After a year, can no longer tune in ABC & CBS

Last attempt before I reconnect cable. For almost a year, my set-up was excellent. Mohu Leaf 50 is window-mounted & connected to 4-tuner Tablo; Tablo is Ethernet connected to router; wifi to 3 tvs with Roku 3s. With the connection of a new Tablo, I lost the local ABC & CBS affiliates, provided by the same company, and sharing a tower 12 miles from me. Both tuned in perfectly on the old Tablo, which they graciously replaced due to a faulty USB connection & loss of ability to record. Here are all the unsuccessful solutions attempted:

I can use a $12 antenna & tune in those channels on any tv in the house, but cannot get them through my Tablo.

Replaced the hard drive, with the former diagnosed to be the culprit due to frequent disconnects, even with the new Tablo.

I’ve rescanned at all hours of the night & day, under every weather condition for 2 weeks.

Scanned from my iPhone app, which I’ve always done, and my computer.

Moved the antenna to multiple different locations.

Disconnected the antenna amp & direct connected antenna to the Tablo. Without the amp, I get only 3 stations, but not the two nearest.

Left the amp connected, but buffered it through a splitter.

Talked with the local tv network engineer & confirmed they’ve made no changes. Also, he says overamping rarely/never happens at >3 miles.

Tried local engineer’s suggestion to use a splitter and point an additional antenna directly toward their tower, leaving my initial one as-is.

Replaced the coax cable to my antenna.

Tried 4 additional models of antennas, each of which picks up less than my Mohu & none of which gets the now-missing ABC & CBS. May get banned for life from Best Buy when I return all of them…

I think it’s something internal to the new Tablo, as that is all that changed when I lost my two most-desired channels, but the Tablo tech remotely accessed my unit & diagnosed weak signal for those stations. But…I’m picking up weaker stations with towers 20-50 miles away.

If you tech-savvy fellas have any additional suggestions, obviously I’m willing to try most anything. I’d be delighted to ship a box of Tennessee Goo Goo clusters to the person who can resolve this.

Do you have a signal meter on any of your TVs? If so, what does the TV’s signal meter show for those two channels when you connect the antenna directly to the TV? Typically TV tuners outperform DVR tuners. If the TV tuner shows a signal above 70% (3 bars or so), then the Tablo is at fault. If the TV tuner shows 50% (which is enough for a TV to display the channel), then the Tablo will fail with these two channels whereas the TV won’t. Would be interesting to see how your TVs measure the signal in order to gauge the problem INDEPENDENTLY of the Tablo tech’s evaluation.

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Try changing the Postal Code (Zip Code) to one that’s close to yours via the Tablo Settings page.
I used the following to determine which one to choose:

For example, I live in 93907, and 93901 is adjacent, and even closer to my TV towers, which are in Salinas, so I’d choose 93901.

A new Tablo won’t have any channels in its channel list.
It gets it’s channel list from the Postal Code (Zip Code) that you enter.
So, if there’s something wrong with the channel list for a particular Postal Code (Zip Code), then your channels may never show up, even if they really exist within your Postal Code.

If your channels suddenly appear after you change your Postal Code, and rescan, then submit a support ticket to have Tablo fix your Postal Code channel list issue.

Jonesing for Tennessee Goo Goo clusters… :wink:

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Great idea! I’ll get a signal read on each tv.

I’ve used my zip code, a few from near-by communities, plus “use my location.” I’ll try a few more. But, this reminds me of something my tv station engineering pal said. They did a a software tweak a few weeks ago, not affecting signal strength. Perhaps it involved a change that somehow caused them to drop off the zip code list? Sounds logical… However, if the Tablo tech did a remote-access check of the signal from those two stations and found them weak, it seems unlikely. But, it’s Goo Goo worthy if it pans out!

What zip code are you in?

38305, but telling the Tablo I’m in 38301 yields more channels. I’ve scanned again, using 4 additional zips.

