Let’s quickly compare Tablo and Android TV Live Channels
solutions for OTA DVR and see how they fare against each other in the beginning of 2017.
They are not competing head to head on features but all will appeal to semi DIY crowd with some technical knowledge.
|Tablo DVR||Live Channels DVR|
|TV Guide Data||14 days||2 days|
|TV Guide Data Cost||$5/month, $50/year or $150/lifetime (1)||FREE|
|TV Guide Data Search|
|TV Guide Data Filter||(2)|
|Streaming on multiple devices|
|Tuners||2 or 4||1|
|Equipment Cost||$219.99 (2 tuners) - $299 (4 tuners)||$130 (AirTV - single tuner) Includes $50 credit for Sling|
|Minimum cost for one screen (not including storage)||$409 (2 tuner, lifetime, Fire TV Stick)||$130 (lifetime) Includes $50 credit for Sling|
- There is a free option but that doesn’t allow for series recording. Only manual schedule can be set.
- You can only filter what is live at the moment. Useful for watching live TV but pretty useless for scheduling recording.
- There is a substantial lag when switching the channels which makes it painful to use. This was a deal breaker for me.
- Separate device is required to play live TV and recorded content. Minimum cost for one of the streaming sticks is $40.
Android TV Live Channels has some pretty crucial limitations but if you can live with them and the budget is important to you then it is a clear winner.
It all boils down to how important the recording of OTA is to you. I think a lot of people don’t realize what a staggering amount of content is available to them via antenna. In my area I am now picking up 58 channels (after the last re-scan few days ago). Out of those there are quite a few channels with quality content. Being able to watch on your own schedule and skip right over the commercials is a huge time saver. I myself cannot stand watching live TV unless it is sports and even then I prefer to time-shift through commercials as much as I can.
Depending on your media consumption habits you might get away with having OTA DVR and one streaming service at a time.