Love the new Apple TV, but miss the ability to record TV shows? Tablo’s new Apple TV app could help to fill that gap by offering the ability to watch and record broadcast TV without the need for a cable subscription.
Tablo, which was officially released on Apple’s App Store Friday, doesn’t actually add recording capabilities directly to Apple’s device. Instead, it relies on the networked Tablo DVR — a small box that retails for $200 and streams live and recorded broadcast TV it picks up with an over-the-air antenna to mobile and connected devices.
But for Apple TV owners, Tablo could still prove to be an interesting solution — especially since it offers something that Apple itself hasn’t been able to pull off. The Cupertino company tried for a long time to launch its own pay TV package to compete with cable TV services, but failed to get the necessary rights.
Especially local broadcast TV proved to be difficult for Apple, since it involves to just striking deals with the big broadcast networks but also countless affiliates all around the country.
Tablo on the other hand doesn’t need to bother about any of these rights, since it simply offers a DVR that records shows locally — albeit with a modern interface and the ability to work with devices like Apple TV. Tablo’s app even is capable of skipping over commercials with Siri voice commands.
Tablo first previewed its Apple TV app at CES in Las Vegas earlier this year. The company isn’t he only one anymore to offer a combination of live and catch-up TV on Apple TV: Earlier this week, Dish-owned Sling TV launched an Apple TV app for its own online TV subscription service.
However, Sling is primarily focused on cable networks, and not quite as cheap as a DVR-based solution: Streaming packages for the online TV service start at $20 a month. Tablo on the other hand charges customers only $5 a month for access to TV guide data that’s necessary to schedule TV show recordings.