Many thanks to MarkKindle and Radojevic. I’ve confirmed full-signal strength for these two stations on all of my TVs, and have confirmed that neither station will appear when scanning all zip codes in my region, including the one that is nearest the tower in question. I’ve opened a new ticket with Tablo support & hope for resolution. I’ll update after I hear from them.

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Are we talking about WBBJ which has the rights to broadcast both ABC and CBS (CBS as a .3 subchannel)? If so, this channel (real 43\virtual 7) is at 60 degrees from any zip code you use (along with some others) while another set of channels is 250 degrees from you. You have two clusters of channels diametrically opposite each other.

One set will be received by the front of the antenna while the other from the backside of the antenna. In this situation the Tablo may indeed be getting a weak signal from one of the cluster of stations.

When you attach the antenna directly to the TVs, is it in the same position as when it is attached to the Tablo? Depending on how the antenna is placed or oriented, may cause a TV to get a signal while not for the Tablo.

You may need an omni-directional antenna for the Tablo such that signals from both directions come in equally well. Which antennas did you try from Best Buy? Was one of them an omni-directional?

Or directional two antennas, each facing in a different direction, joined together with a combiner (a splitter reversed). This may well work since the stations are 180 degrees apart. Only the antenna facing the 250 degree stations would need the amp.

Why would reception have changed after a year? Weather, temperature, seasons, buildings, etc. all play a factor. OTA reception patterns change over a period of time. What came in well from an angle may have become marginal due to some recent obstruction.

BTW when dealing with Tablo tech support, I would mention this geographic distribution of channels in your area. If as you mention the station did a software change, hopefully this did not affect the transmission stream rendering the Tablo tuner inoperable on that station. However the TV tuners don’t seem to be affected by any such changes…

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Thanks again! I’ll answer what I can. Yes, WBBJ, and both stations broadcast from the same tower. My Mohu Leaf is omnidirectional, and tuned in those channels and about 10 others perfectly for the past year. All the other channels remain, but those two vanished when I had to rescan for the new Tablo. My Mohu hangs in the same window it has for the past year, other than recent multiple tests, placing & pointing it differently. That window faces almost due South. 184 degrees, if my app is trustworthy. I’ve always known my house is almost perfectly aligned, N/S, front to back. I tested the tv in my office where the Tablo et al. equipment lives, by moving the cord but not the antenna. Perfect reception… No other antenna I recently tested in that room & pointed in every-which direction does nearly as well through the Tablo as the Mohu Leaf 50, and none get the missing 2 stations now, when routing through the Tablo…although all did when direct connected to the tv. The antenna I moved from room-to-room is a 50-mile rated Terk, I think Model OMNITV1AZ, and for a fair comparison, I also pointed it southward. The tower for the missing channels is SE of me (ESE, 115, receive power -23dBm) and about 10 miles closer than the WLJT PBS antenna which is due east, E 90, receive power -37 dBm, and tuning in perfectly via Tablo. Via Tablo I also recieve WPTY ABC Memphis - sometimes clearly, sometimes not - which is about 60 miles WSW 240, receive power -81 dBm. The way-cool sounding tekkie info above provided by

If it is a Tablo tuner problem that they may not be able to resolve, before you head off to cable, what about a different DVR? Is it the fact that the Tablo can distribute the shows to multiple rooms and TVs?

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I don’t know the nature of the software change, only that it didn’t affect signal power. As suggested by radojevic, I wonder if it could have caused the stations to vanish from the Tablo postal code database. Unfortunately, I can’t reach the WBBJ engineer until Monday to ask him for additional info. I did pose that question to Tablo tech support this morning. And kudos for the 2-antenna recommendation, also made by the WBBJ engineer, tested, and failed. I am very pro-Tablo & pro-Tablo customer service, but with all the things recommended & tested over the past 3 weeks, I think this is something related specifically to the new Tablo and/or the zip code list. I’m seriously considering ordering another Tablo from Amazon, just to see what happens. Too bad I can’t run over & get one from Best Buy, to add to my Best Buy infractions!

