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

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.


Would mention that to the Tablo engineer!

Now here’s the question: is that logic in Tablo’s code or the tuner’s microcode? Would Nuvyyo have to fix that or the tuner supplier? Or throw it back to the station? Ping pong anyone?

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I did one more test and have to retract my supposition that the new Tablo is at fault. Although the old Tablo still perfectly broadcasts those channels (retained in that Tablo’s guide data), they no longer show up on channel scans with the old Tablo either. In my learned opinion (ha!!) that clearly narrows it down to a PSIP/TSID/ATSC problem. Whatever those things are. I’ve said all along that the Tablo lost the ability to “see” the channels, and you guys explained precisely how that’s probably the case. I’m curious how many Tablo users are within the WBBJ broadcast area… Now if the tv/Nuvyyo/tuner engineer will just figure out how to fix this problem which possibly affects only lil ole me.

Isn’t OTA reception fun? I’ve fought with these sorts of problems many times over the past decade (mine own and those of people I’ve installed antennas for). That’s why several decades ago people started the migration to cable - have the cable company work all this out for you and save you the headaches. That is until the prices and contract hassles started escalating…

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Don’t you just love it when an engineer mentions, “Well, I remember a software change a little while back…”


I asked him if anything had changed that would affect signal strength, having explained that the Tablo tech said the signal is too weak. His reply was that there was nothing affecting signal strength, but there was a software update a few weeks ago that could cause me to have to rescan. Which I had done a few hundred times in the past 3 weeks, so at the time, I didn’t recognize the potential significance of the software update. To his credit, he offered several possible solutions, but this alphabet soup possibility wasn’t mentioned. It takes a village!

Having multiple tuners (TV, DVR, etc) to test a signal is very useful. One tuner may fail on a certain condition that another tuner won’t. So it’s good to have verification from different devices. Heck that applies to antennas as well. Some antennas are better at receiving higher frequencies, others at lower frequencies. Channel 27 may come in better on one antenna type and worse on another.

Oops. Ancient VCRs can’t interpret OTA signals? I had used them with basic cable for 8-10 years before Tablo. I’m dead in the water on recording ABC & CBS until this alphabet soup signal issue is resolved or I get the Homeworx unit.

The Tablo has an ATSC tuner in it. Old school cable was not ATSC, current OTA is ATSC. Old OTA was NTSC. Old school cable was NTSC as well. Most VCR tuners do not support ATSC from my knowledge.

Read here:

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Oops I should have caught that when you mentioned using a VCR in the meantime! For old times sake, I had hitched up my VCR to the Homeworx as a fun test since the Homeworx can convert an ATSC signal to an NTSC one through its RF Out port.

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So what was the fix? Was there one? In 33603 and having what is probably the same problem. I’m less than 20 miles from the signal, ABC used to be there with a high yellow but is now not there at all.

Dying without access to The Good Doctor.