TiVo vs Tablo: Review And Comparison

It is now high-time to move away from cable TV.  This is because users seek online streaming content, Live TV, broadcast channels altogether and want to record them. So, the solution towards cord cutting cable TV is DVRs. In this article, we will talk about some of the best OTA DVRs and compare them.

If you want a cord cutting solution then you need a DVR that will allow you to watch over-the-air channels, schedule them for later or record them. Comparing TiVo vs Tablo, we see that the major dissimilarities lie in certain features like tuners, storage capacity, storage type, remote access, and subscription.

So, if your area has a good antennae reception, you can get one between TiVo vs Tablo and get the most out of it.  TiVo is running in the market long before Tablo and has many products. We focus on the most recent ones as they are updated and improved versions.

TiVo vs Tablo: differences

TunersRoamio:4 or 6Dual Lite/HDMI2
Bolt:4 or 6Dual 128GB/64GB2
Edge:2 (antennae)
6 (cable)
Quad/Quad 1TB4
Remote accessNeeds TiVo MiniYes
StorageRoamio:500GB-1TB(Roamio OTA)
1TB(Roamio Plus)
3TB (Roamio Pro)
Dual 128 GB: 128GB128GB
Bolt500GB- 1TBDual 64GB64GB
Edge500GB (antennae)
2 TB (cable)
Dual HDMInone
Quad 1TB1TB
All have external storage of USB up to 8TB
Multiple device streamingNeed additional TiVo Mini for each device, up to 4 to 6 devicesYes, up to 6 devices

The table above shows the basic differences between TiVo vs Tablo. If we compare the Tablo Dual OTA DVR vs TiVo Roamio, we see that the main difference is that the Roamio has 4 tuners but the Tablo Dual OTA has only 2. This means it can record 2 channels simultaneously or can watch 2 channels at once. The storage of Table Dual OTA will vary with models, you will find Tablo Dual 128GB OTA. Tablo Dual 64GB OTA, and Tablo Dual HDMI OTA.

What is TiVo?

TiVo corporation started manufacturing the TiVo DVR series in 1999. Till 2019 there are Series 1 to 7 with the latest one being TiVo Edge. All these DVR Series uses the same OS and need TiVo service. The main purpose of the TiVo DVR is to provide all-in-one-solution. It can also be considered as a device that will replace your cable.

You can do the major functions like multistream, recording episodes watch all the cable channels, etc. what makes TiVo unique among other DVRs like Tablo, HDHomerun is that it supports major apps like Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime. However, to watch Philo or Sling TV on TiVo you need a streaming device.

There are other popular DVRs like Amazon Recast, Channel Master, HDHomeRun, etc. Comparing TiVo vs Tablo vs Channel Master, we see that they want to provide a one-package solution but have some lacking.

What is Tablo?

Tablo and TiVo are some of the cord cutting TV services. Tablo is a DVR device also known as to use the Over-The-Air approach (OTA). You can cut the cord and enjoy satellite TV channels and Live TV. There are two types of devices: network-connected and TV-connected. Comparing Tablo vs TiVo, Tablo doesn’t have the popular apps so you need to use a streaming device.

  • Network-connected Tablo: if you want to watch Live content or stream from apps to more than one TV then you need a network-connected Tablo. You can use it both inside the home or remotely. It needs a streaming device but it doesn’t come with a remote. You can install the Tablo app and control it.
  • TV-connected Tablo: users who want to watch Live shows or satellite channels can buy the TV-connected Tablo. It comes with its own remote.

Tivo comes with 1TB storage and has some major apps like Netflix, Hulu, while the Tablo needs a streaming device to view content from those apps. What makes Tablo more appealing is that you can watch it on 6 different devices in your house. It also supports out-of-the-house or mobile streaming whereas the Tivo needs an external device.

