Always records when just watching

With no recordings scheduled and no recordings being watched and the USB hard disk activity LED off continuously (there is no disk activity); whenever I select an OTA channel to JUST watch, immediately the HD activity LED starts flashing indicating either something is being recorded or being read from the HD.
After exiting Tablo and turning it off the HD activity LED continues to show activity for 30 minutes, then stops.

How can I stop this useless activity?

If I wanted to record what I was watching I would select record, when I select watch I expect there to be no HD activity.

You can’t.

Live TV transcodes the video and stores it on the HDD for playback.

Which Tablo do you have? I assume not the new DUAL HDMI unit?

It is very much USEFUL activity (real-time transcoding as @theuser86 said) as it’s what allows the Tablo to support so many different playback devices.


Does Tablo have to transcode the OTA stream onto the HD then play back the recording for me to watch OTA “Live” in “real-time”?

If so it seems they could have put some RAM in a flip-flop buffer in the TABLO unit instead of wearing out the customer’s HD.

If what I’m seeing “live” is not coming off the hard disk then there is no reason to record anything onto the HD as I never intend to read it off the HD.

The other thing is once I Exit Tablo (from my viewpoint “turn it off”) the HD activity continues for 30 more minutes.

That is because exiting from one client doesn’t “turn it off”. The Tablo will continue to stream the live TV channels you were watching for another 30 minutes in case the user wants to reconnect from another device. After 30 minutes of no activity, it will then stop the stream.

If you have a hard drive connected, it will. That allows the user to rewind, pause, and fast forward live tv, as well as use all the tuners and go back and forth among them. The Tablo is capable of streaming live tv if no hard drive is connected, but only one channel (and not sure you can rewind with no hard drive).

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As all your points have been addressed, if you still don’t understand and find it unacceptable to have the drive “running” when decide it shouldn’t be. You could use Cloud DVR service

then you’d not have an external drive annoying you and live TV is transcoded internally… as you’ve suggested. If you have a Quad, you could install an internal drive, again, never see the flashing light.

It also records to the HDD so you can watch 4 different live TV streams at once since you have a quad tuner. It was purposely implemented this way and it works well.

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The original poster stated that he is using a Tablo Quad. Unfortunately, the Cloud DVR Service is only available on the Tablo Dual Lite.

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If you played Live TV from the channel number in the grid there is a blinking red light when the tuner is assigned.

If your app allows for a disconnect versus an exit try that instead of an exit. For Roku if you then immediately re-enter the app and Live TV grid the red blinking light has stopped and so should the disk activity.

Of at least my OG models work like this.

Solved my problem, split the antenna input between Tablo and the TV.
When I just want to watch an OTA channel I switch to the TV, when I want to watch a recorded Tablo OTA channel I switch to Tablo.

Tablo’s recording for 30 minutes after I’m through watching an OTA channel doesn’t make any sense.

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@Waldo , I do the same thing - watch “live tv” on my TV and watch recorded content on the Tablo.

Graet Minds :slight_smile:

Too bad we have to do a work-a-round of something we bought which has a dumb implementation.

It’s actually a feature that was implemented around 2-3 years ago to speed up Live TV channel load time.

Since the Live TV channels a lot users access are around 2-3, they hang onto those channels for around 30 minutes or there is a recording or demand for a different Live TV channel.

Of course, if the app allows for a disconnect and it frees up the channel(s) and the users doesn’t exercise that capability it’s not exactly tablo’s problem.

sorry zippy but I didn’t understand anything you said in your last message, or if I did it doesn’t make any sense

On my Roku watching Live TV, the tuner is immediately deassigned and writing to the disc stops if I perform a disconnect versus an exit.

Under other conditions the tuner assignment resulting in writing to the disc is a feature that allows for faster Live TV startup.

My TV and Tablo are very close to each other, and the TV already had the antenna coax going to it - didn’t make any sense to watch "live tv’ with the Tablo when my real TV was right there.

Was never concerned about the HD use, servers can keep drives spun up for years on end without issues. However, when I was using a rotational drive I did have a 10 minute sleep set (with Seagate software, YMMV but I never had any issues with this setup). I"m running an internal SSD now.

Bought a 2.5" 1TB WD Red at the same time as the Quad Tablo, because I didn’t think the USB 2.0 and a 5400 RPM HD could handle recording 4 1080 streams reliably at once.

After starting up the Tablo noted it was pretty hot, especially on the side where the HD was to be inserted.

I had a USB HD lying around plugged it in and had no problems recording 4 at once.

Returned the unopened 2.5" 1 TB WD red and got a 3.5" 3 TB WD Red plus for 60% of the 2.5".

As it turns out since I don’t record and maintain much more than 10 hours of 1080p, I could have plugged in a fast 256GB thumb drive.

Live and learn.

I contacted Tablo help about the nearly constant HD activity.
After a couple of exchanges Tablo tech support stated that after the Tablo formats the HD (taking a minute or 2) and indicates its through, it continues to format the HD in the background. A 3 TB 5400 rpm HD can take a couple of days.

I don’t know why Tablo thinks its necessary to do a total format instead of just a quick format.
I checked the sector formatting of the temporary USB HD I used to test the USB 2.0 interface thruput using my PC and didn’t see anything different from the regular PC sector formatting.

I believe the Tablo drives are formatted with EXT4, a “quick format” may not be possible.

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For those who wish to “pause live TV” it’s very does.

It’s not exactly a "work-a-round’. It’s a TV, many people use their TV to watch regular OTA TV, been doing it for many years. If you want to watch TV, press the TV button on the remote.

There is also an option to disable the blue LED if you’re bothered by it.

There are no speed or performance benefits from USB 3.0 and solid state drives (SSD) vs. USB 2.0 and spinning drives.

There may be some misunderstanding between how the tablo actually works and how you think it should, or want it to. Modern drive are much more durable than the guys “I’m been doing this for years” kind of experience. They don’t easily wear out from routine usage, if you’d have a Windows 10 PC, does it really stop for more than a minute?

I kind of think that’s a feel good answer. It won’t tell you it’s done and ready to use… if you can’t really use it. Formatting a drive does not take days. But if that what’s someone needs to hear so they con move on…

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