I want to introduce the number one way to capture and time shift your local OTA broadcasts….[drum roll]…. Introducing the VCR!!!
Just kidding. 🙂
We have a digital option here at CableFreeUSA.com.
Our current rig uses TabloTV to record OTA broadcasts. It is connected to the antenna via coax cable, and connected to the home network via WIFI. For best performance TabloTV recommends that the device be connected directly to your WIFI router via coax cable. As we’ve documented previously, the CableFreeUSA.com rig uses an indoor antenna on the 3rd floor connected to the TabloTV. So some streaming quality is lost buy WIFI flexibility is gained.
Watch OTA Shows on Any Device
You have to have a streaming device connected to your TV to then utilize TabloTV. With devices like Amazon FireTV and Roku, Apps are available for TabloTV.
Apps are also available for Android and iOS devices to watch shows on tablets.
On other devices, connecting to MyTablo through a browser that is on the same local network as the TabloTV will bring up a slick web application that will allow you to watch live TV as well as stream shows.
Two Tuner Model or Four Tuner Model
There are two TabloTV models available: two or four tuners. A tuner can either record a show from the antenna or stream a show to a device. Example: if nothing is recording – two shows can be streamed. If one show is recording – one show can be streamed. You will have to figure out what your typical recording and consumption rate of OTA shows will be to determine the most suitable option. The CableFreeUSA.com rig uses a two tuner model. On NFL Sundays, tuner collisions occur with two games recording with the desire to watch one of them. But that happens infrequently.
Hard Drive Purchase Separately
One knock I have against TabloTV is the need to purchase a hard drive separately. A 1 TB drive has sufficed for over a year on the CableFreeUSA.com rig, with only 1/2 of the storage being used. Make sure to purchase a compatible unit and budget an extra $100 for the drive.
Fast Forward Through Commercials
On Amazon FireTV (and stick), the iOS and Android Apps, and MyTablo, fast forwarding and rewinding is immediate and a pleasure to use.
I decommissioned an older model Roku 2, and replaced it with an Amazon FireTV, because I found the fast forward/rewind feature to be lacking with TabloTV.
With a fee of $49.99 / year, the TabloTV offers a digital guide. This service downloads the TV listings for the stations that you are able to receive, and allows you to schedule a season’s worth of shows. Example: to record Super Girl, you find the show and select ‘record all new’. Now all shows for that season will be captured.