Tivo needs Tivo Mini for streaming to another device and TiVo Stream for remote access, both of which you need to buy separately and will increase the overall cost. Speaking of cost, the TiVo Roamio OTA lifetime subscription is included with its purchase whereas for the Tablo TV subscription you need to pay $150 for lifetime access.  Just like that, the differences in these categories are similar in models between TiVo vs Tablo.

Some of the major features between TiVo vs Tablo may want you to choose Tablo over TiVo. The Tablo has network-connected models which means streaming into several devices with Tablo is easier. But with Tablo, changing channels takes about 10-15s.


TiVo Roamio: Series 5

TiVo Roamio OTA 1TB DVR is an older series of TiVo. Standard TiVo Roamios with 500GB storage was manufactured back in 2013 but later improved or newer versions were available. It is known as Series 5 and has three models known as TiVo Roamio, Roamio Plus, and Roamio Pro. What sets them apart is their storage space and tuners.

The TiVo Roamio 1 TB DBR comes with 4 tuners and 1TB storage or 150 hours of recording. The comparison table between TiVo Roamio vs Roamio Plus vs Roamio Pro is given below.

TiVo Roamio OTARoamio PlusRoamio Pro
Older TiVo Roamio: 4
SourcesDigital antennaeDigital cableDigital cable
Storage1 TB, 150 hours1 TB, 150 hours3 TB, 450 hours
RemoteYesYes, with remote finderYes, with remote finder
Works with TiVo MiniYesYesYes
Works with TiVo StreamYesBuilt-inBuilt-in
Buttons on deviceNoResolution buttonResolution button

Comparing TiVo Roamio vs Roku TV streaming services or Apple/Andriod TV, the Roamio is weak in terms of huge numbers of apps and streaming contents. The Roamio TiVo remote has 40 + buttons which you may find annoying if you are used to using a minimalist remote. It supports both RF and IR.

In terms of streaming, with TiVo, you will get over-the-air-contents and between Tablo vs TiVo, the TiVo will give you some of the most popular apps to stream online content like Netflix, Amazon Prime, or Hulu. However, other major apps like Sling TV, PlayStation Vue, DirecTV Now, SeeSo, Pluto TV, or FilmStruck is not available but you can view HBO Go and Epix.

Between Tablo vs TiVo vs Homerun, only the TiVo Roamio needs a separate device, TiVo Mini to allow multiple streaming to other devices. If you want remote access or streaming to mobile devices you need another additional device. Among TiVo Roamio vs Roamio Plus vs Roamio Pro, the Plus and Pro have built-in TiVo Stream.

Another difference between Roamio Plus vs Roamio Pro is the storage and price. Comparing the Roamio TiVo vs Roamio Plus vs Roamio Pro subscription, we see that all these three will give you a lifetime subscription given that the products are renewed models and will cost more compared to these.

TiVo Bolt: Series 6

The TiVo Series 6 was released in 2015 and with time-released renewed models. It has the following models:

There are some minor differences between the TiVo Bolt models. For instance, the TiVo Bolt OTA for antennae is wireless whereas others have built-in Wi-Fi. The Bolt OTA for antennae and Bolt Vox renewed models have Bluetooth, Ethernet, Wi-Fi, HDMI, USB. The Bolt OTA for antennae and Bolt Vox for cable don’t have USB ports.

The TiVo Bolt (TCD849000VO) works with over-the-air antennae whereas the original Bolt works with a cable. It has 4 tuners, 1TB storage, or can record 150 hours of contents. It has an e-SATA port so you can add an additional devices. The remote is full of buttons and has a remote finder. Comparing TiVo Bolt to other models, the user interface is faster.

These models also require a subscription. Comparing TiVo Bolt vs Tablo, the TiVo Bolt allows you to stream and watch content in 4k from apps like Netflix, Hulu, etc.

TiVo Edge: Series 7

TiVo Edge for antennae

TiVo Edge for Antennae works with over-the-air -antennae. It has Edge 500GB with 2 tuners and 2TB with 4 tuners where you can either watch or record 2 or 4 shows simultaneously. The TiVo Edge 2 TB can record 300 hours of HD and has 2 USB.

