20 Second Load Times (old thread)

Hi all I discovered this product the other day and decided to order through amazon. I am pretty impressed with all the features and everything. My only problem with my 4 tuner unit is that when i select a live tv channel to watch it takes about 20-25 seconds for a channel to load. My unit is hard wired straight to my router. It has no issues with antenna picking up all our local channels. The only issue is the load time of channels. I am using a fire tv in one room, a fire tv stick in another, nvidia shield in another, and just a cheap Chinese android box in another. On all these devices it is the same result of channels and even recording taking 20 seconds or more to load. We are trying to cut the cord but with results like this where you cant really channel surf it makes it tough to keep this product. We were going to try the hd home run next but if we could fix this issue then there wouldn’t be a need to switch. If anyone can help with this I greatly appreciate it.

What the Tablo is doing when you change to an untuned channel is to begin capture of the stream and start transcoding. That is what is taking 20 seconds, and that is normal for the Tablo.

The good news is that once a channel is tuned, you can go back to it in under a second. So if you just want to go back and forth between the same two to four channels, it is very quick.

As you will read on these forums, one of the big weaknesses of the Tablo is channel surfing. I use it almost exclusively as a DVR and rarely ever watch live TV on it. And when I do, I have one channel in mind and keep it there.


I gotcha, I wish I knew this ahead of time. Is there a way to improve that? Maybe a faster hard drive?

A faster drive might improve the time slightly, but only a second or two. No way to get it down to reasonable surfing time.

I hate to ask but has anyone had experience with the HD Home run products as far as speed. I really love the tablo, but other in the house cant stop complaining how slow the load time is. To be honest I watch movies and tv shows with Kodi and a cheap IPTV provider for all my live sports. I am just trying to make everyone in my house happy for their local news in the morning and night.

No real word experience with the HDHomeRun. The native HDHomeRun DVR software is still in beta and runs on a dedicated computer / NAS. The Plex DVR software is also still in beta, and runs on a dedicated computer / NAS.

You can check out the Tablo DROID software DVR engine for use with the NVIDIA Shield. It records in the native MPEG2 video so channel switching is instantaneous. See link below.


I have an Apple tv4 and a fire stick. On my fire stick, Tablo is so slow loading channels its almost unbearable. On the Apple tv, it will load a channel in about 7-10 seconds. It also loads the guide very quickly and accurately. Something the fire stick often takes forever to do.

The hard drive will affect start up time… I had a small HDD with NO sleep function to start. I then upgraded to one with much better specs (higher RPM and more cache).

Initial start up in the morning, the old one was better (it didn’t have to “wake up”) but as long as the drive isn’t in low power mode, the new one cuts a good 2-3 seconds off.

The most recent firmware update to the Roku also trimmed off a few seconds for that device.

Its still not fast enough for most who try to “surf” though.

Since cutting the cord the family has slowly come around to NOT surfing. We treat the Tablo the same as Netflix or any other, we aren’t blindly surfing channels, we look for whatever show we want, we watch it. Sometimes it is LIVE (news, sports, etc) sometimes it isn’t, but we are always looking for a specific show, not a channel.

But to each their own, yes you can improve the startup speed (have seen others report further improvements with solid state HDDs) but “surfing” is never going to be perfect.

as far as the HDHomeRun product, I use both Tablo and the HDHR on my NVidia Shield.
Tablo I use for DVR and remote viewing,
HDHR I use for live OTA which I view through the Live Channels app on the NVidia Shield.

This provides me with both channel surfing and DVR functionality that works for “spouse approved” viewing.

Have you tried out any of the PVR products for the HDHomeRun given you’ve got a Shield?

I have tried multiple… If I was a “show hoarder” I could see using the PlexDVR Beta regularly… That has significant gaps in what is capable of still (no live, cannot watch in progress recordings)

Silicon Dust’s DVR Beta still needs a lot of work in the interaction/ feature department but is progressing well…

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But, arguably, a “show hoarder” probably wouldn’t have as much concern for live tv 20 second load times (making the Tablo more worthwhile).

When I initially got my Tablo a month ago I felt the same way with the channel changing. But once I set up my show recordings and accumulated plenty of recorded content I find myself using the live option sparingly. It comes down to how you usually view content. If you are a channel surfer, Tablo has a limitation. If you scan the guide and watch live once in a while, it works fine. But its strength is to record OTA programming for viewing when you want.

This is how I use my 4 tuner Tablo as well (use it as a DVR to record show to watch later).
That said, I use a Chromecast in two of my rooms and find channel surfing effective as the Chromecast holds the signal from channel A while I use my phone as the remote to choose channel B. Once I click channel B, the Chromecast changes the channel within seconds.

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