out stereo audio, although I think it does a Dolby Pro-Logic mixdown as part of the transcode. I've read that using Pro-Logic decoder still gives pretty good surround, but again it's not native quality. (I haven't tried it myself.)
  • Thanks for the input. Right now I'm not running my OTA tuner to a home theater. It's going right into the TV so I'm only getting stereo anyway. The WD Passports sound like they're fairly reliable with Tablo. If you have any other thoughts, I'd love to hear them. Don't be afraid to be brutally honest either.
  • Yeah, I brought the above points up because I've seen them be issues for people over on the Tablo forums, and they're not things that tend to be immediately obvious.  But they don't affect me directly either.  (Actually, I do have a 5.1 surround setup on one of my TVs but I mainly use that for watching movies and not really for TV content, but I should try doing some back to back comparisons with discrete 5.1 audio vs Pro-Logic decoded audio from the Tablo.) Overall though I've found the Tablo to be a good alternative to Media Center.  It's pretty much an appliance that just sits there recording and streaming away.  I've run into some minor glitches; sometimes it would disappear from the network and I'd have to reboot it, though I haven't seen that since a firmware update some months back.  I also ran into a problem, I think with the same firmware update, where one of my channels stopped recording.  It still showed up in the guide, but the Tablo wouldn't tune it or record from it.  In my case rescanning and re-adding channels fixed it.  Overall though, I'd say that so far I've had fewer issues than with my HTPC in the given timeframe.  And the flexibility of being able to pick from different client devices (Rokus, Android and iOS devices, PCs and Macs via browsers, and now Win10 and Xbox One apps) is a welcome expansion over the limited options for WMC extenders. Let's see, what else?  I'd say it's a good idea to hard wire the Tablo to your router, if possible.  If you have the Tablo set to transcode at the highest quality, each stream can be up to 10 Mb/s, and if you max out at 6 streams, that's potentially 60 Mb/s of bandwidth needed between the Tablo to the router.  Need good wifi if it's not wired, though if you only will ever have a couple of streams going at once it's not as big of a deal.  (As an aside, this is one of the reasons I'm not particularly thrilled with the DVR concepts based around HDHomerun tuners.  Each ATSC channel has an MPEG transport stream that's just under 20 Mb/s.  So if you have 4 tuners recording, that's about 80Mb/s of network traffic.  Good to go if you've got all gigabit ethernet, but if you've got older 100Base-T network gear in the chain, it can be a problem.  Silicon Dust also sells the HDHomerun Extend which can transcode on the fly and will reduce the bandwidth requirements, but those are more expensive than the basic Connect models.)
  • Has there been any word on the OTA DVR from MS?
    The reason I ask is because the User Voice voting for this started in the 2,000-2,100 before the "On Hold" announcement and currently sits at 5,086. This puts it at 243 total, which includes backwards compatibility titles (requests, confirmed and in progress). If you take out the BC titles, it is at 29. Half of those are people wanting free or lower priced items with Gold (Games with Gold free DLC, Free Gamertag Change, Elite Controller Costs Too Much, Elite Controller Should Come With Play and Charge Kit).
    This wasn't even in the top 150 before the "On Hold" announcement and nobody voted for it because it was suppose to be already confirmed.
    I don't want to buy another piece of hardware for $220 + a hard drive (which is not included). I'd think about getting a ChannelMaster DVR+ 1TB before getting this. I'd much rather have the Xbox control it.
  • I would love to see native DVR capability for the Xbox One, feel the same way, and I said the same thing when they put it on hold. No one was complaining about not having it or demanding it because we were all under the impression that we were going to get it. It wasn't one of the main reasons I bought an Xbox One, but it was an added bonus and would allow me to declutter my entertainment center some more, and was the only reason I bought the Hauppauge Digital TV tuner. Guess I was a bit hasty in my purchase. I haven't even used the thing because I need to sort out my OTA reception in the room where my Xbox One is. And I haven't bothered to do that because I've been investigating whole home DVR options since they put the DVR capability on hold. While you can get it with a built-in 1TB drive, there's no subscription for the guide service, and it's cheaper than some of the other options, the problem with the Channel Master DVR+ is it's not a whole home solution. It only has one output and doesn't stream anything over your network to other devices. It only connects to your network for updates. And say your router is in another room from where your TV is or you just don't want to run a cable and want/need wi-fi, you have to buy the adapter for another $39. So yeah, might be an option for some, but not exactly what I'm looking for.
  • I bug them all the time about it on twitter, but they will never respond to me. It was the only reason I bought that stupid Haupague adapter. #SaveTheDVR on twitter
  • I hope broadcasters have long plans of maintaining their free OTA signals, especially in keeping up with HD spec trends.