It plays content with Dolby Atmos and Dolby Vision.

TiVo Edge for cable

Comparing TiVo Edge For Antennae vs TiVo Edge for Cable, we see that the Edge for Cable has 6 tuners and comes with 2TB storage and CableCARD Slot. Both these models can deliver 1080p HD and can work with video at 4k 60fps. Both these devices need subscriptions either monthly, annually, or a lifetime.

What makes TiVo unique compared to other ‘cord cutters’?

With time, TiVo focused on ways to improve the user viewing experience. TiVo Edge has certain features that make usability flexible.

  • SkipMode®: allows you to skip advertisements
  • QuickMode®: increase the speed of content by 30%
  • OnePass™: all your favorites are listed here
  • OneSearch™: use a keyboard for voice search to look for any content, recordings, or app
  • TiVo Online: helps you to organize OnePass, play recorded contents, etc
  • TiVo app: makes it easier to use accessOnePass or start watching from TiVo on your smart device.

What can you watch on TiVo?

The list of channels, apps, and Live TVs is increasing with the latest models. The TiVo Bolt and Edge support TiVo+. It has a wide number of channels in different categories:

  • Food and Travel: Hell’s Kitchen, Tastemade, Bon Apetit
  • Movies and TV: FilmRise Free movies, The Preview Channel, TMZ
  • Entertainment and comedy: Funny or Die, The Chives, Alltime
  • Sports: Adventure Sports, Fubo Sports Network, CBS Sports HQ

The TiVo Edge streaming apps include the most-demanded ones like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, YouTube, Vudu, Pandora, HBOGO, etc.

How to control TiVo devices?

Each TiVo device comes with a bulky remote with which you can control it. A TiVo TV App is also available for download on your smart devices. It allows you to access the contents, channels of the TiVo. You can also stream or view TiVo on your smartphone.

You can download the app from Google Play Store or Apple Store. It allows you to access OnePass that accumulates all your content from different sources and puts it under ‘My Shows’. You can use the TiVo app as the ‘command central’ of the DVR.

You can view live or recorded shows with your TiVo app on your mobile device.  You can also search for any movies/content or channel on What To Watch easily. It has a What To Watch and To-Do List along with a remote so that you can use the app to control the DVR. Not all TiVo devices support the TiVo app, the Series 4, Series 5 and Series 6 devices are compatible with it.

Navigating through the interface:

If you open the Home screen of the TiVo or press the TiVo button on the remote, a screen will appear.

  • TiVo Central screen
  • The Video window: keeps playing the content you are currently watching
  • Discovery bar: suggest related shows
  • My Shows
  • Available: shows the amount of available space
  • My Shows folder: several contents in a single place
  • OnePass: gathers all episodes/contents you watch to one place
  • Streaming videos: you don’t have to go to different menus to watch shows, simply press ‘Watch Now’
  • Watching Live TV: you can pause your Live TV shows for 30m. you can also rewind, fast forward by 30 s and etc
  • Whole-home solution: for older models you need TiVo Stream, new models have it built-in in them.

Tablo DVR

Tablo Dual 64 DVR

It has 2 tuners and 64 GB of storage. You can stop paying for cable and watch TV channels and Live TV on it. Comparing TiVo vs Tablo, both have the option to skip commercials. Also, TiVo usually supports 4 or 6 tuners and has more storage space. It is a network-connected DVR that will not be connected to a single TV.

So, between TiVo vs Tablo, the Tablo can be easily watched on multiple devices without any need for an external device. You can watch or access Tablo Dual 64GB DVR contents on multiple devices in-home or outside the home.

If you want to increase your Tablo onboard storage capacity, then you can either add an external drive or buy the Tablo Dual 128 GB. Comparing Tablo Dual 64GB vs Tablo Dual 128GB, the Tablo 128GB has 2 tuners and 128GB storage that can record for 80 HD hours. Both of the devices require a subscription.

