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Tablo's First ATSC 3.0 DVR Delayed, Won't Skip Ads

Tablo's $300 TV-connected DVR promises four NextGen TV tuners on board, but will no longer include automatic ad-skipping.

Ty Pendlebury Editor
Ty Pendlebury is a journalism graduate of RMIT Melbourne, and has worked at CNET since 2006. He lives in New York City where he writes about streaming and home audio.
Expertise Ty has worked for radio, print, and online publications, and has been writing about home entertainment since 2004. He majored in Cinema Studies when studying at RMIT. He is an avid record collector and streaming music enthusiast. Credentials
  • Ty was nominated for Best New Journalist at the Australian IT Journalism awards, but he has only ever won one thing. As a youth, he was awarded a free session for the photography studio at a local supermarket.
Ty Pendlebury
2 min read
Tablo ATSC 3.0 Quad HDMI DVR and remote in front of TV

Nuvyyo has announced that its $300 Tablo ATSC 3.0 Quad HDMI OTA DVR will be delayed due to new digital rights management requirements. The DVR was unveiled at CES in January and was originally due to be available this spring.

In a blog post Sunday, the manufacturer said that new DRM decryption keys need to be installed during manufacturing and cannot be added via later firmware updates. The company also says that the Automatic Commercial Skip function will not be available on this device, though it says users will still be able to fast-forward through ads on recordings manually .

The Tablo ATSC 3.0 Quad  HDMI  is a hybrid four-tuner DVR, which was due to be one of the first to feature the NextGen TV (ATSC 3.0) standard as well as the ability to receive existing over-the-air signals.

Nuvvyo says the Tablo ATSC 3.0 Quad HDMI OTA DVR is compatible with any TV featuring an HDMI port, though you will need a 4K HDR TV to make the most of it. The Tablo connects to any TV antenna and supports external USB hard drives from 1TB to 8TB. The company notes that, unlike most of the company's network DVRs , streaming live or recorded OTA TV to other devices is not supported on this Tablo model.

The device comes with a 24-hour program guide and manual recording, but also includes a 30-day free trial of the Tablo Premium Service ($20 per year). Premium Service enables two weeks of guide data in advance, but will no longer include automatic ad-skipping.

One of Tablo's main strengths has always been its program guide and I've found it's worth paying the subscription for. While the lack of network capability is a shame, this device will still be one of the only NextGen DVRs available -- and the only one with four ATSC 3.0 tuners. Meanwhile, the $200 HDHomeRun Flex 4K is networkable and features two NextGen tuners out of four.

The Tablo ATSC 3.0 Quad HDMI is no longer available for preorder at TabloTV.com, and the company has yet to announce when it will be released. I've contacted Nuvvyo and will update further if it responds.

What is ATSC 3.0?

NextGen TV is the latest broadcast standard, which is designed to feature high-quality Ultra HD 4K video, HDR and wide color gamut, plus high frame rates up to 120Hz. The standard has appeared in a number of TVs over the past couple of years, including these LG and Samsung models, and the newest Hisense screens. However, as of summer this year, only 50% of US households are able to receive programming.