This Tablo ATSC 3.0 tuner is a DVR for the 4K over-the-air TV future

The new Tablo ATSC 3.0 Quad HDMI is a DVR meant for the subsequent technology of broadcast TV — which, if all goes in keeping with plan, will contain 4K HDR content material being despatched out over the airwaves for free. It may document as much as 4 channels without delay onto an exterior laborious drive, letting you watch packages again in your schedule, not broadcasters’.

In the age of web streaming, cable, and satellite tv for pc, it may be laborious to do not forget that there are nonetheless native TV stations broadcasting their packages over the airwaves, which anybody can watch for free if they’ve an antenna and receiver. However for some fanatics, viewing broadcast tv is the new cord-cutting — and it’s these alerts Tablos are made to document and playback.

ATSC 3.0 helps 4K HDR broadcasts, which can largely be free to look at if you happen to’ve acquired the gear

Cordcutter-friendly DVRs are a fairly mature idea at this level, with corporations together with Tablo and HDHomeRun producing them steadily for years. ATSC 3.0 adjustments issues, although — it’s the follow-up to the digital customary that replaced US analog TV broadcasts in 2009, and it helps loads of upgrades, together with help for 4K HDR broadcasts, excessive body price content material, and extra. Whereas it’s at present not set to fully change ATSC 1.0 anytime quickly, some stations have began broadcasting content material utilizing each requirements.


Final 12 months, HDHomeRun launched a new lineup which packed in ATSC 3.0 however restricted it to simply two of 4 obtainable tuners. The brand new Tablo helps 4 ATSC 3.0 tuners. The Tablo can document both kind of sign, relying on the channel it’s set to.

You may learn extra on the historical past of how ATSC 3.0 got here to be in our explainer, right here.

Aside from the indisputable fact that it may document 4 ATSC 3.0 streams without delay, the new Quad HDMI works a lot like Tablo’s different DVRs. It hooks as much as an antenna, laborious drive, and your TV, and you need to use it to look at dwell TV, or packages that you just’ve recorded. Tablo says the interface will let you know which channels are utilizing ATSC 1.0 and that are utilizing 3.0.

tablo atsc3 quad hdmi in situ straight crop new

Tablo additionally provides a subscription-based TV guide service that unlocks further filters and options.

Picture: Tablo

Tablo does warn that the expertise received’t be precisely what its longtime customers are used to. It’s automated ad-skipping function will solely be obtainable for ATSC 1.0 recordings, not for ATSC 3.0 ones. Tablo says it “hope[s] to have the ability to help this well-liked function on ATSC 3.0 recordings in the future,” but it surely’s at all times greatest observe to purchase one thing for the options it ships with, not the ones it may need later. The brand new Quad HDMI field additionally received’t be capable to stream recorded content material to different gadgets in your own home, a function obtainable on some of Tablo’s other boxes. It’ll solely be capable to playback video on the TV to which it’s bodily linked.

The DVR will ship in “spring 2022,” for a value of $300. That’s not cheap, particularly after you consider the added expense of an exterior laborious drive, which is required if you need the digital video recorder to truly document. In its FAQ, Nuvyyo (the firm behind Tablo) tries to justify the value — in comparison with different ATSC 3.0-capable DVRs, all 4 of its tuners could make use of the new customary, as a substitute of others that solely have one or two hybrid tuners. For comparability, the HDHomeRun Flex 4K ATSC 3.0 prices $200 and solely helps the newer customary on two of its 4 tuners.

The additional NextGen tuners will not be that huge of a deal now, since there aren’t tons of ATSC 3.0 broadcasts, however may develop into a boon in the future if the rollout expands and broadcasters begin benefiting from the potential to ship 4K HDR content material over the air.

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