The announcement comes one day after Best Buy published a pre-order page for the four-tuner version of the fourth-generation Tablo DVR, with Nuvyyo affirming the hardware will be sold exclusively through Best Buy.
Free TV enthusiasts who want access to the four-tuner model will have to buy it from Best Buy’s website — it won’t be sold at Best Buy retail stores, nor will it be available through online sellers like Amazon. Even Tablo’s own website won’t carry the four-tuner model, though the two-tuner model is available to buy there — and with a nice Black Friday discount of $80 (normally, it costs $100). By comparison, the four-tuner Tablo model is expected to retail at BestBuy.com for $140.
The fourth-generation Tablo was unveiled in early October. When paired with a conventional TV antenna, it unlocks access to free broadcast television stations, including affiliates of ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, the CW Network and PBS member stations, along with independent stations in most areas.
Unlike prior models of Tablo, the fourth-generation DVR is subscription-free, meaning users will have access to a full 14 days worth of premium TV programming data right out of the box. The lack of a subscription also means fourth-generation Tablo users lose access to some premium features like out-of-home streaming and the ability to automatically advance through commercial breaks on recorded content, but Tablo makes up for this by offering more than 40 free, ad-supported streaming channels that live alongside broadcast stations received with an antenna.
The fourth-generation Tablo DVR doesn’t plug directly into a TV. Instead, it pairs with a streaming TV platform like Roku, Amazon Fire TV or Android TV/Google TV (and, soon, Apple TV, Samsung’s Tizen, LG’s webOS and Vizio’s Platform Plus) to watch live and recorded TV content through the free Tablo app. Tablo also has streaming TV apps for Apple iPhones, iPads and most popular Android phones and tablets — though, again, the device only works on a user’s home network.
The fourth-generation device is the first to be announced since Tablo and Nuvyyo were acquired by the E. W. Scripps Company early last year. Scripps says it intends to promote the new Tablo model on its broadcast and streaming channels, and The Desk has already seen promotional spots for Tablo aired on channels like Scripps News, Bounce, Laff and Ion.