Tablo's commercial-skipping feature is coming to mobile and web apps, moves to a paid service

Tablo Quad

Source: Phil Nickinson / CordCutters (Image credit: Phil Nickinson / CordCutters)
What you need to know

• Tablo's automatic commercial-skipping feature is finally out of beta.

• As a result, it'll now be available on the iOS and Android apps, as well as the Tablo web app.

• Unfortunately, the feature will now require a subscription to the new Tablo Premium Service.

Tablo may be the best way to record OTA TV, but it sure is starting to get more expensive. Following changes early last year that began charging users per device instead of per account (regardless of how many devices used the same account), the company is now introducing a new Premium Service for the commercial-skipping goodness it added for DVR recordings back in April 2019.

At the time of its release, the feature was in beta, and Tablo was happy to let guide subscribers partake in the festivities for free. However, now that it's ready for prime-time, having Tablo automatically process your recordings and skip commercials will now cost you a monthly (or yearly) subscription.

The pricing for the new Tablo Premium Service breaks down as follows:

  • $2.00 USD ($3.00 CAD) per month on top of monthly Tablo TV Guide Data Service
  • $20.00 USD ($30.00 CAD) per year on top of annual Tablo TV Guide Data Service
  • $20.00 USD ($30.00 CAD) per year for those with lifetime Tablo TV Guide Data Serivce

The feature will officially be out of beta on February 6, and that's when Tablo will need you to start buying the premium service. Until then, users of the TV Guide service are free to use commercial-skipping for free, as they've been doing so far. However, to continue using skipping ads, users need to go and add the Premium Service to their account.

Adding he Premium Service in the Tablo Account Portal

Source: Tablo (Image credit: Tablo)

It's important to note that if you opt not to activate the subscription, not only will new recordings stop skipping commercials, but even the videos you recorded before the February 6 deadline will now include ads. It's a bit of an all-in-or-all-out situation.

Tablo justified the move by explaining that in order to skip commercials, Tablo devices need to send metadata for every single recording on your DVR to the company's servers for processing. This obviously incurs cloud and infrastructure costs, and the company says it decided to fork the commercial-skipping feature into its own service in order to ensure it could pay for those costs for those users who want the feature, while at the same time keeping the price of the basic TV Guide subscription unchanged for those who don't.

Tablo Quad review: A great, if imperfect, way to watch and record OTA TV