Updated March 8, 2019: Tablo CEO Grant Hall has announced that any account created before March 7, 2019, will be grandfathered in and won't have to pay for new guide subscriptions. This post has been updated accordingly.
Over-the-air streaming box maker Tablo this month is set start selling its four-tuner Tablo Quad box, which also allows for an internal hard drive. And on March 7 Tablo announced a fairly major update to the way it does subscriptions for its on-screen guide.
Previously, subscriptions were tied to accounts. Pay once, and use on however many Tablo boxes you have.
Going forward for new Tablo accounts created after March 7, you'll have to pay per device. The reason for the change, Tablo says, is "to facilitate the addition of optional secondary paid features — like the upcoming Cloud DVR service."
The move created a predictable backlash. And a day after announcing the change, CEO Grant Hall walked things back a bit in a post in the company's community forums, as well as in an email. (We've included it at the end of this post.)
Tablo says via a blog post that you'll be able to switch which device the paid guide is tied to. So if you upgrade from an older two-tuner Tablo to, say, the Quad, you don't have to pay a second time.
There's still a free guide, of course — as well as a free trial of the paid guide.
Also: On June 1 the Tablo Cloud DVR will transition from a free beta (with limited recordings) to a fully paid-for option. It'll cost $4.99 a month in the U.S., and $5.99 a month in Canada. That's per instance of Cloud DVR, they say, and it'll offer 64GB of storage and requires a guide subscription. Or you can still pay annually for $49 total, or get a lifetime subscription for $149.
If you're currently using Cloud DVR in beta, you'll have until June 1 to actually add the paid service. After that, you'll have 30 days to watch (but not record anything new) until things shut off.
Tablo also says that its commercial-skipping feature is still coming, but they've had to push it back a bit until late April.
Here's the full post from Tablo's CEO communicating the change to the change:
Hi Everyone –
Yesterday, for the first time since we launched Tablo, we announced a change to the structure of our optional TV Guide Data Subscription 10.
This change was not made with the intention of extracting additional revenue from our valued customers, but to enable per-device subscriptions for optional add-on features like Cloud DVR.
What we should have done is grandfather all existing customers and honor the promise we made when you purchased your subscription, allowing you to add multiple DVRs on a single subscription.
But we didn't. And that was a mistake.
We hear you loud and clear, and we want to make it right.
That's why I've made the decision to honor the original promise we made to our customers with an active subscription created prior to March 7, 2019.
Like before, these customers can continue to add multiple new DVR units to their active subscriptions at no additional cost.
Unfortunately, we can't enable this in the self-serve account management portal, but any customers wishing to add a net new Tablo DVR to their grandfathered active subscription can contact support with their newest Tablo's serial number so we can add it for them.
All Tablo customers can continue to swap the Tablo DVR to which their Tablo subscription account is connected via the account management portal at account.tablotv.com.
We have been so fortunate to enjoy the support of such an amazing community of cord cutters since we launched the first Tablo DVR over five years ago.
We hope that you continue to proudly support us despite this misstep and look forward to bringing you new features and firmware updates that will increase your enjoyment of the investment you've already made in us.
And as always, we are listening. We value your feedback because it makes our company, and our product better.
If you ever have any concerns, questions, or product support issues, please email us, call us, or leave us a message on Twitter or Facebook.
Grant Hall CEO, Nuvyyo Inc.
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