CES 2022 Media Devices

Tablo Launches 4K ATSC 3.0 OTA DVR

Tablo used CES to announce the new Tablo ATSC 3.0 Quad HDMI OTA DVR. The ATSC 3.0 tuners are what sets this device apart from their extensive line of products. ATSC 3.0 is a relatively new standard for over-the-air (OTA) tuners. The standard’s support of 4K resolution with HDR is the most notable new feature. Half of US homes should have access to ATSC 3.0 broadcasts by this summer.

Tablo’s ATSC 3.0 DVR has four hybrid tuners that support ATSC 1.0 and 3.0. The only comparable device on the market is from HDHomeRun, and their device only has two ATSC 3.0 tuners.

The new device is part of Tablo’s line of DVRs meant to be plugged directly into a television. That’s why it has HDMI in the name. Many of their other devices sit on a network, and you need to stream the content through apps. 

The ATSC 3.0 tuners are the primary difference with this product. It still supports most of the other features Tablo bakes into their DVRs. It has an on-screen channel guide and supports up to 8TB hard drives. There are two other differences, though. Tablo’s automatic commercial skipping feature only works with ATSC 1.0 sources. The same is true for whole-home streaming. You can only view content from this DVR on the TV to which it is attached. This limitation is because most streaming devices don’t support the new codecs being used by ATSC 3.0. 

The codecs used by ATSC 3.0 broadcasts may prevent easy streaming, but they do have another huge benefit. They are more efficient than those used by ATSC 1.0. That means a recording could consume one-quarter of the space of an ATSC 1.0 recording on your hard drive. You’ll need that space when your local network starts broadcasting in 4K. Those shows will require about 9GB of storage per hour.

As a reminder, Tablo’s DVRs are of the bring-your-own hard drive variety. So the $299 price tag for the Tablo ATSC 3.0 Quad HDMI OTA DVR doesn’t include storage. If you live in an area that already has support for ATSC 3.0, the cost of a hard drive shouldn’t dissuade you from buying. The ATSC 3.0 DVR will be shipping this spring. You can pre-order it right now. For more details about the device and the benefits of ATSC 3.0 visit the Tablo blog post here.


About the author

Josh Pollard

Josh has been writing software since his parents brought home their first computer. His love for gadgets and technology eventually spurred a passion for home theater technology. After starting the DMZ, he received Microsoft’s MVP award for Windows Media Center. Even though the beloved home theater PC platform is all but dead he continues to tinker with consumer entertainment technology. He’s a life-long gamer and DIY smart home enthusiast. He co-hosts the Entertainment 2.0 podcast with Richard Gunther and the DMZ’s gaming podcast, Story Players, with Joe DeStazio.