Friday, May 8, 2015

Tablo Followup

I mentioned before that I would follow up on my post about TabloTv after I'd had some more experience with it.

The tablo tv is easy enough to setup and setting up recording is pretty straightforward too. I'm glad that I've had the 30-day trial for the TV guide feature and think i will be subscribing once it expires. Watching recorded shows via the Tablo interface or app was never my intention and i'm glad that this was the case as the startup can be a little slow at times. Upon entering the web client there is a "syncing" screen that appears and prevents you from doing anything for 30 seconds to a minute. Then when you decide on an episode to watch it can take 20 - 30 seconds before it actually starts playing. Playback is pretty smooth from that point on and I do like the live tile preview when using the 30 second and 20 second FF and RW buttons, but it's a little slow when compared to Plex which is more or less instantaneous depending on your setup. But the biggest downside is that I cannot easily share my recorded content as I have grown accustomed to in sharing my Plex library.

My intention with purchasing the Tablo was to record the shows and then allow Plex to be the player. Although there is a free Plex channel for Tablo which makes it very easy to view and play my Tablo library, I cannot share Plex channels the same way I share Plex libraries.

So I scoured the web and found this little gem. Actually it's a python script (insert ruby joke).

Essentially I've setup the Tablo to record the shows I want. This script (which runs on a cron job every night)

 pulls any newly recorded shows from the Tablo and places them into a library I've created on Plex called TabloTV. I've enabled Plex to automatically update my library twice a day so that every morning I wake up, all my new shows are there. Now I can share this TabloTV library with anyone else and goodbye HULU/Network sites, hello on-demand streamable, shareable, DVR with the freshest content available on all 4 networks.

The one downside is that I now have two copies of every episode. One of my Tablo and one on Plex. But no matter, the Tablo has a nice Auto Delete feature which I'm sure will free up space JIT style. I didn't think I would need the 4-tuner so I opted for the 2-tuner. What I didn't realize was that basically all the good shows run at the same time, so if I could do it again I would get the 4-tuner. But maybe it's a good thing. I probably watch too much TV as it is.


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