Tablo Dual brings DVR to cord cutters’ screens

Tech Review: A look at a network-connected recorder called the Tablo Dual ($249) that is a two-tuner whole home device for recording and watching over-the-air content.

Recording TV shows for later viewing is something almost everyone who subscribes to pay TV can do.

Digital video recorders, or DVRs, use hard drives to store the shows so the user can watch later and even fast-forward through commercials. Services like cable, satellite, U-Verse and FIOS all have receivers that include DVRs.

What about cord cutters?

There are DVRs for over-the-air content. Some connect to individual TVs, and some are not connected to TVs at all but live on your network to be viewed on any connected screen inside or outside your home.

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I’ve been reviewing a network-connected recorder called the Tablo Dual ($249, www.tablotv.com) that is a two-tuner whole home device for recording and watching over-the-air content.

The Tablo Dual needs a feed from an over-the-air antenna. The choice of antenna and placement is up to you.

Because the Tablo Dual is a networked recorder, it doesn’t connect directly to your TV, so you can place the antenna (and the Tablo) where it will get the best reception.

The Tablo Dual also needs to connect to your home’s broadband internet network. The connection can be wired or wireless. I opted for a wired connection to my internet router for the best quality.

The Tablo Dual has 64 gigabytes of onboard storage for recording up to 40 hours of HD content, but it also has a USB port so you can add your own hard drive for expanded recording capacity. The Tablo Dual supports drives up to 8 terabytes. You can’t use flash drives or network-attached storage.

The Tablo Dual can record two shows at once, and it can serve streams to up to six screens at a time, inside or outside your home’s network.

You’ll also need a computer or mobile device (iOS or Android smartphone or tablet) to set up the recorder. You’ll use a browser on your computer or the Tablo app on your phone or tablet to make sure the Tablo is on the network and to do an initial channel scan.

Once the setup is complete, you can use almost any connected screen to watch the live and recorded content.

Here’s the list of compatible screens and devices I copied from the Tablo website:

• A smart TV powered by: Roku, or Android TV, or most LG WebOS 2.0 and 3.0 operating systems;


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