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Amazon starts selling subscription-free Tablo DVR

The fourth-generation Tablo DVR marries free broadcast TV channels with dozens of free-to-access streaming content feeds.

The fourth-generation Tablo DVR marries free broadcast TV channels with dozens of free-to-access streaming content feeds.

The 4th-generation Tablo DVR makes free broadcast television on streaming devices, phones and tablets. (Courtesy photo)
The 4th-generation Tablo DVR makes free broadcast television on streaming devices, phones and tablets. (Courtesy photo)

Amazon has become the latest retailer to start offering a new model of Tablo’s over-the-air digital video recorders (DVR) to shoppers.

First announced in August, the fourth-generation Tablo DVR combines access to broadcast television with dozens of free streaming channels.

Unlike prior models of Tablo, which offered a monthly or annual subscription for premium TV guide listings, the new Tablo DVR offers the same TV listings without any additional subscriptions or fees.

The cost of the new Tablo DVR is lower, too, priced at just $100 for a two-tuner model that includes 128 GBs of on-board storage.

At launch, the fourth-generation Tablo was available through the Tablo and Best Buy websites, with shoppers also able to pick up the device at some Best Buy stores. Now, Amazon is also selling the new Tablo DVR, priced at $100 with free two-day shipping for Prime members.

Amazon is also offering a Tablo bundle that includes the two-tuner DVR along with a flat-style, over-the-air antenna. Normally listed for $130, the Tablo DVR bundle with antenna is priced at just $110, again with free two-day shipping for Prime members.

Depending on where a user lives, most streamers can expect to receive most of their local ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC, CW Network and PBS member stations and affiliates with the fourth-generation Tablo DVR, which includes a pre-amplifier built right into the device for pulling in hard-to-reach signals.

The fourth-generation Tablo DVR requires a broadband Internet connection, which is used to get premium TV guide data from an online provider and to stream dozens of free, ad-supported channels. Those streaming channels include:

  • Bloomberg TV
  • Bounce XL
  • Court TV Legendary Trials
  • Crime Hunters
  • Docurama
  • Estrella News
  • Fubo Sports Network
  • Grit Xtra
  • Homeful
  • Ion Mystery
  • Ion Plus
  • Laff More
  • Love Nature
  • Maximum Effort Channel
  • Scripps News
  • Sports News Highlights
  • Tastemade
  • Tastemade Home
  • Tastemade Travel

There are some limitations with the fourth-generation Tablo DVR: Unlike older models of Tablo — which are still available to buy on the Tablo website — the fourth-generation Tablo DVR doesn’t work with Tablo Connect, a feature that allows out-of-home streaming.

The new Tablo DVR also works exclusively with a newly-designed Tablo app, which is currently only available for Roku, Amazon Fire TV and Android TV (Google TV) devices. The developers behind Tablo say an app for Apple TV is in the works, as are apps for Samsung, LG and Vizio smart TV sets.

The new fourth-generation Tablo DVR is available to purchase on Amazon by clicking or tapping here, while the Tablo DVR bundle with over-the-air antenna is available by clicking or tapping here.

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About the Author:

Matthew Keys

Matthew Keys is a nationally-recognized, award-winning journalist who has covered the business of media, technology, radio and television for more than 11 years. He is the publisher of The Desk and contributes to Know Techie, Digital Content Next and StreamTV Insider. He previously worked for Thomson Reuters, the Walt Disney Company, McNaughton Newspapers and Tribune Broadcasting.
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