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Tablo Introduces New TV Tuner for Cord Cutters, Previews Cloud DVR at CES

Cord cutters will soon have even more options to watch live and record broadcast TV: Nuvyyo, maker of the Tablo DVR for cord cutters, is introducing a new device dubbed the Tablo Live stick at CES in Las Vegas this week that promises free over-the-air television on pretty much any device. In addition, Nuvyyo is also introducing a DVR app for the Nvidia Shield game console, and previewing a cloud DVR for broadcast TV.

Tablo Live, which will go on sale in Q2 for $99, can be connected to an over-the-air antenna, but doesn’t plug directly into a TV set. Instead, it streams live TV to devices that have Tablo’s apps installed. Tablo’s software is currently available for a wide range of devices including Android phones, iPhone, Roku, Fire TV, Xbox One and Apple TV. Consumers won’t have to pay any subscription fees to watch networks like ABC, CBS and Fox with Tablo Live, but the device doesn’t support any recording functionality at launch.

Nuvyyo eventually wants to change that with the launch of its cloud DVR, which it is previewing at CES this week as well. The cloud DVR will allow users to store recordings from Tablo Live in the cloud, and stream them to any device with Tablo’s apps. There’s no word yet on how much the Tablo cloud DVR will cost, but it will be marketed as a paid subscription, and there’s a possibility that it will offer multiple plans based on the number of hours available for recording content.

Tablo has been selling networked DVRs for cord cutters for a number of years now. The company’s existing Tablo DVR works very similar to the Tablo Live stick, with a few key differences: Tablo Live will only have one tuner built-in, so consumers won’t be able to watch different channels on multiple devices at the same time.

Tablo’s DVR on the other hand comes with up to 4 tuners. The DVR also relies on local storage, with consumers adding external hard drives to record shows. But just like Tablo Live, the DVR also doesn’t plug into the TV directly. Recordings are instead streamed over a consumer’s local network, or to mobile devices out of the home.

In addition to these devices, Tablo is also for the first time releasing a DVR software solution based on third-party hardware. The company’s new Droid app turns the NVIDIA Shield game console into a DVR — provided that consumers also add a TV tuner adapter. Tablo will start selling its own adapter for Shield owners in Q2, but the app will also work with a third-party USB tuner from Hauppauge.

Tablo’s foray into the world of cloud DVRs is ambitious. New York-based consumer electronics startup Boxee once tried to sell cord cutters on the idea of a cloud DVR for broadcast TV, but failed to gain traction, and eventually had to shutter its efforts when it got acquired by Samsung.

However, Tablo Live is an interesting product even without the added cloud storage. Most TVs only offer rudimentary TV guides for consumers who don’t subscribe to a cable service, and Vizio even decided to not include tuners for broadcast TV in its TV sets at all anymore. Tablo on the other hand has developed a very robust guide as part of its existing products, and the ability to watch live TV on mobile devices without any additional costs is a nice added bonus.

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