Streaming and recording content is reaching new heights year after year thanks to flagship companies likeNetflix. The year 2014 could possibly be when you cut the cord for good. With many options currently on the table like Netflix, Amazon Prime Streaming, and Hulu Plus, a lot of content is available at the push of just a few buttons. The input button has become an extremely popular feature on televisions for a lot of us. If you’ve been considering cutting the cord with your cable or satellite provider, you’re going to see an option hitting the market in February, according to the companies website, that will have to clear a few hurdles before some will be willing to part ways with their satellite or cable provider.
I’ve seen a few options that have made me consider cutting the cord, but Tablo has me wanting to put DirecTV on speed dial so I can quickly cancel if it arrives at my door. With that being said, there are still three things stopping me from pulling the trigger on it. First is the requirement of an HD antenna. I don’t know if I’ll pick up a strong enough signal by mounting it inside my attic space and those damn things are such an eye sore outside. I know they’ve gotten much better over the years, but as the attractiveness increases the range decreases. I’m not going the be “that guy” with the huge antenna on his house and when people drive-by they shake their head with disgust (you’re welcome neighbors).
Next item keeping my scissors comfortably in the drawer is the fact that it will require running a line from the HD antenna into the Tablo, or any other device requiring an antenna. Seems like such a minor inconvenience, but running cord from the roof to the device seems like such a pain, especially with such new hardware like this. Investing money and time is what I keep weighing when deciding if this is the right option going forward. Since Tablo is not available on the market yet, I just cannot justify the upfront time and money investment just to get it going. If it was streaming only, I’d be checking my mailbox 3 times a day waiting for it to come in. Streaming local channel content is where the legal battles begin. For streaming local channel content there’s a company called Aereo, but they’re currently facing major legal push back while trying to get more cities online. It’s only a matter of time before running HD antenna cable will be a thing of the past. So right now I’m on the fence about what to do.
Third, and most importantly, is the future of Apple TV. A lot of people have high hopes for this little streaming workhorse. I’ve put my thoughts on what Apple TV will look like in its new update in “The Grown Up Apple TV.” Based on what I feel this update will include, I wouldn’t even take anything out of its box or wrinkle the receipt so I could return everything. Since I’m all in on Apple TV, I couldn’t see myself giving up on them just yet. I don’t believe everything my little heart desires will be in the next update. As long as there are steps made in the right direction, I’ll be satisfied. Ultimately I want to rely upon one all-inclusive device for all my television viewing needs. I feel Apple TV will ultimately get me there. If not, I will welcome Tablo or Aereo into my home with open arms.
If you’re still interested in Tablo, it’s available for preorder for $220. There are other prices factors you will need to consider, so be sure and check their website here. Tablo fuses the functionality of a DVR and convenience and mobility of a tablet app, all while still delivering HD quality content.
Tablo DVR Features
- Watch, pause and record live TV
- Skip commercials
- Schedule recordings
- Manage existing recordings
- Record up to 4 shows simultaneously
- Watch on up to 6 devices simultaneously
- Watch on PC/Mac or iPhone/Android smartphone via browser
- Stream live AND recorded shows anywhere in the world
- Streaming to TV via AppleTV/Roku/Chromecast*
- iPad & Android app interface
Tablo DVR Hardware Features
- 2 or 4 OTA ATSC tuners
- WiFi included: 802.11n dual band 2.4 and 5Ghz with MIMO
- 2 USB ports for flexible USB HD storage
- No remote — controlled by tablet app
Tablo Electronic Program Guide (EPG) Subscription Features
- 14 days of guide data
- Rich cover art
- Series and episode synopses
- Schedule recordings by time, episode or series
- Schedule full series recordings
*Support for Chromecast will become available after the full Chromecast API has been release by Google.
There’s no denying there are great options coming online to get us away from the grips of the satellite and cable companies. You’ve been good to me DirecTV, but I’ve been looking to get you off the payroll for years now. Unless you’re willing to offer up some different packages allowing me to pick which channels I want and they’re priced accordingly, I think our days may be numbered.