Tablo vs TiVo OTA

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by Pacomartin, Dec 26, 2014.

  1. Pacomartin

    Pacomartin Member

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    The Tablo 4 tuner DVR costs $300 + $150 lifetime support + cost of hard disk drive.
    So that seems to compare almost exactly with the TiVo OTA $50+$500 lifetime support which includes a 1/2 terabyte drive.

    In addition the Tablo has no HDMI plug so you must stream to other devices. It cannot stream to phones (only talets). The TiVo OTA has a choice of HDMI or streaming to either phones or tablets.

    So as far as I can see the Tablo is a more limited product for the same money.Is there any counter arguments?
     
  2. jth tv

    jth tv Well-Known Member

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    I never would have bought a TiVo if lifetime was the only option.

    Entertainment is often a gamble. Go out to a movie, maybe it is worth the money, maybe it is not.

    I did not know if I would like Antenna TV instead of cable. TiVo Roamio Basic without lifetime initially costs less. It was worth trying.

    Next year, I will review the options. Maybe I will stay with antenna, maybe I will go back to cable. Maybe I will buy a different DVR. I am willing to pay for the flexibility. It is all just part of the entertainment budget.
     
  3. davezatz

    davezatz Funkadelic

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    Not correct. Roamio OTA streams to nothing, only output is to direct-connected television (unless you buy $130 Stream accessory or Slingbox). Tablo streams to iOS, Android, Roku, computers, supports Airplay too. Both smartphones and tablets. In the house and out.

    There is no Lifetime option for the OTA Roamio.
     
  4. Pacomartin

    Pacomartin Member

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    So they are equal in price but different functionality.

    Why wouldn't they give you the option for Lifetime on OTA? I suspect that most people wouldn't take it since they are aiming at people who don't want to lay out a lot of cash, but they should at least offer it. Is it because TiVo Inc. is unsure about their commitment to OTA devices?
     
  5. SullyND

    SullyND W: 45-31 TCF Club

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    TiVo wants you to step up to a regular Roamio to get lifetime as it gives them a chance to make money on it.
     
  6. Pacomartin

    Pacomartin Member

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    I understand that most companies have a higher profit margin on their more expensive items. I assume the margin on the Mega-Tivo is huge.

    But forcing people to take only month to month may backfire. Because the entry price of $50 is very low, some people may make $15 a month payment for 10 months and then decide it isn't worth it.

    It would be interesting to know what percentage of people opt for lifetime for the different models. My guess is more of the people who spend $600 for equipment, also buy the lifetime.
     
  7. bradleys

    bradleys It'll be fine....

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    TiVo generally looses money on their hardware and makes it up on the service fee.

    The differences between the $150 Base Roamio and the $50 Roamio OTA are pretty minor and I suspect reflect a very minor per unit cost reduction for TiVo.

    So to get the initial price down TiVo has to find a way to recoup the revenue in the service fee...

    I personally think the Roamio OTA is not a very good deal. No flexibility, terrible resale value. A Base Roamio is a much better purchase - flexibility to switch from OTA to cable on a whim, availability of lifetime service and a significantly improved resale value.

    Penny wise and pound foolish if you ask me.
     
  8. Pacomartin

    Pacomartin Member

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    I use that phrase in the same way you are using it, where you try to save a little money up front and it costs you much more in the long run. But sometimes I think the original meaning was referring to people who save money on the brand soda they drink, then they go to a bar and by drinks for everyone.

    I think most people on this forum agree, but there is always a market. News articles generally are very excited about the Roamio OTA.

    It's like Google Chromecast. When it came out people went nuts over the $35 price. But some serious reviewers said that they thought that $35 was about right considering what the device can do.
    ----
    But back to the topic. Can you use a thumb drive with Tablo and just carry the drive to another device with the movie?
     
  9. SullyND

    SullyND W: 45-31 TCF Club

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    Someone may decide that it's not worth it at two months too. Either way, they're on the hook for twelve months.
     
  10. scandia101

    scandia101 Just the facts ma'am

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    Then what's this all about?

    [​IMG]
     
  11. SullyND

    SullyND W: 45-31 TCF Club

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    A different Roamio.

    There is a specific Roamio called the Roamio OTA. DZ wasn't saying you can't get a Roamio that does OTA with lifetime. You cannot get lifetime service on the Roamio OTA.
     
