Best Tablo Configuration

What is the best configuration for Tablo? i.e. How would Bill Gates configure his Tablo System for fastest performance? There are 8-10 components involved in a Tablo setup. It would be nice to know what components potentially cause the slowest performance.

  1. ISP Download Speed
  2. ISP Upload Speed
  3. Modem
  4. Ethernet or Wi-Fi
  5. Router or Switch
  6. Application server (Roku, Amazon Fire, etc.)
  7. Hard Drive
  8. Other

My Tablo Setup:

All CAT5, Nothing Wireless
Charter ISP 60MB Download, 3MB Upload
Cisco DPC3216 modem
TP Link AC1750 Wireless Dual Band Gigabit router
Netgear GS605 Gigabit Switch
Amazon FireTV (OS Version
Tablo (Device 2.2.10) (HTML Application 1.0.29)
WD Elements 1TB USB 3.0 Hard Drive

40 Seconds to connect from Amazon TV and see Live TV Schedule
26 seconds from pushing the record button until the blue status circle stops and I have control again
19 seconds from pushing play now button until I see the show
17 seconds from pushing the back button while playing to get back to the Tablo screen
3 seconds from selecting Recordings menu until first screen of recordings display (very good)
4 seconds from selecting Play on a recording until it starts playing (very good)
4 seconds from pushing the back button while playing a recording to get back to the tablo screen
16 seconds from selecting Live TV menu until the Tablo channel guide is displayed

1-3. Not significant.

The Tablo only uses the Internet connection for guide data updates and cover art caching. And decent broadband connection will be fine, UNLESS you’re doing significant remote viewing. Then you need enough upload bandwidth for that.

  1. All ethernet, all the time, if at all possible.

  2. Use a high quality gigabit switch. If you have a very busy network, consider getting a VLAN capable switch so you can segregate usage. Don’t use the switch built into most consumer grade routers, they are usually bandwidth limited. For optimal performance, get separate modem/router/switch/WAP (wireless access point).

  3. Depends on what other sources you want to use. Roku is very popular, but seems to give people problems more than others. And has some limitations. Personally, I use the Android TV app on two Android TVs. I also have Fire TVs (not sticks) because I subscribe to PS Vue. Both of those seem to work very well. The Nvidia Shield is very popular for Android devices.

  4. Big enough so you don’t have to worry about ugrading it in the future. Make sure it’s a model that doesn’t go to sleep on it’s own. I would get a USB3 device if possible, even though the current Tablo is USB2 only.

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The Nvidia Shield TV runs Tablo the fastest. The Archer C7 is very fast for me, but it is set up wirelessly, which obviously is not ideal. If you can use Ethernet (not Power line if you can help it) it will be even faster.

My Nexus Player sits next to my router/modem. Using wireless (NP has no ethernet port) I have never had disconnects or LPW’s. Ethernet connections are ideal but not always critical or necessary as many insist.

Make sure you also dont have an “antique” wifi router… preferably something made in the past 2 or 3 years … anything older might have real problems trying to stream 1080p video while also servicing all your other internet demands…

Agreed, AC Wireless with 5GHz support is ideal.

I am just now researching the Tablo. These times seem ridiculously high. Really? 40 seconds to see your live tv schedule?

This post was back in 2016. Are these loading times still this high?

Tablo is a streaming server. It needs to transcode and buffer before it can start streaming. This is done to put the video into a format that can be easily streamed to multiple platforms. It really works best to set your programs to record and watch them afterward. A lot of owners split their antenna feed and send one line to the TV for live viewing.

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It takes about 12-15 seconds to get live TV from when I hit the play button. The Tablo encodes a 10 second buffer of video before starting to play, so it will never get faster than 10 seconds unless you can time travel. This is because it is converting the native MPEG2 video to h.264 vide.

When watching recordings, the playback is instantaneous- it starts immediately.

We rarely watch live TV to allow for commercial skipping. If that solves the time lag I am good with it.

One question though- Why does the Tablo record in a format that requires transcoding? I know there are lots of devices out there, but there are some pretty common standards.

OTA broadcasts are MPEG-2. Not all clients support MPEG-2 video streams, so Tablo has to transcode them at least once so that it can store them in a format all supported clients can use. It will transcode a second time if the client is using Remote Connect with a specified data rate different from what it was recorded at.

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For example, no Roku devices plays back MPEG2 video, thus for Roku support the video format must be h.264 video.

So how does a Roku TV work? Does it do something else to display the picture from the digital tuner? I have a 4K Roku TV and there doesn’t seem to be a transcoding delay.

The Roku TV has a built in OTA tuner for live TV viewing if you have a coax cable connected to it.

For the Tablo app on the Roku TV, the Tablo still converts the MPEG2 video to h.264 video.

There are posts stating some people split the antenna signal between the Tablo for recordings and TV for viewing live. They do this to avoid the buffering and speed switching channel to channel. Good solution, but requires switching tv inputs. I really just want to stay within the ROKU environment

I would suppose any solution running OTA through the ROKU would have to be transcoded, so regardless it would have the buffering lag?