If you’re a user of the cable-cutter utility known as Tablo, you probably also know that your options for playback are fairly limited. They have a Plex channel, which helps a lot, but there’s nothing like having a native app to play your media on that doesn’t require your PC to be running at all times.
At CES this year, Nuvyyo announced that they would be releasing a new generation of Tablo this year that had the antennas built into the device, which would give users a little more flexibility as far as where they kept the unit (probably still near a window). They also announced a new, native Roku app and an official Tablo app for Amazon’s popular streaming box, the Fire TV.
At the time of CES, they were able to demo the Roku app for me on a TCL Roku TV, but the application clearly wasn’t ready for primetime. However, starting today, a live preview of the new Roku app and Fire TV app, as well as an Android TV compatible app are available for download from their respective app repositories.
According to the press release, the Roku app is going to be in a private Roku channel for now, meaning that you’ll need to visit Tablo’s app page and register for the private channel in order to be able to install it on your Roku. The Amazon Fire TV and Android TV apps are going to be nearly identical to the interface that you get on your Tablet, phone, or on the web because they are apps built over the web interface. The major difference between these and the normal Android app is the fact that you can control them with your set top box remote. The Roku app, however, has been built from the ground up as a native Roku app to give users a high-end streaming experience. Below are some teaser images of the new Roku interface.
As of right now, the Roku app will have the following features:
· Browse and set recordings coming in the next 24 hours via the Live TV grid guide
· Watch live TV (including pause & rewind)
· Browse and watch recordings (including pause, rewind and fast forward)
· Delete recordings
A future release of the app will also feature being able to browse and set recordings for the next 14 days (rather than 24 hours) and a search capability. When these features have been implemented and the app is in what they developers consider stable condition, this new app will completely replace the current Tablo app on Roku.
The folks with Tablo have assured me that they are continuing to work on a native Android app that is more stable, but for now we’re going to have to keep using the web app (which I think will do for now and is much better than an unstable app).
Update: After taking a look at the Amazon Fire TV app, I’m a little disappointed by the quality assurance over at Nuvyyo. The Fire TV app operates in the exact same way that the Android app does, in that the video player is a separate app that downloads itself when you install the main app.
The problem with that, of course, is that installing apps from unknown sources directly on the Fire TV is disabled. In order to use the app as it currently stands you will need to sideload the video player app. I pulled the app from my phone and installed the app manually through adb install and it works great after that.
For users interested, here is the video player app and here are instructions for sideloading to the Fire TV.
Update 2: It turns out that at some point down the road, Amazon added the ability to install apps from unknown sources by going to settings > system > developer options > Apps from unknown as shown in the screenshot from my Amazon Fire TV just now:
In addition to everything else, Tablo also announced a new firmware update today:
- Adds support for the new preview TabloRoku channel.
- Note: After restart, Tablo will perform a database upgrade which may take up to ten minutes. Tablo will be unavailable during this period.
- Improvements to connection performance for web app
- Minimum free space settings on drives managed by AUTODELETE is now drive size-specific
- Overall performance improvements