  12. Series3Sub

    Series3Sub Well-Known Member

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    And AFAIK, you can't just plug your Tablo 4 directly into your HDTV. This is an absolute must for many in my family as they are not tech savvy and do NOT want to deal with remote devices and WiFi or Ethernet in ANY way when they want to watch TV. They are traditional TV watchers. They want a DVR box they can plunk down next to the HDTV, connect it, and start recording and watching. That requires no learning curve with them. And that is a TiVo (or Channel Master DVR+) not any of these DVR's dependent on mobile devices or internet. TiVo can still have a strong appeal to those seeking a traditional DVR solution even in these techy times.
     
  13. Pacomartin

    Pacomartin Member

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    Well you not only can't plug it in with an HDMI port, it has no A/V plugs. Nor does it have a hard disk. So at a minimum if you want a DVR you must plunk down $300 for Tablo and $100 for a hard drive and watch it from your tablets. You still are stuck with an annoying $5/month fee, or another $150 for lifetime support.

    So my original question is the Tablo and the TiVo OTA ultimately the same device for a similar price? It seems the answer is a resounding no.
     
  14. Bigg

    Bigg Cord Cutter

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    TiVo is an easier box to set up, and has a better interface, and has the flexibility (on the Base Roamio) of switching to cable.

    However, the Tablo would be far cheaper and easier for a household with several TVs who already has Rokus on the TVs and maybe a few external hard drives laying around.
     
  15. astrohip

    astrohip Well-Known Raconteur TCF Club

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    Unless I missed something, you're answering a question no one asked.
     
  16. Pacomartin

    Pacomartin Member

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    That is quite true.

    I was attempting to do my own comparison, and I requested some comments. In fact I made a number of errors which were pointed out to me, for which I appreciate the help.
     
  17. davezatz

    davezatz Funkadelic

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    OP was discussing the $50 "Roamio OTA". What you're showing is the $200 "Roamio" that does CableCARD or OTA.

    [​IMG]
     
  18. Series3Sub

    Series3Sub Well-Known Member

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    Good grief! At those total Tablo prices, it comes out to about the same cost as a TiVo Roamio with Lifetime. Gee, the TiVo is actually looking competitive.

    I think the answer is if one is techy oriented and live by their mobile device and just prefers that realm to traditional way of watching TV with a traditional DVR, then something like Tablo is what they would prefer. As I said, some people I know just stop me in mid-sentence when I explain the option of Tablo or other devices/services like them because they just don't have the skill set and are not used to dealing with mobile devices and Roku's as the portal for watching TV. They watch TV in their home sitting in front of their HDTV and want a traditional DVR they can understand, so for them TiVo or Channel Master DVR+ or Genie or Hopper or cable co DVR's it is. The young-lings who have grown up with tech would probably prefer the Tablo. It's about which device suits the person.
     
  19. atmuscarella

    atmuscarella Well-Known Member

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    I would say that for OTA Tablo & TiVo Roamio are very competitive. It really depends on what the individual user wants which becomes a better deal. I have not used Tablo but certainly believe Dave's review so I will just assume functionality is not an issue and on par with TiVo.

    Tablo Costs:Total for a 1 TV setup with a Roku 3 is $575+/-. This setup will give the user more functionality and more storage than a Roamio with lifetime which can be purchased for $550+/- most anytime with PLSR lifetime discount code or $500 with Promo codes sold on ebay. The Tablo also has a lower cost to add additional TVs ($35-$90) and can stream to almost any computing device without additional cost (the base Roamio will need a $130 stream added to it).

    What I am uncertain about the Tablo setup is how much the picture is degraded by the Tablo when the compression format is changed and if the company will be successful enough to stay in business longer term. What I am fairly certain of is that a used Tablo system will have fairly low resale value compared to a Roamio with lifetime and if one wants to go back to cable the Tablo system is useless.

    Without having used a Tablo setup I would be hard press to recommend it. Having used a Roamio for OTA it is very easy for me to say it is a great OTA DVR and well worth it's cost.
     
  20. Pacomartin

    Pacomartin Member

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    Yes, one immediately thinks of teenagers and people living in small dorm rooms. Their TV/movie viewing device is the same one they read what used to be called newspapers and magazines.

    But the so called "family room" oriented around the big television has probably always rankled some amateur interior designers. There is a fairly large business of manufacturers who try to hide televisions behind mirrors and in trick cabinets. As media watching has primarily become an individual experience, the future home decorator may simply relegate the television to the same level as reading a magazine, with a TV in the drawer.

    They may not care about ultra HD or even full HD. No concern about viewing angles or even remotes. Just battery life and something resembling a book stand for when you are tired of lying on your bed with your TV propped up on your knees.
     

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