If you could only borrow a Tablo from an acquaintance in your area to test for a few minutes!

There is however an inexpensive Channel 43\7 DVR that will work for that one channel but alas it only has a 24 hour guide…:wink:

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“There is however an inexpensive Channel 43\7 DVR that will work for that one channel but alas it only has a 24 hour guide…”

Oh for heaven’s sake Uncle Leo give it a rest!

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Yes to the reason for trying to stick with Tablo. Plus my investment in a new 5TB hard drive, and the ridiculous cost of starting over, both $$ & learning curve. Instead of cable, I realized I can dust off the VCRs I didn’t ditch, and satisfactorily tune in the missing channels with the $12.99 antennas from Target… I trust this will be worked out, somehow. There should be no obstruction, other than the flock of migrating hummingbirds feeding outside the window near my antenna. And at risk of bodily harm, I even took down that feeder & retested. otherwise, the trees are pretty much as they were exactly a year ago, and there’s been no high-rise construction out in the country.

Check out my thread “Backup to My Tablo.” If Nuvyyo cannot fix the problem, instead of the VCR get a Mediasonic Homeworx 180 for $29 only. That will cover that channel (and others). Take a look also at @jerryg1’s thread on same. The picture quality is beautiful. I use it also as a backup for my Tablo when I absolutely want to make sure something is recorded and not missed by mistake. It also makes for faster channel surfing while giving you Pause\FF\Rew functions for live TV. We use both DVRs.

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This is a complete long shot, but this quote:

But, this reminds me of something my tv station engineering pal said. They did a a software tweak a few weeks ago, not affecting signal strength.

Did that happen around the same time you lost the channels? It reminds me of something that happened to me with Windows Media Center several years ago. I had a local OTA station “disappear” - I think it was still in the WMC guide, but I couldn’t tune it or record from it. (It was a while ago so I can’t remember the details offhand.) But the TVs I had hooked directly to the OTA coax could tune the channel fine.

At the time, I did some digging online and found some sites that eventually helped me figure it out. It turns out that the station had done a software update and had something misconfigured in the ATSC stream metadata regarding how the channels were defined. While it was technically wrong per the ATSC spec, a lot of tuners (i.e. all my TVs) didn’t care, but WMC was “picky” and when it saw the metadata was wrong, it just threw up it’s hands and decided that it wasn’t a valid channel.

I don’t know if this is what’s going on with the Tablo, but maybe it could be the same or similar issues. Since this was a while ago, I unfortunately wasn’t easily able to find any relevant bookmarks or emails, but if this seems plausible, let me know and I’ll see if I can dig out any more details from my archives.

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Thanks, smurph. I’ll run this past the tv network engineer Monday, and share whatever he says with the Tablo folks. As for timing, I have no idea. The old Tablo retained its guide info, and still tunes in those stations, although it will no longer record. The new Tablo won’t detect those stations. If the old Tablo hadn’t failed, I never would have rescanned & caused them to disappear.

If the station mucked around with the PSIP data that could throw off different tuners. TV tuners are less picky about errors in a data stream and just skip over them unlike DVR tuners that “worry” about inconsistent data. Within the PSIP stream there is a channel identifier that enables a tuner to lock onto that station. If that has changed or is screwed up…could be a problem for a tuner.

This WBBJ station BTW is a funny hybrid (private ownership with partial affiliation). It is neither ABC nor CBS but broadcasts both (having the rights in that area). ABC is on the first subchannel; CBS is on the third one. So it’s possible they have to screw around with the channel assignments and IDs…that can throw a receiver off…

I would also mention this fact to the Tablo engineer - the dual nature of this station.

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@MarkKindle @LilOleLady Yeah, that was it, the PSIP data (couldn’t remember any of the terminology)! I found the old emails between the station engineer and me (turns out it was 4 years ago). The particular issue with my station was the transport stream identifier (TSID) didn’t match between the “PAT” and “VCT” sections of the PSID data.