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Tablo issues refunds over delayed ATSC 3.0 device

A Tablo Quad capable of receiving ATSC 3.0 signals as unveiled in January 2022. (Image courtesy Nuvyyo/Graphic by The Desk)

Nuvvyo says it will issue refunds to customers who pre-ordered a forthcoming version of its popular, Tablo-branded broadcast TV recorders.

In an email to customers this week, Nuvyyo CEO Grant Hall said the company still intends to ship the Tablo ATSC 3.0 Quad HDMI DVR at some point in the future, but affirmed it was unable to meet a previously-imposed deadline for getting the gadget to customers.

For this reason, Nuvyyo will issue a full refund to customers who pre-ordered the device.

“We had hoped to ship pre-orders before the end of 2022, but were obviously unable to meet that target,” Hall said. “ATSC 3.0 is a very new standard, and certifications and other technical issues have caused unforeseen delays.”

ATSC 3.0 — known by the consumer brand “NextGen TV” — is the second broadcast standard for digital, over-the-air television in the United States. It offers a number of improvements over the current default standard, ATSC 1.0, including the ability to broadcast ultra high-definition (UHD/4K) signals with high dynamic range (HDR), better audio compression technology and an increased utilization in tight broadcast bandwidth.

The new standard began rolling out in the United States a few years ago, and is already live in dozens of television markets across the country. At least one television station acts as a “lighthouse” in each market, simulcasting the high-definition signals of local ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC and Univision stations, though little other content is available.

The new standard has yet to see a high demand from consumers, who are increasingly moving away from expensive cable and satellite packages toward streaming services and free broadcast TV. Many households continue to watch free television via the older ATSC 1.0 digital standard, which broadcasters will continue to support for the foreseeable future.

Nuvvyo’s current line of Tablo DVRs work well with the ATSC 1.0 standard: The devices pull in free TV signals using an antenna, and allows users to stream live channels across a number of smart TV platforms and non-TV devices like phones and tablets through the free Tablo app. Users can also record live television programs to watch later by connecting an external hard drive to a Tablo box.

Customers who pay for a monthly or annual subscription to Tablo get the ability to watch live and recorded channels from their boxes on the go.

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About the Author:

Matthew Keys

Matthew Keys is the publisher of The Desk and reports on the business and policy matters involving the broadcast television, streaming video and radio industries. He previously worked for Thomson Reuters, Disney-ABC, Tribune Broadcasting and McNaughton Newspapers. Matthew is based in Northern California, has won numerous awards in the field of journalism, and is a member of IRE (Investigative Reporters and Editors).