Tablo Dual-Lite

Comparing Tablo Dual HDMI vs Tablo Dual Lite, we see that both have 2 tuners and no onboard storage. But this device can be used on different Smart TVs, streaming devices, Xbox one, etc. like the Tablo Dual 64GB DVR.

Tablo Quad OTA

This device has 4 tuners but similar to Tablo Dual Lite doesn’t have any storage but you can use an 8TB USB drive.

What can you watch on Tablo?

The difference between TiVo vs Tablo is that the TiVo comes with some apps like Hulu, Netflix, etc without the need to add a streaming device if your favorites are already covered. For Tablo, this isn’t the case, while you can watch over-the-air channels, you need a 3rd-party device to give you access to online streaming contents.

All Tablo models except Tablo Dual HDMI are compatible with Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Roku TV, Nvidia Shield, LG WebOS, or Samsung Tizen. It will also work with Xbox or HDMI-supported PC. Steaming DVC

In general, you can watch the major channels like ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, NFL, etc. if you reside in the US. If you are in Canada then you can watch CBC, CTV, Global, etc. check out the list of channels based on your region you can go to this  TabloTV site.

What devices is Tablo incompatible with?

If the Tablo device is TV-connected, then it will not be compatible with the following:

  • Apple TV
  • Smartphones or tablets
  • PC/MAC
  • Smart TVs powered by Samsung TIZEN or LG WebOS
  • Xbox

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How to control Tablo devices?

If you check the product list page of Tablo, you will find only the Tablo Dual HDMI OTA comes with remote control. Tablo focuses on ‘choose your platform=choose your remote”. Since Tablo encourages you to use one of the compatible devices like Nvidia Shield, Roku TV, Apple TV, etc, they want you to use their remote.

Comparing TiVo vs Tablo remote control, all TiVo models come with a remote that has 40+ buttons and some have a remote locator feature. So, if you feel comfortable to use DVR + remote, then you can choose one from TiVo. You can also download the Tablo app on any device and control channels with it.

Find out which DVR is suitable for you and use without a subscription

Parting words:

TiVo vs Tablo is one of the best options for cord cutters.  Both of them have an easy-to-use interface with a detailed and clear instruction guide. While all models of TiVo come with a remote, this is not the case for Tablo. Tablo encourages you to use the remote of the platform you chose to watch Tablo like Roku TV. Both of these also comes with apps with several features.

TiVo vs Tablo, which one should you choose? If you have a ‘large household’ then you can choose the Tablo because no matter which model you choose you don’t have to worry about whole-home streaming or remote access. Some Tablo, like the Tablo Quad, gives you the freedom to choose storage options like USB or SATA.

On the other hand, if you are not satisfied with 4 tuners, then you choose to look into TiVo. Some models have 6 tuners and along with that, it allows you to watch contents from apps which the Tablo doesn’t. However, you need to subscribe to their plans.

Comparing TiVo vs Tablo subscription plans, in some cases, the TiVo was costlier than Tablo. At the end of the day, whether you choose TiVo or Tablo, it will definitely save your cable bill.

Which one is best for your TV Mi Box or Roku


Well, if you want to have better understanding regarding this matter, the you should’ve take a look at this FAQ section.

How can I take recorded shows from TiVo on-the-go?

Answer: you can use Amazon Fire TV to take recorded shows with your outdoors. Use the Amazon Fire TV or Fire TV Stick. Go to the streaming device interface and search for TiVo. Install the TiVo and start watching contents or record them.

Is there any way to record content from Sling TV or Netflix in Tablo?

Answer: Till now there is no way to record shows or programs from streaming apps like Netflix. Tablo prohibits this recording due to both ‘technical and legal reasons’. Although, there is an app called PlayLater with which you can record them. But based on terms and conditions, you might want to rethink using it because it doesn’t seem to be 100% legal.

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