Since just internet from Spectrum costs almost a much and the bundled internet, cable and phone I've kept cable. Especially since the phone comes in handy from time to time out here between towns where cell service is often iffy and I still want access to channels like TBS and BBCA which require a cable ID. After my cable TiVo died I thought I'd return the cable card and tuner to at least get those fees off my bill. It turned out it would cost me more to turn in the cable card since it would invalidate my bundle. Their DVR is even more so the cheapest option was to keep the cable card. Go figure. I wonder how many people just using the on demand app these days also have an unused cable card floating about for the same reason. Now I need to sort where to put it so I can find it when / if it becomes cheaper to go with just internet service.
Monday, December 7, 2020
My review as it is on Amazon with links added.
I've been looking for a TiVo replacement since TiVo seems intent on driving away all their DVR customers. The Fire TV Recast having only 720p max output was a non starter for me and Tablo seemed to be the favorite so started with it. Coming from TiVo the Tablo interface is a bit of a let down. But on the plus side it is viewable from a Roku or browser. The main issue for me is the lack of being able to visually fast forward till a bit after something has finished recording. Commercial skip works a bit less often and well than TiVo but happens shortly after the recording is done instead like TiVo where it can be a day before it kicks in. Still not sure if commercial skip is worth the added subscription cost. The most disturbing is I've had a few bouts of unexplained "reboots" with the Tablo. In quotes because it is impossible to know for sure given the lack of accessible logs or debug info screens plus having to access via another device. When they happen all recordings stop for a bit though so it is as disruptive as a reboot. Looking at TiVo recordings running in parallel it does not appear to be a signal issue like others have reported. I should note the one time I was able to see a signal issue in action the TiVo recovered while the Tablo just stopped recording. Support was unable to sort what was causing the "reboots" either. It was annoying enough I got a HDHomeRun Quad scribe to compare but have not had a "reboot" issue in the week all 3 have been running. The HDHomeRun interface is no where near as polished as even the Tablo and its apps appear to mainly useless. So Tablo for all its faults appears to the better TiVo replacement. Though I'm going to look into Plex using the HDHomeRun tuners as well.
Let me add adding apps to my Fire TV with 4K Ultra HD has proven almost impossible so giving the Fire TV Recast a pass seems to have been a good call as I'd probably need a newer Fire TV to even get it to work.
Tablo worked fine for about a week then did the reboot thing for 6 days worked for one and is failing again today
More detailed reviews in works but wanting to find a acceptable solution first. Looking like as bad as TiVo has become it might still be better than the alternatives. Still have building a Plex PC using the HDHomeRun as the tuners on the todo list though.
More random reboot waves (confirmed by monitoring it drop off the network with continuous pings) even after adding a laptop cooler below to the 80mm fan on top of the Tablo. Decided to swap out the Western Digital 2TB WD Blue Mobile Hard Drive with a Samsung SSD 860 EVO 1TB I had bought for another project while I run tests on the 2TB drive and see if that gives me any clues. Note it took 3 tries to get the SSD to format and after it still seems to think I have recordings so I'm no hopeful.
I found this which suggests a external is the way to go which I might try since the issue is at least made worse by heat.