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Digital Media

Tablo updates, adds apps for Android TV, Fire TV and Roku

The over-the-air DVR now offers a much better Roku experience, plus native apps for Android TV devices and Amazon's streamers.

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Rick Broida/CNET

Nuvyyo's Tablo DVR has long offered cord-cutters the means to record and view over-the-air broadcasts, but the viewing options were somewhat limited -- especially if you wanted to watch recorded shows on your TV. There was a Roku channel, but with an interface that was a far cry from the traditional DVR.

That changes today with the release of Tablo's newly updated Roku channel, which delivers a familiar-looking guide and improved overall navigation. And it accompanies new apps for Android TV boxes (such as the Google Nexus Player ) and Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick.

The new Roku channel (which is designated Tablo TV Preview and must be installed separately from your existing Tablo channel) brings a wealth of new features to your box, many of them based around a live-TV channel guide:

  • Browsing and setting records for the upcoming 24 hours.
  • Pausing and rewinding of live TV.
  • Browsing and watching recorded shows (also with pause, rewind, and fast-forward).
  • Deleting recordings

According to Nuvyyo, forthcoming updates will extend the program guide to a full 14 days, add a scheduled-recordings view and provide search options.

Interestingly, the Fire TV app hews more closely to Tablo's Web app, giving you a 14-day schedule, search functions and access to box settings.

I was able to get a quick peek at both apps, and they're a huge improvement over the original Roku channel. Now it feels more like you're using a DVR, though I had mixed results with different boxes: on a Roku LT, the channel was painfully slow and wouldn't tune in live TV, but it was fast and functional on a Roku 3. Your mileage may vary, of course.

The two-tuner Tablo DVR starts at $219.99, while Tablo's upcoming Metro (which offers a built-in antenna) will sell for $249.99 when it ships later this month. A subscription to Nuvyyo's electronic program guide (EPG) costs $4.99 per month.